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Battle for Formosa

October 1944, Task Force 38 is full steam ahead for the Japanese home islands in preparation to launch air strikes against the Nansei Islands (Ryukyu), Formosa, and Luzon. While the Japanese are preparing, and planning for a decisive battle on Luzon, Task Force 38, under the command of Admiral Halsey, launches an attack on the Nansei Island chain.

With the unexpected attack this drastically changes Japanese plans for Luzon. Under the command of Admiral Toyoda, the Japanese realize that an opportunity has presented itself to deal a crippling blow to the US Third Fleet, one that had not been achieved since Pearl Harbor. Under Toyoda's orders all available Japanese aircraft in the area were ordered to stand by for an attack on the American Third Fleet. In total, Toyoda had roughly 1,400 Japanese Army and Navy fighter, and bombers at his disposal. 

Halsey's Task Group included: 

Task Group 38.1 (TG 38.1): USS Cowpens, USS Hornet, USS Monterey, USS Wasp

Task Group 38.2 (TG 38.2): USS Bunker Hill, USS Cabot (detached) USS Hancock, USS Independence,USS Intrepid 

Task Group 38.3 (TG 38.3): USS Essex, USS Langley, USS Lexington, USS Princeton

Task Group 38.4 (TG 38.4): USS Belleau Wood, USS Enterprise, USS Franklin, USS San Jacinto

As well as six battleships, four heavy cruisers, eleven light cruisers and fifty seven destroyers.

The battle would range from October 10th-20th, with some of the fighting taking place in the middle of a Typhoon. With the Japanese attacking almost daily, and flying multiple sorties against the constantly moving American fleet, navy fighters had a field day against the Japanese claiming over 500 destroyed in the ten days of operation. The Japanese would claim,”

Sunk: 11 carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 1 destroyer (or light cruiser).

Damaged: 8 carriers, 2 battleships, 4 cruisers, 1 destroyer (or light cruiser), 13 unidentified ships. In addition, at least 12 other ships set afire. (Formosa Air Battle, Page 362, Reports of General MacArthur)"

With more reports coming in from different Japanese pilots, claiming to have seen the Third Fleet burning, the high command started to believe they actually had dealt a crippling blow to American Naval, and Air Power in the pacific. In reality, very few American ships were damaged at the cost of 312 Japanese planes lost (Formosa Air Battle, Page 363). With the loss of 300 plus aircraft and their crew, would greatly effect Japanese operations around Formosa, Luzon, and the Okinawa area. The Japanese were in the process of celebrating their reported Victory, believing they had destroyed the Third Fleet; which would halt the invasion of the Philippines. Alas, reality set in on October 20th, when Japanese High Command received word that an American Invasion fleet had landed on Leyte. 

Country Percentages:

Axis 50%
Allied 50%

Axis (IJN/IJAAF)                                          Axis Field Assignments (ALL IJN/IJAAF are available)

                                                                    A17, A18, A19, A22, A90, A91

Ki-84 (max of 40)
Ki-61 (Max of 20)
A6M5b (Min of 12)
Ki-67 (min of 12 players)


Allied (USN)                                               Allied Field Assignments (ALL USN aircraft are available):

F4U-1D (Max of 20)                                   C73 USS Cowpens                                                     

F6F-5 (Max of 40)                                      C74 USS Bunker Hill                                         

TBM-3 (Min of 12)                                      C75 USS Intrepid                                        


FM2     (Min of 12)                                      C76 USS Essex   

                                                                   C77 USS Enterprise                                 

                                                                    C78 USS San Jacinto                                     


Special Rules and Ordnance Restrictions:

* Formations are enabled (but not required) for all bombers permitted to use them. 

All American aircraft have the 1000lb bomb disabled. 


Aircraft Pts

Twin engined aircraft = 15 Pts

TBM/ = 20 pts
Fighter = 5 pts

Ground Target Pts

Gun = 1 pt
Ammo Bunker = 3 pts
Barracks = 3 pts
Radar = 3 pts
Vehicle Hangar = 25 pts
Fighter Hangar = 25pts
Bomber Hangar = 25 pts
Destroyer = 50 pts
Cruiser = 100 pts

Battleship= 150 pts
Carrier = 200 pts

Arena Settings:

- Luzon terrain
- Fuel burn 1.0
- Icons friendly 3k/enemy 3k
- 0.3 Ack
- Fighter and Bomber warning range 42,000 (about 8 miles)
- Tower range set to 42,000 (for display only to match the above setting)
- Haze/fog full visibility (8 miles)

-Clouds scattered
- Radar off
- Enemy collisions on
- Friendly collisions off
- Killshooter off
- Time: 15:00 ( 3PM ) Game Clock
- Formations: On
- Bomber calibration: Automatic (MA Standard)

- Wind: 0-10K NW TO SE - Speed 5
            10K-18K W TO E - Speed 10

            18K-20K N to S- Speed 15
             20K Downdraft 

Designer's Notes:

This FSO is designed to follow the air battles that took place over Formosa (Taiwan). Until the terrain becomes available, the Luzon Terrain will be substituted. 

Sources used:

Leyte, June 1944 – January 1945, https://books.google.com/booksid=9AR7jpjL1TsC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=battle+for+formosa&source=bl&ots=cqL5ooBrZv&sig=cYZ6Z_nw2nKO4BUPHFT0DOfDss0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjikIrWwuTYAhVmluAKHUeSAIgQ6AEIXDAI#v=onepage&q=battle%20for%20formosa&f=false

MacArthur’s Reports, https://history.army.mil/books/wwii/MacArthur%20Reports/MacArthur%20V2%20P1/ch12.htm

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