Part 47: Operational Report: 22/01/42
The Pike manages to get a fish to explode against the side of a Japanese ship.
At least we know there's nothing wrong with the actual explosives, just everything else about the bloody things.
Our cruiser task force from Australia arrives at Efate. They manage to catch the enemy fleet by complete surprise and sail in all guns blazing.
Although the Voyager takes the brunt of the enemy fire, the other destroyer La Triomphant takes a critical hit that sets her ablaze.
The Japanese forces do take the brunt of the damage however, and only one of their ships manages to escape, and that one is heavily damaged.
In the afternoon, less their destroyer escort, the three cruisers find another couple of ships.
The second shell to hit the patrol boat obliterates it, sending wreckage flying in all directions, and allowing the cruisers to concentrate on the freighter, who swiftly follows it to the bottom of the bay.
Despite unloading for several days, the enemy only seem to have landed about 800 men. This was an undefended island, but they now have little time to dig in before our own men arrive to retake the island.
Their brothers in the north may be more numerous, but now that they are cut off, its only a matter of time before we can overwhelm them and recapture that island as well.
The enemy bombers bypass Singapore today and hit Singkep, trying to sink the empty minelayer anchored there. Their attack fails to net them any hits however.
The Swordfish once more strike at Watampone, today scoring some hits on a ship.
The Japanese also land troops at Makassar, once more using smaller ships to support the invasion, it seems we've scared the enemy, we've not seen one of their cruisers in a couple of weeks now, and its nearly a month since they last risked showing us a battleship.
Packed into the city so tightly, its no surprise that the enemy artillery bombardments are causing so many casualties. When you have 30,000 men in a city, its hard to miss them when you have two hundred guns firing all day long.
There are also more landings in Borneo, as the Japanese cement their hold on the east side of the country.
The Japanese bombers return to Bataan today in great force, hitting the port and the airfield relentlessly.
In Manila, they try to bombard our boys, and while they cause some causalities, accurate counter battery fire takes out two of their guns and a number of support vehicles.
While in Clark Field, we fair murder them as they make another attack. So far, we're holding out, and every time we lose a layer of our defences, we manage to replace them with another layer of fortifications before the enemy can attack again. This is keeping the cost for the airbase high, and buying us time.
While the skies have been relativity quiet, the seas have been frothing away. We lost a few ships to previous damage today, but the raid on Efate has netted us a nice few ships as prizes.
Today's reports are the normal locational reports.
Having reached Midway and no sign of the enemy, I order the carriers to move to Wake to raid the enemy, if we can catch some of their supply ships, we can hurt them before our invasion kicks off.
At Pearl Harbour, the troops that are going to be invading the Marshall Islands are coming along with their planning, and as I don't see us getting the battleships from Seattle for another week, we should be good for the invasion.
I don't like the idea of the enemy landing troops right under our noses, so I've sent another task force out to deal with the invaders of Celebes. 31,000 tons of warship should interfere with their plans.
And with no active carriers to stop me, it should be a turkey shoot.