Thursday 7 June 2012
Russian Front BF110 with an I-16 trailing smoke - The FW190 needed two shots to down him (which is very unusual to say the least)!
Yesterday evening saw another game of Axis and Allies: Angels 20 at the club, this time set on the Russian Front. Mr Fox supplied the 'toys' and the scenario which was based on a historical incident in which a Bf110 was tasked as acting as an artillery spotter for some railway artillery escorted by yours truly's WW2 aerial mount of choice - the FW190, or rather, two of them, with young Brad (the newest recruit at SEEMS) providing sterling service as my wingman - in fact he rather upstaged me by taking out three of the five Russians that fell to our FW190s. The Russian defenders fielded a pair of Polikarpov I-16s, four Yak 1s and a lend lease P40.
The Bf110 had to fly over a pair of small villages and then head for home so the escorting FW190s could then stay behind and, ahem, have some fun. The first Russian Yak went down under a blizzard of fire from an FW190 whilst the Bf110 lumbered along imperiously over its alloted flight path. So far, so good, in fact, mission accomplished as the ponderous aircraft swung its nose homewards. No one will ever know what prompted the pilot to turn back and join the party as a veritable gaggle of Russian fighters swarmed all over his machine taking great chunks out of as they did. The two FW190s had not been idle in the meantime and first one, two, three and then finally four more fighters all disappeared under the guns of the avenging Germans. At the finish we had not decided the outcome but flying the FW190 was certainly a lot of fun and so surviving with a couple more kills under the metaphorical belt was definitely a good thing. Despite their losses the Russians made the German fighters work very hard for their kills - they seemed to be all over the place, all of the time and so the Germans had to operate from the outside of the thundering herd and at high speed in order to avoid being ganged up on.
Next week will see another fight in the skies, this time over Normandy in June 1944. A pair of low level Typhoons with some P51s as top cover will be mxing with the aforementioned FW190s and with the added bonus of some Me109Gs. This will be a very definitive kind of fight as anyone of those planes is more than capable of taking an opponent out with a single attack. Being parked in front of either a Typhoon or an FW190 at close range is a decidedly unhealthy place to loiter.
In the meantime I am still waiting for the decals I ordered from Old Glory which means I am reluctant to start the repainting process. As part of this I will also need to source some lettering for squadron markings for the RAF and some chevrons for the Luftwaffe. Mr Fox had some of his freshly painted aircraft on display last night and the results were most impressive - especially with the aforementioned decals added and even the hand painted numbers etc (far to tricky for my own modest talents with a paint brush!). I also still need to add a final starter set to my collection so will probably see if such a thing will be available at Broadside on Sunday. Should I be able to get one then my collection will consist of 8 Hurricanes, 8 Spitfires, 8 109E, 4 109F and 4 Bf110. As it stands at present I am at a loss to decide what to do with the second flight of four Spitfires. I only need 4 for the Battle of Britain set up so will have a look around to see what I can do with them. They could be used as Mk Va variants into 1941 for the so called 'Rhubarb' attacks over Northern France and this type still carried the eight machine guns. It was in one of these that Douglas Bader was shot down in during 1941. If I was feeling particularly brave I could possibly think about converting them into the cannon armed Mk V variant - the type that was outclassed by the FW 190 and required some drastic revision to be able to cope with the new German Fighter. 'Chopped and Cropped' Spitfires anybody?