Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

TDDH: Dec IV 41: The Japanese


That pounding sound that you hear is me banging my head on my desk. I did it again. I got a bit ahead of myself and had the Japanese perform an air raid when they couldn’t do so. So that will have to be cleaned up. Not a big problem, but it frustrates me in that it creates a chunky, confusing experience.

Last turn, the Allies attempted to attack one of the elite Japanese mountain regiments and were stopped dead in their tracks. The Filipino 11d infantry regiment was unable to break out of Baguio, and is still stuck behind enemy lines.

Initial Phase

Weather Roll:

The weather stays the same, for the most part. Zone 13 turns from rain to mud, and storms wrack the seas east of Luzon..

  • Zone 11: Clear weather/Calm seas
  • Zone 12: Mud weather/Stormy seas
  • Zone 13: Mud weather/Calm seas

This turn, the Japanese receive an unsupported infantry division, the 65R, two static brigades and a mortar battalion. The Chitose also returns to Palau from Wake Island. They also have 1 replacement point available due to special replacements.

The 1Yok parachute battalion is flipped from its parachute side to its SNLF side.

The IJN spends 1 air replacement point to repair the aborted Zero at Iba.

Movement

Naval subphase

Prior to any movement by the navy, the Japanese elect to get the fouled up air raid of last turn over with. Three G4M Betty, two G3M Nell and an H6K4 Mavis, escorted by four squadrons of Zeroes launch a raid on the airfields at Manila. The Allies have a P-40E and P-26B squadron available for interception. Being outnumbered, the Allies elect to patrol attack the bombers instead. They are unable to send any bombers back to base.

Base anti-aircraft is much more successful, returning  one Betty, and aborting the Mavis.

The remaining bombers manage only a single hit, aborting a B-17C. The airbase now has 2 hits (out of 3), and the airstrip has 1 hit. (I believe the airfield is Nichol’s Field, and the airstrip is the former airport, Nielsen Field. I will start referencing these airfields by these names)

These troops are loaded onto transports:

  • 2C mortar battalion
  • 47Y heavy AA battalion
  • 65R infantry division
  • 1Yok SNLF battalion
  • 61HC static brigade
  • 63HC static brigade

Troops already loaded last turn:

  • 4 resource points
  • 60Y heavy AA battalion
  • 48Y heavy AA battalion
  • ‘B’ construction regiment
  • 40Y motorized heavy antiaircraft battalion
  • 8th railroad engineer battalion
  • ‘C’ transport counter
  • 47Y heavy AA battalion
  • LC Dai-9
  • LC Dai-5
Japanese naval/ground movement/Luzon (click image to enlarge)

Japanese naval/ground movement/Luzon (click image to enlarge)

Maru 2 & 6, carrying Dai-5 and 9 have left Formosa bound for Palau. They reached the edge of the map, but stayed there through the end of the last Japanese turn.

A pair of transports were waiting at Aparri since the end of the last Japanese turn to offload a pair of static brigades. They offload this turn, using up all of the port’s capacity, then return to Formosa.

Transports carrying resource points, the 60Y and 48Y heavy AA battalions and the ‘B’ construction regiment arrive at Aparri. The ships carrying the resource points cannot offload, and must wait in port. The ‘C’ transport counter and 47Y heavy AA battalion also offload at the beaches of Aparri.

The 40Y motorized heavy AA battalion (port) and the 8th railroad engineer regiment (beach) are offload at Dagupan.

The 2C mortar, 47Y heavy AA and 65R infantry division are offloaded at Olongapo, at the port and on the beaches.

The 61HC and 63HC static brigades, escorted by the DCF naval group, take refuge from the storm at Legaspi. The brigades are offloaded at the port.

Naval group SF escorts the landing ship Sh. Maru to Calapan, Mindoro, where the 1Yok SNLF battalion lands on the beach in the face of local resistance (1/2 RE, 0.5 defence factors). The troops are attacking without the benefit of attack supply, but heavy naval gunfire support will more than make up for this. The SF naval group is preparing to fire gunnery support.

South on Mindanao, the 2Dr and 24Dr engineer battalions and the Kure SNLF regiment amphibiously invade Davao. The 44Y heavy AA battalion was offloaded to make room for one of the engineer battalions.

The 146/56 light mountain regiment (supported) lands at Malabang, capturing the airbase there. The two resource points stay onboard the transports.

Japanese landings on Mindanao (click image to enlarge)

Japanese landings on Mindanao (click image to enlarge)

Davao has no intrinsic defenses, and neither does Malabang. No LCs were damaged at Malabang, and the landing troops were not disrupted. The troops landing at Davao, on the other hand, were disrupted. All of them. Fortunately, this was not an opposed landing.

The landing at Calapan is also successful with no disruption and the landing ship undamaged.

Movement

The Japanese 48th light mountain division sweeps down upon the Filipinos outside of Baguio. Bayombong falls, and the aborted P-40E squadron is destroyed.

Clark is captured by the SAS SNLF regiment crossing the Zambalas mountains. An aborted P-35A (fighter) and B-10B (bomber) squadrons are destroyed.

Tarlac falls to the 4/2nd light infantry regiment, before it returns to Clark Field. No aircraft are destroyed.

To the south end of Luzon, Daet falls to the 20/16th light infantry regiment.

The 65R infantry division picks up and moves down the road one hex, just north of Mariveles. An artillery regiment attaches to provide support.

  • Ki-51 flies to the airstrip at Tuguegarao
  • Ki-21 flies in to Aparri
  • A6M (17 range) returns to San Fernando (the other one near Clark) after mission
  • Ki-48 bombers fly into Laoag airstrip
  • Ki-30 lands at the Vigan airstrip

Combat

Fighting in the mountains outside of Baguio, the Japanese mountain division forces the Filipinos to retreat, but there is nowhere to go. The Filipino 11d infantry brigade surrenders. (Defender Retreat) All three regiments of the 48th light mountain division advance into the vacated hex, preparing to assemble in the exploitation phase.

Much consideration was given to attacking the Filipino 31d infantry brigade in the swamp across the Pampanga River, especially since Japanese armor is headed up the road (not that armor helps much in swamps). There are three supported Japanese regiments (two organically), but the 65R infantry division can’t make it in time to support the attack. The resulting attack would have taken place at 2:1 odds, with a -1 DRM, so the Japanese decide to not go through with the attack.

Calapan, Mindoro: The locals never really had a chance. They are decimated at 9:1 odds, and the Japanese capture the airstrip. (Defender Eliminated)

Exploitation

Front, post exploitation (click image to enlarge)

Front, post exploitation (click image to enlarge)

All units that made amphibious landings at Calapan, Davao, and Malabang load back up on their transports and head for the naval bases at Legaspi and Aparri in order to replenish. Two transports head back to Formosa to replenish.

Here is where I am going to get a little gamey. Next turn, the Hong Kong holding box falls to the Japanese, and another division becomes available. But this division is only available until January III 42. So it must get to Luzon as quickly as possible to be used before it is withdrawn.

That being said, three transports head to the Hong Kong holding box, but do not pull into port, staying just outside of the box. This means that they are low on fuel and must replenish as soon as they enter port.

The 48th light mountain division assembles, and moves south out of the mountains into Tayug, right into the teeth of the American Philippines division.

Along the Pampanga River, the Japanese front shifts one hex to the north, keeping their hold on Clark Field. The window for the escape of the American troops is getting smaller.

The newly arrived transport counter at Aparri loads a resource point, and trundles south through the jungle with it.

Notes

The race is on. There is only a single turn left before the Japanese start pulling assets out of the area. Most of the troops have been transported to Luzon, or the Philippine islands in general (there’s only a couple of units left). There is still a lot of time left for the Japanese to meet their objectives. After all, the game lasts through May, 1942.

A large portion of the IJN is pulled back on the Jan I turn, followed by a large contingent of troops on Jan III, including the newly arrived 38th light infantry division. From that point on, the Japanese receive very few reinforcements, and have most of their troops withdrawn.

The time is now (well, actually next turn). The Philippines division must be destroyed.

 

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