Part 99: Operational Report: 15/03/42
When the last thing I said yesterday was that I expected trouble in the Burma region, I didn't know how right I was
Yes, that's the Aquitania a valuable passenger liner that has just finished deploying troops from Aden to Chittagong. This was a rear area until now, but I should have remembered that there are no front lines at sea.
And yes, that's three Japanese cruisers that have just introduced themselves to the theatre.
We're lucky (if somewhat ironical) to only lose the City of Hankow in this attack, although all the other ships are damaged in the attack.
The enemy know which of these ships is their prize though and pursue her.
Although both ships are still afloat, they are badly damaged. I do noticed that despite only taking one hit, the destroyer Hamakaze is no longer with this fleet, so that one hit must have been a good one.
Unsurprisingly, over the course of the day, all of these ships sink at various time due to damage inflicted. The Imperial Navy really caught me on the hop there, I really did not expect anything in that area hence the lack of a destroyer escort, mainly due to the fact that British destroyers are rare at the moment.
A strike at Denpasar catches our fighters by surprise, and one of them is destroyed in its hanger, why there was no CAP up I will have to check.
I like it when the enemy sends its bombers over on their own, the pilots need a good turkey shoot now and again to improve their morale - its a shame the rest of the bombers caused some casualties amongst the soldiers on the ground.
Of course, I'm not a fan of them sending a squadron of Zeros across to face a single P-400. But thems the breaks.
The day's carrier strike on Batavia is largely ineffective.
As are the Djambi dail raids.
The defending troops at Batavia are overwhelmed and captured today, this is unsurprising, but I know the troop loss score is going to spike once more as 27,000 men are captured.
More amusing than of any tactical significance, the Japanese air force send out thirty [planes to try and sink one of our marooned PT boats.
They manage to miss their target. I wonder how much wasted supplies that raid comes to? This is made even more amazing when eighteen planes return in the afternoon, and still manage to not hit the stationary target.
Its nearly as bad as the three raids a day that Iloilo airport gets, a airport that has a lone spotter plane that's not been able to use the runway in three weeks.
At least those bombers are not hitting something of value to me.
Once more, the San Francisco comes under attack. This time she's able to stop the three planes from getting close to her, but the previous damage still shows.
Both Sinyang and Hankow are quite today about 20 casualties a side from the respective bombardments, but we have a major success to the east of Hankow.
1,500 enemy troops are killed and another 5,000 forced to retreat from our advancing forces.
To the north-east, we see another stunning success.
When I said that I had not been idle in China, this is what I meant, as we roll up two areas.
People who actually read the screen may have noticed 1 unit in Pursuit - this is new to you, it means I was so confident of victory, I left one unit in reserve with orders to follow up any retreating troops so I can keep up the pressure on the retreating enemy. - and yes, this is the first time that I've been confident enough to do this.
Very much a mixed day, the loss of Batavia and some expensive and large troop ships not being balanced out by the improving situation in China.
That's gonna hurt. You don't lose a 29,000 ton passenger liner without someone complaining to you.
Somewhere in that large open space lurks a number of killers. The first thing I do is reroute the 16 ship convoy carrying the 21st and 25th Australian Brigades they can do the rest of the journey by rail from Madras in hindsight, all my troops for the region should have been put ashore in the safe harbour of Goa and sent by rail, but you live and learn.
Well I do, I can't say the same for the crews of those ships unfortunately. I do live in fear that at some point during this game, I'm going to kill someone's Grandfather, not mine luckily, he was issued tropical kit, but then Rommel broke through in Africa, and he was sent there instead.
Next I do something more proactive, in Colombo, on the island of Ceylon I can form four cruisers and a destroyer up to try and rid the ocean of this menace. Lets hope they can find the enemy ships.
I apologize for this next picture I'm on my laptop using GIMP rather than photoshop, so you have my hand drawn locations rather than something a bit neater.
Painful I know.
The red lines show planned movement, and the black where I have cut the land based supply lines.
As you can see, I am moving a whole load of troops on Nanchang, which is defended by 3 enemy units.
Wuchang is completely cut off from supply, and has another large body of units moving on it over 30,000 men. As well as those in Hankow.
The units at Kukong and Kanhensien to the east are moving southwards, to try and cut off land based supply routes to Canton.
I'm also threatening a number of other (hopefully) unguarded bases. Lets see how all this plays out.
You lot have been fairly quiet the last few days I bet you can find something to say about this 19 image, 1000 word epic of a post. I must have been feeling fairly verbose when I wrote this.