Part 64: Operational Report: 08/02/42
Those Japanese subs have moved down to south Australia, as one strikes at the Missourian off Melbourne.
The sub then hits a tanker later in the day.
The Dutch KVIII makes a atrocious attack on a Japanese ship, seven torpedoes are launched, two are duds and the rest miss, when the captain surfaces to make a surface attack, the captain of the freighter gets people to their deck gun and hits the sub hard!
Its not the Dutch subs day, as the KX takes several depth charge hits trying to get into position to strike at the battleships near Batavia.
We also get some tentative reports on the carrier to the north, but as these are from civilian ships, we can't be sure if it is the Akagi or not. But we get one more final report from these captains.
Felling the Akagi takes the ships right into the guns of the main battle fleet.
We then launch our old 139 dive bombers at this fleet, but are unable to get any hits on those battleships.
Another strike goes out to a cruiser, the Chitose, but again does not strike their target. But an afternoon strike by the Swordfish is much more successful.
The carriers launch at Batavia with a good proportion of their strength, faced with only two fighters, one of the defenders still manages to get a kill before going down, and the flack causes large amount of damage amounts the other planes.
Near Port Moresby, the I-10 continues to hunt submarine killers, taking out another of our patrols.
Launching out of Singapore, the enemy strike at Djambi, but run into the fighters that had once defended the city.
Off Celebes, the O23 puts two fish into the side of a suspiciously named freighter.
The bombing of Bataan continues unabated.
As does the battle for Manila, today we lose another layer of defensive fortifications, as well as over a thousand men to the enemies attacks.
The fighting over Luganville continues to intensify.
The casualties are so high that some units are wiped out by attrition as they are overwhelmed by the huge numbers of Japanese defenders, I just wish I knew where all these men have come from!
Today was much better than the previous days, we lost no land and only ten ships.
One of those may have been the Cornwall, who sank after damage received yesterday, but we can take heart that the Swordfish pilots claim that the Chitose was most likely sunk by those two hits.
We also have reports that the enemy have occupied Iwo-jima, a small volcanic island, what value there could be to such a small dusty lump of rock I have no idea.
This is the danger area right now, I need to do something about those carriers.
Here is the last ditch effort strike.
The Hermes will move north to engage those cruisers. (hopefully cruiser now), while a task force from Soerabaja makes a run for the cruisers then sweeps up to engage those battleships.
Task Force 227's four cruisers should be able to make short work of the enemy carriers, if they can catch them.
To hedge my bets, TF339, including the Repulse will head in the other direction on the far side of Java in case the carriers have used up their supplies and are heading for home.
The Repulse, as you can see, has not gained any more water, despite the reports of flotation failure. Some snotty must have been a little over excited.
I would not even be trying these manoeuvres without knowing that the carriers are damaged. Even then, this is still a big risk.
But what is war without risks?