November 1, 1942: Counterstrokes
July-October 1942The Calm Before The Storm
This period has been one of relative respite for both sides in the Pacific Theater. Only one major naval and two major land engagements have taken place. The situation at Port Moresby has tilted solidly in favor of the Allies. Only token attacks are coming from the beleaguered IJN/A land forces outside the city limits. Port Moresby grows in power daily, now basing over 100 aircraft and two AUS and USA divisions. Not enough to displace the Japanese siege, but enough to hold them back indefinitely. Allied air power at PM has ground the IJN/A relief effort to a halt, and has virtually assured that the 70k+ troops in place are now stranded. Unless of course they decide to try their luck on the treacherous Kokoda Trail...
The IJN/A, in a not unexpected move, has taken the island of Attu in the Aleutian chain. This represents a minor annoyance, but strategically it is just another mouth to feed for the IJN/A. Dutch Harbor is heavily fortified, and represents the first line of defense in the Aleutians. The Battle for Tarawa
September 27-29, 1942
The 2nd Marine Division landed on Tarawa at 0430 27Sept41 after a blistering barrage by 6 US BBs. Light casualties were taken in the landing, but the Japanese held out for 2 full days before annihilating themselves with a Banzai charge. The airfield and port are fully operational and offensive operations have begun against Makin and Mili in the Marshalls chain. Battle of the Marshall Islands
Oct 9-10, 1942
CV TF 44.1, escorting the supply ships of the Tarawa invasion, was alerted to the presence of a IJN CV TF approaching from the west by Raspberry 5, a SBD on patrol from CV Wasp. The enemy was quickly located and attacked just south of Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. CVs Wasp, Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga launched over 100 attack aircraft against a IJN TF of 3 CVLs. Air losses were heavy, but Intel claims 2 of the CVLs were sunk with the last requiring major port time for repair. Our TF escaped without with two near misses on the Enterprise. A job well done by the Wildccats on CAP.Future Plans
Operation Anchor: The invasion of the Marshall Islands will continue, with Makin and Mili atolls scheduled for landings in November. This will allow us to interdict IJN traffic in the area and give us a base with which to jump off to Kwajalein and Ponape, which then brings us within range of the Japanese stronghold of Truk...
Operation Yuletide: The unscheduled invasion of Guam, Saipan, Tinian, and Pagan. Assets have been assigned, but until the Kido Butai is neutralized, we cannot support long range operations of this scope. A confrontation must be forced, preferably within range of our LBA, hence the Marshalls invasion.
Operation Tojo: The now postponed invasion of Guadalcanal. Unfortunately, the IJN/A was able to reinforce Guadalcanal just days before the invasion fleet was to sail. The assigned assets have since returned to Pearl for upgrades, so this operation is on hold until assets can be rebased and reassigned.
Short one this time, guys, but its been pretty quiet! I expect more in the next few months as I start my way up the Marshalls. I've always bypassed them in the past, but then again I've always had the IJN whipped by now too. They are still very much alive and a large threat against my CVs. I cannot give them a fair fight, I have to draw them into the Marshalls and under my air cover. We'll see how it goes...