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Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 4

The culmination of the raid on the Gilberts & Marshalls ~

Avery Abernethy, 30 July 2017

As introduced in the first episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

On Turn 13 the Red Task Force air wings start the attack on the last major objective. It will be a tough nut to crack. There are at least three squadrons of Japanese planes including a highly dangerous torpedo squadron. My carrier will have to stand off at least two flight turns away to the East to avoid being hit.

One of my subs was damaged and a light cruiser joined the gunboat in the attack. Another Jap merchant was spotted. Black Task Force will steam West to hit the Jap Ships once objective Black 2 is liquidated.

 

For turn 15 I have a map showing the final target list for both Red and Black task forces.

 

Objective Black 2 is toast. But my fighter is heavily damaged and is landing for repair and refueling.

 

On Turn 15 additional complications arise for Task Force Red. A long-range Jap coastal battery is on a nearby island. My carrier cannot move further West. My PT boat is racing to help hit the final objective and my air wings are fighting.

Dog fights continue through turn 18 with the US forces coming out ahead.

But the PT boat has been hit twice by the Jap battery.

 

By Turn 18 my forces are making the final kills. Black Task Force in the South along with the subs are hitting two Jap gunboats and one light cruiser. My carrier is standing way off from the Jap warships. In the North, the Red Task Force has just about finished off the last objective. The oil depot will be my last target there because it cannot fire back.

 

On Turn 19, I had destroyed enough Jap ships to reach the secondary victory condition.

 

This was an unexpected plus because I pretty much just encountered enough shipping and sank it to meet the condition. I was not actively searching for merchants and surface warfare ships away from the Jap airfields and oil depots. On Turn 20 I managed to shoot down the last squadron achieving that secondary victory condition

 

By Turn 22 the US Navy is retreating as the raid concludes. I’ve discovered yet more Jap Light Cruisers and I’m sailing East away from them. The Oil Depot is heavily damaged from the air. What is left of my PT Unit is racing away. The Jap coast guns shot the PTs up.

 

On Turn 23 (out of 25) the US destroys the last Jap oil depot which completes the last secondary victory condition.

 

This gives me a victory!

Order of Battle sometimes inserts what else is happening outside your immediate theater of operations. The Doolittle Raid is one example of this.

To recap, separating my carriers into two small task forces worked. The oil depots and the airfields were known in advance. Black Task Force faced the heaviest resistance until Red hit the last Jap Island towards the end of the scenario.

Because I stumbled into so many Jap ships, I was able to meet that objective by retasking the Black Task Force. If Black had been sent North to reinforce the attacks on the last Jap airfield and oil depot, I would not have made that minor victory condition.

My carriers escaped damage, partly through luck. The Black carrier could have easily taken damage from Jap aircraft. Because I succeeded in several secondary victory conditions, the Jap air units will have less experience in future scenarios. There will also be fewer Jap surface ships due to a lack of oil.

Thanks for following along!


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