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JG I "Richthofen" - FIFXXIV Session 4 (9 July 2016)


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S! All,

The following JG I pilots are being recognized for their actions during Session 4 of Flanders In Flames XXIV (flown on 9 July 2016).


. . .

Order Pour Le Mérite

  • Hptm. Manfred Barton, Jasta 4 (session #4, 9 July 2016), for the destruction of 18 enemy aircraft and 2 balloons within one streak.


Wound Badge 1918: Black Class

  • Flg. Hans Hansen (Centerline) Bergen, Jasta 4 (session #4, 9 July 2016), for being wounded in action 1 time within one streak.
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Fighter "girls" collect honors and bomber (recon) pilots "dying" in gunfire AA when trying to fulfill missions :wacko:


Bomber and recon is very risky especially without a good escort or tail gunner.  Even with these an unlucky flak burst can undo anyone.  But, still, great reward is available to a bomber pilot with the right targets.  One bomber pilot took home the Knight's Cross with Swords with a single amazing sortie in which they killed 10 ground targets.  And that was one SORTIE.  It is worth noting that this was awarded posthumously as that pilot was taken out by flak trying to return over the front lines too low, but the total kill streak was 15.  Just one good run on a train away from the Blue Max.  


I will say it is much easier for ground attack pilots to get awards after the altering of the kill requirements for victory awards as they were needed.  But killing 20 of anything isn't a cakewalk.


We do need to supply our bomber pilots with better escort, but the way the flak is you can do everything right and still die.  I do hope to see a bomber pilot with the Blue Max.

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That said, there are at least some bomber pilots who don't like the escort idea so much.  They've become so sneaky and knowledgeable about target approaches and such, that they don't want you around to actually draw the enemy in when they might otherwise have come in and escaped unnoticed.


I don't know if, or how many, of those types we have here.  All I know is, if they want escort, I'm very happy to oblige.  In any case, it's very hard to figure out the exact type of flight that's going to offer the best possibility of complete success.  Although it may be best for the escorting fighters to have the two-seater(s) high so that they can offer the best protection against enemy fighters, that doesn't even guarantee they can stop a fast-mover enemy before they're able to effectively disable the planes you're trying to protect.  If the idea is to sneak in low and fast, the escorting fighters are pretty much sitting ducks and not a lot of help.


One thing I've always been adamant about is that having the greatest number of planes around an enemy target that is being attacked, is the best protection by far, against being killed by the protecting AAA.  The more it has to keep track of, the less effective it is against any one plane.


One thing that's obviously worked for us in the past, is relatively large groups of 2-seaters that protect each other at the same time as distracting the defenses.  This has the added benefit of making the rear gunners more effective due to their massed firepower, and the inability of the attacking enemy fighters to concentrate their fire on all of them at once.  But it's necessary for the group to think more like fighters and turn in on any enemy that presents, and be good marksmen with their front guns too.  That makes them a dangerous group to deal with.


At this point in time, I think we're basically using the same tactics they did in WWII, in terms of fighter/bomber cooperation or support.  Back then the belief was that fighters were most effective when they could roam free to engage the enemy on their own terms.  The bombers flew as their own groups and tried to support each other as best they could.


Is that the best thing we can do within RoF?  A lot can change based on the plane sets involved.  Interested to hear everybody's opinion on this.  S!

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