Battle of Britain campaign – 21st Aug – It’s a game of 2 halves as RAF run out of Sqns late on

Posted: August 21, 2013 in Battle of Britain, RAF, wargames, wargames chrome, West End Games
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IMG_2125 21st Aug AAR – Clear skies

 Today owing to the seriousness of the situation, Fighter Command announced the secondment of 808 Sqn FAA from the Royal Navy’s Ark Royal carrier to 12 Group. The Fleet Air Arm Sqn is commanded Sub-Lt Rupert Claude Tillard of Wimborne and operates Fairey Fulmar aircraft. 600 Sqn has now received its compliment of replacement pilots (reduced training) and will be operational in a few days time.
Fairey Fulmar Mk. I carrier-borne fighter of R...

Fairey Fulmar Mk. I carrier-borne fighter of Royal Navy .(early series) in 1940 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The morning saw large raids met in kind by determined resistance. At 1100 a force of 120 Heinkel He111 & Dornier Do17‘s with 100 Me109 & 110 fighter escorts was detected late heading toward RAF Tangmere. 266 Sqn, 601 Sqn and new boys 1RCAF Sqn arrived just as the bombers ranged over their target. Some damage was inflicted on the station but at a very high cost.  No fewer that 29 enemy raiders were shot down 20 of which were bombers without loss. All the Sqns contributed with 2 pilots from 601 Sqn aka “The millionaires Sqn” achieving particular success. Sqn Ldr The Honourable J “Max” W Aitken notched up 2xMe110’s and 1xHe111 and kept the enemy fighter escort preoccupied while the other pilots set about the bombers  The pick being Flt Lt Sir Archibald Hope who shot down no fewer than 4 bombers, 2xHe111’s and 2xDo17’s.

601 Aitken M  Hon 601 Hope Sir A
 This proved to be the high watermark of the day for the RAF.  At 1400 hrs a formation of 30 bombers and 100 fighters was correctly identified heading toward Foreness RDF.  This time 4 Sqns, 17 Sqn, 151 Sqn, 615 Sqn and the newly rebuilt but inexperienced 65 Sqn intercepted the raid.  4 enemy fighters were destroyed but at the cost of 8 of our own.  However such was the determination of our boys that no bombs fell even remotely close to their target. A gruppe of 25 Me109’s were later observed over Beachy Head but the RAF chose not to engage. At 1700 hrs Rochester undefended, was lightly bombed by an escorted force of 60 Dorniers . At the same time RAF Tangmere was visited for a second time. Unfortunately this time all the patrolling Sqns had landed and were being refuelled when the attackers arrived. Heavy damage occurred, and 2 Sqns were damaged on the ground.  At 1830 hrs 255 aircraft were detected heading toward RAF Hornchurch. However a large proportion failed to rendezvous meaning that just 60 bombers and 25 fighters arrived. 501 Sqn and 303 Sqn (Polish) attempted to foil the attack. 9 bombers were shot down for the loss of 6 of our own mostly Polish who flew very carelessly in their first action.
The day ended thankfully with no damage from the night raiders.
End of day losses

RAF 14, Luftwaffe 42

RAF = 13% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

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

(Cumulative RAF 114, Luftwaffe 228)

Victory point score -1 (Cumulative -26)

Game NotesAnother +2 free VP’s by putting green pilots with the replacement 600 Blenheim Sqn was a no brainer, in fact if I hadn’t taken all those green pilot points I’d now be on minus 33 just 2 points away from total defeat.  As it is I’m still staring down the barrel of a gun but at least I have a small cushion. The free Fulmar Sqn activated today as the VP score was below minus -15 was gratefully received. And so at the start of the day I was pleasantly surprised when the Luftwaffe effort was Normal as oppose ALL OUT.  But owing to the number of attacks for the day it became to all intents and purposes an all out attack.  With the first 2 targets being ones I didn’t want to risk leaving, by 1400 I found myself down some 9 Sqns from the morning, the remainder spread thinly and most on the ground.  Inevitably this led to uncontested or unable to contest raids. At the end I was really suffering and had that feeling that the Luftwaffe were almost playing with me. The lack of real opportunities to destroy enemy units is really hurting me with very few JU87s or raids outside 109 range to get stuck into leaves no chance to pick up any VP’s.  That and a couple of impetuous risks have effectively undone my efforts this time and it just looks like a matter of a few days before the inevitable.   With tomorrow set fair I find my situation even more perilous than this morning with 9 Sqns (4 of which came from being damaged on the ground) still off the board in rest and repair boxes and another 4 fatigued. That leaves just 16 front line Sqns available with a couple of Blenheim, Defiant, the Gladiator and Fulmar units as second line defence, if I roll an ALL OUT attack chances are the defence may well crumble. 

  1. Peter says:

    Ah, another easily overlooked type of aircraft. just read the wikipedia entries for the Fulmar. Do you happen to know why they built such a green house in the middle of that plane? The proportions are rather strange. Without the glass canopy part it would look more like a typical fighter of that era.

  2. simonsmrt says:

    Greenhouse! ha ha. No its a bit of an oddity I know very little about. Probably its range being its redeeming feature but against 109’s…… chance. Still they were there although I don’t think they actually contributed anything. Looking forward to seeing this one painted in my collection in a galaxy a long long time away

    • davesilverthorne says:

      The only thing I can think of is that the greenhouse would aid the all round vision of the navigator in the back. Otherwise it is a mystery. I bet Grant would know…!

  3. simonsmrt says:

    yes, just like when he told the Tank Museum curator everything about his own collection, chortle chortle

  4. t-girl72 says:

    LOL indeed! xxxx

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