Part 76: Operational Report: 20/02/42
Overnight a Japanese submarine is detected and attacked off Pearl Harbour, its not known if any damage was done to the ship, but the captains have not been able to confirm a kill.
At least our ASW teams are doing something.
At the Johnstone Islands, and enemy destroyer makes an attack at one of our supply convoys, but the ships are able to escape with only minor damage.
Things go wrong for out Marshall island attack when most of the attacking bombers make it through the fighter screen and manage to get two hits in on the Saratoga.
We manage to take out a good number of their planes, but the damage to one of our carriers makes it no fair trade.
To the north, another of the carriers makes a strike on a supply convoy, causing heavy damage to the ships, but only managing to sink one of them.
Then a wave from the Saratoga comes in and adds their fire power to the attack.
We then get a large number of reports of planes diverting to the Lexington and Yorktown, meaning that the damage to the Saratoga has affected her ability to take on planes, we are also hearing news that she has suffered an ammunition explosion, but this has not yet been confirmed.
The afternoon begins with a strike on the Yorktown, which is fended off by a collection of fighters, flack and luck.
Her flights are off sinking a lone ship supplying the defenders of Ailinglaplap, and island not on our list of first wave targets.
While the Enterprise and her planes continue to hammer Wake.
The S-36 Reports multiple convoys moving through the Massika Straights. They attack one ship, but have to evade most of them.
She then circles around and attack another set of ships, hitting the freighter twice and then evading the destroyer's depth charge attacks with only a few near misses.
The KVII continues to hunt off the north of Java.
The Japanese now are obviously moving trooping into Bandermasin at a hefty rate, as we suffer an attack coming from that direction. Our remaining P-39's in Soerabaja take a heavy toll on the small wing of unescorted bombers.
The Vildebeest Dive bombers based at Batavia make a brave attack on the enemy landing forces, getting for hits on a freighter before being shot down by the late arriving Zero's off one of the carriers.
The Port Moresby bombers make another attack on New Britain, but the enemy have a huge number of fighters there now, and our losses are heavy.
The runway at Changsha can no longer be realistically called such, as yet another bombing raid destroys everything that remains of it.
The defenders of Bataan don't get any visits from the air force today, but they do get a continuous artillery bombardment.
The troops in Mauban surrender today, having no supplies and no defences.
The enemy decide to bombard Rangoon rather than wasting their troops in another frontal attack.
So I ballsed up, and totally underestimated the damage just a couple of squadrons of Bettys and Nells could do.
The heavy operational losses are most likely from the planes that had to find new homes after the Saratoga was hit, combined with new pilots with little carrier experience.
As you can see, we lost a hell of a lot of valuable planes today. And those are the ones that we have few of in the pools.
I've ordered the three undamaged carriers up to Wake, the troop transports will just have to risk it, after the Saratoga took a hit, I'm not risking any more carriers.
The Saratoga is just one unlucky ship, that's three torpedoes she's eaten so far. The only good thing is that the damage to the ships systems is minimal. This means that there is a chance for the crew to pump out that accumulating water and make it back to Pearl.
Then again, with that much damage, they could go down overnight.