The current order of battle for forces in south-east Asia is as follows:
3rd Armyís eastward thrust into Indochina is continuing, but has turned into a slog as the Japanese and their allies fall back, regroup, fall back, regroup again. This plus dense jungle means my advance is at a snailís pace.
To accelerate the advance into Indochina and hopefully get us into China proper by the end of the year, weíre planning a major combined amphibious and airborne assault on the Japanese-held port city of Saigon. Operation Machete
, so called because of the thick jungles throughout the region, aims to open up a second front in Indochina, deny the Japanese a major port bordering the Gulf of Thailand, and interrupt Japanese lines of communication behind their front lines and up towards China.
1st Royal Marine Corps and 2nd Airborne Corps of the newly formed 1st Special Operations Army will handle the landings. 2nd Airborne will be flying out near Bangkok, while 1st Marines sails from Kota Bharu after they repelled the Japanese counter-attacks there. Meanwhile, 3rd Army should keep up its pressure on the Japanese front-line units further west.
Recce flights over Saigon indicate a few mountain brigades and large number of understrength infantry brigades in the city itself, as well as some Vichy French units of unknown intent. Iím not certain what fortifications has been prepared in the city, so it is probably wisest to make initial landings around the city, then move in once on land. Phan Thiet further northeast looks particularly safe.
All naval units available will of course be on screening duty, watching out for any Japanese carrier groups looking to interrupt the landings. Weather is really the determining factor of when we go, but D-Day is tentatively set for 15 October.