Part 43: Operational Report: 18/01/42
In what must be preparation for their land based invasion of Singapore, the Japanese begin night time bombing of the city.
The only damage they cause is hitting a Vildebeast bomber on the runway.
They then land forces at Kuantan, but the invasion is not supported by anything bigger than a destroyer, so their battleships must be somewhere else. The defenders there manage to hold on for today, as the enemy do not press their attack too vigorously and seem to be marshalling their forces.
It seems the enemy knows about our fighters in Port Moresby, as they have moved their bombers to attacking the ships still at sea rather than those in the port, this is a good tactic, as we can't defend all of the sea with only one squadron of fighters.
They even get cocky and fly PAST the port to get at a ship supplying the defenders of Horn Island.
The Defenders of Ambon hold out for another day, but their casualties are beginning to mount.
As out forces approach Luganville, the enemy moves their own invasion further south.
Our ships must have passed in the night, and when the Louisville arrives at the head of our invasion force and lays down fire to support the attack it is to great effect.
The Japanese seem completely unprepared for our attack, and seem to have not even considered the fact we may go on the offensive so soon. But yes General Tojo, those are American troops landing on the beaches!
Unfortunately, our boys have had little practice for this, and some serious mistakes are made during the landings that cost us dear. As night falls the enemy launch an attack, despite the fact the the only defenders seem to be a base force a collection of engineers and labourers they still think that they can beat out boys. There are few casualties from this phase, but it shows that all of the enemies troops are willing to fight to their upmost.
The Imperial Navy once more launch a combined carrier based air strike on the southern Philippines, but this time we get lucky and manage to bring down one of their planes with flack.
Todays raids on Bataan are about half those of yesterday, and with that number of damaged planes, tomorrows should be smaller still, we may not be shooting anything down, but if these reports are accurate, then we're at least causing them some maintenance issues.
Clark Field continues to see sporadic fighting with a few hundred casualties on both sides, for now that front seems fairly stable. Their advances in the south continue as Butuan falls to their army.
So today was the day our first offensive started. It has already become clear that we need to institute some landing training for these men, and definitely plan out attacks better.
This was a special case though, we needed to move quickly before the enemy could reinforce Luganville. As it stands this was a good call, as the enemy is definitely intent on spreading his area of operations south.
The 3rd Air Division is planning to attack Clark Field, so it looks like the Japanese are moving up more troops to break our defences.
As the Japanese are making their intentions plain in the New Hebrides, I will have to take action.
I have put together a cruiser force to try and intercept the enemy ships in the area.
there is also a new troop transport loading in Sidney, once more they will have no chance to plan their attack, but I want to nip this in the bud.