misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 20: Island Hopping.


The Japanese merchant navy continues trying to slip past us, and they continue getting sunk, both on the trade route to Dublin (really, AI? Did you really hope to slip past both the US destroyers and the Royal Navy Home Fleet?) and in South America. This is a good thing. The more we sink, the further their NU will drop, but more on that later.


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While we wait for our ships to repair, US Congress shows us that they are very happy with the president’s handling of the war, voting in stricter civil laws. Partisan activity will not be that big of a deal for us, since we are democratic, but any chance to lower CG Need is welcome.


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I also transfer a point of LS from research to Diplomacy. We are out of diplomacy points, because the AI loves ending and starting trades.


More importantly, though, is the completion of the 2nd Armour Division. I attach them to the 1st Tank Corps and start a new one right away. We are still a long time away from being able to even think about invading Europe.


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By the 10th of July, we are ready to make our first offensive move. I move the fleet to Wake Island first, since it is closer to our target. Not shown on this picture is the Assault Fleet, carrying the entire 1st Army Group.


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On that same day, we can begin researching 1943 techs. I begin with Mechanical and Electronic Computing Machines, since both of these techs speed up our research.


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The actual battle plan. Our target, Marcus Isle, is situated on the edge of two seazones. CTF 1 will take up position just outside the island’s port, hoping to catch Japanese ships before they escape. The surface fleets will each take up position in the other seazones. 2nd Navy, still lacking a destroyer, will be to the north, the least likely spot of a massive Japanese counterattack.


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The Assault Fleet will be placed away from the port, so that ships sailing out can’t catch them unaware.


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While all that is going on, Japan launches another attack against Guam. I send in my fighters and it turns out that is only a very small (and very optimistic) squadron.


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Three transports without any kind of escort. Needless to say, they will pay dearly for their stupidity.


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Six hours later, I encounter a fleet of cruisers and destroyers. They will lose a Light Cruiser, a Destroyer and a transport before they manage to get away.


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I launch the attack with 3 infantry divisions and the 1st Marine Division. Technically, I could have split the fleet in two and assaulted from two sides, but that would have put the weak and slow landing craft in front of Marcus’ port. As you can see, it is not even necessary. Note, also, that my choice to have 5 marine brigades in the Marine Division is affecting the number of units I can send to the frontline at one time because of its bigger CW.


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The same cruiser fleet from before tries to make another desperate attempt at lifting the siege of Marcus Isle. They will lose a heavy cruiser and 2 light cruisers, before escaping east, where I have the 1st Navy stationed.


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Marcus Isle is mine and Japan loses 5 more cruisers. Remember the penalty you get in combat if you don’t have enough screens. If I sink screens now, that means that Japan will have to rebuild them or suffer the consequences later.


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3rd Navy is a bit battered, and will be rebased in Midway for repairs. This has the added benefit that they can act as rear guard in case of an emergency.


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Time for some recon. By sending the M/R on a ground bombing mission, I will be able to see what the state of the defense is on Saipan before committing my forces. As it turns out, they have only 2 subs in port and no planes on the tarmac, while the ground defense consists of a single garrison (3 gar) without any kind of heavy support. Should be easy enough.


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The attack begins on the 16th of July with the same troops that were so successful earlier, but this time something is wrong. The troops are lacking supplies, suffering a massive -39.6% penalty for it. Bad weather and well dug-in defenders only add to my trouble. At this point, I have two choices. I can break off the attack and wait for supplies in Guam, or I can add to the firepower of the attack and hope to overcome the penalties through sheer bullheadedness. I have the initiative at the moment, and I don’t want to lose it. There are still a lot of Japanese carriers out there. I add another 3 divisions to the attack, and the number begins to creep back up ever so slowly.


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A single escort carrier and destroyer try to intervene, but both will end at the bottom of the ocean, along with the 2 subs that eventually try to make a run for it.


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It takes another day before the defenders yield. I rebase the whole fleet on Saipan. This is a level 5 port, which, even slightly damaged, can handle the repairs for 47 ships, which is more than enough for my 43 ships.


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My CAGs will need some time to rest, however. Their replacements are still under construction, so I have no choice but to wait before implementing the next phase of the plan: the invasion of Iwo Jima.
 
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misterbean

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9zS3zrE.png


Chapter 21: In Hot Waters.


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A general look at the state of the Asian and Pacific Theaters.


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You can add 1 wargoal every month. When Japan surrenders, they will become a US puppet. Next month, I will add another wargoal, to install democracy in Japan. This will make the third most powerful navy into a member of the Allies. Of course, I still have to get there, first.


MQjXSQX.png


On the 22nd of July, I have the chance to add a new tech. This will be Small Fuel Tank, so that I get access to Drop Tanks, dramatically increasing the range of my small planes.


While I wait for repairs to finish, I check Japan’s surrender progress. They have a NU of 67.7%. According to the ledger, they have 136 VPs. My plan, if successful, will net me 70 VPs, or 51.5%. It seems that I will have to invade Korea and their Chinese holdings or get the 6 VPs in Micronesia before they will give up. We will see when we get there. After all, we still have our spies reducing their NU and if we manage to sink some more of their convoys, it might be enough.


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Germany, in the meantime, seems to have stalled, and still have a long way to go until they reach Moscow.


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Another optimistic amphibious assault. This time, they are trying to get Wake Island. By this time, the 3rd Navy is just about repaired, so I send them from Midway. Since there are no carriers in the opposing squadron, I don't need the added aerial protection of my own CAGs.


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At that very moment, on the other side of the world, a naval battle ensues. A successful critical hit from Tirpitz all but sinks USS Pensacola on their first shot.


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It’s a painful defeat. The knowledge that Germany can’t afford the loss of even a single destroyer does little to improve my mood as the remnants of the squadron take refuge in Belfast.


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This, on the other hand, does. The tiny Japanese squadron is torn to shreds as the 3 battleships and the 4 destroyers all open fire together. Wake Island is safe.


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The very next day, incredibly enough, they try again. This time, they try to create a diversion on the island of Attu, guarded by a lone, forgotten garrison brigade. With pain in my heart, I say goodbye to the garrison and the island. Wake is more important. Three destroyers try to guard the 2 transports against the fury of the 3rd Navy. All are lost.


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Almost a week goes by, giving my weary airmen time to recuperate. Then, Japan assembles a large fleet to retake Marcus Island. Admiral King tears into them with CTF 2. The Japanese manage to escape without losing any ships.


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Two days later. Ozawa, at the head of a huge armada, brings the war back to Guam, at first facing only Nimitz’ CTF 1. This time, I throw everything I have in the area into the battle to save my precious carriers. The battle rages for two days, and I get conflicting reports about airbattles won and lost.


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Then, a sight that means the battle is all but won. Of the 4 Japanese CAGs that started the battle, only 2 remain, desperately trying to escape the might of of the entire US Pacific Air Arm, with the help of the land-based fighters from Guam. You can see that my fighters have not suffered a scratch. They may have come in a day late, but you should never even hope to outgun land-based fighters with CAGs. Never.


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It is a slaughter. Hidden in the list, I find Amagi and Akagi. Japan just lost 2 fleet carriers in a single battle, along with 4 battleships. Like I said before, a carrier without CAGs is just a huge target.


But the victory comes at a cost. Both CTF 1 and CTF 2’s complement of CAGs have lost half their strength and are completely out of organisation, while their replacements are only now coming off the production lines and they have yet to get to full Org. I split the fleets between Guam and Saipan to minimize repair times.

Somehow I missed it in the confusion, but it later turns out that USS Oklahoma is sunk by the battleship Kongo.


In the past month and a half, the tiny remnants of the Kriegsmarine did more damage to the US Navy than the huge and modern Japanese navy. Tirpitz and her escorts sink 2 heavy cruisers and 2 destroyers. The only loss so far in the Pacific is Oklahoma.


Japan, on the contrary, has suffered dearly in the intense battles. In total, they have lost 6 Heavy Cruisers, 2 Battlecruisers, 10 Light Cruisers, 4 Battleships, 1 Escort Carrier, 4 Destroyers, 2 Submarines, 2 Carriers, 10 Landing Craft and 5 Transports. Most of these (especially the LC and Transports) result from awful mismanagement on the part of the AI.

To put things in perspective, that is 15 capital ships, 14 screens, 2 subs and 15 troop ships. A huge loss in terms of IC and naval gunpower that will be very hard to recover from, if they even can.

The UK has lost a total of 4 heavy cruisers and 2 destroyers. The Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto has claimed all of them except for 1 Heavy Cruiser (sunk by Tirpitz).

The Allies, it seems, rule the oceans, but Japan still has a lot of carriers left and my crews are exhausted.


We have won the first series of clashes. Come back next time, as I try to get closer to Japan. See you then!
 
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misterbean

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Some brutal losses for Japan there. What are your land forces looking like and what do you think you'll need to invade Japan proper?

I have 24 infantry and 1 marine division in the Pacific. That should be enough for the home island, where I can use the narrow provinces as a way to focus my firepower. I don't know how much they have in the former Chinese provinces, so I hope I won't have to deal with them. Lots of rivers and bad infra. Excellent for defense, bad for offense.
On the East Coast, I have 2 Arm, with another 2 in production. Also in production are 2 motorised divisions. Definitely work in progress there. Of course, if I can take Japan, those 25 divisions can be transferred to the East Coast as well.

edited to add: The Japanese losses are enormous. They lost almost as much as the RL US task force had, that was fighting in the Marianas in '44.
 

KyrionMyrthar

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Loved the battles. It's incredible what the USA can do with current-techs and training.

For Japan, it's a blast to invade. I usually invade Susaki, Hiroshima, and Osaka (if I catch the Japanese with little there) simultaneously, along with the provinces bordering. You can really snag a lot quickly, and be done in 3-4 months. Having armor helps, but isn't a requirement.
 

misterbean

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I will definitely need one of their level-10 ports. Susaki, Hiroshima and Osaka have those and are VPs, so they count double. Failing that, there is the one in the southern tip of the main island who's name I can't remember right now, right next to Nagasaki.
 

justleroy

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Sasebo is the one you're thinking of. I took that one plus Nagasaki then moved north. Took about 3 in-game months to mop up the japs, but now I have a new pal in the pacific. :)
 

misterbean

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Sasebo is the one you're thinking of. I took that one plus Nagasaki then moved north. Took about 3 in-game months to mop up the japs, but now I have a new pal in the pacific. :)

That's the one.
 

misterbean

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You probably didn't build as many factories as I did, or you missed one of the island improvements. The carriers should stay at a state of near-completion at the bottom of the queu. It will probably not make that much of a difference in the long run.
 

Daedwartin

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You probably didn't build as many factories as I did, or you missed one of the island improvements. The carriers should stay at a state of near-completion at the bottom of the queu. It will probably not make that much of a difference in the long run.
I got it done early as well. However, that was more because I was able to get supply down quicker, as I also used logistic wizads and a proper OOB for while getting everything to DC. Had my supplies down a bit lower as a result while waiting for the west coast guys to find their way over. I also used strategic movement, So I got ride of the non-reserve units earlier as well.
 

misterbean

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ah, that explains the difference in IC. Ok, well, you have a choice between adding some more factories or add another CV and keep that one at the bottom of the queu. Either choice works. Just remember going forward that your Practicals, and thus your completion times will be slightly different from mine.
 

Stuyvesant

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Now that's the kind of mauling I was hoping for earlier! It's been one long string of unmitigated disasters for Japan, nicely capped by you sending a huge chunk of their entire navy to the bottom of the ocean. Sweet!

Are you planning on hunting down the Tirpitz, or are you going to focus on Japan until it's time to move on to the next chapter/country?
 

misterbean

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Japan first. The only thing I have left on the British isles are 4 CA and 4 DD. If I see Home Fleet tango with Tirpitz, I'll lend a hand. Otherwise, I'll focus on German subs, if they have any left.

After I take down Japan, I will probably switch to Germany for Barbarossa. After that, I'm thinking UK Overlord. But these two are not written in stone.
 

ThatStrategyGuy

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Why the UK for overlord? The only thing I can think of for that is specialising for naval invasions but you're already going to need to do that to get Japan. Or will you just gloss over it and focus on invasions for the UK Overlord?
 

misterbean

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A successful UK campaign hinges on knowing what you're doing. You need a lot of stuff done right when you begin, plus some luck. But more importantly, I have done a succeful Overlord with UK by following Eisenhower's playbook and it will allow me to show you what to look out for, and give you an idea of the UK's strengths and weaknesses, which are quite different from the US.
If I do this, I will highlight the rest of the war in a couple of fast chapters (relatively speaking).
 

Forster

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That was a slaughter. Japan must be hurting now. If you destroy enough of their convoys, the outlying units should no be a problem by the time you get to China or Korea.
 

misterbean

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I'm still hoping that I won't need to head into China. If I take out the home islands and they still don't surrender, then Japanese ability to wage war would depend entirely on their Chinese holdings. While some of the provinces they took in the Sino-Japanese war, contain rich resource deposits, they don't have enough factories to keep going. In a real campaign, they would be doomed.
 

ThatStrategyGuy

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I've never had a game where it was necessary for the allies to land troops on mainland Asia to conquer Japan, Japan proper seemed to be enough to force surrender.