|Axis and Allies Campaign|
|PTO 7 Results|
|by David Devere & Tom Maertz|
Pacific Theater of Operations: End of Fall - Winter 1944
Desperate – that is the state of Axis hopes for winning the war. The Japanese have fought bravely but have been ground down by the relentless economic power and superior weaponry of the United States and the United Kingdom. Despite the hopelessness of the Japanese position, their field commanders, ground and naval troops continue to exact a price from the Americans, British and Chinese. Let’s take a look at what happened in last week’s tickets:
Battle No. 66 was in Siam. The Americans swept around in an amphibious attack that resulted in the successful surrender of Siam to the Allies. The margin of victory for this ticket was only by one battle. The fact that this battle was decided by only one ticket proves the tenacity of both sides and that every result does indeed make a difference.
Battle No. 67 was in Manchuria. The Allies had to attack with an all Chinese force. They had 50 more points but were going up against a dug-in and determined Japanese fixed defense. After the dust settled it came down to a tie. The Chinese and Japanese had the exact same number of victories. Ties are determined by which side had the most points remaining. In this case the Japanese had an average of 35 points remaining to the Chinese 33 points. Therefore the Japanese win the battle, however both sides lost so many troops in the battle that none of the remaining points reconstituted back into on-board pieces. The end result – total annihilation.
Battle No. 68 was a British assault into French Indo-China. This was familiar territory for the Brits but this time they were playing for keeps. The British brought 114 points in vehicles to the battle against a mostly Japanese soldier build. How many Japanese 47mm Type 1 antitank guns could an army successfully field and still hope for a win? High Command didn’t receive any detailed battle reports from this engagement to share so we can only answer with the results of the battle. The British won 75% of the battles reported. The Japanese defenders were completely destroyed. French Indo-China will never again be controlled by Japan.
Battle No. 70 in the Philippine Convoy was a must win for the Americans. If the Americans didn’t win this fleet action then the results reported for battle No. 69 would have been nullified. This Fleet Action had the most reports for the entire PTO 7 turn. In the end it resulted in a tie. With equal wins being split by both sides. American Rear Admiral Michael Lyons reported:
Taffy 7.2 and TF 34 report heavy losses in engagement with Japanese task force. Taffy 7.2 reports near total destruction of air group. BB Iowa crippled, CL Reno sunk, all DDs and DEs lost. 7th Fleet PT boats report sinking crippled Myoko class CA. Taffy 7.2 reports crippled Yamato class BB sunk by surviving torpedo planes. Crippled Yamato sunk by a Devastator in a last ditch air strike. The USN had retreated all ships on the same turn.
The Americans, despite receiving a bloody nose from the Japanese, had the most points remaining and therefore took the win. The amphibious assault on the Philippines was secured.
Battle No. 69 for the Philippines was never in question. The Americans stormed ashore and used their technological advantage to blast the Japanese defenders out of their positions. American Lt. Tobias Bär reported: “Calliopes, M105 and a Priest in combination with a Ranger/Marine Detachment proved to be far superior to the Japanese defenders!” The Japanese were able to, just barely, retreat one infantry division into Manila. A last ditch struggle for the city is now inevitable.
In other action around the PTO:
The British have easily retaken Hong Kong from the Japanese garrison. The Royal Air Force staged a raid on Japanese transports and sent one to the bottom but they were overcome themselves by a last minute miracle snake-eyes roll by Japanese Naval High Command. The Japanese navy was also able to prevent the American landings at Bonin Island by sending Kamikaze planes to the defense. An American transport, artillery and Marine division were all lost in the attack. The Americans have a large assault force within striking distance of the Japanese home island and the Japanese navy has been reduced to one transport.
Next week we will look at the results from Europe’s bloody battles and issue the final set of tickets for the PTO.
Previously in the Axis & Allies Campaign: