Battle of Britain campaign – 16th-17th Aug – Bad weather prelude to renewed assault

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Battle of Britain, RAF, wargames, West End Games
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

16th Aug AAR – Overcast, rain and fog

No enemy raiders were encountered today owing to the deteriorating weather conditions.  By early afternoon thick fog rolled in off the Channel over much of the South Coast which was especially thick over Beachy Head with visibility down to less than 50 feet.  RAF Sqns were stood down for the day and given a valuable days overhaul and maintenance.

236 Sqn returning home after in the early hours of the  16th after their successful night-fighter interception.

236 Sqn returning home in the early hours of the 16th after their successful night-fighter interception.

During the night another heavy raid of 240 bombers attempted to infiltrate British airspace.  236 Sqn operating Bristol Blenheims specially fitted for night-fighter duties successfully intercepted 1 Gruppe of He111‘s ( the first such instance of this battle) where they inflicted heavy casualties, accounting for 8 bombers. Having no stomach for the fight, the rest of the enemy formation ditched their bombs indiscriminately and headed for home.

End of day losses

RAF 0, Luftwaffe 8

 

RAF = 0% no day raids

LW = 0% no day raids

(Cumulative RAF 56, Luftwaffe 96)

Victory point score +2 (Cumulative -16)

Game notes A much needed day off allowed most of my Sqns to recover to full strength or re-enter play fatigued at the very least. The successful night-fighter interception also helped cancel out the chances of heavy damage from such a large raid. Another 2 VP’s in the bank helped improve the score for the 2nd day running allowing me to start thinking seriously about when to spend some VP’s bringing another reinforcement sqn.
 
17th Aug AAR – Cloudy
For the 4th time in 5 days the Luftwaffe commenced their attack on RAF Biggin Hill at 0900 with 220 aircraft.  At the same time a smaller force of about 135 aircraft from Luftflotte 3 attacked Weymouth.  The defence of which was considered secondary to that of Biggin Hill and so the port was not afforded any fighter protection. Consequently it received considerable damage and loss of life was high.  However the attack on Biggin Hill was intercepted by 4 Sqns (32 Sqn, 64 Sqn, 141 Sqn and 501 Sqn). The combat was one of the most fierce of the Battle to date with the RAF fighters concentrating their attack on the bombers at the expense of their own safety from enemy fighters.  15 enemy bombers were shot down. 64 Sqn who had already shot down 12 enemy machines in previous engagements were the best of the British Sqns and the 2nd to earn ace status. Sqn Ldr Aeneas Macdonell added 2 Heinkels to take his personal score to 4 just one shy of becoming the first ace of the campaign. Plt Off James J O’Meara also notched up 2 confirmed kills to add to his earlier one. Regrettably Sgt F.F. Vinyard failed to bail out of his Spitfire and was killed when his aircraft crashed south of the airfield.  He had been providing cover to his wingman and was shot down by an Me109. 7 other British Spitfires and Hurricanes were also lost.

Australian War Memorial image P01171.001. Roya...Early in the afternoon small skirmishes took place over Dover between Me110 Fighter-bombers and 65 & 74 Sqns. 3 enemy aircraft were claimed for 2 of our own.  Then at 1800 the now commonplace late raid took place targeting Worth RDF. 90 bombers escorted by 100 fighters arrived once more with virtually no warning. Fortunately 2 Sqns were airborne and in the vicinity and ordered to intercept. 234 Sqn (who had previously accounted for the Ju87 Stuka‘s on the 14th were accompanied by 1 Sqn). Another vicious combat took place, which resulted in 12 enemy aircraft shot down for 4 of our own.  The myth of the Ju88 invincibility was also finally broken as 7 of these supposedly indestructible bombers were downed . Sqn Ldr “Mindy” Blake and Flt Lt Paterson Clarence Hughes both added a confirmed kill each to their tallies (Hughes is now on 4) . Sgt W.W Thompson accounted for 2 to add to his kill on the 14th also.  Despite these successes Worth was put out of action for 2 days.

Night raids caused light damage in some built up areas.

End of day losses

RAF 14, Luftwaffe 30

RAF = 15% of daily committed force (daytime only)

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

(Cumulative RAF 70, Luftwaffe 126)

Victory point score -3 (Cumulative -19)

Game notes This was a tough day. Despite scoring some useful damage and destroying a unit of He111’s my own Sqns also took a battering and I was unable to arrest the VP score dropping again as the bombers kept getting through.  The reinforcement Sqn is once more just out of reach and I seem to be back to the same position I was before the days respite of bad weather with lots of Sqns out of action again and 2 RDF stations also out again.  I find myself hoping for a day of German “Light” effort to allow me to try to recover but its starting to look a bit ominous and I still haven’t been on the receiving end of an ALL OUT attack day yet!
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Comments
  1. Peter says:

    Get those reinforcements – the earlier you have them available, the longer they’re able to make a difference.

    (This piece of advice may be just a german stratagem, of course….) 😉

    • simonsmrt says:

      I’ve been desperately trying to bring them in Peter but with that VP score at minus 19 if I risk spending 3 more VP’s and have an ALL OUT German attack day and a heavy loss of VP’s I’ll be doomed. Sounds like fiendishly cunning German counter intelligence to me!

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