Part 78: Operational Report: 22/02/42
One of the Amphibious forces comes under attack, we lose 70 men when the K.I. Luckenback goes down, but the Howell Lykes is mainly carrying supplies for the invasion. A number of men are rescued from the water as the K.I. Luckenback slowly sinks.
Another of our forces arrives at Wotje, but the enemy have a large number of well emplaced coastal defence guns, and the Colorado take the brunt of the fire, and takes multiple hits from the 15cm guns.
Their counter fire takes out one of the gun emplacements, but this does nothing to stop the near constant and accurate fire pouring off the island.
While this fire is concentrated on the battleship, the troops coming off the ships are left fairly unmolested, and only take 73 casualties crossing the water to the shore.
Once the doors to the landing craft open, it is a different story, and guns open up from every rock and tree, within an hour, most of the first wave is dead or captured, and the call is going back to the ships First wave ineffective!
During the ongoing battle for Wake, the soldiers of the 35th Infantry regiment are amazed to see a Japanese artillery barrage miss and come down amongst their own lines, causing heavy casualties. Counter battery fire then wrecks the vast majority of their field guns.
Seeing their chance, they then storm forward on the enemy, overwhelming their shocked defenders, killing hundreds and capturing many dazed Japanese soldiers.
Wake Island is once more ours.
Praboemoelih is next on the Japanese lists of targets in Sumatra, and gets a visit from a couple of waves of bombers.
At Palembang, the enemy land troops, but only after some accurate defensive fire wrecks two of their ships.
The people living in Soerabaja have to suffer another day of indiscriminate bombing by the Japanese, who once more miss everything of military value and hit the housing district.
Japanese forces are advancing from Semarang towards Djokjakarta, attempting to cut Java in two.
The dive bombers stationed at Port Moresby make another suicidal raid on Gasmata. There is no order I can give them that will get them to ignore this target, so I either take them out of the skies entirely, or take these losses.
They do sometimes make it pas the enemies fighters though, as they do this afternoon, miraculously evading the thirty defending fighters to strike the ships in the harbour without loss.
Ambon now holds a small number of enemy planes, which are now set to make the Banda Sea impassible.
Bataan sees some bombers today, but in far fewer numbers than in previous weeks, have the enemy moved some of their bombers south, or are they just repairing them?
They also have the artillery fire to contend with as well.
Rangoon continues to suffer a bombardment from the enemy, who are seemingly unwilling to attack the city head on.
Wake is ours, but it looks like the backup troops are going to have to be sent into Wotje, as the defenders there are dug in like ticks.
There is the list of top pilots, just because we haven't seen it in a while, Wagner's still at the top, but Boain has come from nowhere to take the number two spot, before being killed in action.