Part 360: Operational Report: 01/12/42
As our carriers get closer to Rabaul, they are spotted by some Japanese transports. Our escorts decided to not risk the big ships and do not engage.
The Japanese response is one of pure desperation, sending their level bombers against our ships unescorted. Of course, they don't even get to see our ships before being driven off with heavy losses.
Their second wave is better thought out, and the bulk of the bombers to get to attack our ships, but level bombers have only a small chance of hitting even something as large as one of our fleet carriers. Our Wildcats make a mess of this formation as well.
The third wave is their most successful, but this is only because the remaining CAP planes are low on ammunition and now outnumbered. There are still no hits on our ships.
Our bombers go in and are met by a screen of enemy fighters.
The bombers get through, but score no hits they do see the Suzuya once more, still burning from our attacks yesterday, but they are unable to get any more explosives into her. On their way out, the enemy fighters drop on them and we lose a large number of planes.
Two more squadrons are a lot more successful when they strike a convoy at Green Island, they sink a transport and damage a heavy cruiser in their attack.
Another raid runs into another wall of Japanese fighters.
Some brutal combat follows but we come out of it 5 Dauntless's fewer, but with two hits on some Japanese troop transports.
Our next raid in a busy morning strikes at another transport in the Rabaul area, and we trade another bomber for a bomb strike.
The afternoon starts with a much smaller Japanese attack on our carriers met with a much smaller CAP.
There are another two raids like the morning, which net us another 5 kills in the sky.
Our planes then attempt to attack Rabaul again, but they are to few in number and the Japanese forces are to dense, and we lose most of the attacking planes.
At Guadalcanal, our soldiers on the ground push the Japanese once more, and cause heavy losses amongst them.
Darwin is attacked once more, and our boys don't want to be left out in what seems to be shoot down a Japanese plane day.
The bloodbath that is Akyab begins. I go in expecting heavy losses, and I'm not disappointed.
We're going to have to take these losses if we're ever to advance here, and we can absorb them for longer than the Japanese can.
Our attacks at Kiangtu go well today, as the enemy seems to be coming apart at the seams in the south now.
A brutal start to the month, as we see over a 100 planes shot down on both sides. We've come out worse, because of those strikes on Rabaul. But we can add to that the one confirmed sunk and the five or so other ships that have been damaged in the day.
I can replace our plane losses, the Japanese cannot replace their ships, nor can they afford to keep repairing them, especially as I now control the resources of China for the most part.
The carriers are now returning to Suva, where they will be joined by the Enterprise when she gets out of the shipyard in 2 days time. Then its back up to Pearl for the Marshall Island invasions.
I've just lost half my subs for a few days due to refits. Is it to much to ask that those refits include new torpedoes?