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Great Pacific War Replay
1939 Campaign Scenario
Part 16:
Spring 1945
By Doug McNair
February 2008

The Allies commit their full economic might to the war against Japan in today’s episode of my Great Pacific War replay.

Last time the JAPAN FIRST political chit was drawn, which gives the U.S. a 90-point boost to her BRP base starting in Spring 1945. This is a very good thing, because the U.S. Navy made huge sacrifices to save the U.S. Army on Mindanao in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea last turn. America will have to spend all of that 90 BRPs plus a good chunk of the extra 200 she gets in the Spring 1945 turn to rebuild her navy to a level that can compete with Japan’s still-potent carrier forces.

But with the war in Europe winding down, Britain and the Soviet Union can now devote more BRPs to the war effort against Japan, and the Soviets can SR troops in from Europe via the Trans-Siberia Railway. That will put a lot more pressure on the Japanese armies in Siam, Indochina and Manchukuo/Korea and will pose a direct threat to the Japanese BRP breadbasket in China as well.

The war continues . . .

Turn 22: Spring 1945

Production Segment: Britain, the Soviet Union and the U.S. get small force pool additions. Nationalist China reconquered Yunnan Province and its capital of Tengchung last turn, so it receives 14 BRPs. Communist China has been suffering from Stalin’s neglect but at least didn’t lose any provinces last year, so she receives 14 BRPs as well. The Netherlands gets 10 BRPs for controlling Java and Sumatra, and the Soviet Union reaps the benefits of her conquests in Manchukuo plus a 25-point increase to her BRP base for a total of 51 BRPs.

Britain only makes her required minimum deployment in Australia but gets a 45-point boost to her BRP base and receives a total of 104 BRPs, and the U.S. gets 447 BRPs after the aforementioned boosts to her BRP base. Japan lost Liaoning Province in Manchukuo and does not make her required minimum deployment in Chosen, but regained control of Kweichow Province in China last turn due to commitment of Chinese forces elsewhere. So after the -9 BRP penalty for her negative stockpile at the end of last year, she receives 152 BRPs.

There is no mud in Russia so units that start the turn there (after being built) won’t get slowed down. The Netherlands rebuilds 2 SUB in the Britain box for 4 BRPs. Nationalist China (which expects some BRPs from the U.S. this year) builds 2 x 2-2 INF and a 1-2 INF for 8 BRPs, and Communist China (which probably can’t expect much help from the Soviet Union) builds a 2-2 and a 1-2 INF for 5 BRPs.

The Soviet Union builds a 3-5 ARM, a 3-4 TAC, 2 x 2-3 INF, a 1-3 INF and a 1-4 CAV for 23 BRPs (using the Waves of Humanity rule). Britain builds 2 CV (available Winter, 1945), a 2-4 TAC, a 3-4 INF, 2 x 2-5 ARM divisions, a 1-3 PARA division and 1 SUB in the Britain box 2 x 2-3 Indian INF at Madras for 39 BRPs.

Japan builds a beachhead on the island of Bonin (on the border between Japan’s coastal Pacific Ocean 8 Zone and the Marcus Island zone), adds a CV factor to a 1 CV unit at Yokohama, builds 1 LC at Hollandia and then 4 SUB, a 3-3 INF, a 2-3 INF, 6 x 1-3 INF and a 1-3 INF division in Japan for 41 BRPs.

Finally the U.S. builds 4 x 4 CV and 4 x 9 SURF (available Winter, 1945), an LC factor at Marcus Island, an airfield at the Mindanao beachhead, and an HQ, a 3-4 INF and a 5-6 ARM unit in the U.S. West Coast box for 236 BRPs.

The political chit drawn is NATIONALIST TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT, but since both Kuomintang 3-2 INF units are already on their full-strength sides the chit has no effect. Each China buys one impulse chit, the Soviet Union buys two, Britain buys two, Japan buys one and the U.S. buys three.

Sea Zone Box Placement Segment: Britain spends 3 BRPs to put three 1-4 TAC units in the Coral Sea, Solomon Islands and Bismarck Sea zones. The U.S. and Japan both spend 5 BRPs to put units in the usual sea control boxes, except for Wake Island and Marcus Island. Then Britain spends 2 BRPs to put 2 SUB from Batavia in the East China Sea raiding box, and the U.S. puts 5 SUB in the Sea of Japan raiding box.

Sea Control and Raiding Segment: No sea zones are contested, and the British SUBs raiding the East China Sea take no hits from the Japanese carriers and destroy 2 Japanese BRPs. The American subs raiding the Sea of Japan do them one better, taking no damage from Japanese TAC and destroying 3 Japanese BRPs.

Strategic Redeployment Segment: The Kuomintang SR a 2-2 INF south from Chunking to the front, and the Netherlands SRs her 2 SUB from the Britain box to the Middle East box. Mao leaves his units in place for now, and Stalin SRs in a 4-5 ARM and a 3-3 INF from Europe down to the Soviet left flank outside Vladivostok.

Britain spends her 4 SRs to bring a 2-4 TAC and a 1-3 PARA division by sea from the Britain box through Madras and then by air across India and down to Singapore (for the TAC) and Palembang (for the PARA division).

Japan uses her LC at Kagoshima to SR a 1-3 INF and a 1-3 INF division to the new beachhead on Bonin Island, and then sends four INF units up to the lines on the Chosen border with Manchukuo. Finally the U.S. spends 2 SRs to send 2 x 4-4 MAR from Marcus Island down to Truk along with the 2 LC carrying them, 2 SRs to have the LC at the Mindanao beachhead bring in a 5-4 TAC from Wake Island to the new airfield there, 3 SRs to have the 9 SURF at Marcus Island bring the HQ, 3-4 INF and 5-6 ARM from the U.S. West Coast box to Marcus, and the last SR to have the LC on Guam bring the 1-3 PARA division there from Wake.

Operations Segment: The first chit drawn is . . .

SOVIET UNION ATTRITION: Red Army forces advance west from Vladivostok and hit the Japanese left flank, but they score only one hit to eliminate a 1-3 INF division.

The next chit drawn is . . .

BRITISH NAVAL: The British 2 CV from Rabaul moves up to Batavia and is engaged by the Japanese 2 CV in the Java Sea.

Neither side scores any hits in air or naval battle, and the carriers reach Batavia undamaged.

The next chit drawn is . . .

BRITISH 14TH HQ OFFENSIVE: British, ANZAC, Indian and African troops attack Bangkok with air support from British and Dutch TAC from Tavoy. The 21-die-to-4 attack gets blitzkrieg bonuses, but once again there’s major miscommunication between units and they don’t score a single hit! The Japanese score one hit on defense to kill a British BRP, but then the Allied ARM and TAC press the attack in exploitation combat and score two hits to eliminate the Siamese 1-0 GAR at Bangkok. That leaves the Japanese 3-3 INF which scores a hit on defense to eliminate another British BRP, but far worse is the blow to the military reputation of the British Empire.

The next chit drawn is . . .

SOVIET 1 FEF OFFENSIVE: Soviet forces advance against the rest of the Japanese line, and begin by making an 11-die-to-4 line attack against the forces guarding the neck of the Darien peninsula.

The attack gets blitzkrieg bonuses, but the Allies seem to be having a major run of bad luck, as it only does two hits to eliminate a Japanese 1-3 INF and 1-3 INF division just south of Shemyang. The Japanese score one hit on defense to eliminate a Soviet BRP, and then the Soviet 3-5 ARM, 2-4 Guards CAV and 2-4 TAC press the attack in exploitation combat and score two hits to eliminate a Japanese 2-3 INF while the Japanese score one hit on defense to kill a Soviet BRP. A 7-die-to-1 Soviet attack farther up the line scores one hit to destroy a 1-3 INF unit.

The next chit drawn is . . .

U.S. AIR EFFORT: LSAC and SAC hit Osaka, Yokohama and Tokyo, and they score seven hits to destroy 7 Japanese BRP.

The next chit drawn is . . .

NATIONALIST CHINA ATTRITION: Kuomintang armies move south and hit the extreme Japanese left flank in China, and the 7-die-to-1 attack destroys a Japanese 1-3 INF and puts the Kuomintang just two hexes away from Hanoi.

The next chit drawn is . . .

U.S. ATTRITION: 3 x 3-4 INF advance out of the Mindanao beachhead and attack the Japanese 2-3 INF at Davao. The Allies finally get a break, with the 9-die-to-2 attack scoring two hits to destroy the Japanese INF unit. The Americans advance and recapture Davao (and Mindanao along with it), and they’ve now got a supplied airbase on the Sulu Sea.

The next chit drawn is . . .

U.S. NAVAL: 5 CV and 6 SURF from Marcus Island and Pearl Harbor sail north to make a naval strike on the Japanese 4 CV at Otamari.

The Japanese 4 SUB in the Sea of Okhotsk control box engages, but neither side scores any hits. Then the carriers attack Otamari and the Japanese score one hit in air battle to kill an American BRP while the Americans score one hit in naval battle to sink a Japanese CV factor. The American force then withdraws, with 3 SURF going to the Mindanao beachhead and 5 CV and 3 SURF going to Truk. A 1 LC at Pearl Harbor then moves to Midway.

The next chit drawn is . . .

JAPANESE GENERAL OFFENSIVE: Japanese armies redeploy on Borneo, in China and along the Korean border. Then the Japanese 5-8 SAC at Kirin makes a strategic bombing attack on Blagoveschensk.

This time it’s only moderately successful, scoring two hits to kill 2 Soviet BRPs. It then pulls back to land at Keijo in Korea.

Then Japanese 8 SURF sail out of Bangkok, rendezvous with 4 CV from Taiwan and Yokohama and sail south to strike the American carriers at Truk (the plan was for the 4 CV at Otamari to join this raid, but the American raid on Otamari made that 4 CV activate to intercept so it’s done for the turn).

The American 2-4 TAC in the Marianas Islands sea zone box engages but scores no hits while the Zeroes score one hit to down a TAC factor, but then the strike goes in and scores no hits! The Japanese force makes port at Kusiae (too many accursed and blasphemous scriptures washing up on the beach at Ponape . . . ), setting up another sea control battle next turn to cut the supply line to Guam and Saipan, disrupt SRs to the Philippines and force any Marines shipping out of Truk to do so under fire.

The reduced and unsupplied Japanese INF at Hollandia makes a run for it on the LC they cobbled together from stolen Dutch fishing boats. They immediately come under fire from the Allied 4 TAC in the Bismarck Sea, which score three hits and obliterate them.

The Japanese then make an 11-die-to-6 line attack on Mao’s center, scoring two hits to one and destroying 2 x 1-2 INF while losing a BRP. They just hold the line in Korea/Manchukuo.

Japan rolls an 11 so there is no operational halt, and the last chit drawn is . . .

COMMUNIST CHINA ATTRITION: Mao has to plug the breach in his own lines, which unfortunately makes it impossible for him to exploit the breach in the extreme northern Japanese flank (outside the three-hex range of the Attrition chit). That was the Japanese plan.

Supply and End Segments: All units are in supply and none need repair. The U.S. voluntarily removes the airfield on Wake Island, units return to base from sea zone boxes (with the British 1-4 TAC in the Solomon Islands landing at Truk) and the turn ends.

At this point I went out to get pizza and Disaster Cat struck:

She must have had a major spaz right in the middle of the board because maps and counters were strewn all over the table and floor.

Once I get back from the grand opening of Triad Gaming in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, this weekend I will clean up this attic, find all the pieces and reconstruct the game from the photos. Until then we’ll regale you with Daily Content on other subjects.

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