1st March 1943
More detail and intelligence has been gathered on the Japanese ships steaming SE past Kusaie Island. SS Gunard reports spotting two heavy cruisers suspected of being the Chikuma and the Tone. Aerial search has also confirmed the presence of the battleship Hiei, making that at least two enemy battlewagons in the area. The presence of enemy carriers was also confirmed by a B-24 on naval search that was chased off by an A6M carrier variant. The position of the enemy ships has not changed since yesterday. CENPAC HQ believes the enemy suspects an attack on Kwajalein and Roi-Namur and as such is positioning its ships to counter any such move. Submarines around Truk and the Marianas have been ordered to flood the area near Kusaie Island and to engage all and any ships sighted.
Meanwhile in Burma something is definitely up. Four enemy divisions, some of high quality, have been identified on the India-Burma border. A fifth one is possible making its way West from Katha. SEAC HQ is pondering what this may mean. Are the Japs reinforcing their defensive jungle line? Or is something else afoot? Daily recon flights over Imphal and Silchar have increased in frequency and a large number of artillery units have been seen moving into jungle trails after disembarking from river barges. The RAF and the USAAF in the India-Burma area has just bee refitted and is fresh and eager for a fight. Bomber units have been tasked with the mission of harassing enemy movements when possible. Reinforcements are being railed to the area just in case. These movements inland coincide with an increased IJN presence in the Bay of Bengal. Submarines have struck off Diamond Harbour and Colombo in recent days and an outgoing convoy reported the sighting of unfriendly vessels on the horizon. A light cruiser was also spotted at Akyab Island…something is definitely afoot!
Sub Warfare Report for February 1943
The Silent Service once again excelled itself during February. There were 40 recorded successful (6 down from January) attacks on enemy ships accounting for the sinking or damaging of 158,941 tons of enemy shipping (7,000 tons more than January). The crowning achievement goes to the SS Trigger that crippled the HIJMS Shokaku on the 22nd February.