TDDH: Jan III 42: The Allies
The Supply Situation
The Allies now have only one objective: to reestablish contact with Manila and get that supply line reopened.
The Allies have been split in half and Manila has been sealed off from the units to the north. Units on Corregidor can still trace a naval supply line to Manila, as can the 71d Filipino infantry brigade, and the American units in Malolos (the hex with the B-18A bombers).
The photo to the right shows the units out of supply with U-1 markers. I have spread them out to show what is in each hex, and grouped them together with squares. There is no route to Manila, and thus no supply.
The Japanese, on the other hand, can trace a supply line from the 48th division through each hex occupied by a Japanese unit to Olongapo, and from there, by sea to Formosa. The Japanese units sealing off Manila can trace a route to the south to the port of Lucena, where they can also trace a naval supply line to Formosa or Palau.
The U-1 markers denote that these units are in their first turn out of general supply. What does this mean, exactly, besides a lack of toilet paper?
First, even if the Allies open up a supply line this turn, they are still considered to be out of supply through the next Japanese turn (Jan IV). During this time, the attack strength of each unit is halved. In the case of units that are unsupported, their attack strengths are quartered.
However, if they attack, and the cannot trace a supply line to a resource point to spend for attack supply, their attack strengths are halved again. (example: The US Philippines division (attack strength: 12) has its attack strength halved (current attack strength: 6), and if it decides to attack, it has it’s attack strength halved again (current attack strength 3)). They still defend at full strength, and no other ratings are affected at this time.
In addition, combat/motorized units, like the American PGp light armored cadre has its movement rating halved (lack of gasoline).
So what options do the Allies have?
Option A: Cross the Zambales Mountains, heading for Iba and possibly opening a supply line through the port. This has the added benefit of threatening Olongapo, However, this move is easily countered by the Japanese baseforce at Olongapo moving north to Iba. From that point forward, the Allied capabilities would be further reduced due to a lack of supply, and it would be hard pressed to move anywhere, and its defense would be compromised.
Option B: to swing around to the east, trying to pull back to Manila, supporting the tanks that can’t enter the jungles. It doesn’t open the supply line immediately, but it brings the units closer to an open supply line.
The final option is to drive north, to try to get to Dagupan or San Fernando, but Dagupan is garrisoned and the road to San Fernando is blocked.
As a reminder, Manila has not been declared an open city yet.
The Allies still refuse to declare Manila an open city. The Japanese do not have the strength in the area to take it. There is no reason to open it up yet.
There are no Allied reinforcements this turn.
The Filipinos decide to spend their 6 replacement points on three [1-2-5] infantry battalions, appearing at Manila.
The Americans scrap 6 eliminated air units to gain a [1-2-5] infantry regiment (1PAAC), also appearing at Manila. The permanently eliminated air units are:
- 2 x P-35A fighters
- 1 x P-40B fighter
- 3 x P-40E fighters
I had wanted to augment Nichols Field in Manila, but that is an optional rule, and I’m not using optional rules this go around. However, the construction battalions present in Manila spend a resource point and begin to fortify Manila, much to the chagrin of the Filipino government.
It takes a full turn to build a fort, but it also takes a battalion twice as long to complete a construction project, but since there are two construction battalions in Manila, it will only take the full turn (fort is in effect at the beginning of the Allied Jan IV 42 turn).
The other two construction battalions are in reserve just in case the Japanese decide to raid the airbase and do some damage.
First Naval Movement Sub-Phase
The American fleet heading north from Darwin, Australia ended the last turn 3 movement points from Bali, and low on fuel. Because it is low on fuel, The fleet now spends the next three naval movement steps moving to East Java (a total of 6 movement points) where it can refuel during the 4th step of the naval movement phase.
It spends the required two movement points to refuel. It then leaves East Java to continue its journey north It ends this phase arriving at the South Borneo holding box.
Holding boxes controlled by the Japanese are denoted by the Japanese flag in the photo.
Because these ships may be required to attempt to run the minefield around Corregidor, it is vital that every unit and resource point be logged as to what transport it is being carried by.
- (TR) Mrcht-1: ‘A’ transport counter, 1 arm RP (1/2 RE each)
- (TR) Mrcht-2: 147th artillery regiment (1 RE), 131r artillery battalion (1/4 RE), 148r artillery battalion (1/4 RE)
- (TS) Mrcht-3: 1 resource point (1 RE)
- (TS) Mrcht-4: 2 resource points (2 RE)
The rest of the Philippines has been neglected by me. There is so much I could have/should have done, but didn’t. I need to refocus attention on some of these areas where there is currently no fighting.
Some island shipping is also called up. Iloilo barges 1 & 2 are called up at Iloilo on Panay, and Zambo-1 is called up at Zamboanga, Mindanao.
Iloilo-1 jumps across to the port of Bacolad on Negros. It picks up a pair of (1-4) infantry battalions and takes them back to Iloilo.
Iloilo-2 skips across from island to island to Tacloban on the island of Leyte, and also picks up a pair of (1-4) infantry battalions and brings them back to Iloilo.
The barges are coastal craft, and cannot enter a sea box that has no coastlands in it. It is able to move from sea box to sea box by staying within the island chain.
The Filipino units that were repalced on Luzon, along with the American air crews have to move out of Manila due to stacking limits. Movement is limited due to enemy ZOCs, and they can only make it as far as Malolos. Merging with other American troops into the 1NL corps, the stacking limit is quickly reached. The 71d infantry brigade cannot move out of the rice fields. There is nowhere it can go.
The only American artillery unit left moves from Malolos into Manila to provide support for the defenders of the city. Just a single battalion of artillery greatly beefs up the defensive capabilities of the Manila garrison.
The troops on the north side make their way back towards Manila as best they can. The 1st Filipino infantry division takes off into the jungles on Dingalan Bay. They have to leave their artillery behind, as the jungle is just to thick to allow passage.
The Philippines division moves from Tarlac to a position just north of the Japanese 48th division. They meet up with the American light armor cadre and the recently abandoned Filipino artillery regiment.
On Panay, two Filipino infantry battalions already at Iloilo head north to the port of Cadiz, to provide some sort of defense for the port rather than nothing at all.
On Mindanao, an expedition comprising two infantry battalions is mounted from Cagayan, with the objective being the re-capture of the Malabang airfield. The going is slow, because the battalions don’t move very fast, but the road is also long and winding through the jungle.
The Allies do not attack due to a lack of attack supply for the troops to the north. It would make those formations too weak. Things will change once the Japanese 48th division is called away, and perhaps Manila can be saved.
Second Naval Movement Sub-Phase
The convoy continues north through the East Borneo and NE Borneo holding boxes, until it reaches the southern edge of the map. From the edge of Borneo, the fleet moves north, the 20th and final movement point to be spent is in the Corregidor sea box, where the Japanese mines are.
The fleet does not spend that final movement point, stopping 1 sea box short of the minefield. The reason is that a check would have to made for damage as soon as the minefield is entered. Since the convoy would have to stop in the minefield, a second check would have to be made as soon as the next Allied turn starts. I would prefer to avoid that.
So the Japanese throw all the remaining bombers they have in the area into 4 naval patrol missions. Unfortunately for them, these are old bombers that do not have much bombing strength:
- A Ki-48 from Roxas finds the convoy, survives AA fire, but misses the target.
- A Ki-30 from Calapan finds the convoy, survives AA fire, and misses the target.
- A Ki-51 from Nasugba (a dive bomber that is the only squadron with a bombing strength greater than 1) fails to find the convoy.
- A Ki-21-1c from Batangas finds the convoy, survives AA fire, but misses the target.
The convoy survives, and is poised to make a run for Manila next turn.
The Allies are in such a position where the armor cannot move any further south. It can’t pass through the jungles like the infantry can. The 1st Filipino division, continues to march, finally linking up with Malolos. The combat engineers also in the jungle cannot move as they are not eligible to exploit.
The Philippines division plunges into the jungle to protect the engineers, leaving the light armor cadre, an artillery regiment and an infantry brigade behind.
Although these units will still be out of supply next turn, the supply line has been opened.
Once the Japanese 48th division is withdrawn next turn, it is a whole new game.
I had forgotten about the barges. I had said at one point that the Allies have no amphibious capabilities, but with these barges, they do. Some of these islands captured by the Japanese could be recaptured easily. The Japanese left nothing behind, because they had nothing to leave behind.