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Tanaka's Transports

Pacific Fighters Mission - Coop for 4/8 players


On November 11th, the Japanese assembled a large convoy of merchant vessels, loaded with 7,000 men and enough supplies and ammunition for a month's worth of fighting. And in order to assure the delivery of those supplies, they assembled a very powerful force, centered on the battleships Hiei and Kirishima


Rear-Admiral Tanaka Raizo would escort eleven transports carrying some 7,000 men and tons of ammunition and supplies to Guadalcanal. The Imperial Navy decided the battleships Hiei and Kirishima would smash Henderson with concentrated gunfire a day before the arrival of Tanaka's convoy.


In the darkness of Friday the 13th, 13 ships of the American Navy, engaged two battleships Hiei and Kirishima, a cruiser and 13 destroyers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. When it was done the Americans had lost 1 Light Cruiser and 4 Destroyers sunk, and 2 Heavy Cruisers, 2 Light Cruisers, and 1 Destroyer heavily damaged. The Japanese had 1 Battleship (Hiei); and 2 Destroyers, sunk, and 3 Destroyers damaged.


With only two heavy cruisers the Japanese were unable to do enough damage to the airfield. Henderson Field was still operational the next morning. As a result, the Japanese transports, came under heavy attack.


Multiple missions were flown by Marine SBD Dauntlesses, by SBDs and Avengers from carrier Enterprise which staged through Henderson, and by B-17 Flying Fortresses flying up from Espiritu Santo. against the transports throughout the day.


This is where you come in.


Seven of the transports were sunk- Rear Admiral Tanaka, resolved to land the four surviving transports and any surviving troops on Guadalcanal, regardless of any US resistance.


By early the following morning the four surviving Japanese transports had to beach themselves on the shores of Guadalcanal. All four were destroyed by US aircraft and destroyer attack, with horrendous casualties among the troops they were carrying.


For Japan, it was the end of any hope of wresting Guadalcanal from the Americans. In three days of combat in and around the area, they had lost two battleships, one heavy cruiser, three destroyers and eleven combat transports, not to mention 5,000 infantrymen drowned, and several thousand sailors lost. From this point on, the Japanese would never stop retreating in the Pacific.


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