I wouldn’t worry too much about defending the bombers. Those planes are committing suicide. I would even lose the fighters and tacs before the bombers so then I don’t have to move my carriers to z104 - going out Panama is much better. A naval base in Panama and new planes in western US puts a strong carrier force in Hawaii the following turn.
I actually tried the Soviet subs idea once and learned that they have a rough time against the destroyer and fighters before the American airstrike. Right after the airstrike, though would be a great time for the British subs to finish off anything left alfoat. Iceland bomber and planes from Scotland/Eireland too. Or, the subs can always sit there in z109 and convoy raid.
Here’s why I use the Russian SS:
A: Land a hit and Tip the BB.
B: Get lucky with 2 hits and German player can make the mistake of tipping the CV too (German players aren’t used to preserving their CV for Ftrs to land on).
With that lucky roll, Germans make mistake of not landing on London means they can only scramble up to 3 Ftr if they bought an AB in Holland. Or even better, if they SBR that AB on London earlier, they can’t scramble from it even if they DO land on London.
If the German player didn’t place any DD in SZ110 from Normandy, then if they take the DD as a second casualty, the UK subs can’t be hit by German aircraft.
Basically I’m willing to hope for a single hit, and get lucky with misplays by the German Admiral unaccustomed to preserving his fleet properly.