Battle of Britain campaign – 14th Aug – 234 Sqn take their motto literally “Ignem mortemque despuimus”

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Battle of Britain, RAF, wargames, West End Games
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Aug 14 0.50

Rest and Damage boxes for Aug 14th. 9 Sqns out of action for the RAF

14th Aug AAR – Clear then cloudy

Today the Minister of Aircraft production Lord Beaverbrook was questioned in the House following the revelation that no fewer than 9 Sqns were currently undergoing repairs and were thus not available for defensive patrols. He stated that measures were now in place to ensure the speedier return of damaged Sqns but also stressed that aircraft can only be repaired at the rate of available industry and personnel to effect them.

The first raid of the day occurred at 1000hrs and was yet again not detected by the surviving RDF stations until it was too late.  As a consequence Portsmouth harbour and docks were undefended and suffered some damage.

No further raids occurred until 1700 hours when a force of 30 Dornier Do17‘s with 50 Me109 escorts attacked RAF Biggin Hill. This time although the RDF discovered the raid they were unable to correctly identify the target and composition of the attackers. This resulted resulted in the 4 Sqns who were scrambled to intercept still attempting to achieve altitude when the enemy fighters attacked them. Despite more than 10 of our aircraft being destroyed the 3 Spitfire and Hurricane Sqns (54 Sqn, 615 Sqn & new boys 1RCAF Sqn) managed to occupy the enemy fighters for long enough to allow 141 Sqn flying Boulton Paul Defiants to engage the bombers and claim 4 kills.  However as the bombers were already over their target they inflicted the largest casualties to personnel and equipment on the ground to date.

Aug 14 03

Stuka‘s after their mauling at the hands of 234 Sqn making good their escape and against the rules of warfare fiendishly attack an unarmed lightship off Weymouth.

At 1830 hours following the third successive failed RDF detection of the day another force of unidentified enemy aircraft was eventually spotted off the Devon coast.  Only 234 Sqn was in the vicinity and capable of intercepting which they were duly ordered to do.  On discovering their quarry to be 75 of the Luftwaffe’s vaunted Stuka’s with some 90 Me109 escorts the odds appeared to be stacked against them.  Not without justification is this Sqns motto “Ignem mortemque despuimus” which translates as “WE SPIT FIRE AND DEATH”. Tearing through the fighter escort they cut the Stuka’s to pieces claiming 14 as well as 5 of the 109’s without loss. Such was the ferocity of the attack that the enemy bombers yet to attack the harbour turned tail and in a fit of rank cowardice vengefully attacked a lightship on their way back killing many of the unarmed sailors. Sqn Ldr “Mindy” Blake bagged 2 Me109’s while the newer pilots set about the Stuka’s. Australian Flt Lt Paterson Clarence Hughes the pick of the bunch with 3 Ju87’s to his name. When asked what the combat was like he replied in a broad antipodean accent “like shooting rats in a barrel mate”

Night raids hit various industrial centres in the Bristol area affecting output of replacement Blenheim night-fighters.

Australian War Memorial image P01171.001. Roya...

Australian War Memorial image P01171.001. Royal Australian Air Force pilot Paterson Clarence Hughes in 1940. Hughes was the top-scoring Australian pilot in the Battle of Britain and was killed in action on 7 September 1940. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

End of day losses

RAF 15, Luftwaffe 23.

RAF = 25% of daily committed force (daytime only)

LW = 5% of daily committed force (daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 50, Luftwaffe 83)

Victory point score -2 (Cumulative -20)

Game notes Another series of shambolic dice rolls when attempting detection of enemy raids once more compromised my day and to some extent my strategy.  For the first time ever I even considered giving in and starting again before realising that having already written 3 days narrative I couldn’t re-write history as it was all already on recordSo it was time to knuckle down and take the medicine.  Having left the first raid owing to not knowing its strength I decided to throw the kitchen sink at the Biggin Hill attack and almost exploded with a tirade of four letter expletives when my precious Sqns were mauled and the Station was bombed into without mercy.  Then what makes this game so good, a complete change of fortune. In desperation I put up a single Sqn of 12 Spitfires against an unidentified enemy approaching Weymouth. 4 x109 Gruppen meant that the Sqn was odds on to be wiped out. But NO, not only do they survive the 90no. marauding 109’s but they rip into the Stuka’s destroying 1 unit and giving me my first real VP’s of the Campaign as well as disrupting the bombing as well. RESULT! So refreshed after that and despite the parlous state of the VP score and a lack of Sqns available for tomorrow I re-enter the fray with renewed vigour and confidence.  “Through adversity to the stars” Per ardua astra.   
  1. […] Battle of Britain campaign – 14th Aug – 234 Sqn take their motto literally “Ignem … ( […]

  2. Peter says:

    If your RDF stations discover a german plane heading for Cardiff on August 31st, please don’t send your Spitfire squadrons that way. It would really ruin my holiday to be shot down by british aircraft… 😉

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