Archive for the ‘West End Games’ Category

With the overall situation delicately poised, as the RAF just managed to keep the Lufwaffe at bay, after the Sqns success on the 25th Aug, it was inevitable that sooner or later their luck would change.

On 27th the war was brought once more painfully back to the carefee minds of the pilots, mercifully it was not as bad as it could have been. The Sqn was vectored towards RAF Kenley and ordered to link up with 43 Hurricane Sqn and the newly formed 616 Spitfire Sqn. The enemy strength was estimated to be 175+ but the composition was not known thanks to the persistent cloud. Just as the Sqn approached Kenley Fg Off John Pattison called over the RT in a braad Antipodean accent “This is Yellow Leader, BANDITS! swarms of the sods!” A mixed force of Heinkel He111 and Junkers Ju87b Stuka dive bombers were approaching from the South. Undetected were the 100 or so Messerschmitt bf109 fighter escorts a few thousand feet above hidden in the cloud. As Yellow Section led the Sqn toward the bomber formation the 109’s broke cover and set on the unsuspecting Spitfires.

Harry Prowse - 266 Sqn's 2nd combat death (BoB Monument)

Harry Prowse – The second pilot from 266 Sqn killed in action (BoB Monument)

A bitter dogfight ensued as the pilots of 266 Sqn attempted to react. Pattison’s Spitfire was soon shot up and losing power after the glycol tank ruptured. Now a sitting duck he chose to bale for the second time in his life landing safely in a field amongst the freshly harvested hay bales. Wilkinson led Red Section to assist but not before the Sqns second most experienced pilot, Yellow 2 Plt Off Colin Logan was also shot down (also for the second time). His aircraft on fire he managed to crash land and jump out before the Spit burned out. South African Plt Off Michael Rowland Hill addressed the balance slightly shooting down one of the enemy but 2 more Spitfires were shot down before the Sqn broke off leaving the bombers to attack Kenley with impunity. Sgt Ronald Barraclough parachuted safely but Red 3 Plt Off Harry Arthur Robin Prowse was not so lucky. Possibly wounded by enemy fire he went down with his Spitfire crashing a short distance from the airfield. He was the Sqns 2nd casualty.

30th Aug – 2 Days later the Sqn had the opportunity to even the score when they intercepted a group of 25 Bf110’s about to strafe the Spitfire factory at Southampton. The Sqn was made up as follows:-

Sqn Ldr Wilkinson (2 kills) Red 1, Plt Off E Wells (1 kill) Red 2, Plt Off R Roach (rookie) Red 3

Flt Lt S Bazley (2 kills) Blue 1, Plt Off M Hill (4 kills) Blue 2, Sgt D Kingaby (4 kills) Blue 3

Sub Lt H Greenshields Yellow 1, Plt Off C Logan (2 kills) Yellow 2, Sgt A Eade (1 kill) Yellow 3

Fg Off N Burnett (4 kills) Green 1, Plt Off J Soden (4 kills) Green 2, Sgt R Barraclough (1 kill) Green 3

B4HP5M RAF Pilots scramble during th Battle of Britain Conflict World War Two Pilots Running Aircraft Fighter Supermarine Spitfire Airf

Plt Off Hill (obscured) and other pilots scramble

With no fighter escort, the Bf110’s had to break off their attack and form a defensive circle for mutual support. Wilkinson led Red section into the attack. Catching one of the bf110’s in his sights as it circled away he scored multiple hits. Instructing his rookie wingman to follow, Wilkinson displayed a masterclass of how to keep on your quarry’s tail eventually finishing off the 110 over the sea. All the other sections also registered successes as another Sqn #19 Spitfire also joined in. The toasts for the day back at the Jackdaw Inn however went to Plt Off Michael Roland Hill, a native of South Africa who on his 2nd successive combat sortie shot down another enemy aircraft. With his score now confirmed on 5 he was the first official ace of 266 (Rhodesia) Sqn.




With 2 more Sqns destroyed the day before, the strain on the remaining pilots and Sqn’s was beginning to tell. 266 Sqn were required to step into the breach with increasing regularity.

On 25th Aug, 266 Sqn and 3 other Sqns were vectored toward a 150+ enemy force approaching their home airfield of RAF Tangmere. Joining them were 43 Hurricane and 601 Hurricane from the same sector and 152 Spitfire Sqn from Middle Wallop.

Sqn Ldr Wilkinson elected to bring along a number of novice pilots and the 3 surviving pilots who had been shot down during the Sqns first encounter hoping that the large number of RAF fighters intercepting the raid would allow his pilots to gain some experience in a safer environment. However as they approached the enemy formation it became evident that the enemy fighter cover was strong.

266 Sqn pilots participating:-

Sqn Ldr R L Wilkinson – Red 1 (2 kills), Plt Off R H Thomas – Red 2, Plt Off W A Middleton – Red 3

Flt Lt S Bazley – Blue 1 (1 kill), Plt Off B E Tucker – Blue 2, Sgt A M MacGregor – Blue 3

Sub Lt H L Greenshields, – Yellow 1, Plt Off C Logan – Yellow 2 (1 kill), Sgt F B Hawley – Yellow 3

Fg Off J G Pattison – Green 1, Plt Off E W Cale – Green 2, Sgt R G V Barraclough – Green 3

266 and 152 Sqns attacked one fighter gruppe together providing mutual protection. They also had the advantage of height and surprise spotting the enemy aircraft before they were seen. The RT crackled into life then over the intercom came the familiar words from Wilkinson “Red Leader to Red Section, Bandits at Angels One Five, Tally Ho, Tally Ho”


Wiggy Middleton “chuffed to bits” after his 2 confirmed kills (BoB Monument)

Red 3, Plt Off William “Wiggy” Middleton, a New Zealander from Auckland struck first. Giving the Bf109 a burst from above and behind he saw it spin down and crash in the fields below. Blue 3 Sgt MacGregor and Yellow 3 Sgt Hawley also notched up a 109 each. Breaking through the fighter screen it was onto the bombers. 266 Sqn went after a Gruppe of 25 Ju88’s. Middleton was again on the mark firing a number of bursts into one of the bombers and following it through the cloud before finishing it off with the last of his ammunition.

Frederick Bernard Hawley, from grocers assistant to Sqn marksman (BoB monument)

Frederick Bernard Hawley, from grocers assistant to Sqn marksman (BoB monument)

Yellow 3 Sgt Frederick Bernard Hawley a Coventry Grocers assistant by trade also got his second kill when he fired a deflection burst into a Ju88. It half rolled and dived steeply thorough 10000ft with Hawley in hot pursuit. As it began to pull up, Hawley fired again forcing it to dive for safety once more. Following it down to 500ft he fired intermittently until the bomber impacted on the surface. None of the crew managed to bale out.

All told the Sqn claimed 10 of the enemy, 3 Bf109’s and 7 Ju88’s. A total of 23 were shot down by all sqns without loss. A shot in the arm for the entire Nation after the disaster of the 22nd Aug when late in the day 2 Sqns were destroyed as the Luftwaffe began to tighten the noose. The overall situation may have looked serious but for now the pilots of 266 Sqn were having a ball.

As the battle continued the RAF were managing to hold their own but news that 2 Sqns had been destroyed defending Southend threatened to allow the Luftwaffe to regain the initiative.

266 Sqn were scrambled late in the day just one day after their previous heroics and over the English Channel they spotted a small force of 15 unescorted Heinkel He111 bombers heading towards Beachy Head. The pilots who participated in this attack were:-

Sqn Ldr R Wilkinson – Red 1, Plt Off R Trousdale – Red 2, Plt Off E Cale – Red 3

Flt Lt S Bazley – Blue 1, Plt Off M Hill – Blue 2, Sgt A MacGregor – Blue 3

Fg Off D Ashton – Yellow 1, Plt Off C Logan – Yellow 2, Sgt R Boswell – Yellow 3

Fg Off N Burnett – Green 1, Plt Off J. Soden – Green 2, Sgt A Eade – Green 3

Wilkinson detailed Yellow section to provide top cover in case enemy bandits appeared on the scene while he led the attack with Red section. Selecting a target he approached a Heinkel below from astern and when less than 150 yards gave the bomber a quick burst raking the fuselage and port wing. Large pieces broke off the engine which spluttered and then stopped, the bomber losing height banked for home but Wilkinson was directly behind and let rip with another burst of witheringly accurate, this time enough to send the bomber diving headlong into the sea and taking his “score” to 2. Blue Section had the greatest success of the day claiming 4 shot down 3 of which were at the expert hands of South African Plt Off Michael Rowland Hill.

Flt Lt Sidney Bazley. Opened his account with a He111 on 20th Aug

Flt Lt Sidney Bazley. Opened his account with a He111 on 20th Aug (BoB monument)

Blue Leader, Lancastrian sports car enthusiast Flt Lt Sidney Howarth Bazley claimed the other from a head on attack. At the end of the action 10 Heinkels had been shot down without loss. That night Wilkinson took the entire Sqn down to the local Jackdaw Inn for a celebratory evening of high jinks and carousing with the local ladies.


Bazley “rocking up” at the Jackdaw ready to party hard.

2 days later, on the 22nd the Sqn was once more in action intercepting a Gruppe of Messerschmitt bf110’s who were reconnoitring the Isle Of Wight RDF station at Ventnor. Luckily for the Germans, the cloudy weather allowed them to break off and hide in the cloud after being set upon by Wilkinson and the boys. 3 of their number were not so fortunate and were added to the Sqns list of kills which now stood at 25.

John Flewelling Soden notched his 3rd(He111) and 4th (B110) kills on these 2 days

John Flewelling Soden notched his 3rd (He111) and 4th (Bf110) kills on these 2 days. (BoB monument)

Plt Off John Flewelling Soden was among the RAF pilots with another kill to his name. He had shot down enemy aircraft in every one of his previous actions and now had 4 kills to his name, just 1 shy of ace status.

266 sqnAfter what seemed an interminable wait, 266 Sqn finally got off the mark on the 18th Aug but not before receiving a sharp lesson 3 days before.

On the 15th Aug, the Sqn was on patrol over the Sussex coast when they were vectored towards Beachy Head. At about 1000 hrs the crack Luftwaffe bf110 unit Erprobungsgruppe 210 led by Hptm Walter Rubensdörffer dived out of the sun onto the tails of the unsuspecting pilots of 266 Sqn. In a few seconds, 2 Spitfires were plummeting towards the sea. Fg Off John Pattison leading Green section in the rear (the most senior of the 5 New Zealanders in the unit) managed to bail out but landed before his parachute had had time to fully deploy. He was taken to nearby Eastbourne hospital for treatment. Plt Off Colin Logan also bailed out too low for his parachute to open but fortunately he landed in the sea and had a short swim back to the coast. Meanwhile Blue Section led by Flt Lt Nigel Bowen became separated from the rest of the Sqn and were overwhelmed. Bowen appeared to lose control of his Spitfire which smashed into the shingle at the bottom of the cliffs. He was killed instantly. His wingman Blue 3 Sgt MacGregor was also shot down but ditched in the sea and swam safely to shore. Then just as suddenly the enemy were gone leaving the remaining pilots to gaze in disbelief at the wreckage below them of their comrades aircraft. It was a salutary lesson for Sqn Ldr Wilkinson leading his Sqn into action for the first time and one that would drive him and the rest of the Sqn to seek swift revenge.

3 days later it was to come when on the 18th they joined 43 (Hurricane) Sqn, 64 (Spitfire) Sqn and 264 (Defiant) Sqn heading towards an enemy nearing RAF Kenley. The 60 German bombers (Do17’s and Ju88’s) had a small fighter escort of just 25 bf109’s thanks to the huge 1350+ number of enemy raiders that had attacked the previous day. The RAF fighters (less the Defiants) engaged the 109’s with a rare numerical superiority and attempted to draw them away from the bomber force.

Sqn Ldr Wilkinson - claimed his first kill today, abf109

Sqn Ldr Wilkinson – claimed his and his Sqn’s first kill today, a bf109

Sqn Ldr Rodney Wilkinson led Red section into engaging the 109’s while the rest of the Sqn made for the bombers. Wilkinson was clearly a man with a score to settle and before long he had gotten onto the tail of a 109. At 200 yards he let his quarry have it with a 10 second burst almost expending all his ammunition. The 109 suddenly lost power as the engine caught fire. Then in an instant the airplane exploded and was no more. 266 Sqn had its first kill. The 109’s were now being overwhelmed and after 4 more were shot down they broke off and made for home. The bombers meanwhile were being massacred. 23 of the original force were destroyed with 266 Sqn claiming 10.

Fg Off Norman Burnett - claimed a brace of Do17's today

Fg Off Norman Burnett – claimed a brace of Do17’s today

Notably Fg Off Norman Burnett and Plt Off John Soden both got a brace while Sgt Don Kingaby also shot one down bringing his tally for the war to 4. 266 Sqn was up and running.

Tonight, Wilkinson and his boys were the toast of the Rotherfield pubs. The Kings Arms, The Catts Inn, The George, The Harvest Moon and the Bicycle Arms all ran dry as copious pints of Harvey’s Best were guzzled down by the locals.

v2266 sqnIts that time again! The 75th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain is upon us. After 2 years of ignominious defeats its time to redress the balance. So I am placing my faith in the hands of 266 (Rhodesia) Sqn in their Spitfires and led by none other than Rotherfield’s Sqn Leader Rodney Levett Wilkinson (a recent research discovery, the real story of whom I shall publish next month).

The Sqn will be operating out of RAF Tangmere in Sector 1 of 11 Group. It has a roster of 27 pilots who prior to the Battle have scored 5 kills. Below the “kill” leader board prior to commencement of the game at 0600 hrs 11th Aug.

Sgt D E Kingaby (Br) – 3 Kills

Flt Lt N G Bowen (Br) – 1 Kill

Plt Off R M Trousdale (NZ) – 1 Kill

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. 

111 Sqns first victim, a Henschel Hs126

111 Sqns first victim, a Henschel Hs126

13th Aug – Clear becoming cloudy – German Effort – Normal. Raids concentrated on RDF (Rye, Foreness, Worth) causing disruption throughout the day. All were repaired later. First Ju87 raid detected over Weymouth resulting in catastrophic losses for Sturzkampfgeschwaders 2 & 77 (28/50 aircraft lost) as 5 RAF Sqns intercept breaking through the fighter cover. 

Losses RAF 6, Luftwaffe 44

A Flight 111 Sqn

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

Yellow Section – Fg Off TPK Higgs, Plt Off JK Kay, Sgt CW MacDougal

B Flight 111 Sqn

Blue Section – Flt Lt RPR Powell, Plt Off JWW McKenzie, Sgt KM Macejowski (Pol)

Green Section – Plt Off RR Wilson, Sgt B Olewinski (Pol), Sgt FH Silk

111 Sqn were finally to see action this day.  Patrolling the Hampshire coast as a deterrent against further attacks on Portsmouth and Southampton . At around 0900hrs Sector Control at Tangmere vectored the Sqn towards the Isle of Wight to intercept an unidentified small group of probable raiders. As the Sqn arrived at their destination they saw 5 single engine aircraft flying along the coastline.  Sqn Ldr J.M. Thomspon recognised the aircraft from their parasol wings as German Henschel Hs126’s and ordered “A” Flight Red section into a line astern attack.  The Henschel’s immediately broke for the French coast. With over a 100mph speed advantage the Hurricanes were soon on the tail of the rear most 126. Sqn Ldr Thompson (Red 1) led the attack with a 2 second burst from 300 yards before overshooting. Fg Off B.M. Fisher (Red 2) followed up but also overshot as the pilots had difficulty slowing to the Henschels pace. Fg Off T.P.K. Higgs (Yellow 1) led his sections attack and scored a number of hits on another 126 before it managed to escape with the rest of the leading group into cloud. Red Section however had positioned for a second pass on the Hs126 they were pursuing and this time Thompson poured a 3 second burst into it. A tell-tale puff of white smoke issued from the engine but Thompson had to break off as the German rear gunner hit his aircraft causing oil to spray over the canopy and obscure his view.

Fg Off Basil Mark Fisher. Scored the Sqns first kill of the Campaign as well as his first ever kill.

Eton & Trinity College Cambridge educated Fg Off Basil Mark Fisher. Scored the Sqns first kill of the Campaign as well as his first ever kill. Image taken from

So it was left to Fisher to press home the attack. Approaching from 6 o’clock level the German gunner could not return fire and as his line of sight was blocked. A concentrated blast along the fuselage from Fisher did the trick and the Hs126 suddenly reared up, stalled and then dived headlong into the Channel.imagesZTEE1SA4

Fisher had claimed the Sqns first Battle of Britain kill.  Back at base the chaps celebrated in the Mess with a few pints of the Sqns favourite tipple, Mackesons Milk Stout well aware that next time they are more than likely to meet a more formidable foe.

111_Squadron_RAF11th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort Normal – Raids increasingly large in size throughout the day directed principally against RAF airfields. Damage light

Losses RAF 12, Luftwaffe 20

111 Sqn’s first day on the frontline as a Category A sqn was an anti-climax and a frustrating one. 64 Spitfire Sqn patrolled sector 2/11 until midday when 615 Hurricane Sqn took over duties. All the while 111 Sqn remained on the ground at Readiness status (take-off in 5 mins).  At the end the day, the Sqn finally got to see their saw their quarry, but not in the way they wished. A late RDF detection meant that by the time the warning sirens had sounded and the pilots were strapping themselves into their machines, the first bombs from a small raiding force of Junkers Ju88’s with fighter escort were already landing around them.  Fortunately the ack-ack fire was sufficiently fierce as to force most of the bombers to drop their bombs too early and land harmlessly in nearby fields.

12th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort Normal – Concentrated attacks on Portsmouth and Southampton docks/ports causing extensive disruption and damage to infrastructure.  RAF refuse to contest

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 0

Another quiet day for 111 Sqn who despite being placed on patrol in sector 2/11 were not directed to any enemy raids before landing just after midday. Poor coordination and the size of German Fighter escorts being the chief cause.

Represented here are the aircraft types of the Luftwaffe available in the forthcoming game including optional variant aircraft. Images courtesy of Wings Pallette Note not to a uniform scale.

The Luftwaffe begin the game with 81 Gruppen,

24 Messerschmitt bf109, 10 Messerschmitt bf110, 14 Heinkel He111h, 11 Junkers Ju88a, 9 Dornier Do17, 9 Junkers Ju87b, 1 Focke-Wulfe Fw200, 1 Henschel Hs126, 1 Heinkel He59, 1 Henschel Hs123


w1 me109

Messerschmitt Bf-109e. 24 fighter Gruppen equipped another Gruppe available later as a reinforcement.

w1 me110

Messerschmitt Bf-110c. 10 fighter-bomber Gruppen equipped including 2 elite units.

Heinkel He111h. 14 Sqns equipped another 2 available in September as reinforcements

Heinkel He111h. 14 bomber Gruppen equipped another 2 available in September as reinforcements


w2 ju88

Junkers Ju88A. 11 bomber Gruppen equipped another 5 Gruppen available in September

Dornier Do17. 9 bomber Gruppen equipped, another  1 availabvle as a reinforcement in August

Dornier Do17. 9 bomber Gruppen equipped, another Gruppe available as a reinforcement in mid August

Junkers Ju87b. 9 dive-bomber gruppen equipped.

Junkers Ju87b. 9 dive-bomber gruppen equipped.

Focke-Wulfe Fw200. 1 bomber Gruppe equipped. Withdrawn in mid august for anti-shipping duties

Focke-Wulfe Fw200. 1 bomber Gruppe equipped. Withdrawn in mid august for anti-shipping duties




x hs126

Henschel Hs126. 1 reconnaissance Gruppe equipped


Heinkel He59. 1 sea-rescue/bomber Gruppe equipped

x hs123

Henschel Hs123. 1 dive-bomber Gruppe equipped. Theoretical unit owing to limited range making the Channel a formidable obstacle.