Early returns suggest that the Nipponese Army, during its extended tour of East Asia, has lost its edge. It would appear that raping the entire female population of Nanjing, and bayoneting helpless Filipino villagers, does not translate into actual military competence. The Nipponese Army is still trying to work out some way to kill, say, a hundred American Marines without losing, say, five hundred of its own soldiers.
The Japanese Navy is a different story - they know what they are doing. They have Yamamoto. They have torpedoes that actually explode when they strike their targets, in stark contrast to the American models which do nothing but scratch the paint of the Japanese ships and then sink apologetically. Yamamoto just made another attempt to wipe out the American fleet off the Santa Cruz Islands, sank Hornet and blew a nice hole in Enterprise. But he lost a third of his planes. Watching the Japanese rack up losses, Waterhouse wonders if anyone in Tokyo has bothered to break out the abacus and run the numbers on this Second World War thing.
The Allies are doing some math of their own, and they are scared shitless. There are 100 German U-boats in the Atlantic now, operating mostly from Lorient and Bordeaux, and they are slaughtering convoys in the North Atlantic with such efficiency that it's not even combat, just a Lusitanian-level murder spree. They are on a pace to sink something like a million tons of shipping this month, which Waterhouse cannot really comprehend. He tries to think of a ton as being roughly equivalent to a car, and then tries to imagine America and Canada going out into the middle of the Atlantic and simply dropping a million cars in the the ocean - just in November. Sheesh!