Again, having already posted on the AS forum, I've decided to post here as well...
Rhubarb over France, 1942
- Spotting the airfield off to our left, my wingman Jon and I prepare for the attack. As we pass over a small village I push the throttle to emergency power and break hard to the left. Below us a river and ahead a line of trees. Beyond the trees two parked Junkers slide into view.
- “I’ll take the first, you the second,” I tell him over the intercom and using my rudder, slip to the left, the first Junkers now in my gun sight at 600yds and closing while Jon, off in my left front quadrant, lines up on his own target.
Three flak guns start hammering at us but their streams of tracer whip harmlessly overhead.
- With throttle still jammed in emergency, I wait until I’m almost on the parked Junkers before thumbing my gun trigger. My aircraft shakes and the target dances in front of me for a split second and then I’m past and hurtling towards the hangers and supply dump at the end of the airfield.
The German flak gunners are trying their best but luckily both Jon and I remain untouched once again.
- I‘m going too fast to line up on either the supply dump or the hangers, but I catch a glimpse of bullet strikes on the furthest hanger as Jon machineguns it from just behind me. I pull back the stick and fly between the dump and nearest hanger, climbing and breaking left again, gaining height – I’m now at 990ft - but losing some speed.
- I continue the climb and turn, rolling out with the control tower now ahead and under my nose, my speed 275mph and at a height of 1,200ft. I see that Jon has past over the hangers and is beginning his own turn, both of us missed by the three flak guns – 20mm flak if I’m any expert – and I trigger the intercom;
“Let’s go for the troops in the lane.”
“Roger to that,” he replies.
- I nudge the aircraft right onto the lane as the control tower passes beneath me, the soldiers up ahead putting up a veritable wall of lead, none of which hits me, but Jon reports a hit from one of the flak guns.
“You’re OK?” I ask, the two trucks at the far end of the lane a pair of juicy targets for one of my bombs.
“Yes, yes… keep going…”
- Now nudging the stick forwards, I take hasty aim on the trucks 500yds ahead, the rifles and machineguns from the troops below sending up a blizzard of death that I somehow fly through without a scratch, and I release one of my bombs.
- I rip down the lane, rolling and easing into a lazy left turn, taking a chance to snatch a glance back at Jon, just as he releases both his bombs.
And then he's gone.
One moment he’s there, the next he’s a flaming fireball. Whether it was from one of the flak guns or the infantry, my wingman is blown out of existence.
- I climb, still at emergency power, and turn harder to the left as my bomb explodes off to the right of the trucks and the remains of my wingman ploughs into the troops in the lane. The flak guns, now with only one target, stitch the sky about me aiming to notch up another kill…
- Still climbing and turning, now in the vertical, I’m down to 100mph and just hanging there in the sky waiting to get shot, but the flak never hits and I roll my wings level. Jon’s bombs impact amongst the remaining troops, turning the lane into a smoking charnal house.
- I reduce the climb, the sky like fireworks night back home….
- I level her out and the engine bites, the airfield below me with the lane off to my left, the two hangers and supply dump the easiest targets for me to make an attempt at.
- I push the stick forwards, entering a shallow dive to pick up some speed and I kick the rudder to the right, choosing the supply dump as my next target as I begin my run across the airfield with what seems like every gun in France now turned against me.
- 5 seconds pass like a lifetime, my speed picking up as I turn height into velocity….
- 10 seconds… and I close on the release point, triggering my second bomb, the supply dump sinking below the nose of the Spitfire as I shoot across the field.
- I climb hard as I pass over the barrels and crates, outpacing the bomb. If I miss, I think to myself, I’ll turn back and hammer the damn thing with my guns. At that precise moment, there’s an almighty bang somewhere behind me and my controls go soggy. I realise I’ve lost my elevators and, with them, my will to push my luck any further…
- I decide to get the hell out of dodge and keep smoothly climbing, putting the airfield behind me. I catch the flash of the supply dump going up in my rear-view mirror as my bomb hits its target square on.
The flak chases me for a few seconds more and then the gunners give up. I head for the Channel, keeping low and moving as fast as is prudent so as not to draw any unnecessary attention from any angry German pilots…
I never have liked rhubarb and this mission certainly hasn’t endeared the damn stuff to me…
- Last edited Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:31 am
Sounds like fun - did you solitaire this? I find the air-to-ground scenarios are fairly easy to solitaire.
Thanks for the AAR.
Yep... this was a solitaire jobby....
I've always loved solo-gaming and the ground attack scenarios are great for this... which doesn't stop me setting up a dog-fight, of course... It just takes a little longer to resolve (and I have to admit, I much prefer concentrating on just one plane, to get involved with the mechanics, so to speak...)
Cheers for the interest,