Part 77: Operational Report: 21/02/42
S-40 tries to take a Japanese destroyer, but the torpedo selected is a dud, the crew then have to evade the depth charges the two destroyers throw into the water.
They take a couple of near hits, but manage to survive.
The Skipjack has to make a surface attack after no less than four torpedoes strike its target and fail to go off. They do get lucky with the fifth hit, but the captain has already ordered the crew to man the deck gun.
The enemy make another attempt to raid the ships in Soerabaja harbour, but the P-39's have a good day, and seven planes are not returning home today.
A later raid from the carriers hits the city itself, they cause large scale damage to the civilian structures, but fail to hit anything of military import.
The Royal Sovereign takes one more torpedo hit, but with the previous damage, this is enough to send her to the bottom.
The enemy are also starting to raid Sumatra, a strike at Medan causing some damage to the runway there is the opening to the day.
Later strikes at Djambi also do some damage to this poorly defended area.
While troops are landed at Palembang make little progress, but are not replused by are forces.
The Stingray is continuing to hunt off the Japanese mainland, and gets a solid hit to the engine room of a passing ship.
Why the enemy continue to pound the empty Changsha airfield is beyond me, but its a good way of soaking up their bombs.
Without the carriers to aim for, the Japanese target the next biggest ship that they can see, and the USS Idaho comes under attack. They come home reporting one hit with a torpedo and one dud that failed to go off, but there is no reports of damage from the ship yet. Hopefully this was a near miss, such as the Repulse suffered on the 7th of December.
The HMS Warspite is not so lucky.
There are going to be some more people after me for letting the British fleet get sunk.
Our own planes are make numerous raids on Wake, causing a few casualties amongst the defenders, and damaging the runway.
On the shore, the Japanese defenders see that huge grey form of the New Mexico sail into sight, firing her huge guns at the defenders.
The troops storm ashore, taking heavy losses from the defensive fire on their landing craft, but it is not enough to stop them from establishing a beachhead on the island.
They then take even more losses trying to storm the enemies trenches, they don't have much in the way of prepared defences, but there is little cover on the island, and nothing but shell craters for our men to hide in.
While they have no visit from the Imperial Air Force, the defenders of Bataan continue to suffer under the constant artillery fire.
The enemy try and force the issue at Rangoon, but pay the price as their attack breaks upon our defences.
I'm not going to claim any day we lose two battleships of the Royal Navy as being anything but catastrophic.
The Admiralty is already sending me all sorts of nasty messages.
On the plus side, that hit on the Idaho was pretty much superficial.
Over the last few week's I've been moving every decent unit from across southern Australia to Sidney. Today I use a whole wad of my politic points to free them up, then load them into ships heading to Port Moresby.
I also replace all their commanders with men who can actually fight.
Everyone in strategic mode is now being loaded.
They may not be all that strong on their own, but that's another 600 or so Assault Value on its way to the front line. That should double what is already there.