Battle of Britain campaign – 18th-19th Aug – Slow burn becomes inferno as Luftwaffe launch ADLERTAG. Fighter Command left reeling

Posted: August 19, 2013 in Battle of Britain, RAF, wargames, wargames chrome, West End Games
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 18th Aug AAR – Cloudy

No enemy activity today until 1800 when a Gruppe of Me109’s heading towards RAF Biggin Hill bounced 111 Sqn who were returning to base from their patrol.  With the enemy using the advantage of height and with the sun behind them,  the Sqn was badly shot up losing 4 Hurricanes in the engagement before the enemy broke off as reinforcements arrived.

During the night 120 German bombers were detected but no damage was reported on the ground.

End of day losses

RAF 4, Luftwaffe 0

RAF = 16% of daily committed force (daytime only)

LW = 0% of daily committed force (daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 60, Luftwaffe 96)

Victory point score +2 (Cumulative -17)

Game NotesA change in Luftwaffe target priorities had no effect today owing to the light effort from the Luftwaffe.  Annoyingly from the only combat today I still ended up with another Sqn heavily damaged but did pick up more VP’s. Worryingly for tomorrow I have 7 Sqns fatigued which equates to 25% of my entire force while the Luftwaffe are almost at 100% strength.  So fully expecting an ALL OUT attack tomorrow I’m going to risk bringing in another Sqn for the cost of 3 VP’s. Lets hope it doesn’t backfire.

19th Aug AAR – Clear becoming cloudy

The Ministry announced today that all RDF stations were now fully operational. Furthermore, ACM Dowding confirmed that 303 Sqn (Polish volunteers) was also now operational.  They are stationed at RAF Northolt in 11 Group.

Today some 950 enemy aircraft attacked multiple targets in some of the biggest attacks of the campaign to date. Despite losing 50 aircraft to our gallant fighters, it is with regret to announce that 26 of our own aircraft were downed and despite claiming 2 enemies for every one of our own, the population needs to be aware of the gravest of situations facing this island now.  Tomorrow may prove to be the decisive day.

43 Kilmartin JL irAttacks commenced at 0600hrs over RAF Kenley. 1 Sqn, 43 Sqn, 64 Sqn (half strength) and 615 Sqn successfully defending the station claiming 20 enemy shot down for the loss of 4. Plt Off (now acting Flt Lt)  J “Killy” Kilmartin & Sgt HJL Hallowes of 43 Sqn both got their 5th & 6th kills respectively and thus earnt “Ace” status. 2 hours later RAF Tangmere was attacked.  The Sqns patrolling had been ordered to another sector so the base was afforded no fighter cover. But such was the determination of the ack-ack gunners that the enemy could not bomb effectively and no damage was inflicted.

At 0900 Southampton was heavily bombed and damaged while at the same time a small group of 10 no. He59 floatplanes in civilian markings attempted to gain access to the Thames estuary under the pretence of searching for stranded airmen of either nationality.  Fighter Command saw through this ruse asserting that the aircraft were attempting to mine the estuary as well as land enemy agents.  74 Sqn was sent to intercept and after a swift engagement had successfully destroyed the invaders, claiming 7 shot down.  Plt Officer PCF “Paddy” Stevenson was singled out for praise by Flt Lt Adolf “Sailor” Malan who following Sqn Ldr Francis White’s unfortunate injuries when he collided with one of the He59’s will take over as acting C.O.

spare he5974 Stevenson PCF KIA

Unfortunately, events took a turn for the worse at the same time over the Dorset coast where 87 Sqn was destroyed engaging 100+ enemy fighters. Their brave sacrifice had allowed 609 Sqn to attack the Ju87 Stuka‘s attempting to bomb Worth RDF.  Shooting down 9 Stuka’s and 6 Me110 escorts the RDF station was protected but at such a high cost. The sacrifice of the brave men of 87 Sqn will not be forgotten.

Poling was the next RDF station to be attacked, this time the enemy formation of 120 bombers and 150 fighter escorts was not engaged and the RDF station will consequently be out of action for 2 days. Smaller raids over Brooklands and Debden followed but thankfully damage was negligible despite the loss of 2 fighters. The final raid of the day consisted of a force of 120 bombers and 100 fighters that split in two once over the coast and attacked RAF Hornchurch & Faversham. 54 Sqn, 56 Sqn, 65 Sqn (half strength) , 257 Sqn and 264 Sqn raced to intercept.  The 109’s were ready for the assault and only 56 & 264 Sqn broke through the screen. Although 8 He111’s were shot down and Hornchurch was successfully protected, the RAF Sqns engaging the fighters lost 12 aircraft with 65 Sqn sadly being destroyed.

Ineffectual raids continued throughout the night.

End of day losses

RAF 26, Luftwaffe 50

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

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

(Cumulative RAF 100, Luftwaffe 176)

Victory point score -13 (Cumulative -30)

Game NotesToday almost proved to be the knock-out punch by the Luftwaffe. Just about every decision I made ended with the worst possible outcome. To lose 1 Sqn is careless but 2 …..unforgivable. Gods Holy trousers I’m really kicking myself at some of the desperate risks I took today, School boy error stuff but its too late to do anything about it now. Buying that extra reinforcement Sqn for 3 VP’s might also come back to haunt me (note to self don’t take the advice of a German fifth columnist called Peter ever again!) What tomorrow has in store doesn’t fill me with confidence and the 2 destroyed Sqns will have to be brought back with green pilots to help restore some of the points lost today but at the cost of their combat effectiveness. If I am to survive the next few days I’m going to need a large slice of luck and wont be able to take many risks which will probably be just at the time when I really need to. Dang nabbit. 

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Comments
  1. Peter says:

    Hey, where’s your fighting spirit? Without that extra sqn, you’d start at -27 points and a sqn less tomorrow. Would that look so much better?

    Given the results of the past days, there were a lot of results marginally below zero and two days of devastating losses. At -30 you’re still able to suffer one more of the poor days. Of course another disastrous day may lose the whole battle, but that could have happened at -27 points anyway.

    So stop whining and get those squadrons up in the air – even if they’re only kept together by duct tape and spittle!
    (If you need more reinforcements, I could send you two models of 40mm Bofors AA guns, scale 1:285…)

  2. simonsmrt says:

    No more use of fatigued sqns. That’s the coda and its one I’m going to stick to (unless the chips are well and truly down). +4 VP’s using the Green Pilots option for the 2 eliminated Sqns will provide some relief for tomorrow too

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