Part 69: Operational Report: 13/02/42
The De Ruyter, leading a task force north to relieve Bandjermasin runs into a enemy destroyer, a few shots are fired, but there is no real battle.
Sweeping past this ship, the fleet falls upon an undefended pair of troop ships. They are quickly sunk and many enemy soldiers are seen to be dead in the water.
But this is only the start, they then find the jackpot upon entering Bandjermasin harbour.
This is a huge fleet, and is most likely troop ships forming up for the invasion of Java. The Dutch cruiser and her destroyers move into the parked ships firing away.
They then circled around and hit the fleet again.
Another three ships are sent to the bottom, along with several thousand more valuable troops. They make a third pass through the now burning ships, and even more Japanese ships and troops are destroyed or killed.
Now, out of ammunition, the ships have to return home, coming across another convoy, they have to evade it, not having the means to engage.
Some of our Hudson bombers make a visit to the area, and despite getting no hits on the enemy, the report a slightly higher number of casualties than earlier thought.
Planes out of Batavia make an attack on a couple of Japanese cruisers in the Java Seam, but are unable to get any hits. But at least we know they have something in this rapidly emptying area.
The Swordfish are much more successful.
Kukong is bombed hard today, the Japanese Air Force make several runs at the defenders.
Our attacks on Pucheng are starting to take effect, but I may switch back to letting the enemy attack us, they seem to take more losses that way. But I'll try one day of shock attacks first.
Near Chuhsien, we are making more progress, and are starting to wear down the enemy.
Ah, a good day at last. That's a hundred point army casualties and twenty new ships sunk today.
I'm assuming that the Destroyer struck a mine somewhere, but the prize on that list is the LSD a specialized landing ship.
We also have a new ship at the East Coast.
The USS Hornet, giving us another Aircraft carrier. Its going to be a while before she can make it down to Panama, and then we have to get her to Pearl, so she won't be ready for the invasion of the Marshall Islands.
But that's another large fleet carrier for our collection.
At Pearl, most of the troops are loaded, and we're now filling up with supplies, the pilots have been rounded up from the local bars and houses of ill repute, and we should be ready to go tomorrow.
The cruisers that hit Banjermasin yesterday are back in Soreabaja, and have formed up with the Enterprise, the Caledon and their destroyers and are going back across to make another mess of those ships, now the carriers have moved off for repairs, we once more have the Java sea under our control.
Not that we have the ships to stop the carriers if they return.