Battle of Britain campaign – 26th Aug – RDF stations targeted before change in Luftwaffe target priorites

Posted: August 26, 2013 in Battle of Britain, RAF, wargames, wargames chrome, West End Games
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The attack on Biggin Hill, 64 & 151 Sqn take on the Me109's while 141 and 264 Defiants engage the bombers

The attack on Biggin Hill, 64 & 151 Sqn take on the Me109’s while 141 and 264 Defiants engage the bombers

26th Aug AAR – Cloudy, clearing by 1100

Once again the Luftwaffe targeted the RDF stations on the South coast beginning with a lightning low level attack followed by one of the largest single raids of the campaign to date.  At 1000 hrs a force of 25 elite Me110 Jabo bombers flew in low over the Channel affording our defences little time to respond.  Our own elite 266 Sqn did manage to scramble but were disadvantaged from the start as they had no time to form up.  They did however manage to distract the enemy attacks and successfully defend Beachy Head but at a heavy cost of 4 of our own fighters. The Sqn Ldr, RL Wikinson , Flt Lt SH Batley &  Sgt RH Gretton all perished in the action.  The Sqn will now be commanded by Sqn Ldr Patrick Geraint “Jamie” Jameson, a New Zealander who joined the RAF in 1936. He has accumulated 2 of the Sqns kills to date.  At 1100 a formation of 110 Ju88’s and Ju87 Stuka dive-bombers with a massive fighter escort of 175 Me109’s attacked Foreness RDF.  The formation was unmolested as not enough Sqns were available to make an effective attack. The station received light damage but will be fully operational tomorrow. The next attacks commenced at 1600 this time over RAF Biggin Hill.  A mixed force of 120 Ju88’s and He111’s with a small escort of just 25 Me109’s were accurately detected. Ace 64 Sqn (Spitfire) on their first sortie since the loss of their CO (Sqn Ldr A Macdonell) led the attack under Sqn Ldr Norman Cyril Odbert and were joined by 141 Sqn (Defiant), 151 Sqn (Hurricane) and 264 Sqn (Defiant). The expert pilots of 64 Sqn made short work of the fighter escort shooting down 5 Me109’s before destroying a gruppe of Ju88’s. The new CO claimed his first, a Ju88 and no fewer than 4 Sqn pilots now have 3 or 4 kills each.  Plt Off J J O’Meara (3), Plt Off A.F. Laws (3), Plt Off AG Donohue (American with Canadian citizenship) (3), Sgt GW Scott (4).  Unfortunately the Boulton Paul Defiant Sqns were totally ineffective against the remaining bombers. 2 of their number were lost along with 2 Hurricanes although only light damage was done to the airfield.  RAF North Weald was next on the Luftwaffe’s agenda, with 25 more elite Me110 Jabo’s protected by 25 Me109’s. 257 Sqn was scrambled but were shot up badly. Sqn Ldr H Harkness commanding the Sqn failed to return and is presumed lost over the estuary. Command of the Sqn is now placed in the hands of Sqn Ldr Robert “Bob” Stanford Tuck who has transferred from non-operational 92 Sqn.  Moreover, 25 Sqn who were preparing for night patrols were damaged on the ground and could not participate in attempting to intercept any enemy night raiders.  
Aug 26-27 01During the night the enemy still showed either a reluctance or inability to send over large numbers but his attacks on London did cause some damage.   
End of day losses
RAF 13, Luftwaffe 11
RAF = 18% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 2% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 169, Luftwaffe 321)

Victory point score 0 (Cumulative -30)

Game NotesA couple of missed opportunites where I had the chance to do real damage for once ended up with the day being another stalemate although losing 18% of my committed forces and 4 Sqns to rest boxes compared to the meagre losses of the Luftwaffe despite eliminating a gruppe of Ju88’s basically made today feel like another defeat. The Biggin raid should have yielded at least 2 and potentially 3 destroyed gruppen but I had to make do with just one and take a point of bomb damage for good measure so the 2 VP gain was cancelled out almost immediately.

My night patrols are turning into a shambolic mess with only 1 successful interception in 2 weeks. The early loss of 600 Sqn (the only ones fitted with aircraft detecting radar) has been more keenly felt than originally envisaged and nullifying the night attacks has proven to be almost impossible so far. Now that 600 Sqn are back I’m hoping that if I can avoid getting damaged on the ground I might have a bit more success in that department. The change of the Luftwaffe’s target priorities might finally help out my beleaguered RDF stations and airfields, how long they stick to targeting Industry & Ports is anyone’s guess.   


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