Part 66: Operational Report: 10/02/42
I have just received a very annoyed message from the Captain of the Skipjack, there were many, many rude words about the quality of our torpedoes.
The S-40 takes out a sub hunter with a single torpedo.
Pucheng erupts into battle once more, the Japanese having spent several days resting after their last failed attack.
It does them no good, as once more they lose over ten men for every Chinese soldier who falls. 41 destroyed squads is a massive amount, and must have seriously reduced their ability to fight.
The Repulse finds the carrier Akagi during the night, taking the advantage, the allied task force crosses the T and opens fire.
But it is the Repulse that takes the brunt of the damage, taking a number of hits from the Akagi's anti aircraft guns, followed by a torpedo from the Wakaba.
This makes a total of five torpedo hits in three months for the Repulse. with this increased damage, she drops out of line, and the Sumatra takes the lead, she manages to strike the Akagi a couple of times, setting her on fire, but takes a torpedo from each of the destroyers.
A few hours later, the crew of the Sumatra radio in that they cannot contain the flooding, and that they are abandoning ship.
As dawn breaks, the Repulse sights the Akagi once more, but declines to press the attack with only the destroyer [/i]Jupiter[/i] with her to protect her against the skilled captains Japanese ships.
It seems that the Japanese Air Force have wasted no time in getting planes into Balikpapan, as we fend off a raid that seems to have come from there today.
The Akagi launches a raid at Soerabaja, which runs right into the CAP recently reinforced by American fighters.
They make a good showing of themselves, but are unable to stop a bomb hitting the Hermes.
Another of their waves moves after the stricken Repulse, and it seems that they have been saving their torpedoes for a special occasion.
It takes several hours, but finally this bravest of ships succumbs to her wounds, and sinks below the waves.
A later wave of Zeros cuts the defenders to shreds and downs two of the planes, despite being outnumbered.
Those P-39's are on training missions for some reason, and bug out of the battle.
The larger carrier group attacks the cruisers that I sent north, but are unable to get any hits.
Another wave strikes at a submarine warfare group and sinks both ships.
We lose two bases on Celebes today, as both Madjene and Donggala fall to invasion forces.
The defenders of Manila face an armoured assault today, and manage to take out 14 tanks and knocking out several more, but a high price is paid for their kills.
R.I.P. HMS Repulse. you were a brave ship with a brave crew, but no ship is designed to take five torpedoes in a day, while still damaged from a previous two.
I see that intelligence are still clinging to the idea that the Chitose has sunk. But I'm not buying it, we've seen these ships removed to often.
The enemy are reinforcing their holdings, and the 15th army is being sent to Moulmein near Rangoon. - The fact that we have heard nothing from that advancing army is interesting, they burned their way to the outskirts, but have gone no further.
Say what you want about the carrying capacity of the Hermes, her designers knew how to make a tough ship. Even with another bomb hit today, she is still showing little damage from it.
If only we had some planes to put in her.
Tomorrow should also see our cruisers making a run for those damaged carriers before they escape north, if they can get past those ships north of Batavia.
We order the men in Pucheng to attack, hopefully the weakened enemy will crumble under this onslaught.