TDDH: Jan I 1942: The Japanese
It has been awhile since I’ve updated. I have picked up a new laptop, so it can be closer to the front as the action takes place, and hopefully my reporters will be able to file their reports in a more timely manner.
The failure of the Allied attack around Clark Field was surprising. I thought for sure the Japanese would take some damage from that attack, considering that the units in question were surrounded.
But it was not to be. The failed attack now leaves the Allies very exposed, and the Japanese are looking to take full advantage of the situation.
The weather stays very similar to the last turn yet again. The Japanese are having an incredible stroke of luck when it comes to the weather.
Zone 11: Clear/Calm Seas
Zone 12: Mud/Stormy Seas
Zone 13: Rain/Calm Seas
The Japanese receive 1 resource point at Formosa from production.
One air replacement point (IJN) is spent to repair the aborted H6K4 flying boat at Formosa.
Since the capture of Davao on Mindanao last turn, the Davao garrison appears in Davao ( a 0-1-4 static battalion made up of formerly interned Japanese nationals at Davao, according to the Japanese order of battle).
The only Japanese reinforcements arrive in Hong Kong, the 38th infantry division, a siege artillery battalion, a mountain mortar battalion, and a transport counter, plus 4 IJA air squadrons. The 38th division is being withdrawn in two turns, so it must be transported to the islands quickly, and hopefully it can help push across the Pampanga River before it leaves.
The port of Hong Kong becomes a friendly port this turn, and the transports that stationed off the coast last turn enter the port and replenish while loading up the troops. Once this is completed, they begin the long journey to Olongapo, where they are unloaded, except for the transport counter which remains on board. Once the offload is complete, the transports leave for Aparri, but don’t get very far before the phase ends.
The Maru 17 & 18, in port at Aparri unloads 4 resource points then return to Formosa.
The Maru 2 & 6 load the 56HC static brigade and the 44Y heavy AA battalion. Leaving the LC Dai-9 behind, they leave port and head to Legaspi, where they arrive, but do not offload any cargo.
Maru-1 at Formosa loads the newly arrived resource point and heads to San Fernando (north) with it. Upon arrival, a squadron of B-17Cs fly out on naval patrol, but fail to spot the transports.
The naval groups 2SAF, DCF & SF leave the port of Legaspi, and head to Cebu City. Upon approach, The USN group TF-5 succeeds in reacting, but NG AF does not. TF-5 consists of the remaining submarines (PSP-1, S-1, and Salmon-1), the cruisers Boise and Marblehead, the VS Childs and the merchant ship Merchant-3. After consideration, TF-5 remains in port with NG AF failed to react. When the Japanese arrive in the Cebu City sea box, both USN naval groups react and leave port. the ensuing battle begins at BB range, but the USN escape south towards Mindanao. Chasing the USN is not the mission of the IJN at the moment. Instead, they prepare to fire naval gunnery support while the transports begin to unload their cargo on the beaches. Meanwhile, the Filipinos fail to react to the landing, but it is a moot point as all available units are already in the hex.
Transport Maru-15 at Legaspi loads the 63HC static brigade and leaves port, heading to Calapan on Mindoro. The offload is completed, and the transports return to Legaspi. This brigade becomes the island garrison.
Transport Maru-14, still at Legaspi, loads the 61HC static brigade, but does not leave port.
The slow push up southern Luzon continues, slowed down by the rains and the mud.
The 33/16th finally escapes the rains by leaving Lopez, and begins a quick advance towards Manila, stopping at the town of Nasugbu, capturing the towns of Lucena and Batangas, as well as 4 airstrips along the way.
The 20/16 is still slogging through the mud behind the 33rd. Larap and the airstrip there falls to the 33rd.
The 63HC static brigade that just landed at Calapan has a few movement points left over, and moves south towards Roxas to capture the airstrip there.
The 48th light mountain division moves to the headwaters of the Pampanga River, where the American M3 Stuart tanks hold the line in the hills. This is perhaps the weakest part of the line, and the Japanese hope to get a breakthrough here.
The 19/2 light infantry regiment moves south through Del Carmen, capturing the town and the airstrip, and destroying an aborted P-40B squadron in the process.
Artillery and the construction regiment at Dagupan moves south towards Tarlac, while the 65R infantry division moves north to attack Tarlac from the south.
At this point, the Japanese air forces launch ground support missions.
I’m glad I double checked the rules about this, because the GS rules are more restrictive than in Europa, and I had overloaded the hexes with GS. I had a feeling that GS was halved for some reason. When I double checked, I found it was more restrictive than I thought. Only one squadron per every two REs of ground troops can provide ground support. Thus, only one squadron of air units can provide GS for a single division.
Ki-51 dive bombers fly unescorted over the American tanks, providing 2 points of GS. They are out of interception range.
Two x G3M (Nell) fly escorted to both attack zones north of the Pampanga River.
Three x G4M (Betty) and 1xH6K4 fly to Manila to raid the airbase. Four squadrons of Zeros from the southern end of Luzon fly to Manila to act as escorts for the raiding bombers. The Filipino P-26B and American P-40E from Corregidor patrol attack the bombers before they reach Manila, because interception over Manila is too dangerous at this point. They are attacked two hexes north of Manila. One G4M (Betty) is aborted and sent back Formosa, but all other bombers continue the mission. Three points of AA has no effect.
The mission is successful as hits are incurred on the airfield and the Naval PBY-5 Catalina is eliminated, and one of the B-17C squadrons is aborted. The bombers (except the flying boats) return to Clark Field. The flying boats return to the captured airbase just north of Cotabato on Mindanao.
Four battles this week, including an amphibious landing.
Tarlac: The construction regiment that has moved south from Dagupan participates in this attack. Combat odds are 7:1 as the construction heavy equipment moves onto the battlefield. Combat result: DH; Defender Half Eliminated. The defender was a single unit, and there is nothing left to retreat, even if it could retreat, at the end of combat. The loss of this brigade gives the Filipinos 1.75 replacement points to use next turn.
Attack south of Del Carmen: AA fire from this hex (2 points) has no effect on GS. Combat odds come up 1 point short of a 5:1 (29:6), and there is a -1 DRM due to units from the IJA and the IJN attacking (inter-service rivalry). The Japanese get what they need when the combat result is Defender Retreat. The Americans can retreat across the Pampanga River, but due to Zones of Control, they are cut off and surrender. This results in 1.5 replacement points for the Americans, and .5 replacement points for the Filipinos (total 2.25).
48th Light Mountain Divsion attack M3 Stuart tanks. There is a -3 DRM against the Japanese for attacking in rough terrain (-1), and against armor (-2). The attack is exactly 4:1, and the result is an Attacker Retreat; the first setback for the Japanese army since the invasion began. The tanks hold their ground, but are still pretty vulnerable, I think. The Japanese need to attack in force in order to force the tanks out of this position.
Invasion of Cebu City: There is another -1 DRM for inter-service rivalry during this landing. Carriers launch a couple of bombers in support. There is no damage to LCs or LSs, but the 146/56 light mountain regiment is badly disrupted during the landing, and contributes nothing to the attack. With naval support, the combats odds are set at 4:1, with the -1 DRM.
The combat result is a Defender Half Eliminated. The defenders have a total of 13 defense factors. Seven of these defense factors are in a single brigade, and it has to be eliminated in order to satisfy the loss requirements. All other units retreat southwest to the interior of the island. They destroy the resource point before fleeing. They are able to escape because the landing units have no ZOC for the remainder of this turn. The Filipinos receive 1.75 in special replacements on Cebu for the loss of the brigade.
The 48th light mountain division moves right back into the hex it was chased from. The rest of the Japanese Army continues to slide around the Pampanga River. The 2nd light division assembles and moves to close the gap between them and the 48th division, and to be in a good position to react if an opportunity to storm across the Pampanga River presents itself.
To the south, the 33rd regiment of the 16th light division withdraws to a position just NE of Batangas to discourage any Allied troops that are tempted to raid airstrips nearby. The 20th regiment moves to the edge of weather zone 12, ready to move out of the rain and mud if the weather holds.
The 38th infantry division crosses the mountains into San Fernando, to get them in the line, and prepared to join a quick attack to force the river before it is withdrawn.
The second transport counter is delivered to Aparri, and the transports return to Formosa, where they refuel.
The Japanese still have not forced a crossing of the Pampanga River, having to clear forces on their side of the river, and the Stuarts chasing off a Japanese attack. Cebu has fallen, taking away a naval base from the US Navy. The only base left in the Philippines is at Manila, and naval forces would have to run the Japanese minefield to get in and out.
Again, I did not leave the Navy around to fight the IJN. They were vastly outnumbered, which could have worked to their advantage, but the subs are really no longer a factor, even against transports. The idea for this turn was to get set up for a push across the river, and towards Manila, while performing some smaller scale landings on some of the other islands for victory points.
Most of the general histories that I’ve run across deal almost exclusively with the Luzon campaign. While much of the fighting did occur there, along with some horrific events, there was also fighting in other parts of the Philippines. I ran across a website which provides a history of the entire campaign.
I’m sure there are those out there who have this book memorized from cover to cover. It’s the first time I’ve seen it and found it pretty interesting. I hope others will find it informative as well.
Finally, although the map names the river the Pamapanga River, every source I have run across calls it the Pampanga River.