Battle of Britain campaign – 13th Aug – RDF receivers sabotaged, Fifth Column suspected. Situation worsens

Posted: August 13, 2013 in Battle of Britain, RAF, wargames, West End Games
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Aug 13 01 Kent-CroyRAF – THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN – West End Games

13th Aug AAR – Cloudy

ANNOUNCEMENT – After another day where the RDF stations were targeted and once more failed to accurately identify incoming enemy attacks until the last minute it can now be revealed that in a new twist to hostilities dastardly enemy Fifth Columnnist agents are suspected to have been tampering the RDF receiver sets thus rendering the UHF/VHF frequencies used to detect the enemy next to useless.  Steps are now in place to ensure that this doesn’t happen again but the public are once more reminded to be ever vigilant of unsavoury types whether they be parachutists disguised as nuns or other sinister suspicious types speaking broken English and carrying little black books.

In light of the above, the detection of enemy formations was compromised until late afternoon. RAF North Weald & the town of Southend were bombed early this morning flying over their targets without opposition. Damage was very light, “Rumours” nightclub received a direct hit but no fatalities were reported.

At 0900 a formation comprising 60 bombers escorted by 125 fighters flew over RAF Tangmere with very little warning. 43 Sqn only just managed to get airborne and the 12 fighters were immediately embroiled in a vicious battle against a more numerous enemy. In testament to our pilots superior ability against such odds they managed to account for 15 enemy aircraft (12 Me110’s & 3 He111’s)  for the loss of just 2 aircraft.  Flt Lt J I Kilmartin an Irish volunteer and Sgt H J L Hallowes both claimed 3 Me110’s each. The Sqn Ldr, JVC Badger also claimed 2 unconfirmed kills. Despite these heroics and owing to the late warning, the airfield was heavily damaged and large casualties to ground crew were received. 266 Sqn was also damaged on the ground having had insufficient time to scramble.

At 1100 a large formation of 250 aircraft arrived undetected over Poling RDF on the Isle of Wight.  Significant damage was inflicted on the station which will be out of action for 5 days while repairs are being made.

At 1700 the RDF network finally picked up a formation in good time heading toward the Kent.  RAF Biggin Hill was the target but despite 5 Sqns being detailed to intercept a confused fighter aerial battle ensued allowing the bombers to get through.  At the end of the raid, 10 of our fighters had been lost for only 5 enemy machines. The airfield and another Sqn on the ground also received damage.

600 Grice DN KIAFinally in the last hours of daylight another formation of enemy raiders appeared over the Sussex coast. Yet again the RDF failed to pick up their quarry which was targeted actually targeted on the RDF station itself.  Most Sqns had landed at this time their patrols finished, the only unit capable of intercepting being that of 600 Sqn operating in twin engine Bristol Blenheims.  Ordered to intercept and protect the RDF station at all costs it is with regret to announce that this unit was destroyed in the course of the action. Only 4 of the 10 aircraft returned all badly damaged, Sqn Ldr D de B Clark who himself was grievously wounded stated that if it hadn’t been for the self sacrificing heroics of Fg Off D N Grice (see attachment left) the entire Sqn would have been destroyed.  The enemy force comprised 15 bombers and 50 Me109 fighter escorts.  With the advantage of height and superior performance they descended on the 10 Blenheims while they were attempting to gain altitude. The action quickly became a rout and it was at this time that Grice steered his machine directly into the centre of the enemy swarm in a gallant attempt to divert attention from the surviving Blenheims who were attempting to extricate themselves and make good their escape. Damage to Rye RDF was consequently not as heavy as was expected although the station will be out of action until 15th Aug.

Night raids continued to intensify with light damage inflicted across the South East.

Finally 1RCAF (Royal Canadian airforce) arrived at RAF Northolt and will be ready to participate in active patrols as from tomorrow 14th Aug.

End of day losses RAF 18, Luftwaffe 20.

RAF = 22% of daily committed force (daytime only)

LW =  3% of daily committed force (daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 35, Luftwaffe 60)

Victory point score -15 (Cumulative -18)

Game notes What started out a bad day eventually unravelled into an unmitigated disaster following my usual pathetic dice rolls.  Only 1 of the first 9 raids had benefitted from a decent detection roll. So looking at the dice it dawned on me that I should be using a blue one (RAF colours after all) as oppose the red one.  They were duly switched and the subliminal message from the dice gods proved right as I immediately rolled a 5 on the next detection roll. 
The poor detection rolls effectively curtailed my attempts to send in a big wing against the enemy formations.  Even when I did manage to put up a strong force over Biggin Hill my luck (what luck?) deserted me and I actually took heavier casualties than inflicted.  Then the final straw, first a Patrolling Sqns Land event then with almost the entire Luftwaffe’s LF2 force fatigued they decide to have yet another go at a RDF target. Not wanting to let another station get knocked out and with the knowledge that this could be my best chance to eliminate some units, 3 of the 4 Gruppen arrived over Rye fatigued but my detection roll of “1” meant that only a Blenheim Sqn was in range to intercept. Against my better judgement I decided to risk them hoping to get through and knock out the bombers. No such luck, another 1 was rolled and the Blenheims were massacred. 15 VP’s lost in a single day, another 2 days like this and it will be all over in less than a week. It gets worse as I find myself with 9 Sqns out of action being repaired, leaving me with just 18 front line Sqns ready with a handful of second line units for tomorrow against a virtually intact enemy.  The choice to expend 3 VP ‘s for a reinforcement Sqn might have been taken prematurely too but with no chance of adding any more for the foreseeable future at least I have that 1 extra sqn.  Dark days ahead, hopefully tomorrow will provide me with a change in fortune.

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