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red_KLG

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Very nice AAR and a great use of graphics !!! You also got the stamp of approval from one of the masters of graphics in AARs !!
 

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Gearing up for War
Part 4
December 7, 1941 - March 17, 1942

Many soldiers posted throughout the Pacific scoffed at MacArthur's plans. The Japanese were sure to go after Indonesia and areas closer to their home islands. The attack at Pearl Harbor had been a warning shot to the Americans to stay out of the war. Why else would they attack an empty harbor?

On December 25 a Japanese fleet was spotted in Agana Bay off the coast of Guam. Two days later on the 27th, Japanese forces landed in strength at Midway and Wake.
[HR][/HR]
Wake Island




Letter home dated 5 December, 1941


An excerpt from Davidson's journal

Dec 27, '41
They started at night, trying to quietly land before the Marines could react. Our radar operators didn't pick up the fleet before the landing craft were spotted, but we scrambled and got in the air. The dive bombers and torpedo bombers from the Marine Air Squadron that arrived a few days ago went out to try to sink the fleet while we fly air cover for them. I managed to get one Zero, but my plane got shot to hell. Thank god for that armor plating. She may not be as nimble as the Zero, but that cobra can take some hits. Those Japanese pilots, they know exactly what their doing in that plane. I felt like an amateur up there. I hope the navy gets here soon - there were a lot of landing ships heading towards the island.

Dec 29, '41
The carrier is still out there, we keep running into Japanese planes in the air. Fewer now than at the start, but they are still up there. Still no Navy. Still no other kills.

Jan 2, '41
The navy finally arrived today. The Marine pilots were sure to let us know that now that the Navy was here, us Army aviators could get in our planes and leave. They would take care of it from here. I'm not sure the fellas on the ground agree though. They are holding, but there's at least 2 Japanese marines for every one of ours. The Japanese have started sending their planes on bombing runs. I got a bomber yesterday. Now we are flying air cover for the carrier based planes from Intrepid, Franklin and Ticonderoga. I've seen a few big explosions, but nothing has gone down. The Marine pilots tell me it won't be long now before those Japanese ships hit the bottom of the sea. Although, I did hear some of them talking about some faulty torpedoes. I guess it'll have to be the dive bombers...

Jan 6, '41
Well they finally managed to send them back to sea. We saw Japanese Marines heading back out to their transports from the air today. Japanese air power is non-existent. Too bad I had drop tanks and not a bomb or two on the Airacobra. I would have tried to hit a ship or two. The carriers are headed back to Pearl, I guess they need to get some damage fixed up. But they tell me that there's some battleships on the way. Those I want to see...

Speaking of, the Navy stationed some converted B-24 here last week. They came with a wing of escort fighters, Airacudas. Some hotshot in one of those fighters sunk a Japanese battleship this morning. The fellas in the bombers were pretty angry - most of them say that he swooped in after their bombing run and dropped a little 500 pounder onto an already sinking ship. Regardless, he gets the credit. I saw him trying to get the mechanics to fab him up a little battleship silhouette to paint one below the window on his cockpit.

I heard that the boys on Midway managed to fend off the attack as well. Hopefully that's the last we will see of them around here. I hear we are supposed to be getting some new planes next month. Something their calling the Mustang. I wonder if it'll fly better than my Airacobra?[HR][/HR]
USS Hornet


Excerpt from interview

I was just out of the academy, just got my butterbars and they sent me to San Diego to learn how to fly. I was halfway through training when they put us on the ship, right after the 7th. "You'll finish training at sea," is what they told me. And so we went out and learned how to land those bombers on a moving aircraft. It was quite a trip from Orford to Pearl. But we made and soon enough we got word from Midway that the Japs were off the island, putting men ashore. So off we went. Luckily for us, Sara and her sisters had been through before we got there and caused a hell of a mess for them. They didn't have too many planes left. The hardest part was finding the ships. But we did, and we dropped more than a few bombs on them, always gunning for the flat tops.

It was something I'll tell ya. Midway was easy. So was Wake. We showed up after the Army fighters had shot down most of their fighters, after the Marine pilots had been bombing them for a few days. After the other carriers had been through.

Attu was something else. We steamed our way up there after the brass was sure that Midway and Wake were safe and we could send in the Battleships to clean up. The Navy knew that a battleship was no match for planes, so they didn't send those big ladies in until there were no planes left. But Attu - no else was ready for Attu. Sara was in dock, getting fixed up after Guam. Franklin was in getting fixed up after Wake. It was just us. So, up we went.

You ever been to Alaska in January? Its damn cold. A terrible place to try to fly a plane. Grey ships in a grey ocean, a hell of a place to try to dive bomb a floating ship. We got torn to shreds up there. Lots of fellas went in the drink. It weren't like the south Pacific. You went down there, if you were more than a few miles off shore or away from the carriers, you had no chance. When I ditched off Wake, all I had to do was wait for the float plane from Wake to come and find me. In Alaska? You'd be frozen to death before they could even get over you.

Their planes found our ships more than a few times too. Got so bad that we had to put to dock and base our planes off the dirt strip. I tell you, there weren't that many soldiers left fighting for us. Maybe a company of guys or two, dug in around the harbor and the airstrip. They managed to plug the biggest of the holes and the ships took off. We stayed and flew cover for them then stuck around on that ship, trying to put those Jap ships onto the bottom of the sea. Franklin showed up later, I guess they did the same to her, plugged up the biggest holes and sent her up. I'll tell ya, those planes that weren't all full of holes and the pilots that hadn't been flying for 2 weeks straight, they did a number on those Jap ships. Finally, a few went down and they must have called back their troops, because soon we saw them wading back out into the sea. Must have been some cold.


We headed back to Pearl and rested up some while Hornet and her sisters got fixed up. They were putting back to sea and I asked if could go with them, even though it wasn't my wing basing off there. Told them Hornet just felt like home and I didn't want her heading off to a fight without me. I got moved over to her and off we went to Agana Bay. I didn't even know we still had troops on Guam.

I'm damn proud of what we got done on Hornet in those opening months of the war though.

[HR][/HR]
Alright, the battle for Guam is still raging on. I've beat them a few times, but much harder to do with their land based planes around as well and they keep coming back. It's not ours to keep just yet, I'm thinking of abandoning it, its costing us a lot of planes. But, we'll see. For now, that's what's been going on. Except for the Langley up by Norway, not sure what the AI was trying to accomplish with 5 of the oldest destroyers on the planet and one light carrier, but they almost got trashed.

I'll add some about Guam once I decide what to do with it, but it's been a big battle so far, or multiple big battles so far.
 
Last edited:

JGD14

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If it's costing you a lot, it's going to be costing the Japanese more.

Hornet has a lot of carrier kills on it :eek:
Part of the problem is sailing through all those Japanese held islands to get my CTF's down there to repel the invasion, since land forces just can't do it. It's a gauntlet and my ships and planes show up half beat up, then have to run it again after beating the 0 org navies that the AI keeps trying to invade with. I might just write it off and then take it back once I hop my way over there and take out their island holdings.

Once I decide what's up with Guam I might make a post detailing all the ship kills. Hornet's is the most impressive, but some other's aren't too shabby either. And the twin engine fighters I have attached to the naval bombers have sunk two ships, while no naval bombers have sunk anything.

Unless the way it gets tracked is just the wing on the top of the pile gets credit for the kill in the stats screen? I honestly don't know how the game tracks all of that.
 

volksmarschall

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The Hornet is going to become the new Enterprise for a future generation of American historians and naval enthusiasts! :eek:

Nice touch with all the graphics again. Perhaps a bit repetitive, but they are an extremely nice addition.
 

robw963

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Thanks!

rob's graphics certainly influenced many of the ones you see on this page, that's for sure.
I'm pretty sure he meant volksmarschall when he referred to a master...but I appreciate the compliment just the same.

So you helped me want to endure the excruciating process of getting Black Ice installed. Beyond your nice graphics JGD14, I'm curious to see what sort of an experience playing the USA is in this mod. Keep up the nice work! I enjoy what you've done so far :)
 

JGD14

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I'm pretty sure he meant volksmarschall when he referred to a master...but I appreciate the compliment just the same.

So you helped me want to endure the excruciating process of getting Black Ice installed. Beyond your nice graphics JGD14, I'm curious to see what sort of an experience playing the USA is in this mod. Keep up the nice work! I enjoy what you've done so far :)
Oh really? I haven't read any of volksmarschall's stuff yet - I'll have to get on that! And good luck to you rob - I will give you this small piece of advice - there are A LOT of techs and the US leadership is not what it is in vanilla. So choose wisely!
 

red_KLG

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I meant you rob... I am a huge fan of your graphical genius. You can be modest, but the rest of us don't have too ;)

This AAR is also great and the little aesthetic touches that remind me of your AAR makes it even better !!!
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Huzzah! Wake Island and Midway are saved! (Hopefully, in your next update, it'll be the same for Guam).

And love the "letters to home" format.
 

JGD14

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Gearing up for War
Interlude
April 1, 1942
Since the outbreak of the war the Pacific High Command had been planning operations to push the Japanese out of the Pacific. Gen. MacArthur and his staff developed the first of several island hopping operations, Operation Filthy Mug.

[HR][/HR]
Just a teaser for now, I've been busy destroying my old deck and building a new one. I've played ahead some and I'm working on an update, but I'd figured I'd leave this here as a bit of a teaser. The next update will cover a couple of battles for Guam and lead up to H-Hour for OP Filthy Mug.
 

JGD14

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The Hornet is going to become the new Enterprise for a future generation of American historians and naval enthusiasts! :eek:

Nice touch with all the graphics again. Perhaps a bit repetitive, but they are an extremely nice addition.
I can't figure out how to make Hornet the Pride of the Fleet, otherwise she already would be.

I'm curious what parts you find repetitive? Feed back and criticism is always welcome.

I meant you rob... I am a huge fan of your graphical genius. You can be modest, but the rest of us don't have too ;)

This AAR is also great and the little aesthetic touches that remind me of your AAR makes it even better !!!
I was just looking back at his AAR, stealing ideas getting some more inspiration. The graphics in his US AAR are many levels above anything I could do, that's for sure.

Huzzah! Wake Island and Midway are saved! (Hopefully, in your next update, it'll be the same for Guam).

And love the "letters to home" format.
I promise I'll update about Guam in the next one, it was the focus of my game play for the next few months. Wake is still a frontier, but for now seems to be safe. My focus on planes and ships has left me very low on ground troops for either defense or offense.

Thanks, I'm thinking of handling battles in a similar fashion, picking one person and telling the story of the battle from their perspective, either in letters or journal entries. We'll see.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Well you've teased. Now deliver. :cool:
 

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Part 5


Gearing up for War
Part 5
March 17, 1942 - May 11, 1942



Admiral Nimitz was right, the Japanese task force didn't go far off the coast of Guam before striking again. The admiral engaged the enemy in what almost become a routine battle.


After the battle Taskforce Saratoga was ordered back to Midway for refitting and refueling and Taskforce Franklin steamed to Guam to take up watch duty. The remnants of the invasion fleet were still present in the area and General MacArthur was sure that they would be back to the shores. Despite the depleted naval force, our ground forces had been unable to inflict much damage to the invading Japanese Marines. Admiral King arrived on April 4 and began engaging what he expected to be a torn up invasion fleet consisting of some coastal battleships and transports. What the first wave of pilots reported when they returned from the first sortie left the bridge silent.

62 ships. Destroyers began showing up in the horizon launching torpedoes as planes from the three Japanese carriers began bombing the taskforce. The first US capital ship sunk in the war was the USS Franklin, sunk by huge shells from the Japanese battleship Hyuga. Admiral King was knocked unconscious in the bridge when the first shell landed and one of the air wing commanders on board threw him into the back seat of his Dauntless and took off, landing on Intrepid. The ships escaped to the relative safety of the harbour at Guam, where they were at least out of range of the big guns on the battle ships.

Admiral King was still unconscious, and his second in command ordered a fighting retreat to punch through the mass of Japanese ships to Wake where they would be safe. It was a disaster, only Intrepid and one light cruiser made it back to the harbour, both heavily damaged. Admiral King awoke and ordered the remaining planes to support the land based fighters.

Word of the massive number of ships was sent to Pearl Harbor and General MacArthur ordered all active carriers to begin steaming towards Guam. Some on his staff begged him to abandon the island, but it's said that the General took the attack personally. He ordered his two new CTF's to set sail towards Guam, along with Task Force Wasp. He was relying on the new CTF commanders to take their lead from Admiral Burke, one of the most decorated admirals in the US Navy.


On April 17, by far the largest naval engagement of the war to that date took place in Agana Bay. The battle lasted 5 days, with several engagements taking place over that time. Thanks to the newest, state of the art carrier based aircraft and overwhelming air superiority the US forces ultimately dealt what they hoped would be a back breaking blow to the Japanese Navy.


102 Pursuit Sqn had been transferred to Guam after refitting in with P-51B Mustangs in Wake. Bradley Davidson's journal captures some of the action above Guam and Agana Bay during the battles.


An excerpt from Davidson's journal

21 Feb '42

Well, these new Mustangs are something. I think I prefer the Airacobra at low altitudes, but wow does this new bird shine at high altitude. I guess we'll see soon how she does. Orders came in - we're off to Guam. I've heard it's a meat grinder down there, the Japs just won't stop. I guess it's real important to them.

Got my railroad tracks and I'm 2IC of the wing - the major says if I stay alive I could well be commanding the squadron in 6 months. I'm not sure if he means I'm a great pilot or if it was a comment about how many fellas don't make it back. Must be the first.

17 March '42

It's been a busy few weeks. We managed to beat back most of their carrier based planes and it was a joy to watch those navy boys sink ship after ship out there. I hear that they're just about beat here, that we will get a rest soon. That's good news. Got some more kills, they tell me I'm an ace! Once things settle down I'll be sure to get all the fellas to buy me a drink to celebrate...

4 April '42

There's a whole mess of them coming. I hope the Navy sends about 20 carriers worth of planes...

5 April '42

What a shame. What a damn shame, watching those two big flat tops go down was something I never want to see again.

Must shoot down more Jap planes.

22 April '42

I'm exhausted. Our squadron is still in pretty good shape, didn't lose any wings but things sure were hairy there for a while. The Japs only sent three carriers, so we were able to outnumber their planes by quite a bit. Still, it wasn't easy clearing the way for those bombers. But we sent a whole mess of small ships to the floor. I even heard that they got a carrier or two. Good. Every one we sink is one less to show up and bomb our strip.

The general says that things should be quiet for a little bit, so now its finally time to go and have a few drinks with the fellas that are left... I think we'll be flying a little farther out in the near future, I hear some land based planes on Tinian are harassing the navy. I guess we'll see how these Mustangs do against some bombers soon...[HR][/HR]
Satisfied that they had at least reduced the threat to Guam, MacArthur ordered his forces to begin for an invasion of the Marshall Islands. Operation Filthy Mug would test the newly trained Marines (all 10 Divisions would take part). Provided that they could get forces landed to consolidate the gains, everyone agreed that the General's plan could not fail...

[HR][/HR]
Alright, sorry for the wait. I haven't played any farther ahead yet, I've been busy trying to get my deck built before the snow flies. I have a busy few weeks but we'll see if I have time to play and update soon. I have this feeling that the Japanese Navy isn't done yet, since I sunk mostly screens, but we will see.
 

Henry v. Keiper

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Nice battle graphic, with the order of command and casualty list.
 

red_KLG

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Very nice update! Btw, why all the Japanese ships have the same name?