War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

8th March 1943

Back online after upgrading my PC to an i7 processor and upgrading my RAM up to 8 gigs worth! Skyrim is beautiful in this setup!!!

The Australia Squadron of the Royal Navy was called into action today as it intercepted a Japanese destroyer operating in the Milne Bay-Port Moresby area. Aerial search yesterday had spotted the Japanese vessel, though yesterday’s report indicated to a larger number of ships, and its course had been plotted throughout the day. The AUSQDN was ordered to leave its patrol around Horn Island and to steam SE towards Milne Bay. The inherent risk was judged acceptable as the Royal Soverign and her two accompanying cruisers were deemed strong enough to deal with the two cruisers spotted by the RAAF Catalinas. Disappointment then turned to egg on face when they stumbled upon a single Fubuki Class destroyer they were not able to dispatch.

Much more effective was a sweep carried out of Darwin harbour by several Japanese cruisers. They stole in from the NW and were quick to engage and sink two destroyers that had been guarding a couple of 4,000 ton transports unloading material. A quick and savaged gunfight lasted just shy of a quarter of an hour ended when both the Sterett and the Woodworth were both sunk. The Japanese vessels then, unexplicably, steamed NE and were spotted at sunrise by Catalinas of VP-101 near Ambon.

Luckily Allied airmen seemed to be possessed of a better fighting spirit. Air battles over Merauke had been a regular thing since the Allied recapture of the base. Two P-40 squadrons had already been broken there and the standing CAP patrol was taken over by Spitfire V’s of the RAAF. For the second day in a row they tussled with A6M3a’s and shot them down in their droves. The speed and height the Spitfire could attain allowed it to gain and then maintain a great advantage over the Zero. Morale surged and the omens for future deployments of the Spitfire looked outstanding.

Meanwhile developments continued to unfold in the Burma-India border. The IJA seemed hell bent on launching some sort of offensive into India. Moves had already been spotted heading towards Imphal and now it also seemed that Cox’s Bazzar was also a target. The 77th Chindit Brigade, deployed on the road by the border leading to Chittagong had reported several attacks by dive bombers over the past few days. Today several large fighter sweeps were observed over the 77th’s positions and Blenheims scouting the Japanese side of the border also reported seeing enemy columns heading into the jungle and moving northwards. Was the IJA carrying out a twin pronged offensive or was one of these moves a feint to distract attention from the other? Time will tell. 4 divisions stood ready.

War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

5th March 1943

They called it the Massacre of Bengal in the histories that were later written about the war and it was not one of the British Empire’s greatest moments. A day of fire, havoc and misery that left the Royal Navy with plenty of egg on its face!

It all started in the deep of night with three submarine strikes at the doors to Diamond Harbour. Two different enemy submarines attacked and sank three British merchants on the regular Cape Town-Calcutta supply run. Despite the presence of aerial ASW efforts and a brace of DE’s on patrol, one of the attacks was on the surface! Despite the tonnage lost these ships were on the outward journey and thus had empty cargo holds!

Yet this was just the harbringer of more destruction! A pair of old light crusiers had run the gauntlet of aerial search and had thrust deep into the Bay of Bengal like a rapier searching for easy prey. Easy prey was to be had! Using the dark night as its best early these torpedo laden ships tore into TF 59 with a devasting torpedo salvo that sank three ships barely 2 minutes into the action. Panic and confusion was sown as the brave merchant mariners went from a peaceful journey into a hellish night of fire and death. Accompanied by a destroyer the two cruisers proceeded to sink all 6 ships in TF 59. 25,200 tons of Brtish shipping, full to the brim with supplies for the bombers in India went to the cold, dark bottom of the Bay of Bengal.

The Hunt was to be a good one as after destroying TF 59 the Japanese ships steered NNE and stumbled upon a second convoy, TF 126 leaving Calcutta having already run the gauntlet of Japanese submarines. This time it was the main batteries on the Japanese ships that did the damage sinking 5 ships leaving the pitiful, few survivors to the mercy of the sea. All in all another 22,000 tons of shipping was lost was barely a scratch on the Japanese ships. Righteous fury was directed at Eastern Command at Colombo, where RN warships sat pennants fluttering in the breeze! For the Merchant Navy it was a disaster beyond reckoning and the full extent of it was not publicly revealed until after the war.

As the sun rose every single plane on the Indian seaboard was scouring the sea to locate the enemy ships and sure enough a solid lock was soon fixed on their location, steaming south east just off Chittagong. Another task force of three destroyers was also spotted at Akyab, no doubt unloading supplies to the garrison on the island. Beauforts, Libeartors and Mitchells all took a pop at the enemy ships but revenge was not to be forthcoming. It was only a USAAF attack on the ships at Akyab that scored the only hit on the enemy ships with one 500lb bomb hitting a destroyer.

Manchester United 3 Bolton Wanderers 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

Paul Scholes made his second home debut, and true to the script scored the first of United’s three goals. Lindegaard kept goal once again and he wasn’t really tested as United dominated the match from the kick off. Bolton proved that they are a poor team and no manner of screaming and yelling by Owen Coyle is going to improve the quality shown by his players. One of those players, Zat Knight, fouled Danny Welbeck in the box and surprisingly was not sent off as Welbeck was sure to shoot and score. Rooney stepped up and shot hard and to the left but the Bolton goalkeeper pulled off an excellent save and unlike at City during the cup tie the rebound went wide. Cue United dominating the match but unable to score. Bolton for their part showed a total lack of ability to captialize on thier minimal chances. Scholes, however, was on hand one minute before half time to score United’s first. The second half started where the first left off. United dominant but not having the cut of the green in front of goal. That was until Welbeck poked in a second, which resulted in an injury. Carrick then placed a beautiful shot beyond the Bolton keeper who was easily their man of the match. With Spurs being held to a draw at White Hart Lane United are now level at the top of the league with City that play against Wigan Athletic on Monday.

Manchester United Team

34 Anders Lindegaard

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

21 Rafael

17 Nani

22 Paul Scholes (Goal)

16 Micheal Carrick (Goal)

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney

19 Danny Welbeck (Goal)

SUBSTITUES

Ji Sung Park for Nani

Ryan Giggs for Paul Scholes

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez for Danny Welbeck

War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

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!

Japanese Divisions in the India-Burma Border Area

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.

Scorers during Feb 1943

War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

27th February 1943

Just to continue their recent form in radio interception and gleaming intelligence from careless enemy radio operators, Commander Rochefort’s unit once again hit the jackpot by establishing the location of the enemy battleship Kirishima yesterday. Her call sign was located to the east of Ponape and her course was set as due East. As such the bases in the Lower Marshalls were alerted and search vectors changed to cover any prospective enemy approach.

As such it was the Catalina’s from Nauru Island that next stumbled upon the Japanese ships. Three different planes were able to fire off sighting and heading reports at three different times on the morning of the 27th February. The Kirishima was now joined by a much larger force of Japanese shipping. 3 carriers, a float plane carrier, several cruisers and destroyers had been sighted roughly on a 25 degree bearing from Nauru Island and steaming roughly in a south easterly direction. It is strongly believed that these ships are the ones engaged by the Trigger off Marcus Island a few days ago. Confirmation of enemy carriers was made by a patrolling submarine reporting that she had damaged a B5N2 that was on patrol near the environs of Kusaie Island. What would the 1st of March bring?

GAME NOTE

Herb and I have updated our game to the latest Beta Patch version that can be found in this thread in the Matrix Forums. Lots of work has gone into this on a voluntary basis by michealm and it makes massive improvements in the game. The search arc seem to have been fixed and there is a plethora of new informative messages that add to the immersion, crucial for me in a game. Most of the in game screens have been amended and a lot of extra info is now placed on the unit and base screens. Some cool graphical bits have also been added, such as getting plumes of smoke and fire in the air bombardment screen when attacking ground targets!!!!

War in the Pacific Admiral’s Edition. Game vs Herb

A lesson in using radio intelligence…

21st February 1943

MAGIC passes on a radio message intercepted the previous day to Eastern command, Royal Navy, Colombo, Ceylon.

9/4th Division is loaded on DD Shinonome moving to Port Blair.

22nd February 1943

SS-KX, patrolling the waters off Rangoon is ordered to make its way to Port Blair to scout out and engage any enemy ships approaching the Island.

23rd February 1943

Task Force G (Cpt Manwaring commanding, CA Cornwall, CA Exeter, CL Dauntless, DD Inconstant, DD Van Galen, DD Tjerk Hiddes, DD Foxound, DD Isaac Sweers) leaves Colombo and steams SE into the Bay of Bengal.

SS-KX spots four enemy destroyers making a nocturnal high speed run into Port Blair. LCDR de Back orders his boat engage as per his orders, Two torpedoes are fired and both miss. His submarine is able to avoid enemy attempts to seek and engage despite the shallow waters. (Notice name of highlighted ship in screenie!!!)

Message sent to Colombo that then resends to Task Force G. Captain Manwaring orders flank speed to reach a position 230 miles due West of the Andaman Islands by sundown 24th February 1943. SS-KX reports more enemy ships approaching and unloading at Port Blair.

Manwaring orders a flank speed approach to Port Blair for the early hours of the 25th February 1943. Inconstant,Foxhound and Tjerk Hiddes lead the vanguard while Dauntless leads in the Exeter and the Cornwall that in turn are flanked by the Isaac Sweers and the Van Galen. As the sun sets the combined Anglo-Dutch force raises steam and heads into battle.

25th February 1943

Initial contact is made by the Foxhound that reports ‘enemy ships straight ahead’ and asks permission to fire torpedoes, Manwaring gives the order to fire and both the Foxhound and the Tjerk Hiddes release their fish, the latter scoring two devasting hits on the Horai Maru that sinks a bare three minutes after being hit. With 75% moonlight the Japanese ships are clearly seen to have been caught in the middle of unloading troops into Port Blair. Two APD’s immediately turn and begin to charge the appraoching Allied ships but the APD Nadakze soon stops three direct hits from the Cornwall’s main 8 inch batteries that leave her ablaze and slow in the water. The Dauntless and the Exeter meanwhile take up the challange of the second APD, the Okikaze, scoring several devastating hits than soon cause the Japanese ship to first stop then gradually list and roll over to sink beneath the waves. The flank destroyers then speed up to bring their guns to bear on a second enemy troop carrier, the Kongo Maru, which is hit numerous times and soon set alight, Enemy soldiers were seen jumping overboard in the glare of the flames. Despite being heavily outgunned and outnumbered the last enemy escort, the Yomogi, charges straight at the light cruiser Dauntless, fire spitting from its forward 12cm gun. Yet in such an unfair contest there can only be one winner as the 6 inchers on the Dauntless soon pound the Yomogi so much that she breaks in two under the pummeling it received. She is recorded as sinking at 02:34, 17 minutes into the action. Fire is now brought upon the remaining two Japanese transports and both are left aflame and lisiting. Wary of retaliation from aircraft once the sun rises, Manwaring reluctantly orders his ships to disengage and to make a course North West into the Bay of Bengal. He is aware that the remaining to enemy ships are still afloat, if only just barely, but he needs to get his ships away from torpedo bombers that can hunt him from Rangoon, Victoria Point or Port Blair itself. Not a single hit was received but any of his ships and intelligence later estimated that over 1,000 casualties were inflicted on the enemy, and if the initial MAGIC intercept was to be believed the 4th Infantry Division in particular!

Night Time Surface Combat, near Port Blair at 46,58, Range 5,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
APD Okikaze, Shell hits 32, and is sunk
APD Nadakaze, Shell hits 13, and is sunk
E Yomogi, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
xAK Syokyu Maru, Shell hits 6,  heavy fires
xAP Horai Maru, Shell hits 4, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
xAP Kongo Maru, Shell hits 13,  heavy fires,  heavy damage

Allied Ships
CA Cornwall
CA Exeter
CL Dauntless
DD Isaac Sweers
DD Van Galen
DD Tjerk Hiddes
DD Foxhound
DD Inconstant

Japanese ground losses:
1278 casualties reported
Squads: 28 destroyed, 33 disabled
Non Combat: 44 destroyed, 28 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled