Weather 11 – C&C 12 – C&C, 13 M&R
Units are rebuilt at batangas and thrown into battle with the rebuilt 4th XX. From Cebu the 38th XX and 16/20 sail to Batangas. Cavite is attacked to try and close the escape route of the units in Manila – the battle forces the US forces to retreat east (3:1 = DR). With the south closed off, IJA forces assault Manila (clear terrain due to open city status) and the Allied forces are unable to retreat and surrender to the Japanese – losses are heavy with the 12th US XX and 2nd F XX falling into the bag (4:1 = DR/ZoC scam). The massive allied stockpiles are torched by Logistics personnel to prevent them falling into Japanese hands. (Two Res Pts destroyed, 1 captured). In the exploitation phase, the 4th DAN XX enters the rough terrain South of Cavite. MacArthur denounces the Roosevelt administration in a radio broadcast from Legaspi.
Units retreat to Matbuan and Lucena with the 11th XX and 51st Cdr left in the mountains dominating the western approaches. Most formations are supported by AA and Artillery with USMC and Filipino IIs and Provisional IIIs defending rear area ports. 2 Res Pts are left (in Legaspi) while Corregidor goes to U-1 status (2 Res Pts on the Island).
Over the Philipines – Imperial Japanese Navy Fighters and Bombers cover the skies as they launch wave after wave on the expanded USAAF squadrons, desperate to whittle down the numbers of B 17E units before the main invasions start. despite the warnings of Pearl Harbour hours before, the Far East Air Force is caught on the ground. At Manila Zeros strafe the airfields holding three squadrons of A-24 Attack planes, shooting holes in one as the ground crews scatter in panic. Over Clark Airfield 4 points of AA is unable to turn back any of the IJN bombers but fortunately for the USAAF only two squadrons of the Heavy Bombers stationed here are aborted.
Northern Luzon – Off the coast of Appari the Filipino militia observe the arrival of a cruiser heavy task force supporting several transport ships, obviously intent on some sort of landing. The two milita battalions are supported by some light weight artillery – which conveniently doubles as Coastal Defences. The battle hardened Japanese commander scoffs at these shore based pop guns and sneeringly orders his cruisers to engage. Fire opens at battleship range and the commander of the Cruiser Ashigara is joking about the upcoming campaign with his deck officers when a shell slams into the bridge, killing them all. Flames and smoke erupt from the vessel. The Japanese commander orders a saki to settle his nerves. The task force closes in on the beach, shots are exchanged at cruiser range, but all miss in the smoke. Again the navy closes the distance but the Filipino gunners can easily spot the smoking Ashigara and accurately lob a round into an open deck hatch – a second hit slows the cruiser. To the disbelief of the Japanese commander secondary explosions rock the ship and the Ashigara explodes into tiny metal shards (obviously internal fires reached the magazine). MacArthur issues a press statement on how he had personally selected the gun position several weeks earlier during a tour of inspection. In response the destroyers and remaining cruisers disrupt the artillery unit with heavy and accurate gunfire.
Marines of the 2nd Sasebo SNLF climb into their landing craft and with the 21st DS engineers (amphibious) and 2nd Formosan Lt Mtn Regt storm ashore under the support of the navy’s gunfire aginst the Filipinos. With their artillery support disrupted, the two defending battalions are destroyed (7:1 = DE). The Japanese commander orders the beheading of the gun batteries personnel in revenge for the Ashigara.
As the soldiers secure the beach head, overhead transport planes fly from Formosa and Hainan carrying the 1st and 3rd Yokayama parachute battalions who launch an air assault on the air strip of Tuguegaro. The 1st II lands disrupted but the 3rd secures the airfield, causing the Filipino P-35A based there to flee to Baguio airstrip. they are expected to be joined quickly by the 2nd Formosan regt marching from the beach head.
Meanwhile carrier based Petes and Claudes raid Ilagan airstrip, shooting up a squadron of Filipino P-40Bs on the ground. Following this effort, the nothern fleet splits – some units head to Formosa while others remain on station off the coast of Laoag.
From Palau, the IJN sets forth towards Mindanao. Off the coast of Tandag float planes and carrier based aircraft are launched onto targets in the area. The USS Pensacola, tied up alongside PT boats in Cagayan on Mindanao’s north shore is attakced by jakes – AA fire from the cruiser aborts one squadron (to the anger of the Japanese commander) but the remaining squadron shows cool courage to easily drop bombs down the cruisers funnel to score a hit. Over Del Monte airfield, Claudes attempt strafing runs on the parked up B 17Es, although AA fails to deter them the attack fails. over Cebu City, the USS Boise is tied up in port. Kates scream over head surprinsing the AA gunners who all miss. This is a grevious mistake as the IJN planes score a direct hit on the cruiser. Suddenly the USN presence in the Philippines is looking shaky…..
Recovering their aircraft, the IJN sails through the Panaoa Strait – the USS Pensacola elects not to react, nor does the battered Boise. The IJN slips south of Bohol island, avoiding the CD in Cebu city and lands troops and supplies at Argao on the south tip of Cebu. The 56/146 Lt Mtn Regt, attached engineers and AA digs in and awaits reinforcements. As the IJN returns to base from this excursion, it contemptuously scatters mines in the sea off Cebu City and Cagayan.
At Okinawa the 16/20 Lt Inf Regt and attached odds and sods move to Palau.
The Japanese commander is pleased with the battle to date – some damage done tot he large USAAF and critical damage to the USN. The only downside was the surprising loss of the Ashigara to a tiny CD unit. Normally in TDDH these units never appear so it was taken for granted that they would be a less serious threat than the big guns of Corregidor. Luckily the invasion at Cebu was planned to avoid a direct landing at Cebu City otherwise losses could have been heavy here too. Especially pleasing was the fact that no LC were damaged in the assaults.
Around Cebu – USN units from Borneo meet up with the Houston, Boise and pensacola while the sea lanes are swept for mines – luckily no hits occur to the sweepers. P-40Es and Bs (USAAF) are flown into the air strips on the islands around Cebu while a B-18A squadron smashes the limited dock facilities at Argao. A mixed transport unit is flown to Zamboange to fly out the US infantry battalion to join the 41st Division in the main part of MIndanao.
Luzon – Subs take to the seas, heading north to form a perimeter around the ports in the area. MacArthur elects not to upgrade any units yet, keeping his massive store of artillery (some 30+ replacement points) in the armoury until he can work out whjat the Japanese plan is.
B 17E and PBY-5 squadrons take to the air and search over the seas north of Luzon looking for the IJN. 3 B17 sqns return to base with no luck but a couple of others with the navy aircraft spot and attack the IJN force off Laoag. One B17 is frightened off by AA fire while the others drop their bombs around the fleet. A USN PBY-5 accurately hits the Cruiser Maya much to the delight of MacArthur who informs Washington that he shook hands with the air crew once.
On land the motorised 34th Regt and 218 Art III arrive at Ilagan airstrip to the relief of the Filpino pilots stranded at the town. The US mechanised and armoured forces trundle up to the Cagayan River across from the paratroopers but elect not to attack and save their supplies for future battles.
Weather: C&C, C&C, M&S
A bombardment of Corregidor occurs – no damage results and the Imperial commander decides that this is a waste of time and doesn’t bother with the island for the next few weeks.
Three attacks are launched on the mountain redoubt, Lucena and Matbaun. At Matbaun the defence is thrashed and destroyed although some IJA losses occur (2:1 = HX). At Lucena the defenders are roughly handled and bundled out due to armoured superiority (2:1 + 1 AECA = DH). The survivors fall back toBurgos. These battles surround the retreat zones of the mountain redoubt and the Lt Mtn units easily dispose of the 11th XX and 41st cdr (3:1 -1 mtn = DR). MacArthur receives notice of his dismissal from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – he ignores it.
Res Pt spent at Corregidor, several units rebuilt (US and F) and sent to new defence line north and north east of Lopez where they meet forces falling back from the Lucena-Matbaun debacle. Mechanised units and assorted IIs and IIIs begin to form up behind the Bicol River 64 miles west of Legaspi.
More air strikes are launched on the USAAF airbases and strips in Luzon – Filipino P-35s and US P-40Es operating out of Vigan and Baguio try to intercept but are turned back by Zero escorts. Over Clark Airfield 5 squadrons of P-40s rise up to attack the IJN bombers but escorting Zero aircraft slice their way through the Americans – 4 squadrons are killed to the shock of MacArthur who blubs in his bunker on Corregidor. One Betty is aborted by the single surviving P-40. AA fails agin and one hit is scored on a B-17 squadron.
The main invasion fleet sets off from Formosa, skirting to the west of Luzon to avoid the sub packs to arrive off the coast at Iba. recognising the gap in his defences, MacArthur throws all his airpower at the fleet. The massed squadrons easily spot the fleet (it was big enough!). A PBY-5 is killed by carrier based Petes flying off the S Maru which is in turn hit by the remaining PBY-5, causing the Petes to crash into the ocean with their carrier on fire and adrift. Despite this success, all other bombing fails and the landings are made fairly successfully – heavy equipment and all. Again no damage occurs to the LCs – making MacArthur sweat as the Imperial reserve arrives in Formosa.
Laoag is captured by the 2 Sasebo II marching along the coast. Elsewhere in the north of the island IJA aircraft arrive at the captured airstrips.
Mindanao – the Kure SNLF Regt and 16th Lt XX land unopposed at Digos south of Davao and push inland. A Baseforce is set up at the small town.
Cebu – the 56/146 Regt advances to just south of the city, probing the Filipino militia positions. Another carrier aircraft strike is made on the USN units in the city’s port – intercepting P-40Bs and Es shot down the Jakes and Nells into the eliminated box. MacArthur is ecstatic, sending off press reports to the US, the IJN fleet air commander commits hari kari, as is proper in these sorts of circumstances.
Artillery points are spent upgrading a couple of Filipino Inf Gun units and the Philippine Scout Division is broken up and reconverted into the 12th Division. These units take up positions north of Clark Airfield where numerous Filipino units prepare to defend against the Japanese army around Iba. The 14th Armoured PG Division forms up fully and looks very threatening to the 2nd Formosan Regt and attached Paratroopers. The local Japanese commander begins to worry…… A motorised Engineer Battalion and attached Artillery battalion leave the 14th and scuttle westwards to help support the Filipino battalions defending Vigan.
Off the coast of Corregidor, the USS Houston and DD flotilla join the USN PT and destroyer and three Sub flotillas off Subic Bay.
Mindanao – 200th Art III and 41/185 and 41/162 Inf IIIs march south via the road towards Digos. The 47th Construction II and 148 Art II fall back to the rice paddies across the river from Dulawan. Strange “clucking” noises on Japanese radio messages are intercepted by MacArthur’s signal intelligence network. This early form of Psycholoical Warfare has no effect on his demeanour.
Weather 11 – C&C, 12 – C&C, 13 – M&C
38th XX lands at Cebu island.
Units for the 4th Dan Armoured XX begin to gather at Luzon. the 4th XX, SNLF IIIs and 21/62 III push the defenders of San Pablo out of the town (3:1 = DR).
At the MacArthur Line 5+ Japanese XXs hit the eastern most fort in the wooded rough terrain and with the aid of light units are able to break the line and force the defenders back (4:1 -2 fort and terrain = DR). MacArthur claims cowboy contractors used in the construction are to blame.
Cebu City – IJA forces attack much to the amusement of the Allies and the Attack is a stalemate with the only result being a waste of supplies (1:1 -1 rough = AS) [For some reason I thought Cebu City was clear terrain!! Doh]
Manila is decalred an open city and Res Pts are moved to the tail of Luzon. Units start to pull out of the line to new defensive positions in the south. The decision is made by MacArthur to pull his HQ back to Legaspi.
1st Sasebo II, 56 HC X and Res Pts land at Digos. The 16th XX attacks the Construction and Artillery units in the rice paddies and forces them back towards the west coast. (DR). At Davao SNLF and Mortar units attack the defenders but the Filipinos stubbornly hold their ground (AS)
At Subic Bay IJN air craft attack and bomb the USN Fleet – AA is pathetic and MacArthur denies all involvement in their training, claiming its “a navy problem”. The USS Houston is hit, DD flotillas Clem 1 and 3 hit and flipped over and the PT unit sunk without a trace.
Over the airfields of Luzon the Japanese strafe and bomb every field they can – in dog fights 2 more P-40Es are killed, the Filipino P-35A while one Zero is killed. MacArthurs press release opens with “Jap fighters exhausted by US Fighters!”. Cut from the final proof is the concluding sentence “shooting down so many…” 2 B-17s are cut up on Clark Field but one Zero is aborted by AA fire. the IJA Airforce is no where to be seen – one suspects inter-service rivalry.
At Agarri the Yok Para Regt fully forms up with extra battalions flown in.
At Formosa, the transports are loaded up to the deck with units of the strategic reserve and units from Formosa. The IJN sets off as a mass then spilts into three seperate convoys bound for the ports and beaches of Agarri, Laoag and Iba.
Off the coast of Agarri the sub flotilla Salmon intercepts the convoy. For several days it shadows the fleet – constantly being turned back by the ASW screen. Eventually it suffers heavy losses but the commander of the flotilla orders another attempt on sneaking through. In a gap in the DD defence line, the half strength flotilla sneaks through and shoves a spead of torpedoes into the Maru-13 group. The transport is hit and suffers additional damage, sinking the entire group. MacArthur is ecstatic! Press reports mention how he sent signals to the USN subs only several weeks ago urging them to be on the alert. The IJN Commander casually lifts the Maru 13 from his operations board to reveal its cargo – 2 resource points. The field kitchen of the 52nd XX is sent to a briny grave. MacArthur weeps.
Regiments of the 52nd and 53rd XXs land and scuttle forward. At the Tiney river near Vigan an attack is launched on the 134th Eng II and 86 PS Art II. The US units are forced back. (3:1 = DR) The Japanese advance, cutting off the Filipino defenders in Vigan.
Subic Bay – USN surface units fail to spot the massive IJN fleet approaching Iba. This is probably due to the ships being half full of water jokes the Japanese commander. The three sub flotillas do spot the fleet and all attempt to break through the ASW screen. After several attempts, the IJN aircraft and DDs prove too good and all are hit. Eventually only a half flotilla of the S-1 survives to return to Cavite to tell the tale of horror. The troops convoys flood their cargo ashore.
At Olongapo the IJA 2nd Lt Inf XX and attached armour attacks a motley crew of US marines, construction troops, Filipino militia and US CD artillery gunners. Despite favourable odds the Japanese can only force the Allies to retreat (4:1 = DR). Overhead, an A-24 attempting to fly defensive air support is killed by carrier based Claudes. At Iba engineers begin construction of a 3 capacity airfield while IJN baseforce personnel prepare to set up.
A CA heavy task force remains on station in Subic Bay while the transports return to Formosa.
B-17Es rebase to Del Monte in Mindanao, Clark Airbase is destroyed with 2 aborted squadrons of B-17Es torched by their ground crews. Artillery and infantry points are expended to fully strengthen form up the 11th, 41st, 51st in Luzon and 81st in Cebu City.
Merchant ships and requisitioned barges from Iloilo carry the Panay Island Militia IIs to Legaspi to relieve the 41st XX (Filipino) which marches up towards the main line near Clark Field. At San Fernando, beefed up USMC IIs and Filipino IIs with Hvy AA and artillery support garrison the town while in North Luzon the US forces retreat to Baguio and the mountains north east of Tayg, leaving the troops in Vigan to their fate as the P-40 here rebases to Del Carmen. Aircraft around Cebu rebase to Luzon.
Cebu – an attack by the 81st XX is launched on the IJA regiment outside the city – it is a dreadful failure with the 81st shattered and the Filipinos abandoning the city (2:1 = AH). Luckily in the exploitation phase the cadred remnants of the 81st and the local Constabulary reoccupy the city.
Mindanao – US forces take up positions against the 16th Infantry XX.
Weather: C&C, C&C, M&S
4th Inf XX moves to Bataan to face off over the straits at Corregidor. In the area north of Lopez the 4th Dan XX leads infantry forces against the defenders and wipes out the defenders although the 4th Dan is cadred (3:1 +1 AECA = HX). In the wooded rough terrain NE of Lopez the Japanese light units fail to push the defenders back (2:1 -1 = AS).
The Allies fall back past Larap into wooded rough and jungle rough terrain. The Japanese commander is reportedly frustrated at his inability to finish the enemy – especially as several divisions are now cadred and reinforcements are few and far between.
Units are moved from Hong Kong to Formosa and MacArthur starts to see visions of landings in his rear. The IJN parades past corregidor daring the USN to fight them, the challenge is refused.
In the north of Luzon, the Lt Inf and Lt Mtn units sprint forward. MacArthur thinks his nothern flannk is safe as Baguio is heavily defended and only one Lt Mtn III can reach the small mechanised garrison based on the 34th III and 218 Art III. However the 52nd Lt Mtn III who chased away the engineer group the previous week from outside Vigan march quicky along the roads, across the “Ilugao Rice Terraces” (whatever they are), across Mount Pulong to join in the attack forcing the US defenders out of the mountains, cracking open the defence line!
At Vigan the Filipino defenders are pushed into the sea by the Japanese (DR).
At San Fernando the tanks supporting the Japanese infantry help force out the defending Marines and Filipinos while behind them Bataan is seized and occupied by a static brigade.
At Cebu and Mindanao resupply is carried out and the IJA holds its ground.
Ships slow down the campaign for the first couple of turns – the solution is simple – sink the USN!!
Supply for the Japanese is becoming a bit of an issue with Iba beach head having no Res Pts available (the loss of the Maru-13 perhaps??) and the appalling weather in Mindanao making attacking a bit risky.
Luzon will probably be decided in the next couple of weeks – if the Japanese commander can get his divisions together and breakout into the clear terrain. The only fly in the ointment at the moment in the large amount of supplies the US has got and the 14th PG Armoured Division. Air and naval supremacy for the Japanese is almost total now, although the IJN has only a few ARPs remaining.
Weather: C&C, C&C, M&S
An attack is launched on the defenders based around the rock of the Filipino1st XX – despite massive odds (5:1 -2 wooded rough +1 Light forces), theallies slowly retreat avoiding casualties(DR). The Japanese commander isresting in his command tent folding napkins into paper hats (oragami notbeing his strong point) when his supply officer nervously approaches andannounces that there are no more supplies left for the offensive. Aghast,the Japanese commander surveys his battle map – not a Res Pt anywhere to befound! Will the offensive stall?
All units fall back to the Bicol defence line with a garrison based on the1st Filipino XX left in the rough terrain west of the river at pascao. AtCorregido the last Res Pt is spent. The Japanese commander realises thatthe fort will not reach U-4 status until the end of May!