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#3514569 - 02/08/12 05:35 PM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) ***** [Re: HeinKill]
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 2573
Loc: Denmark
Indeed! Meanwhile, the battle rages . . .

Seelowe 9: Sept 24 morning, S-tag +2

After devastating engagements with the British Home Fleet overnight, Kriegsmarine Admiral Raeder has demanded more air support over the Channel to minimise shipping losses. But most LW air support continues to be used for escort of resupply aircraft and ground attack. The Kriegsmarine put to sea with 3 destroyers and 17 E-boats, but was successfully engaged by British destroyers and cruisers, losing all 3 destroyers and 7 E-boats. 1 British destroyer and 1 cruiser were sunk by U-boats, and one U-boat was lost in a surface engagement. Germany now has 10 Divisions ashore at Folkestone and Newhaven, but many are incomplete and awaiting arrival of their second echelons. Sailing conditions are deteriorating as poor weather moves over France. Lympne airfield was abandoned by first light due to intensive British bombing, but German armour forced the New Zealand Division to fall back from Folkestone and Hawkinge Fighter Command airfield, with 35% casualties, while the German 34th Division has broken through British lines and is driving on Dover. The German 22nd Division has broken out of Folkestone and started its push on Canterbury, with British forces trying to regroup around Selstead. British RDF masts on the Isle of Wight, Folkestone coast and Dover have been knocked out by Stuka attacks - less effective mobile units are filling the gaps.

[i]0730 GST. At Selstead, the retreating NZ Division digs in to make its stand. In woods and fields...





In camps hastily erected and patrolled...





They nervously wait for the enemy they know is rushing toward them...

Scouts of the German 22nd Division meet them and engage



While heavier armour of General Ferdinand Schaal's 10th Panzer grinds toward the new front line





Further south, along the Folkestone to Dover road, the 8th Panzer begins its advance





Precious supplies following close behind



Overhead, Blenheim light bombers, volunteers all, make for the newly captured and heavily reinforced Hawkinge Airfield, now bristling with German and captured British light and heavy AAA.



At Hawkinge, the weary pilots of LG2 respond to the alarm, and prepare to lift into the air. The previous night they had abandoned Lympne under a hail of bombs and returned to Calais. At dawn they were ordered back to the battlefield, to Hawkinge, and yet another day in the menacing shadow of the RAF.



The triple-A starts its heavy barking as they lift off.



The whistle of bombs frighteningly clear even over the throb of their straining engines. The British dithering over the attack on Lympne the day before now replaced with a cold resolve to disloge the Luftwaffe from wherever it may perch.









Back at the Folkestone-Dover road, Erpro 210 banks toward the front, now marked by the hulls of burning tanks and shattered guns.



They close on British AT emplacements flanking the road into Dover...the precariously thin line of brown uniforms that is all that stands between the Wehrmacht and the biggest port along the South Eastern coastline. Their bombs fall...



Shattering life, limbs, and minds...







But not resolve. British AAA answers back...



And rushing down from Croydon, Hurricanes of 111 Squadron arrive just in time to chase the marauders off









Pushing their mighty Daimler Benz engines to the limit, the 109s of LG2 reel in the Blenheims and fall on them like hawks on sparrows.







And to the East, Spitfires from 64 Squadron at Manston approach. Their orders...support the defence of Dover, engage enemy ground forces on the Folkestone Dover road and help the ground troops halt their advance - at any cost!

The Spitfires scream across the harbour, as the troops in their trenches cheer...



Then they swoop inland, guns blazing





_________________________
-------
So it was that the war in the air began. Men rode upon the whirlwind that night and slew and fell like archangels. The sky rained heroes upon the astonished earth. Surely the last fights of mankind were the best. What was the heavy pounding of your Homeric swordsmen, what was the creaking charge of chariots, besides this swift rush, this crash, this giddy triumph, this headlong sweep to death?

H. G. Wells, 'The World Set Free,' 1914.


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#3514577 - 02/08/12 05:41 PM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) [Re: HeinKill]
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 2573
Loc: Denmark
(Continued)

One Spitfire breaks away, and spots a telltale plume of smoke on the railway tracks along the base of the Cliffs near Folkestone. A captured German troop train! Headed east toward Dover and the front.



The young pilot drops his nose and pours a stream of lead toward the engine



But the behemoth chugs onward, completely unmoved. He counts the carriages as he flashes past...seven, eight, nine...





He hauls his machine around for another pass, the train hidden in an alley of poplars, visible only by the steam from its engine



He closes again...lower...lower...his finger only reaching for the firing button at the last possible minute this time





While at Selstead, the German advance grinds to a halt, stymied by a Kiwi refusal to admit defeat.







On the train line near Folkestone, the Spitfire pilot watches his bullets march harmlessly alongside the tracks and the troop train powers on...



He pulls his machine up and banks desperately as the cliffs flash before him





He turns one more time. And as he drops his Spitfire toward the alley of trees once again, he does the arithmatic in his head.



9 carriages.

100 men in each.

Nearly a thousand German troops, headed for Dover.

One Spitfire.

5,000 lbs. 8 Brownings. 48 Gallons of fuel.

One pilot.



One life to give.

He touches his fingers to his forehead, making a sign of the cross. And drops his Spitfire down into the alley of poplars.



He thumbs the gun button and his Brownings hammer





He keeps his finger on the button, even as he closes his eyes











It is 0815 on S-tag +2

_________________________
-------
So it was that the war in the air began. Men rode upon the whirlwind that night and slew and fell like archangels. The sky rained heroes upon the astonished earth. Surely the last fights of mankind were the best. What was the heavy pounding of your Homeric swordsmen, what was the creaking charge of chariots, besides this swift rush, this crash, this giddy triumph, this headlong sweep to death?

H. G. Wells, 'The World Set Free,' 1914.

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#3514897 - 02/09/12 08:07 AM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) [Re: HeinKill]
komemiute Offline
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Registered: 05/03/09
Posts: 3603
sigh

Gosh...
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#3515281 - 02/09/12 05:27 PM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) [Re: HeinKill]
Heretic Offline
Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 1801
Loc: GER
How did that german steam engine (56 class) get to England?

Also, thanks for the "Dark Blue World" (Spitfire + Train) flashback.


Edited by Heretic (02/09/12 05:27 PM)
_________________________
FSX: Dornier 328, Convair 580
FS9: Boeing 737-200Adv

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#3515800 - 02/10/12 12:58 PM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) [Re: Heretic]
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 2573
Loc: Denmark
Originally Posted By: Heretic
How did that german steam engine (56 class) get to England?.


Ha! Any true trainspotter can tell you it is fact a type 56e/f, the Kruppverk eksport version of the 56 class produced between 1923 and 1933 and widely used in the UK, where the largest purchase order was in fact placed by the Dover and Bexhill Steam Transport Company Plc.

copter
_________________________
-------
So it was that the war in the air began. Men rode upon the whirlwind that night and slew and fell like archangels. The sky rained heroes upon the astonished earth. Surely the last fights of mankind were the best. What was the heavy pounding of your Homeric swordsmen, what was the creaking charge of chariots, besides this swift rush, this crash, this giddy triumph, this headlong sweep to death?

H. G. Wells, 'The World Set Free,' 1914.

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#3517420 - 02/12/12 11:07 PM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) [Re: HeinKill]
vonKhan Offline
resident pacifist (sic)
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2061
Loc: Canada
Great AARs, please keep em coming. Some of your greatest so far.
_________________________
I used to work work for a living, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

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#3517656 - 02/13/12 10:09 AM Re: AARs from Day 2 of Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover) [Re: HeinKill]
Heretic Offline
Member

Registered: 10/12/06
Posts: 1801
Loc: GER
Originally Posted By: HeinKill
Ha! Any true trainspotter can tell you it is fact a type 56e/f, the Kruppverk eksport version of the 56 class produced between 1923 and 1933 and widely used in the UK, where the largest purchase order was in fact placed by the Dover and Bexhill Steam Transport Company Plc.

copter


Nice try. wink biggrin


Edited by Heretic (02/13/12 10:09 AM)
_________________________
FSX: Dornier 328, Convair 580
FS9: Boeing 737-200Adv

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#3518373 - 02/14/12 09:33 AM Re: AARs from Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover): update 8 FEB, S-tag +2 [Re: HeinKill]
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 2573
Loc: Denmark
Sept 24 1230 GMT, S-tag +2

The Fuhrer Conference, held at 0800, broke out into bitter inter-service rivalry - the Army wanted the remainder of their second echelon sent, with the navy protesting that the weather was becoming unsuitable, repeating that overnight naval losses rendered the Channel indefensible without greater air support. Reichmarschall Hermann Goring countered this by saying this could only be done by stopping the terror bombing of London, which in turn Hitler vetoed. It was however agreed to increase air attacks on British coastal airfields to reduce RAF pressure on ground forces, and to initiate a planned decoy landing to confuse British response to the invasion. The second echelon of troops was ordered to embark and the remaining destroyers of the Kriegsmarine Navy Group West were ordered to escort duty.



At Selstead, midway between Folkestone and Canterbury, the 10th Panzer batters a hole in British lines and pours through while British troops flee in disarray







Their new objective, Kingston, just south of Canterbury, and its two vital bridges over the River Stour, where the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions lie in wait, under cover of trees, or dug in on ploughed fields, watching the smoke of the front lines move inevitably towards them.





Bomber Command keeps up its incessant pressure on the Luftwaffe field at Hawkinge, determined to wipe it from the map. Wellingtons close on Hawkinge, heavily escorted by Hurricanes of 111 Squadron now flying out of Croydon in London...





As they look down, burning vehicles and buildings mark the front lines, only increasing their resolve.



The battle hardened pilots of Lehrgeschwader 2 turn to meet them





This is no clean, clinical war. Chaos reigns as fighters and bombers fling themselves through the sky



Allies collide, one Hurricane pilot watching in horror as his prop slices through the wing of his fellow pilot



With dread he follows him down, preying to see a chute



But the doomed Hurricane craters the ground, the pilot still at the stick



The Wellingtons unload, bombs scattering across Hawkinge field





Still sick to his stomach the surviving Hurricane pilot checks his machine then hauls it back into the fray. He closes on a 109 below him, guns hammering to blot out the memory of the collision...





The 109 tries to out turn him, but he stomps on the rudder and Sydney Camm's wonderful wide wings do the job, bringing him inside the German. He fires across the circle.







The victory a small measure of compensation. As he looks around, he realises he is alone in the sky. And alone with his conscience.

_________________________
-------
So it was that the war in the air began. Men rode upon the whirlwind that night and slew and fell like archangels. The sky rained heroes upon the astonished earth. Surely the last fights of mankind were the best. What was the heavy pounding of your Homeric swordsmen, what was the creaking charge of chariots, besides this swift rush, this crash, this giddy triumph, this headlong sweep to death?

H. G. Wells, 'The World Set Free,' 1914.

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#3518374 - 02/14/12 09:34 AM Re: AARs from Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover): update 8 FEB, S-tag +2 [Re: HeinKill]
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/06
Posts: 2573
Loc: Denmark
(Continued)

Further East, in the Channel off Ramsgate, Goering's bombers prosecute their orders to drive the RAF out of 11 Group. The target now is Manston, the last operational Fighter Command airfield in Kent.



Without it, British fighters will have to sortie from airfields around London or north of the Thames, adding precious minutes to the time it will take them to reach the front. Four Spitfires of 64 Squadron, now down to fewer than 6 aircraft after two days of fighting, mount a standing patrol over Manston. RAF Fighter Command's Hugh Dowding will not risk more fighters for Manston, but neither will he abandon it.



The RAF flight lieutenant sees the incoming raid. The massed raids of August 1940 are behind them. Days when hundreds of Heinkels and Dorniers filled the sky from horizon to horizon. But he counts a dozen bombers, with heavy escort, against his four aircraft. He radios Sector Control to scramble the rest of his squadron and vector some assistance to Manston. Then he turns toward the attackers.



The escorts are out front and swing in behind the Spitfires before they can get within range of the bombers. The flight lieutenant watches as a 109 fires on his wingman, causing him to break off, trailing smoke.



He is on his own now.

He ploughs through the fighters, opening fire on a bomber head on and then sweeping back in behind it to fire again.





He climbs overhead, his lone machine caught in a hail of crossfire. Bullets rake his airframe, and his engine coughs, then splutters. The revs falling dramatically.



The bombers start to draw away from him, so he drops his nose. One more pass, just one! He plans to dive up underneath them, build up speed, bring up his nose...and fire. It's all he can think of. They creep closer, the sound of rushing wind over his wings louder than the cough of his dying engine.




In shock, he sees tracer flash over his canopy and looking back, sees a 109 in pursuit. And behind the 109, his wingman!



He ignores the threat. His entire focus on his gunsight. Centering the bomber, and firing...



Suddenly tracer whips over his head again, his machine shudders from multiple cannon impacts, a fist of iron pounding the armoured back of his seat. Then the firing stops, abruptly. Looking back, he sees why...and whispers thanks to his wingman.



But the battle is not over. As he drops away, his propeller barely turning over, he sees his target sail on heedless to his attack, its belly full of bombs. And the 109s are still in the mood for a kill.





Inside the Heinkels, bomber crews also whisper silent thanks, this time for their escorts, for the sting of their MGs, getting them to target and with luck, getting them home again. They settle to their task.







But the RAF attack has unsettled them. They drop late, and their bombs scatter over the fields to the north of Manston.

In the Spitfire, the flight lieutenant takes stock. His wings are holed, his engine at about 10% power. His machine is dragging left, with a rumble that tells him at least one of his wheels is down. He tries the gear lever, tries hand cranking the gear, but there is no response.



Behind him, he can see the stalking 109. His wingman won't be able to save him this time. He drops his shattered machine down to the treetops, Manston in view just above their canopies.





The 109 opens fire, so he bunts, hoping against hope the machine will respond. Watching as the rounds from the 109 kick up the dirt in front of him.




As he scrapes the treetops, the 109 is forced to pull up. The airfield Bofors open fire on the enemy fighter, as he settles to his approach.





His left wheel strut bites the turf, and collapses, and his right wheel drops out of the wheel well. His left wing torn away.



The Spitfire thumps down onto its belly, prop shattering, right wing ripping free.



With a sickening lurch, it bounces into the air. He feels the fuselage starting to roll to the left. Time slows. He knows the next few seconds are all that matters. He wrenches the stick to the right. Kicks the right rudder pedal hard. Closes his eyes, and waits for the end.



It is enough. What is left of the Spitfire responds, rolls right, and slams into the ground again.





The dust settles. He looks out of the open cockpit in amazement at where his wings used to be. He reads the writing on the wing root, ironic in the circumstances. 'Not to be stepped on'.



As an ambulance begins its dash toward him, he tries to undo his harness. His hands are shaking so violently he cannot grip the buckle. He lets them drop into his lap, and sits listening to the tick and hiss of his broken machine, and the sobbing heave of his own ragged breath.



It is 1315 GMT on S-tag +2. Germany has broken through the British GHQ stop line.


_________________________
-------
So it was that the war in the air began. Men rode upon the whirlwind that night and slew and fell like archangels. The sky rained heroes upon the astonished earth. Surely the last fights of mankind were the best. What was the heavy pounding of your Homeric swordsmen, what was the creaking charge of chariots, besides this swift rush, this crash, this giddy triumph, this headlong sweep to death?

H. G. Wells, 'The World Set Free,' 1914.

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#3518435 - 02/14/12 11:21 AM Re: AARs from Operation Sealion, the invasion of Britain (Cliffs of Dover): update 8 FEB, S-tag +2 [Re: HeinKill]
FlyingToaster Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 822
Loc: Scotland
Amazing read, had me fixed to the screen!

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