Archive for August, 2014

30th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort – Light – Luftwaffe continue raids against airfields and RDF stations as a prelude to imminent invasion. RAF stretched to breaking point and forced to use increasing numbers of inexperienced replacement pilots.  

Losses RAF 10, Luftwaffe 20

Haphere31st Aug – Clear becoming cloudy then clear again – German Effort – ALL OUT – German forces throw entire weight against RAF in dramatic decisive day.  RAF desperately attempt to stem the tide and bravely fight to the last but are swept away in the maelstrom of battle.  Mosley is released from internment and immediately sets up temporary administration. Churchill with a warrant out for his arrest flees to Welsh mountains promising to organise armed  resistance. German troops land unopposed on English soil and march triumphantly into London.  Subsequent events are recounted in the film “IT HAPPENED HERE”

Losses RAF 23, Luftwaffe 81

Game notes. – The third year and the third successive defeat  which although I managed to prolong the inevitable to a record setting 31st August in the end felt like an absolute humiliation as I lost no less than 25 VP’s in a single day ending up on minus 49 points.  I had played a much more cautious game which although compared to previous games kept me in the game seriously affected my offensive strategy meaning I was nearly always having to react to events as oppose be prepared for them. Critically I was never in a position to bring in many reinforcements. Just 1 Sqn infact. The continual Luftwaffe attention on RDF and airfields meant I was without almost half of my detection stations throughout the game and never able to accurately identify potential easy gruppen to hit.  The airfield damage meant that frequently too many sqns were out of action and I had only a handful to defend with. When I did take risks they progressively ended up in disaster with the worst being losing 3 Sqns destroyed and the raid inflicting heavy damage on an airfield full of fatigued Sqns and then the secondary raid also inflicting heavy damage, 15 VP’s lost in a single raid! Just about every thing that could go wrong did go wrong on the 31st with card draws and dice rolls turning up the worst possible results over and over and over and over and over again.  At the end I was throwing in inexperienced Green Hurricane Sqns and second line aircraft units with inevitable results.  I’m finding it hard not to take this result (especially todays) personally such was the thrashing I got today but as everyone who knows me knows, its not going to put me off and tomorrow I’ll be starting all over again!

P.S. What happened to 111 Sqn? Talk about damp squib all that research for next to no result, typical!  Next year I expect much better things.    

28th Aug – Stormy/rain clearing at midday – German Effort – Light – Single raid against Poling RDF broken up before reaching target. For once weather has hindered RAF’s tactics as rest has allowed Luftwaffe’s fighter arm back to 100% operational capability.

Losses RAF 2, Luftwaffe 7

29th Aug – Cloudy becoming stormy in afternoon – German Effort – ALL OUT – 1100+ enemy aircraft counted crossing Channel towards England. Early morning attacks defeated with heavy loss but sheer weight of numbers eventually tell as RAF Sqns are destroyed later in the day and on the ground as airfields rendered inoperable.  Churchill & Dowding’s resignations demanded. Peace negotiations with German delegation commenced. All but a few diehards in Fighter Coomand accept that total defeat is now inevitable.  

Losses RAF 22, Luftwaffe 72

25th Aug – Stormy – German Effort – Light – No raids due to poor weather conditions.  RAF and Luftwaffe regroup

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 0

26th Aug – Stormy, clearing around midday – German Effort – ALL OUT – Improvement in the afternoon allows Luftflotte 3 to take the fight to the RAF, bombing ports and RDF installations in the West. LF2 stubbornly refuses to make an appearance while fatigued fighter units are repaired. RAF punish LF3’s bombers but fail to stop further damage being inflicted. Campaign rests on a knife edge  

Losses RAF 4, Luftwaffe 32

27th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort – Light – Recently repaired Worth RDF is next listening station to be knocked out long term (3 of 8 RDF posts currently out of action). RAF forced to resort to deploying 2nd Line units thus failing to make most of opportunities presented apart from localised success with Defiant Sqn in new night-fighter role.  

Losses RAF 6, Luftwaffe 15 

GAME NOTE – cop 27 Aug = “best” performance to date with current score at -30. Last year game was lost on 27th when score dropped below -35 cut off point.

22nd Aug – Cloudy – German Effort – Normal – Unexpectedly frequent large raids continue from the day before.  RAF gamely contest in large numbers but despite heaviest Luftwaffe losses in a single day to date, they fail to stop the raids from inflicting further misery. 

Losses RAF 14, Luftwaffe 59

23rd Aug  Clear becoming cloudy around midday – German Effort – Light – Rare single raid by escorted Ju87’s on Foreness RDF as Luftwaffe rests fatigued pilots from previous days efforts.  RAF fail to engage. 

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 0

24th Aug Cloudy becoming clear around midday – German Effort – ALL OUT – Heaviest attacks to date with Luftwaffe committing almost 1000 aircraft in a concerted effort to finally destroy RAF and infrastructure. Fighter escorts typically over 100 strong result in Luftwaffe almost achieving their aims. RAF lose 1/3rd of all aircraft committed, frontline Spitfire and Hurricane Sqns reduced to 50% operational effectiveness. Extreme pressure on Churchill administration as US Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and the Duke of Windsor (the abdicated Edward VIII) speaking from France confirm that the monarchy (under Edward) and British Empire interests will be preserved if the country ceases military action and dissolves its Government in favour of a Fascist led Union under the nominal control of Sir Oswald Mosley answerable only to Berlin. 

Losses RAF 47, Luftwaffe 26

111_Squadron_RAFA Flight 111 Sqn

Red Section – Sqn Ldr JM Thompson (claim 1Ju87), Fg Off M Kellett (claim 2Ju87), Sgt O Kestler (Cz) (shot down & wounded

Yellow Section – Fg Off HM Ferriss, Plt Off Stegman (Pol) (shot down parachuted safely), Sgt CW MacDougal (claim 1Ju87)

B Flight 111 Sqn

Blue Section – Flt Lt DC Bruce, Plt Off JA Walker (Can) (shot down parachuted safely), Sgt PH Waghorn

Green Section – Plt Off JK Kay, Sgt J Robinson, Sgt EE Croker (Nz) (claim 2 Ju87)

As the situation deteriorated, it was now the turn of 111 Sqn to enter the eye of the storm.  Detailed to intercept a German formation targeting Biggin Hill they formed up alongside the 3 remaining fresh Sqns in Sector 11, (54 Spitfire, 264 Defiant & 615 Hurricane) unaware of the catastrophic losses inflicted on 4 Sqns a hour earlier over Foreness. Arriving at their destination, they were redirected to the Sussex coast where the enemy was thought to have diverted to. At a distinct height disadvantage the Sqns changed course to discover that waiting in readiness for them were no fewer than 5 half strength Me109 Gruppen and a further 2 Me110 Gruppen (125 fighter aircraft) escorting a small force of 24 Ju87 Stuka dive-bombers. 

Czech pilot Oldrich Kestler had both legs broken when he attempted to belly land his Hurricane on the beach in order to avoid abandoning his Hurricane to crash over the populated town.

Czech pilot Oldrich Kestler suffered broken legs and back attempting to belly land his Hurricane on the beach in order to avoid abandoning it to crash over the populated town. Photo courtesy – Excellent Czech RAF pilot resource website

The RAF Sqns were caught in an ambush and another massacre began to unfold.  Only 111 Sqn managed to break through the Messerschmitt cordon and engage the Stuka’s.  16 of the 48 RAF fighters were shot down including 2 pilots from 111 Sqn, Blue 2 Plt Off Walker and Red 3 Sgt Kestler. Walker bailed out safely but Kestler attempting to land his machine on the beach suffered 2 broken legs and a broken back as his aircraft somersaulted on impact.  Fortunately he survived the crash but will never fly again.

Finally the Sqn set about the vulnerable Stuka’s, Red section’s two remaining aircraft commenced the attack led by Red 1 Sqn Ldr “Tommy” Thompson shooting up one Ju87 before Red 2 Fg Off Kellett issued the coup de grace sending the Stuka down in flames into the sea. Kellett got a second when he manoeuvred onto the tail of one that had broken formation. Letting rip from just 100 yards the tailplane of the Stuka crumpled under withering and accurate fire causing the aircraft to spin uncontrollably towards the sea.  Yellow Section followed up the attack, Yellow 3 Sgt MacDougal shooting down his first enemy of the campaign.  Yellow 2 Plt Off Stegman was less successful as he closed on the tail of another Stuka. only to receive a number of hits on hit engine cowling from the Stuka’s tail gunner. Stegman’s Hurricane immediately lost power, breaking off, he was forced to bail out as his machine stalled, he landed safely on the shoreline. The remaining Stuka’s had now completely given up any hope of attacking their designated target (Shorncliffe Bks) and had dispersed dropping their bombs indiscriminately. B Flight now commenced their attack with Blue Section going in first and roughing up a number of enemy aircraft. Green section followed up with Green 3 New Zealander Sgt Croker getting on the score board with his first attack from dead astern, the Ju87 exploding in mid air. Chasing another Ju87 just feet above the sea, the pilot of the Stuka attempting to evade his attention flew too low, clipped the sea with his fixed undercarriage and cartwheeled before rapidly sinking.

jm thompson

Commanding Officer of 111 Sqn – Sqn Ldr John Marlow “Tommy” Thompson who joins the elite group of Aces with his 5th kill of his career and first in the Battle of Britain on 24th Aug

Finally as the Messerschmitt fighters began to menace 111 Sqn having broken up the others, the CO Red 1 Sqn Ldr “Tommy” Thompson instructed his unit to head for home.  Seeing a lone damaged Ju87 below him he decided to have one last attempt to register a kill.  With Red 2 Kellett providing cover, Thompson made a dangerous head-on attack emptying his remaining ammunition into the Stuka from 200 yds down to less than 100. As he passed by he saw the pilot was hunched forward. With no other signs of damage coming from the Stuka, the aircraft slowly entered a shallow dive exploding on impact when it crashed into a small copse just off the beach. Significantly this was Thompsons 5th kill of his career earning him “ace” status.

For the finer things in life & a truly stiff upper lip

The Sqn returned to Croydon wildly enthusing about the action and toasting Thompson’s success by presenting him with a jar of his favourite “Captain Fawcett’s gentlemen’s stiffening sandlewood moustache wax” all the while blissfully unaware of the fate of the other Sqns and the critical situation the country was now in.

Such was the ferocity of the battle, that nearly all their surviving Hurricanes required repairs resulting in at least a day off for the pilots while the ground crew made good the damage.

 19th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort – ALL OUT – Highest concentration of raids to date. Heavy losses on both sides including the destruction of 501 Sqn and LG2’s reconnaissance Hs126 Gruppe. RDF continues to fail to deliver seriously affecting, RAF response strategy. Support grows for US Ambassador to the UK, Joseph P. Kennedy’s peace overtures with Germany.

Losses RAF 20, Luftwaffe 41

20th Aug – Clear – German Effort – Light – Fighter sweep over Southampton driven off in force. 

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 2

21st Aug – Clear becoming cloudy in afternoon – German Effort – ALL OUT – Another concerted effort by the Luftwaffe including the largest 270 aircraft raid to date. RAF continued attempts to meet enemy head on resulting in change in Luftwaffe target priorities. Heavy losses received to RAF Sqns engaged in combat as the pay off for keeping the Luftwaffe at bay.    

Losses RAF 18, Luftwaffe 15

111_Squadron_RAFA Flight 111 Sqn

Red Section – Sqn Ldr JM Thompson, Fg Off M Kellett, Sgt O Kestler (Cz)

Yellow Section – Fg Off AGA Fisher, Plt Off Stegman (Pol), Sgt CW MacDougal

B Flight 111 Sqn

Blue Section – Flt Lt SDP Connors, Plt Off J Poplawski (Pol), Sgt RB Sim

Green Section – Plt Off RR Wilson, Sgt R Sellers, Sgt FH Silk

After over a week of uneventful patrolling, 111 Sqn were finally detailed to intercept an unidentified formation heading towards Biggin Hill.  Joining 65 Sqn (Spitfire) they were not detected by the Luftwaffe who turned out to be a Gruppe of Messerschmitt bf109’s. 111 Sqn was detailed to provide cover as 65 Sqn attacked. As such, they did not take part in the ensuing battle that resulted in 5 enemy raiders shot down without loss.


 16th Aug – Clear becoming cloudy. – German Effort – ALL OUT – Airfields targeted and a number of Sqns damaged on the ground. Despite some success for the RAF, poor detection by RDF and Observer Corps severely hampered interception attempts allowing Luftwaffe to bomb with near impunity. British Governments will to fight questioned in the House of Commons  

Losses RAF 5, Luftwaffe 26

17th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort – Light – Luftwaffe regrouping to near 100% full strength. Single heavy raid on Weymouth. RDF failed to detect resulting in more collateral damage. Heaviest night raids of the campaign with 240 bombers. 236 Blenheim Sqn makes first successful night interception downing 3 enemy raiders. 

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 3

18th Aug – Cloudy becoming Stormy – German Effort – Light – Nuisance raids conducted against coastal targets, finally met in force by RAF.  Heavy casualties inflicted but 3rd successive day of ineffectual RDF results in total devastation of South Coast. Calls in the House to agree terms with Hitler’s Germany becoming more vociferous.

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 32    

0-emblem-2_LG2-0AApologies in advance for the suspect German in the heading, no doubt someone will be able to correct.

 14th Aug – Clear becoming cloudy and stormy later in the day. – German Effort Normal – West Country targeted with mixed results. When RAF contested, German losses were heavy.

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 20

15th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort Normal – Luftflotte 3 continued attacks on Western targets causing heavy damage to Weymouth, Bournemouth and Worth RDF as RAF refused to be drawn into battle. Late in the day the Luftwaffe fighter gruppen made nuisance probes in an attempt to draw the RAF out.

Losses RAF 4, Luftwaffe 0

Hanns Trubenbach leading 1/LG2 goes in for the kill against 501 Hurricane Sqn. (Tumbling Dice 1/600 scale bf109 expertly painted by Grant Fettis)

Hanns Trubenbach leading 1/LG2 goes in for the kill against 501 Hurricane Sqn. (Tumbling Dice 1/600 scale bf109 expertly painted by Grant Fettis)

501 Hurricane Sqn was despatched to investigate an unidentified formation heading menacingly towards Rye RDF late in the day. Arriving over their destination they reported no enemy in sight. Suddenly out of the sun the bf109’s of 1/Lehrgeschwader 2 struck.

Hanns Trubenbach celebrating his latest double success on 15th Aug 1940

Hanns Trubenbach celebrating his latest double success on 15th Aug 1940

The lead schwarm led by CO Major Hanns Trübenbach shot down 2 Hurricanes on their first pass. The Hurricanes at a clear height and position disadvantage broke formation, but Trübenbach managed to get on the tail of another Hurricane. Emptying the rest of his 20mm ammunition into his quarry at 170 yards the Hurricane was swiftly despatched breaking up as the pilot futilely attempted to land it on Camber Sands below.  A few minutes later the Gruppe claimed its 4th kill of the engagement before they were forced to head for home low on fuel.