Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5
#4022463 - 10/14/14 09:57 PM Read while u can, the pix are back!: LIFE AND DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA *****  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Not sure why but photobucket pix are showing again! Links to the full story below:

CHAPTER ONE: MOSTOVSKOY GOES TO WAR

AN UNORTHODOX APPROACH: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4022463/Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_BoS_ca#Post4022463

TAKING LESSONS: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4022822/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4022822

AN AWKWARD SILENCE: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4023657/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_a_#Post4023657

VOLGA ON FIRE: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4024365/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_a_#Post4024365

KILLING FIELD: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4039364/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_a_#Post4039364

ONE FINE DAY: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4043486/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_a_#Post4043486

BARSAGINO: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4047178/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4047178

THE BRIDGES OF ZHIRNOKLEEVKA: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4049921/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4049921

Ch.1 FINALE - AGRIPPINA PETROVNA: http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4049921/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4049921

CHAPTER TWO: FAT FRITZ GOES TO WAR

FAT FRITZ GOES TO WAR
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4053398/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4053398

A WING AND A PRAYER
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4062267/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4062267

IN THE CAULDRON
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4065441/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4065441

FLIGHT OF THE EAGLE
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4068476/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4068476

FLIGHT TO FREEDOM
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4074326/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4074326

NO REST FOR THE WICKED
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4074883/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4074883

WEAPONS UNLOCKED
http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4075911/Re:_Mostovskoy_goes_to_war:_Bo#Post4075911

CHAPTER 3: YEKATERINA 'KATYA' BUDANOVA GOES TO WAR


PRELUDE:

http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4077963/BoS_campaign_Ch._3_AAR_#1_Feb_#Post4077963

KATYA'S FIRST KILL

http://SimHQ.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/4079060/BoS_campaign_Ch._3_AAR_#2_Feb_#Post4079060

**************



Mission 1 teaser: An unorthodox approach

PART 1

"Oh no, not you." These were the first words of the ugliest gunner in the VVS, Agrippina Petrovna, when she walked into the briefing room and saw who she was going to be paired up with, "My feet still hurt, and you still owe me for the cost of cleaning my uniform."

It was a long story involving a dark dance hall, some sad music, a lot of vodka and the things we regret doing when we think we could die any day. That was Petrovna's version anyway.

"You think I would go up with you if I had the choice?" I said to her.

She sat down heavily beside me, "You are lucky my gun cannot point forward, Mikhael Mostovskoy," she grumbled.

The briefing hut of the VVS 228ShAP was like every other briefing hut on every VVS airfield on the Don Front. Which was to say, it was unlike any other. Every Russian hut was unique, with its own life story. This one was particularly utilitarian, looked like it had been put together by a blind bricklayer, and was colder on the inside than on the outside.

A lot like Agrippina Petrovna.

I turned my attention to the briefing. We were going to attack a train, deep inside German lines.

[Linked Image]

"Right on top of the Luftwaffe field at Pitomnik. I am going to die," Petrovna moaned.

"If I'm lucky," I said, and she hit me with her lunch pail. She was the only gunner who took her lunch with her on a sortie, in a large tin wedged between her feet. It always took her longer to get out of the cockpit than it did to get into it, she ate so much during the mission.

Our route would take us west of Stalingrad, skirting our own lines before we swung in toward the train station at Voroponovo.

[Linked Image]

We were not told why this station, this train, at this time, but it was as good, or bad, a mission as any. It was only my fifth mission with the 228ShAP, and I had yet to score a victory. If you don't count my last gunner, who shot himself in his bunk two days ago. The joke in the unit is that he was afraid to go up with me again. They said I should paint a skull on my tailplane, my first kill.

But they don't joke too loudly because I am their flight leader. For this mission I had chosen to load both rockets and bombs. The rockets should be enough to take care of the train, and the bombs would be useful if we ran into any juicy targets along the way. It was about 5 pm as the three of us lined up on the runway, and already getting dark.

[Linked Image]

We had been given an escort of four LaGG-3s, and they hovered overhead, impatient to get underway.

[Linked Image]

As we lifted away from the field, I saw a lone soldier, run out of his hut and stand watching.

[Linked Image]

"Hey Petrovna," I said, "I think your boyfriend is waving goodbye."

"It's not my boyfriend, it's yours," she returned. "Just fly the stupid plane."

About five minutes into the flight, I spotted artillery below, "There are our brave troops, dropping heavy artillery on the heads of the poor Germans in Barrikady from the safety of their gun pits miles behind the lines." I remarked.

[Linked Image]

"Those are German guns," Petrovna said, "Firing at our troops. We still hold Barrikady, you fool."

"You fool, Sir," I told her. "Show respect for a higher ranking officer please gunner Petrovna." Having put her in her place, I reasserted my authority, "And mark that position on your map please, we may return to it after we have dealt with that train, if we have any ammunition."

"If we are still alive, more like it," she muttered. The German guns fell away behind us.

[Linked Image]

She stayed quiet after that. All I could hear was the drone of the engine, the whistle of air past the cockpit, and the crunch of her munching on a beet. As we approached the target though she called out, "German fighter! Six o'clock, five thousand feet! Go get him boys!"

[Linked Image]

The LaGGs rolled into action, a little reluctantly I thought, but they kept the German busy.

"Stay sharp," I told her, "We're approaching the target."

[Linked Image]

Spotting the train station was easy - a web of tracks led into and away from it and there, right on schedule (thank goodness for German efficiency!) was our target, a nice fat, juicy steam locomotive, pulling half a dozen wagons.

[Linked Image]

"I'll take the train," I told my flight, "You stay up here and deal with anyone trying to bother me."

I lined up behind the slow moving train and put my Ilyushin into a shallow dive. It was a beast of an airplane - heavy in the ass, wallowed like a pig if you pulled hard on the stick, but it had teeth like a shark.

[Linked Image]

"Rockets away," I yelled, as my 8 ROS-82s streaked off their rails toward the train.

[Linked Image]

And missed.

[Linked Image]

The train continued blithely on its way. Or not, actually, because we had at least woken up the gunners on the flak trucks and they began to fill the sky around us with HE. Something whanged against my starboard wing.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

"Chyort, voz'mi!" Petrovna yelled, "I knew it! We're hit!"

I looked out at the wing, and she was right. I could see daylight through the skin of the wing.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

I tried the controls. He still seemed to respond to the stick and the pedals. He's a tough bird, the IL2. "I'm going around for another run." I told her.

"What? No! Let the others!" Petrovna yelled, "You couldn't hit it with rockets, what makes you think you can hit it with bombs?!"

"Rockets tiny," I re-assured her, "Bombs big."

I hauled the Ilyushin around for a second run.

PART 2

I closed on the train again, tracer winked past the wings and exploded around us.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

"Did you maybe...ever think..." Petrovna said through gritted teeth.

"Think what?" I said, my finger poised over the bomb release.

"No, that's all...did you ever THINK?" she yelled.

I ignored her, and pickled the bombs in a salvo.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

They fell beautifully...

[Linked Image]

And missed completely

[Linked Image]

"What a surprise," Petrovna said. "Now can we go home?"

"That's...not certain," I told her. My stick was jammed back against my stomach. There was nothing I could do. The plane pitched into a rapid climb.

[Linked Image]

I had lateral movement, but the control wires to the elevators must have been jammed, and as hard as I pushed, the stick would not budge. The trim control was also kaput.

I tried rolling him onto his side, and he responded to that at least. I rolled first one way, and then the other.

[Linked Image]

"What the Ѡ&#1146 are you doing?" Petrovna yelled, "I nearly lost my lunch!"

I threw the machine back onto the opposite wing again, "I've lost vertical control," I told her, "But I think, if I alternately roll left and right, I can more or less keep us on the right...heading."

[Linked Image]

"More or less? Can you more or less keep us from crashing?" she gurgled. "Let's bail out!"

"Good idea dear Agrippina. And then you can use your feminine charms to ask the Germans to let us borrow an airplane and fly home."

That shut her up.

Unfortunately our zig zag path took us right over the German airfield at Gumrak. "Look," I said, our brave comrades are trying to attract their groundfire."

[Linked Image]

"Yes," she agreed, "They can't wait to see how this ends either."

A sickening fifteen minutes later, we miraculously neared our airfield. "The tail piece has a big gash all the way around!" Petrovna yelled, "It looks like it will fall off any minute!"

[Linked Image]

"Then I had better put it down," I told her.

"What? No! You have to pull up so we can bail out!"

"And trust your life to a few kilos of silk sewn together by a German sympathiser? Nyet dear Petrovna, I am going to land this beast!" I lowered the wheels, out of optimism more than anything else.

[Linked Image]

If she could have crawled out of her cockpit, over the canopy and shot me with her sidearm, she would have, I know it. But she couldn't and I had a cunning plan. I would roll right to put us at the end of the airfield, then I would sideslip left, lining up perfectly with the direction of the airstrip and touch down with my left wheel first, using my RPM and pitch to keep the nose from rising, The right wheel would come down, perhaps a touch hard, but it was built like a tractor, so that would be no concern, and then I would coast to a gentle stop right outside the mess hall to the cheers of the ground crew and disappointment of the ambulance drivers.

[Linked Image]

Petrovna began praying...

I didn't stop her. But apparently her deity was not listening.

We touched down beautifully on our left wheel, exactly as planned. Then on our left wing. Which sheared off.

[Linked Image]

Causing the right wing to lift suddenly and flip us on our back. The engine screamed in protest and died.

[Linked Image]

And then we skidded across the field like a loosely tied skate, canopy and tailplane crunching, and Petrovna screaming. Or perhaps it was me. Actually yes, I think it was. Petrovna was no doubt holding tightly to her lunch pail.

[Linked Image]

We came to a sudden stop. It was wonderfully quiet...no sudden WHOOMP as our fuel and ammunition exploded, which was good.

"When I get out of here..." Petrovna began. She was hanging upside down by her straps, the tough metal canopy of the Ilyushin had saved her from having her face scraped off - mind you that could have been an improvement.

"Are you dead?" I asked her.

"What?"

"If you are screaming at me, may I assume you are still alive then? And not a prisoner in a German love camp?"

"Why, you..."

I unbuckled my harness and landed unceremoniously in a heap against the top of my cockpit. "And tonight, you will be eating beet soup with the rest of us, and sleeping in your own cot, alone, all thanks to me and my magnificent flying skills," I told her.

"...kill you!!"

"And when I... ask you... for a dance next time," I told her, kicking out the side panel so I could crawl out, "I expect you to show some gratitude!"

[Linked Image]

(Note: this AAR will borrow liberally in thought and feeling from the classic Russian Stalingrad novel, 'Life and Fate' by Vasily Grossman, which was banned in 1962 before it was even published. It is a must read for anyone interested in Stalingrad.)

Last edited by HeinKill; 06/01/18 04:21 PM.

[Linked Image]
Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#4022477 - 10/14/14 11:02 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 22,329
letterboy1 Offline
(Heterosexual)Tchaikovsky Ballet Fan
letterboy1  Offline
(Heterosexual)Tchaikovsky Ballet Fan
Lifer

Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 22,329
Columbus, GA USA
As cool as the screenshots are, I have to say, nice writing skills! Thanks! smile


The issue is not p*ssy. The issue is monkey.
#4022715 - 10/15/14 12:08 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,244
FlatSpinMan Offline
Member
FlatSpinMan  Offline
Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,244
Land of the Rising Sun
How come you keep the HUD and icons on in the screenshots? Pushing 'H' will toggle them off.

#4022774 - 10/15/14 02:36 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
komemiute Offline
Hell Drummer
komemiute  Offline
Hell Drummer
Hotshot

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
Once again Heinkill does it. Great skills. You should and could earn a living with that.


Click to reveal..
"Himmiherrgottksakramentzefixhallelujah!"
Para_Bellum

"It takes forever +/- 2 weeks for the A-10 to get anywhere significant..."
Ice

"Ha! If it gets him on the deck its a start!"
MigBuster

"What people like and what critics praise are rarely the same thing. 'Critic' is just another one of those unnecessary, overpaid, parasitic jobs that the human race has churned out so that clever slackers won't have to actually get a real job and possibly soil their hands."
Sauron
#4022788 - 10/15/14 02:57 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: FlatSpinMan]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Originally Posted By: FlatSpinMan
How come you keep the HUD and icons on in the screenshots? Pushing 'H' will toggle them off.


Fair question. I did try without the HUD but for AAR writing in this game I decided to keep them on - ground targets are very hard to see in the screen shots (a bit easier in game) because they are usually small dots on a white background. It helps guide the reader/viewer's eye a little bit. I'm not trying to win any screenshot prizes, just illustrate the narrative.

Another thing is that in BoS aircraft in the same flight all have the same skins (no unique identifiers), so again it makes it harder for the reader to know which aircraft is which, without the HUD ID tags.

Cheers,

H




[Linked Image]
#4022822 - 10/15/14 04:26 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Mission 3: An Awkward Silence [Re: komemiute]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Mission 2: Taking lessons



"So, you are so smart, what is right, and what is wrong?" Petrovna challenged me. "This war is right? Or this war is wrong?"

Most gunners want to talk about women. Even the women gunners, want to whine about other women. Or their mothers. Not Petrovna, no, she is a philosopher. Her father was an escaped Menshevik who fled to Paris in '21. I wished she had stayed there with him. What kind of a daughter leaves her elderly father alone in occupied Paris to go and fight a war?

We were on our way to the day's target, supporting our front lines against a German push.



Our targets were artillery and vehicles, tanks if we spotted them. I was not optimistic about the ability of my little tin rockets to make much of a dent in a Panzer, but I did have my VYa-23mm - that should at least be able to slow them down.

It was, unfortunately, a long flight to the target, but at least it was over friendly territory on our side of the Volga.



"The Germans are driving east toward Moscow, and you ask me that?"



"My family had our farm taken away from us, in the name of what is 'right'", she said, "Where acts of violence are committed in the name of 'right', sorrow reigns and blood must flow."

"With our 4 IL2s and 4 Yaks we will commit some violence," I agreed. "And that's very right if you ask me."



I wiped some sweat from my brow. The cockpit was stifling hot at these low altitudes, with the engine buzzing at cruising revolutions.



"Ask Hitler, and he will tell you what he is doing is right," she argued. "So who is wrong?"

We neared the target area and I saw artillery flash on the horizon, ours or theirs, it was too far yet to see. "Look," I told Petrovna, "Do me a favour. If you see a German on our tail, do him some violence. If you shoot him down before he kills you, ask yourself if that was right."



"Gull flight," I called to the other pilots, "Enemy targets to starboard. I see tanks, trucks, and arty. Gull 1 and 2 break right. Gull three and four break left. You are free to engage. Try to destroy those tanks first. Happy hunting."

I dropped my nose at a tank trundling underneath us, and selected rockets. They leapt off the rails. For good luck, I also thumbed my 23mm and felt the hammering shake the IL2. Now we would see what those ROS-82s could do against a German tank.





Not much, apparently.

"Useless rockets!" I muttered.

"You missed again," she observed.

"No, I straddled him with all 8 of my rockets, and he just kept on going," I said.



"Missed. You are the worst shot in the VVS. Seriously."

"Taking ground fire!" called Ikonnikov in Gull 2, "AAA in the trees!"

"Break off Gull2, try to make it home," I ordered him. "I did not miss," I told Petrovna. "That was a Panzer IV. These rockets are useless against them. I shall have to make a report for the intel officer."

"Yeah, report that you missed," she said. "Line of artillery in the treeline at 11 o'clock," she said, "See it?"



Suddenly her gun chattered. I screwed my head around and saw what she was firing at. A 109G peeled away from behind us, trailing smoke.

"Got him!" she cried triumphantly.



"He's still flying," I countered, sullenly.

"Not for long, look at that smoke!"



"It's probably just his reserve fuel."

"Definitely going down."

"To land, get some more ammunition."

"Yeah, he's dead. Hey, you want to swap seats? I bet I could kill a tank if you let me."

I lined up on the artillery emplacements and selected bombs. I would show her what true marksmanship was.



Point blank, in a screaming dive, I pickled my FAB 100Ms.





They fell as true as a plumbers weight, straight at the German artillery.



The guns disappeared in a thundercloud with a clap we could hear even inside the cockpit as we pulled away.

"You missed one," Petrovna said.

"You mean I got three!" I corrected her.

"Sure, with four huge bombs, but you missed one," she pointed out, "He's still firing."



I gritted my teeth and whirled the IL2 around on its length, and pointed it back toward the target. Well, whirled is probably an exaggeration. Imagine a cow whirling on its length in a pool of mud - more like that.

I opened up with the VYa-23...



There was a satisfying krump as the enemy's ammunition went up, and the crew stumbled from the gun pit.



"Four out of four," I told Petrovna.

"Target destroyed," I heard Gull 3 call triumphantly. "Ammunition gone."

"Gull 4 report."

"Ammunition gone here too Gull leader," he replied, "Got a truck. Leaking some oil."

"Anyone see Gull 2 get away?" I asked.

"He went down near our lines," came the reply. "Looked pretty bad."



"Alright Gull flight," I sighed, "Let's call it a day. Gull leader to Gull escort, we are going home."

The Yaks acknowledged. They were also celebrating, having bagged a 109G themselves.





"We still have ammunition," Petrovna pointed out. "You only fired three seconds worth of 23mm."

"Thankyou timekeeper Petrovna," I told her. "When we get safely home, you can count how many shells I used."



I settled into the cockpit, sweat cooling inside my flight jacket. I realised I was still breathing hard. Lost a man dammit. Why hadn't we seen that AAA? We could have knocked it out first and had the battlefield to ourselves. Apart from those 109s of course. I had to admit, Petrovna had done her job well. I hadn't seen the 109 go in, but if it was confirmed, it was her first kill. I had yet to open my score.

Then suddenly the opportunity came to change that.

"Gull leader to Gull escort!" I yelled, "Bandits 2 o'clock, 4 of them, ten thousand feet, see them?"



There was a slight pause, then, "Acknowledged Gull leader, I count two 109s, two Stukas."



"Gull escort, you take the 109s, we'll take the Stukas," I ordered.

"Acknowledged," he replied, and I saw his flight peel off to attack.



"Gull flight, continue to base, I still have ammunition, I'll take a swipe at these two and see you back there."

"Going to get myself a Stuka," Petrovna announced.

"Not if I get him first," I told her.

"You'll miss, overshoot, and I'll get him," she said happily. "For sure."

As we closed, the Stuka drivers realised their escort had been peeled away, and they were alone in the sky. They broke in two directions.



23mm slugs and rockets might bounce off Panzer IVs, but they make short work of Stukas. A few short bursts and the first was ablaze.



"What is that smoke, is it us?" Petrovna cried in alarm, "Did you let him hit us?!"



"Calm down," I told her. "One down, one to go."

As he fell away, I got onto the tail of the second.



Three bursts this time, and he was smoking.



I saw one chute, and then his machine buried itself into the Eastern bank of the Volga. Well, at least one German had made it across the Volga, I reflected.



"Greedy swine," Petrovna muttered. "Couldn't let me have my victory could you. I got one, so you had to get two."

"Just doing what was right," I told her.



"Just doing what was right."






















[Linked Image]
#4022891 - 10/15/14 07:05 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,800
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer
RSColonel_131st  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,800
Vienna, 2nd rock left.
I just love your talent for creative writing!

#4023241 - 10/16/14 03:17 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
komemiute Offline
Hell Drummer
komemiute  Offline
Hell Drummer
Hotshot

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
Yup, he's doing it... right. smile


Click to reveal..
"Himmiherrgottksakramentzefixhallelujah!"
Para_Bellum

"It takes forever +/- 2 weeks for the A-10 to get anywhere significant..."
Ice

"Ha! If it gets him on the deck its a start!"
MigBuster

"What people like and what critics praise are rarely the same thing. 'Critic' is just another one of those unnecessary, overpaid, parasitic jobs that the human race has churned out so that clever slackers won't have to actually get a real job and possibly soil their hands."
Sauron
#4023292 - 10/16/14 05:49 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,771
Para_Bellum Offline
Oberkriegkaboomfhrer
Para_Bellum  Offline
Oberkriegkaboomfhrer
Hotshot

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 8,771
Germany
Nicely done.

smile

Just... how about switching off the HUD for the screenshots?


"...late afternoon the Air Tasking Order came in [and] we found the A-10 part and we said, "We are going where!? We are doing what!?"

Capt. Todd Sheehy, Hog pilot, on receiving orders during Operation Desert Storm

#4023325 - 10/16/14 06:47 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 7,310
Stratos Offline
Hotshot
Stratos  Offline
Hotshot

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 7,310
Amposta, Spain
Nice reading mate! Nice reading!!


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#4023657 - 10/17/14 02:28 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Mission 3: An Awkward Silence



I realise that in my old age, I talk about Agrippina Petrovna more than is strictly healthy. My grandson said to me the other day, "Dedushka, why do you talk so much about this Agrippina Petrovna, who you didn't even like?"

How do you explain that to a young man who was not there? With his iThis and iThat, who never went through a day of suffering in his life with any of his friends, or even better, his enemies?

How even though someone was in your life such a short time, even though they vexed you every day and called you names and made your life a misery, that you can also miss this person and still think about them seventy years later?

I may forget where I put my keys this morning, but I remember those days in 1942 better than anything else.

Like the attack on Pitomnik. We had been hammered all through September as the German forces drove a wedge into Stalingrad. On the day we attacked Pitomnik, the main Luftwaffe airfield on the Stalingrad front, the 228ShAP could raise only three IL2s for the attack.



Three aircraft to attack the most heavily defended airfield on the front! It was home to the 109Fs and Gs of JG3 and they did not welcome visitors.



Command had been able to scrape together a few Yaks to escort us, but it was a miserable effort, and I couldn't help but moan about it on our way to target.



Even the new paint job the ground crew had given my machine, with its bold and confident colours, did not help.



"Did you listen to that briefing Petrovna?" I asked my gunner.

"Sure."

"You haven't said anything."

"What's to say? We fly thirty kilometres behind enemy lines, hit Pitomnik, and we either die, or get captured and die, or we make it back home and die tomorrow."



"I admire your optimism. You are like that idiot mission planner, who gave us a secondary target at Gumrak, in case we still had any ammunition left after attacking Pitomnik."



"So what?" she said, "Sitting there in your nice warm cockpit moaning. Would you rather be down there?"

She was talking about the city of Stalingrad, where our troops were huddled around lamps made out of shell cases with wicks torn from the ruined greatcoats of dead men.



Miraculously, we made it into the target area without trouble.

"You are the one who was talking about right and wrong yesterday," I reminded her, "Suddenly you are a fatalist and everything is fine?"

She was probably counting to ten under her breath, because there was a minute or two before her voice came into my helmet loud and clear, "Listen comrade. I was asking what you thought, not talking about me. I had to sell everything I had, and I mean everything, to get to England when Paris fell. It took me a year of bugging anyone who would listen, to let me get on a filthy rusting boat to Murmansk and I virtually walked all the way to Leningrad to enlist. Ask me why I did it."

I looked out the window, a train was pulling away from the town near the airfield. No doubt loaded with Swiss chocolate and German cigarettes for the spoiled German troops.



I keyed my radio, "OK Shell flight, we are going to make one pass at Pitomnik. Just one. You will go in, unload everything you have on whatever you can find, and then we are getting out of here. Forget meeting up near Gumrak, just get out of here, get back across our lines and head home." I turned the internal comms back on, "Alright Petrovna, tell me why. I suppose you will tell me anyway."

She spoke with a passion I had not heard before. "I did it, because every day that the state created by Lenin continues to exist, is a death blow to Fascism. Fascism has no choice, it must either destroy us, or it will perish. The hatred Fascism bears us is a proof - a far reaching proof of the justice of Lenins cause. The more the Fascists hate us, the more certain I am of our own rightness!

Then it was too late for more debate, as our escort of Yaks began tangling with the 109s defending the airfield, and I armed the rockets and bombs on our suddenly small and very lightly protected IL2.



Ground fire, break left! Petrovna called, and I kicked the rudder savagely, slewing us left as heavy calibre AAA flew over our heads.



By the time I straightened up I saw Shell 2, Kirillov, was about to make his run and flying flat out across the enemy airfield through a hail of ground fire.



I saw a line of Heinkels, with some trucks parked at one end. I hoped they held ammunition or fuel. At 400km/h, engine screaming, AAA guns hammering all around us, I let fly with my HE rockets.



Something exploded where I had aimed, looking like a hit.



To be doubly sure, I let fly with my external bombs.





Holyyou actually hit something! Petrovna yelled.

I barely heard her. Tracer was criss-crossing the air ahead of me and I pulled the Ilyushin into a sweeping turn. Up above I saw one Yak going down in a pyre of ugly black smoke, followed closely by a 109.



Hey, there is that train, Petrovna called. Right below us.



I had just cleared the worst of the flak zones. We had disrupted operations at Pitomnik and we were still alive. The fighters of LG3 were still tangled with our Yaks. It was time to leave.

Dont care. I told her. I pointed the IL2 toward our lines. The train fell away behind us. There was sure to be at least one, probably two flak cars on that train, and they would be wide awake after all our buzzing around over Pitomnik.



You still have bombs, you coward! Petrovna screamed. There is no excuse!

Thats you coward, Sir, I cautioned her.

Ill report you to the Commissar!

I sighed. Perhaps she was right. Die today, die tomorrow, what did it matter?

Dont pee in your pants gunner, I told her, Ill make a run on your train. Just one.

The good thing about trains, unlike vehicles and aircraft, is that they dont have much choice about where to go. I flew down the railway line, turned around, and headed back toward the fleeing train.



It was not a perfect approach, but I was not going to make another. As it entered a gentle curve in the tracks, I tried to match its curving path and let fly with my four remaining bombs in a string half a second apart. The first fell short, and the second fell wide.



But the third



It hit near one of the flak cars and exploded like a 500kg bunker buster. But by then we were already over and past it. It was the fourth bomb that nearly killed us. That one hit the locomotive, and it went up in a ball of compressed fury. The entire cockpit lit up yellow. Petrovna screamed. And the IL2 bucked like the hand of God had taken hold and lifted us out of harms way.





It is very possible, in that moment, as I fought to control the aircraft again, that I may have soiled myself, just a little.



I got the machine pointed toward our lines south of Stalingrad and trimmed for the fastest possible airspeed. Petrovna said nothing, the whole way home. I wrenched myself around in the cockpit to check she was still alive, and moving, called her a couple of times on the comms, but she would not respond. Not even when a flak battery opened up on us and a shell from an 88 outside of Stalingrad exploded right in her ear.





Petrovna! Agrippina? Nothing. Can you hear me you ugly old cow?

Even that got no response. I started to worry that she had been injured, maybe she was bleeding to death back there. I called an emergency and got priority to land at Pichuga. Agrippina! I called on the comms, Were home. Not long now.



As I pulled off the airstrip, soldiers ran to our plane to assist.



I jumped out onto the wing and grabbed her shoulder, but she shook my hand away roughly and looked at me.

If you everEVERdrop your bombs again at such low altitude I will rip my svoloch machine gun off its mount and shoot you in the head, she said fiercely.

Listening to her foul mouthed abuse after that missionall the way back to the debriefing and well into the nightthat was one of the happiest moments of my war.

(With apologies to Vasily Grossman, for borrowing Petrovna's fascism speech from 'Life and Fate', which btw is one of the classic Russian war novels.)




[Linked Image]
#4023661 - 10/17/14 02:36 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
komemiute Offline
Hell Drummer
komemiute  Offline
Hell Drummer
Hotshot

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
Brilliant once more. Even though we now know he will survive. Precious writing. Congrats.


Click to reveal..
"Himmiherrgottksakramentzefixhallelujah!"
Para_Bellum

"It takes forever +/- 2 weeks for the A-10 to get anywhere significant..."
Ice

"Ha! If it gets him on the deck its a start!"
MigBuster

"What people like and what critics praise are rarely the same thing. 'Critic' is just another one of those unnecessary, overpaid, parasitic jobs that the human race has churned out so that clever slackers won't have to actually get a real job and possibly soil their hands."
Sauron
#4024025 - 10/18/14 06:26 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Bumfluff Offline
Member
Bumfluff  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
More please

#4024365 - 10/19/14 10:59 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
AAR 4: Volga on Fire

The battle moved into a new phase that November. Our forces began a counterattack at last, and started to choke the neck of the German salient.

Petrovna and I found ourselves leading several missions a day deep into the Stalingrad pocket. There was not much time, or energy, for banter and I barely remember each one. Only a couple stand out.



We were moved to Illarionovskiy airfield, and began flying from there. The first mission from that field was an attack on artillery positions behind German lines. We had to fight through a screen of German fighters to reach the target.



Our escorts fought bravely.





And we hit the German artillery hard.






I remember it because afterward, we got a little piece of tin to pin to our jackets.



On our next mission, I said to Petrovna, "So gunner Petrovna, you are now a hero of Kalach! How does that feel?"

She did not reply. Instead she said, "Look down there. It is like everything is turned around. The fire runs like a river, and the Volga is burning."



Petrovna was turning more and more in on herself, and getting angrier. Not just at me, but at everything.

I remember one mission, where we were sent out to hunt enemy supply convoys. We found one moving through an occupied village.





We circled the convoy, making attack after attack until it was a smoking mess, with German soldiers tumbling burning from their vehicles or running panic stricken through the snow.





As we pulled away after our final run, I heard Petrovna's gun open up, and looking over my shoulder, saw her standing up in her position, machine gunning the soldiers below.



"Comrade Petrovna!" I called, "What are you doing!"

Her gun fell silent and she fell back into her seat, reattaching her harness. "Some of the swine were still moving," she said.

She was never the charming one, never the life of the party, but after all, I met her at a dance - there was a human side to her then. It was slowly vanishing from view.

That night I saw her standing outside our bunker, smoking, and I joined her. "Clearing up," I said, looking up at the stars, "Good flying tomorrow."

"My father was executed," she said. "In Paris. A month ago."

"Oh."

"For listening to a shortwave radio, the neighbours said. He was trying to get Russian news."

"I'm sorry."

Her voice and eyes had the burning cold of alcohol.

Of course, another thing I remember from that time...I do remember the first time we were shot down.

We had been sent to ataack a train near Gumrak, but we couldn't find it, so we emptied our guns on a German field artillery position and were heading home when our fighters spotted some Heinkels with a small escort above us. They began to chase after them.

"Let's join them," Petrovna said, "Too few Germans have died on this mission so far."

So we went after the Heinkels. Of course, the fighters got there faster than our heavier IL2s.



One group of them went after the escort, while the rest latched onto the bombers.





By the time we closed, they were all trailing smoke, but I tried to get within firing range and get a few hits, if only for the sake of Petrovna's morale.



The Heinkel's belly gunner was not totally out of the fight though, and he put a few rounds into us from extreme range.



Soon our machine was trailing an ugly black plume of oily smoke and I had no choice but to let it sink slowly lower as the revs dropped away.



We were behind our own lines, but nowhere near an airfield.

The engine changed its note, and I knew our time was up.

"Petrovna!" I called on the internal comms, "It's no use, we will have to jump. I can't risk trying to land."

There was no answer.

"Petrovna, acknowledge!"

She gave a one word reply, "Acknowledged."

I unbuckled and threw back my canopy. "We are at 800 feet." I told her, "Pull your cord as soon as you are out! Going on ten," I said, and unplugged the radio from my helmet, counting to myself...6...5...4...3...2...

I threw myself out onto the wing and was tumbled through space, scrabbling for the parachute cord. Somehow I pulled it and got through that terryifying moment where it seems it wouldn't open, then it jerked me hard and left me floating in the air behind my doomed machine. I looked around for Petrovna's chute. I couldn't see it! I think I yelled, out loud, "Get out you stupid woman!" I could imagine her, still sitting in her position, arms crossed, waiting for the end. "Jump!"

Then a parachute bloomed in front of me, and I laughed like a fool.



Of course she jumped.

There were still Germans on Russian soil, and that was an insult more important than her own death.






[Linked Image]
#4035583 - 11/13/14 10:09 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 727
BlueHeron Offline
Member
BlueHeron  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 727
Ottawa, Canada
Great writing, Heinkill. Really enjoyed this!

#4037708 - 11/18/14 10:17 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Bumfluff Offline
Member
Bumfluff  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Lovely writing.

Reminds me of the Ciel en Ruine and Romain Hugault comic series (why the hell aren't those things translated into English by the way).

#4038314 - 11/20/14 11:28 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,800
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer
RSColonel_131st  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,800
Vienna, 2nd rock left.
I can only echo the praise on your writing and story telling. Keep up the great entertainment. smile

#4038468 - 11/20/14 04:21 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 628
Donk Offline
Member
Donk  Offline
Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 628
Dudley, West Midlands
That's it, I'm hooked! Keep up the good work.

#4038804 - 11/21/14 07:52 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Thx all, next episode 'in press'...was having probs with game freezing but updated drivers fixed that now.

H


[Linked Image]
#4039364 - 11/22/14 02:05 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR: The Killing Field [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
The Killing Field

Two weeks later the ring closed around the German invaders. The 13th and 14th mechanised punched through German 6th Army lines from the east, while the 5th tank rolled them back in the west. By 22 November we had 300,000 German troops bottled up between Kalach and the Volga.

It was killing time.



I stepped out into the cold morning air at Kachalinskaya airfield above the Don river valley, looking for Petrovna. She was never hard to find, she would be somewhere near our new Ilyushin, unhappy with something.

Just then a loudspeaker struck up from beside the officer quarters. An immense voice began to sing.

May noble fury boil up like waves!
This is the people's war, a sacred war!


Since there were no human beings around, and since everything around about - the earth, the sky, the dirty river down in the valley - was lit up by flame, it seemed as though the war itself was singing.

I found her swaddled in five layers of uniform, thick gloves, fur lined hat, looking for all the world like a grubby potato picker, hammering at the barrel of one of our new Shpitalny ShFK-37mm underwing cannons with a metal pipe. A very concerned group of armourers hovered a short distance from her, looking relieved that I had shown up.

I watched her for a moment, as she lifted the heavy pipe up over her shoulder, and then swung it like an American baseball bat into the base of the cannon barrel. Then she stooped to peer into the ammunition loading port on the cannon, before standing again and repeating her brutalisation of the barrel.

After watching for a few minutes, I called out, "Did our machine offend you in some way gunner Petrovna?"

Whack, stoop, peer, whack.

"Perhaps our new anti-tank guns provoke you because your little 12.7mm Berezin is so tiny?"

Whack, stoop, peer, whack.

Suddenly there was a leaden clang, and a 37mm HE round fell out of the gun pod's ammunition port and onto the icy ground.

Exhausted, Petrovna lowered her pipe, panting heavily. The senior armourer, who I recognised as Smirnov, picked up the HE round from the ground, shrugged at me, and walked off to dispose of it.

"I test fired the guns, and it jammed," she said.

"So you decided the best idea to free a jammed HE round was to belt it with a pipe."

She pointed to a smouldering oil pot under the wing which I hadn't noticed, "I heated the barrel. To expand it."

"Ah. So you cooked the HE round first, before you belted it with a pipe."

She sighed, "Smirnov wanted to take our machine off the line, disassemble the cannon. We would been off operations all day."

"You could have been off operations for eternity, gunner," I told her. Such a shame she had cleared the jam. The thought of a day of doing paperwork rather than being shot at was obviously more appealing to me than to the homicidal Agrippina Petrovna.

The gun crew had hustled over to the newly cleared NS-37 and were busy feeding a belt of alternating HE and AP rounds into the gun port. I looked dubiously up at the barrel of the other ShFK-37.



We were one of only nine aircraft in the 688th ShAP of the 228th Attack Air Division to be equipped with the monster cannons and had only been using them for a week or so. We had yet to put them into action against a German panzer. They kicked like a mule, could knock 40km/h off your airspeed when they fired, and if the guns fell out of synchronisation, it was only the first rounds that went anywhere near the target, the alternating kick of the guns would cause the aircraft to yaw left and right - which was fine for spraying troop positions, but useless against armoured vehicles. And god help you if one of the guns jammed and the other kept firing, the yaw could just about rip the wing off and send you cartwheeling in.

Plus, if that wasn't enough, if you fired the guns in a dive, as you would against any ground target, they made the nose pitch down even further. The 300kg weight and drag of guns and ammunition pods gave us a top airspeed of just 372kph at treetop height, slowed our rate of climb and lengthened our takeoff.

"I don't like them," I told Petrovna.

"They can kill German tanks," she said, "Better than rockets. And a single hit will bring down a Heinkel."

"They make my Ilyushin fly like a pig."

"It already flies like a pig, with you at the stick."

"Alright, a drunken pig."

"Let me fly it then, I am accustomed to dealing with drunken pigs," she said, without a smile.

I showed Petrovna the target I had circled on the map. "Well, you will soon have your chance to see them in action," I told her. "We are going to Kalach to kick some tanks in the zhopa."



It was no longer a matter of having to find the enemy. They were huddled in holes and trenches and shattered buildings inside what they called the Stalingrad Kessel. Or trying desperately to find a hole in our lines so they could break out if Hitler gave the word.

As we took off, it occurred to me I had heard the term the Germans were using for their Stalingrad pocket, but I didn't know what it meant.



"Petrovna, you are so smart," I asked, "Why do the Germans call their positions around Stalingrad, the Kessel?"

"It means cauldron," she said.

I frowned, "That doesn't sound like something a soldier would say. Especially a soldier surrounded by the enemy shelling him day and night and facing certain death. They should come up with something more...manly and profane."

"It also means bowl, sinkhole...or toilet," she added.

"Ah, much better," I agreed.

I returned to my survey of the sky around us...left rear, up, left forward, up, right forward, up, right rear...I saw Petrovna also quartering the sky with her gun. New habits died hard. We had a few Laggs in escort, the 109s were fewer now, they had to fly further, and our own fighters dominated over the Kessel, but that meant nothing if we were unlucky.



The thought alone jinxed us.

"AAA!" Petrovna called, "Damn, Yakov is hit!"



It was almost impossible to see the hidden anti air guns and vehicles before they opened up, and we were supposed to ignore them until we had hit our target. We watched helplessly as Yakov's Ilyushin burst into flame.



His wing dropped and we saw one chute as the plane the fell from the sky, but only one.





"Gunner didn't make it," I guessed.

We flew on in silence, the trip to the target only broken briefly as we sighted a staffel of Stukas crossing our path.



"Imagine what a 37mm round would do to one of them," Petrovna said wistfully.

"We might find out one day," I promised her.

"No! The damn escort is going after them!" she yelled. I saw her shaking her fist at the Laggs as they peeled away, leaving us unprotected.



"Fighters..." she muttered, "All want to be Heroes of The Soviet Union, but the Germans are getting too rare."

"Let's hope they are rare over Kalach," I said. "We'll be there any minute."

Up ahead I saw a town burning and knew we were nearing our target. German panzers, using precious fuel and ammunition to try to force a hole through our lines, hoping someone could get through and rescue them.



Circling above them, I saw two fighters...German or Russian, I couldn't be sure. There would be no time to find out.



"Fighters 11 o'clock and high!" I warned, "Swan flight, circle and attack German tanks - a bottle of cognac for every panzer, on me!"

There was undisciplined cheering as the flight broke off to begin the hunt.

"You do not have any cognac," Petrovna pointed out.

"No. But I have vodka and brown boot polish. Keep an eye on those fighters."

Petrovna grunted, unimpressed.

I spotted a dirty white panzer, crawling across the snow beneath us, then a line of them, heading for our positions outside Kalach. I put the nose down and lined up behind the nearest.

"Fighter coming in!" Petrovna called.



"Then hold him off!" I ordered her. "Starting attack run!"



I tried to focus on the target in front of me, and shut out the evil silhouette falling on us from above.



Then it all happened simultaneously.

I opened up with the 37mm cannons, leading the tank, knowing the shells would seem to walk backward toward it.



The IL2 bucked wildly, yawing left, right, and left again.



At about 100metres I let fly with rockets, keeping my thumb on the cannons for good measure.



"You filthy Nazi swine!" I heard Petrovna swear over comms as her gun began hammering too. "He's right on us Mostovskoy, do something!"



The plane began to shake even harder and I knew it was not just our own guns this time, we were taking hits from the 109! I smelled oily smoke.

"Come on! Come on!" Petrovna yelled, at me, or the German, I couldn't tell.



Rockets and AP shells from the 37mm slammed into the back of the tank, and I pulled hard on the stick.



We kept sinking, sinking and the tank went up in a huge explosion right in front of us.



Then we were clear and pulling away, Petrovna's gun still hammering in my ears.



"Where are the fighters?" I called urgently.

"Right...on...top...of...us," Petrovna grunted.



"I tagged him!" she yelled then. "He's smoking."

As he screamed overhead, trailing thick black smoke, I ducked. Then as I watched, his machine rolled slowly onto its back and ploughed into the snow.



"Nice work Petrovna," I said. "For a ballroom dancer you are one hell of a gunner."

"Just get us home, hotshot," she said, but I could hear a smile in her voice.

It wasn't going to be easy. There were now four 109s circling around us like vultures, and not another Russian aircraft in sight. I pulled the Ilyushin into a series of tight half circles at treetop level, fighting against a stall. The Germans were taking turns, swooping, firing, pulling up again. Petrovna's MG barking back at them. It was hopeless. Unless...

"Laggs!" I called, "Escort is back!"

Our tardy friends had finally arrived for the party.



They fell on the Germans and scattered them and I rolled flat and headed away from the dogfight.

That was not going to be so easy. I turned the aircraft toward the nearest friendly field, but it was at least ten minutes away. We were bleeding oil, and it was spewing onto my forward wind shield.



But the other damage we had taken was superficial, so keeping him straight and level was no problem, and I nursed the engine until the airfield came into view.



There was no time for niceties, I dropped flaps and gear, noticing the airfield was deserted. At least there was no traffic to worry about.



Our Ilyushin was a mess so we had to leave it on the airfield and walk out to the nearest village. It took two days for us to get back to Kachalinskaya, Petrovna #%&*$# all the way about how we should be flying, not sightseeing. We hitched a ride on a truck to the Don, and then took a steamer north overnight.

"If you would learn to evade, we could have flown home," she kept telling me.

"If you would shoot better, they wouldn't have hit us at all," I grumbled.

"I shoot well enough," she replied. "You can ask that dead German when you see him."

I was tired of her moaning and my hands were shaking with cold when I finally walked into my quarters and threw my flight gear on my bunk.

I nearly didn't notice the small envelope on my pillow. Mail! The first letter from home that I had received since October. It was from Lyudmila, my wife. Postmarked from Kazan, 200 miles up the Volga river where they had been evacuated in the spring. She would be six months pregnant by now, working as a pharmacist in the famous Kazan Soap Factory, and trying to raise our two children at the same time, without grandparents to help.

I ripped it open, dreading what might be inside, and almost wept with relief at how normal the news from home was, after all this time...

A photograph fell out. After a moment I recognised in the middle, at the front, it was my wife, with my son, taken from behind and viewing a display of patriotic posters in Kazan.



Life at the factory is hard but it is hard for everyone...I am easily tired and need to sit down a lot...the way the factory is organised shows the benefits of the socialist system, the bosses have to arrive at six, but we workers don't start until nine!...the neighbours are stealing my laundry, I am sure...Natalya is convinced she is ugly and will grow up deformed by our poor diet...Viktor's biggest complaint is that the tea is always cold by the time he gets up in the morning....

And Lyudmila had sent a big list of her favourite boys names, in case we got another boy. But she couldn't think of a single girl's name she liked.

It was fantastically boring.

I resolved to write back to my wife straight away; to Viktor to tell him to get up earlier if he wanted hot tea (and go back to bed with it after) and to poor little Natalya. I would tell her not to worry about her looks, that the most beautiful women in our family also started life ugly like her.

And I would tell Lyudmila, for a baby girl's name...why not Agrippina? Especially if this one was ugly too.


[Linked Image]
#4039478 - 11/22/14 07:05 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR: The Killing Field [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,800
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer
RSColonel_131st  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,800
Vienna, 2nd rock left.
You really should be getting a job offer from the developers to do the campaign briefings and storyline.

#4039700 - 11/23/14 08:23 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR: The Killing Field [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
Juergen Offline
Member
Juergen  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 144
A joy to read! Thanks comrade !

#4043486 - 11/30/14 11:43 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: a BoS campaign AAR: One Fine Day [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
ONE FINE DAY

The German high command did not seem too determined to free the troops starving and freezing to death in the Kessel

They made a brave attempt to hold out, but there was no one trying to reach them from German lines.



The only supplies reaching them were those brought in by air, and our fighters were having a field day. Every day they brought down dozens of German Ju52s and He111s. The German airfields at Pitomnik and Gumrak looked more like junk yards than military airfields.



For us, those days were a blur of anti tank, anti troop, anti artillery missions.

One mission stands out, from start to finish.

A ground attack mission, inside the Kessel, where our troops and artillery were trying to root out entrenched German positions.



Petrovna arrived with a bruise on her cheek and I noticed she winced as she climbed into her gunner's position. Last I had seen her she was drinking a quiet beer with some of the other women.

I plugged in my radio cable and asked her over my shoulder..."So, romance or politics?"



She didn't reply. "Not romance then," I guessed. "So don't tell me, you insulted some general, or commissar, or someone's uncle who serves on the high command..."

"That damn Krymov," she finally said as we lifted off the icy runway, "She's a dubious character, I remember her when she arrived from Kiev, all full of herself and her time with the Trotskyists and Bukharinites..."



"There is not enough war for you down there...you have to also make war in your own barracks?"



"The new Russia," she grunted, "Has enemies everywhere. Now shut up and drive will you, it is too cold back here for chit chat."



But that is not why I remember the mission. We flew 40 minutes under a low grey sky toward the attack point, but when we arrived over where the front lines should be, I could see nothing.



No trenches, no dug in troops, no smoke or wrecked vehicles, the whole landscape below was snowy, white and undisturbed.

I ordered the flight to follow me in a racetrack course over the target area.

"Lost again," Petrovna muttered.

"Well, use your own eyes," I told her as we made another circuit, "Instead of just complaining."



"We're sitting ducks up here," she pointed out. "Why don't you just land and ask the Germans for directions?"

Then there was a mighty CRACK and a black cloud erupted behind us.



"Flak!" Petrovna yelled.

I pulled back on the stick, rolled the machine left and right, then levelled out. The controls were still responding.

"What damage?" I asked her.

"The tailplane is a mess," she said, "Full of holes, but seems to be holding."



"There's also a bunch of holes along the port wing root."



"And we're leaking something."



I called the flight to split up and look for targets. That flak position was down there somewhere!

I checked my gauges. Oil temp fine, water temp fine, fuel...I watched the needle on the fuel gauge carefully, was it...yes, it was our fuel leaking out into the air behind us.

There was some oil on the forward windscreen too, but through it I could make out...tracer fire. If they had just held their nerve we might never have seen them, but now I knew where the dug in German positions were.



"I can see a truck mounted flak gun, and two tanks, all dug in deep," I told Petrovna, "I'll take the flak position with bombs first."

"Just make it quick," she grunted, "I don't want to have to walk home again."

I pickled two bombs as we flashed over the top of the German position...it was firing at our comrades in front of us, so we got a clean shot.





It wasn't a direct hit, but I saw the Germans fling themselves from their position and dive into the snow.





Fuel was down to a half tank. Sixty kilometers home...we had time for one more run.

"He's smoking," Petrovna called, "Looks like he's out of action. I see two tanks to the right of him - Panzer IVs."



I pulled us around in a circle over our own lines, and then put the nose down toward the second german berm in the line, where a tank was dug in and firing at our troops in the treeline.



I lined up the 37mm cannons on the tank in the middle and began firing from 200 metres. 150. The guns hammering. 100. The Ilyushin bucking, throwing us forward as the recoil pulled on us like a tow rope. 50 metres!

Finally the tank went up in a yellow and orange ball of flame and I hauled back on the stick.







"Not bad," Petrovna said. I think it was the most effusive praise she ever gave me.

I called the flight to continue their attacks and told them I was heading straight for home. We made a beeline that would take us right over the middle of the Kessel, but there was nothing for it. Luckily we didn't pass any fighters, and soon the dark smoke of Stalingrad appeared on the horizon.





I was flying conservatively, and gradually all the others joined us. I sighed with relief. We made a fine sight for the troops as we crossed the Volga in perfect formation. Bloodied, but unbroken.



Only fumes left in the fuel tank.

The holes in the wing worried me. Would the wheels come down?



I pulled the gear lever and there was a satisfying bump. Both wheels down and locked.



I glided us down with the prop windmilling to save the last of the fuel. Actually, that sounds too elegant. The IL2 is like a flying cement truck. It's better to say I let gravity bring the runway to us.



The engine spluttered as we crossed the threshold of the runway and slid silently past the watching troops.



"I bet the b**tards were taking bets whether we would make it," I said to Petrovna. But I was happy. A fine mission after all. It was starting to look like we might make it through this war, Agrippina Petrovna and I. Our luck was holding. I had a good feeling.

"My face hurts, I'm cold, and I didn't even get to fire my gun," she said.

Yes, on that one day in November, all was well with the world.










[Linked Image]
#4047178 - 12/07/14 08:09 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #7 Dec 7: Barsagino [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Barsagino

"Seriously," Agrippina Petrovna complained, "Just look at it."

It was a fair comment. I tried to imagine seeing it again for the first time.

It was larger. About a metre longer and three metres wider than our IL2. It had a nose made largely of glass, where the engine on our IL2 was. Instead of one AM38 engine, it had two M105Ks cranking 1200 horsepower each. There was a 7.62 mm ShKAS machine gun in the nose, together with a 12.7 mm Berezin UB, the equivalent of the powerful .50 calibre gun on the American lend-lease P39s. Two rearward firing 7.62 mm ShKAS in the dorsal, one Berezin UB in the gunner's ventral hatch and 1 ShKAS you could stick out the side ports, both mostly for strafing.

"It's a Peshka," I told her. "Frontovoe Trebovanie - Request from the Front."

"I request," she said, "To be transferred back to our old unit."



"And I know it's a Peshka," she added. "I've been redoing my bombadier training all week. What I want to know, is...is it a bomber, or a dive bomber, or a heavy fighter or...just an uglier way to die. It looks like half of everything and none of anything."

"Two engines," I pointed out, "Twice the chance of getting home."

"Twice the noise," she replied.

"1600kg of bombs - twice what we could carry in the IL2."

"No rockets."

"Get in."

"I don't want to go inside it. I want our Ilyushin back. Besides, that fat moron is in there."

The fat moron was Seratov, who was neither fat, nor a moron. He was our new second gunner, and I knew it was only that she now had to share her guns with another, that was making Petrovna crabby.

She climbed inside anyway, and sat sullenly on the little bench inside the joint bombadier/gunner/radio operator station.



We weren't being given any time to familiarise ourselves. I had made a few circuits and touch and go landings in the Peshka over the last week, and we had dropped a few dummy bombs, but Petrovna had been mostly sulking in her barracks, before we had finally been called to a briefing for a raid on Basargino airfield inside the Kessel.



"Say hello to Seratov," I told her over my shoulder as I started the engines.





"Screw Seratov," she replied.

I had to admit, I was enjoying myself. Both her reaction, and also the feel of this machine. It leapt forward as I applied power and she fairly jumped off the runway.



The thought of having an extra gunner in the belly to watch below us, was also reassuring, even if it was more of a philosophical help than a practical one.



Seratov had to aim his belly gun through a periscope viewing port which steered the gun mechanically, and I had been told by the other Peshka pilots that I should load it with tracer and order my gunner to fire early, so that any attacking fighter would see it and make the mistake of thinking it was dangerous to attack from that quarter. "It is easier to hit a flying sparrow with a potato," they said. "While drunk." But it was very good for keeping the flak crews' heads down as you made your egress.



I keyed my internal mike, "All set back there Seratov?"

"My mother has warts on her knees," he replied.

"Moron," Petrovna muttered. Maybe she was right.

Soon we were sailing through the sky over the Kessel, watching tracer fly, and mortars crump. None of it looked real from up here and by the time we had registered what was going on below, it was already falling behind us. I liked the fact that this machine had a max speed of 540km/h, more than 130km/h faster than the Ilyushin. It meant we could climb faster, get to the target quicker, get away quicker, and...

"There's a furball below us, look lively crew," I said.



"Listen to him," Petrovna said, sliding behind her gun. "Crew. Like he's captain of a battleship now."

"I used to sail boats on the lake near our house. We used to have ducks," Seratov chimed in. "But no one told father you had to clip their wings, so they flew south."

At 450 km/h cruising speed, and a closing speed twice that, the furball came quickly back toward us. Suddenly I saw the shape of a German bomber in front of us, and I dropped the nose.



"Swan flight," I called to the other two Peshkas. "Ignore the dogfight, stay in formation."

But then the German levelled out in front of me and I couldn't resist. "Ah, cancel that. Swan flight, free to engage!" There were whoops and hollers and my two wingmen broke away, ditching their bombs.

What was the point of being in a fast, heavily armed machine after all, if you weren't going to make the most of it?

I banked in behind the bomber.





My plan was to try to hit it without having to ditch my payload. One straight run, and dive toward the west to regroup. I wanted to try out the Peshka's dive bombing properties with live bombs, not just making practice swoops over our home field.

At 200 metres, coming in at a rear 45 degree angle, I opened up with the two nose guns. They made a satisfyingly heavy rattle.



The Heinkel began trailing smoke and I dropped back out of range of its gunners.



I set us up for a beam attack. It took no time in the fast twin engined machine, even with a heavy bomb load, to catch up and pass the Heinkel, and then I swung in on it. It turned clumsily away...



But to no avail. The heavy calibre rounds chewed across the wings from wingtip to wingtip and both engines started trailing thick black smoke.



He was doomed.

I didn't wait to see, I just pointed the nose toward the west and began calling my flight to regroup on me.

Petrovna kept up a running commentary.

"Going down in a straight line...no...coming level again....think you only damaged him...no...he's going in...there's a chute...yep, going down now..."



In no time at all we were over the target.



"What was the wind direction expected to be over the target," I asked Petrovna. Looking down at her small desk, she read from her notes.

"194 degrees," she said, "Seven meters a second."



"Hit the target from the northeast," I told my flight, "Break and begin strafing AAA while I go for the aircraft." They had ditched their bombs in the dogfight, but they could at least distract the AAA.

As I began to roll right, I saw a very unwelcome sight.



"Contrails!" I said, "High and 11 o'clock."

"Ours or theirs?" Seratov asked.

"We're over a German airfield, moron," Petrovna snapped, "What do you think?"





I wasted no time, pulled the machine around toward the northeast side of the enemy field, putting the German fighters behind us. But they had seen us, they pulled out of their circuit and turned toward us.



"Coming in!" Petrovna yelled.

"Two minutes to the attack run!" I yelled back, "Keep them off!" I fishtailed through the sky, not able to see where they were.

Her gun began a series of long chattering bursts, and then a dark shape flashed over my left shoulder. I opened the bomb doors.



"Missed him!" Petrovna cursed. I was just glad it seemed he had missed us.

If there were more of them, they were too late, I chopped the throttle, dropped the latticed dive brakes and pushed the Peshka into a screaming dive.



470 km/h..500...540...600...the ground billowed toward us and I tried to keep the nose pointed toward a line of parked Heinkels.



The machine was shaking like an express train, the wind roaring past the cockpit, I took my eyes off the airspeed - if the wings were going to rip off, then let them! We were pointed right at the Heinkels so if we went in, we would take half the airfield with us.

But she held together that tough new bird, and at 500 meters I hit the bomb release button five times, dumping half my bomb load...it was all I could do before I hauled back on the stick. I should have had Petrovna set the bombs to salvo; would have to remember that next time!



She was not only fast the Peshka, she was nimble, and she responded straight away. And as I levelled out, I heard the crump of my bombs followed by a satisfying secondary blast that gave us a small shove on our way.



"I'm counting three fires," Petrovna said. "You missed one."



Annoyed, I barked at her, "Fighters?! Where away?"

"Relax," she said, "They're busy playing with some fighter boys."









I'd had enough. We were well south of the target by now. I had five bombs left and I swung around to make a final run across the enemy field from west to east, and then I would continue home. I told the flight to finish their attack and make for home then lined up for a low level high speed run.

"This one is yours," I told Petrovna, "See if you remember anything from bombadier training."

"You flight straight and level at the target, I'll hit it," she said.

"OK, AAA emplacement, two kilometres dead ahead," I told her.



"Level at 500 metres, 470 km/h, you have the stick," I told her and switched flight control over to her. It would be a real test of her reflexes at this height and airspeed. She would have milliseconds to release.



The Peshka yawed a little, and Petrovna shoved it back on target.

"Bombs gone," she said, "She is yours again."



I banked away and watched a little jealously as the single 100 kg bomb landed right on top of the 88mm gun emplacement and exploded.



I dumped the rest of our bombs and pointed us away from the action. The sky was still full of swirling aircraft over the German field, and we had tested our luck enough for one day.





The rest of the trip went without incident.

Petrovna whistled to herself, in between chewing on a carrot. One of the disadvantages of having her inside the cockpit now.

Seratov said little, and what he did, was random noise.



I came in a little long on my landing approach, and had to pull up sharply, but it wasn't a bad landing considering I only had about five hours in the Peshka.

As I unbuckled, the two other machines both touched down and taxied past.



"So, what do you think now?" I asked Petrovna. "One Heinkel shot down, three destroyed on the ground, and you bagged an 88. All on one mission! We'll get a medal for sure."

"All that matters," she replied. "Is that today, the enemy died. That you managed to fly this thing without killing us, is a bonus. As for medals, your mother can keep them in her sock drawer when you are gone."



"My mother doesn't wear socks," Seratov said.




[Linked Image]
#4047200 - 12/07/14 09:03 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #7 Dec 7: Barsagino [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
komemiute Offline
Hell Drummer
komemiute  Offline
Hell Drummer
Hotshot

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
You pulled out of that dive at 500 feet?! biggrin Wowza, Must try that bird.


Click to reveal..
"Himmiherrgottksakramentzefixhallelujah!"
Para_Bellum

"It takes forever +/- 2 weeks for the A-10 to get anywhere significant..."
Ice

"Ha! If it gets him on the deck its a start!"
MigBuster

"What people like and what critics praise are rarely the same thing. 'Critic' is just another one of those unnecessary, overpaid, parasitic jobs that the human race has churned out so that clever slackers won't have to actually get a real job and possibly soil their hands."
Sauron
#4047209 - 12/07/14 09:40 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #7 Dec 7: Barsagino [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Bumfluff Offline
Member
Bumfluff  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Great writing.

Why not try one from the german side?

#4047224 - 12/07/14 10:02 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #7 Dec 7: Barsagino [Re: komemiute]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Originally Posted By: komemiute
You pulled out of that dive at 500 feet?! biggrin Wowza, Must try that bird.


Feet...metres...potatoes...potattos...

smile

Keep forgetting I'm Russian! (Did they even use meters?j

It is a great dive bomber tho. Great ground attack kite...looks and feels a lot like the British Mozzie, with a touch of the A10!


[Linked Image]
#4047252 - 12/07/14 11:05 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #7 Dec 7: Barsagino [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
komemiute Offline
Hell Drummer
komemiute  Offline
Hell Drummer
Hotshot

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 7,033
thumbsup
No probs, I figured out it was a little "translation" error.

Keep up, man. You're really talented.


Click to reveal..
"Himmiherrgottksakramentzefixhallelujah!"
Para_Bellum

"It takes forever +/- 2 weeks for the A-10 to get anywhere significant..."
Ice

"Ha! If it gets him on the deck its a start!"
MigBuster

"What people like and what critics praise are rarely the same thing. 'Critic' is just another one of those unnecessary, overpaid, parasitic jobs that the human race has churned out so that clever slackers won't have to actually get a real job and possibly soil their hands."
Sauron
#4049523 - 12/12/14 11:19 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #7 Dec 7: Barsagino [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Just learned from Zak that the Peshka is a 'she' (so is the Lagg) while all other VVS aircraft are a 'he'.

Makes me wonder what happens if you cross a Peshka with an Il2...

H


[Linked Image]
#4049921 - 12/13/14 10:20 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #9 Dec 13: The Bridges of Zhirnokleevka [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
The Bridges of Zhirnokleevka

"It is bad luck."

Seratov was refusing to get into the Peshka. It was very early on the morning of December 13, which for him was already a test of fate. Unlucky 13. We had just been advised that our own machine had been damaged in the last raid, and was being taken out of service. We had been given a factory fresh new machine.

"Get in the damn plane," Petrovna said, and gave him a shove.

He shoved her back, "New planes are bad luck. Full of gremlins."

"You are a gremlin," Petrovna said. She pulled a flare gun from her greatcoat pocket and pointed it at Seratov, "Get in the damn plane or I will set your moron head on fire."

We all climbed in. The new machine still smelled of machine oil and rubber, not the usual smell of tobacco smoke, cordite and fear. It was so early we still needed to have the runway lit so that we could see it in the darkness.



The mission today was a bridge inside the Kessel. But not just any bridge.



When I saw during the briefing where we were headed, I had groaned. "Zhirnokleevka? Oh come on, that is pointless!"

The intelligence officer, Vladimirovna, had looked up from where she was holding her finger on the map, "What is the problem comrade pilot?"

"There are four bridges at Zhirnokleevka," I pointed out to her, "You know the problem. Every time we blow one of them up, they just move traffic to the other three, and then fix the one we blew up. Next time you go back, there are still four bridges. There are always four bridges!"



"It is a pointless mission!" I told her.

"That is why we are only sending one aircraft," Vladimirovna smiled at me, "Yours."

I reflected on this as we took off, the sky in the east just beginning to glow.





"You know every one of those bridges is guarded by flak guns, and every one of those flak guns will be pointing at us," I pointed out to Petrovna.

"Not all," she said, "Some of them will be firing at our escort."



Escort? We had been assigned a single fighter for this pointless mission. Apparently we weren't even worth protecting.

"Looks quiet down there this morning," Petrovna remarked as we passed Stalingrad off our left wing.

"Even the devil needs his sleep," I replied. "The moon is still up. Plenty of time for killing each other later."





"You know what I saw in the village yesterday?" Petrovna asked.

"Your huge backside reflected in a shop window?"

"Funny. No there was a queue of soldiers outside the clinic, waiting in the snow to go in and see the doctor. One of them had been hit in the head and he was blind, he had bandages on his head. And a stick to find his way."

I looked at her back in the bombadier compartment, her face serious as usual, staring out at the horizon.



"The queue shuffled forward, the person behind him pushed a bit, he tapped with his stick in front of him to find out where the soldier in front of him was. He kept tapping the soldier on his legs every time and after a while, the soldier in front turned around and said "Stop hitting me with that damn stick!" and shoved him into the snow."



She continued, "The others in the queue just stepped around him, so when he got back up, he had to go to the back of the queue again."

"It's everyone for himself these days gunner," I told her. "Sooner you realise that, the longer you'll live."

"Maybe in your Russia," she said, "Not in mine."

"My uncle is blind," Seratov said, "He has a Swiss cuckoo clock so he can tell the time."

We were both about to tell him to shut up, when there was a sharp report above us.



"Flak!" Petrovna announced, crouching down in her seat.

"We must be approaching the target," I decided, "Get on your bombsight. Seratov, watch for fighters."

Another flak burst just off our nose, and I was getting nervous now. We had two 500kg bombs slung under our belly. All it would take was one hot piece of shrapnel...

Zhirnokleevka was ahead of us and I dropped the nose briefly to get a better look. Our target was the second bridge of four.



Suddenly, I wasn't sure. Was it the second, or the third?

"Petrovna!" I called, "Is it the second or the third bridge we are supposed to hit?"

"How should I know?" she yelled back, "You are the damn pilot!"

"Well, you are the navigator!"

"Does it matter?" Seratov asked. "A bridge is a bridge."

I took us in low and fast so that it would be harder for the flak along the river to get a bead on us, and lined up on a road below, which led past the township and over the river.



"The moron is right," Petrovna said, "A bridge is a bridge."

"500 metres, target at two kilometres, 10 degrees off our nose, 500 km/h, you have the machine Petrovna."



"I have the machine," she responded, bending her eyes to the bombsight. I concentrated on keeping it level, and she used her own controls to slip us left and right. After some heart hammering seconds, she said, "Target in sight."





"You screwed up the ingress!" she yelled. The Peshka lurched violently as she corrected our course. Tracer screamed suddenly past our wing and then fell away behind us. Flak from German 88s filled the sky around us.

"This is bad. This is so bad," Seratov was almost singing to himself. I couldn't see him, but I could imagine him back in the fuselage, huddled in a ball, eyes squeezed shut.

"Bombs gone!" Petrovna yelled, "Machine is yours. Dammit, fighters overhead! Get us out of here!"







More tracer! I hauled back on the stick and it flashed over the top of us.



She was good. She was ugly, opinionated and bad tempered, but she was good.

It was a small target, just two vehicles wide. The bombs fell straight and true.







"Right down their throats!" Seratov yelled.

1000 kilograms of HE detonated right under the supports of the bridge, and a huge mushroom cloud of smoke rose up where it had been.







"Our escort just got it," Petrovna said. "There must be fighters around, I can't see them though!"

I felt for the pilot of the fighter as he dropped through the sky toward the bridge we had just bombed.



It would not be a friendly reception he would receive if the Germans caught him. I searched the skies frantically for the German fighters that must have brought him down, but I could see nothing in the grey dawn light. They must be up there!



If they were, we never saw them, and they didn't see us. Day dawned as we bolted back out of the Kessel and made our approach to Daviydovka field.





As we taxied toward the dispersal hut, I said to Petrovna, "We are both agreed, that was the right bridge, yes? We don't want Vladimirovna sending us back there."



"Vladimirovna is a cow," Petrovna said, "We should drop her in the Kessel."

"We used to have a cow..." Seratov began.

"Shut up moron!" Petrovna and I said in unison. And we both laughed.

I think that was the only laugh we ever shared together.






[Linked Image]
#4051736 - 12/16/14 08:56 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #10 Dec 16: Finale - end of Ch 1. [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Agrippina Petrovna

Dedushka, why have we never met this Agrippina Petrovna? Whenever you have too much to drink, you talk about her. Every Christmas, you talk about her. You see a young woman, you say, 'She looks like that witch Petrovna'. But where is she now?

My grandchildren ask me this.

Natalya, my beautiful daughter, even suggested when my dear Lyudmila passed away, Papka, you are so lonely...why don't you go and find that woman you always talk about from the war. Agrippina Petrovna? Go look her up. She'd be happy to see you!

She would be 92 by now, I told them. No one lives that long, except me.

No one lives that long.

Which brings us to December 16 1942.

It was another mission to attack a German airfield behind their northern front lines. We were slowly pushing them further and further away from Stalingrad, leaving their troops there at the mercy of our artillery and rockets.



I was in the mood to celebrate. It was only three weeks until Christmas. My mother had made me some small Matryoshka dolls from cloth, as ornaments, to hang in the window of my barracks. I was too embarrassed to do this, but as we walked out to our newly repainted Peshka, I fished them out of the pocket of my coat and handed them to Petrovna.

She looked at them suspiciously, "What are these?"

"Matryoshka ornaments," I told her. "My mother made them for me, but I thought of you."

"Why?"

"Well, I am sure that if someone could peel away all that dirt on your face, and your filthy overalls, and comb your hair, there would actually be a fine Russian woman in there somewhere."

She grunted, "You'll never know, that's for sure." She held them out to me.

"No, they're for you," I said.

She looked at me again, then shrugged and put them in the pocket of her jacket, and climbed into the aircraft. I took the shrug for a thankyou.

Seratov was standing there too. "What do I get?"

I patted him on the shoulder, "You get a free ride in this nice aeroplane son, now get in."



The target was Tarmosin Luftwaffe airfield. It was a distant target compared to what we were used to, nearly 160km return, but at least most of the flight was over territory we had won back. If our own flak left us alone, it should be a nice clean run.



The first omen, was as we took off. We cleared the trees at the end of the runway at Kalach, and began a sweeping turn to the right, when I heard a curse over the R/T.

"Prop strike!" it was Vasiliy, my number two, "Swan leader, we clipped a damn tree, I have to turn back! Sorry comrade flight leader!"





He quickly lost altitude and then fell away behind us. Now we were only three of a flight of four, with no escort.



"Four is an unlucky number anyway," Seratov said. "My mother said, 'Always light three candles with the same match Anatoly. It's lucky."

"Your mother was just trying to save matches, moron," Petrovna replied.

We were only ten minutes from Kalach and still climbing when I saw them below us. A caravan of German Stukas, circling over the heads of our troops.



"Stukas below," I said, "Looks like they are about to attack our positions."

"We have our own target," Petrovna said.

"We can surprise them, we have height," I said.

"They'll miss anyway. They just want to dump their turds and run away as fast as they can. They don't actually try to hit anything anymore."

"If that was your brother down there?" I asked her.



"My brother stayed in Paris," she said, "With a French whore. I wish he was down there."

"They have escorts," Seratov noted, "At least two, 109s."

"We're going in," I said. "Swan flight, change of orders. Enemy dive bombers three oclock and low. Dump your ordnance and attack. I'll scare off the escorts, you go for the Stukas!"

I toggled our own bombs loose and pushed the nose down.



"Oh, hell." Petrovna climbed behind her gun.

Our airspeed climbed rapidly as we descended on the Germans, who were still circling, preparing for their attack. We blasted past the first of the escorts. He rolled on his back and dived away in reflexive fear.



As we levelled out, I had one 109 and several Stukas right in front of me.



"Going for the 109," I muttered. "Ready on guns."

"Ready top," Petrovna said.

"Ready below," Seratov confirmed.

I felt proud, then. Invincible. Screaming through the skies over Russia, 550 km/h, straight at the foe. As we closed I opened up with the guns at about 200 metres The approach was perfect. I was fast, he was slow. I was behind him. If he saw us at all, I don't know. He pulled into a tight turn right in front of us, which slowed him down even more, and he flew straight into the lead from my guns.





"Hit!" I cried. "He's falling away to port."

"He's not falling comrade pilot Mostovskoy," Petrovna said. "He's coming around to attack us."



Sure enough, streaming smoke but somehow still flying fast, the 109 swung in behind us.

"Dammit." I cursed, and put the nose down for more speed. We would never out turn him in the Peshka.

"Coming in..." Petrovna said, "One kilometre...800...700...we aren't going to lose him...500"

"I'll take us into the weeds," I told her, "Try to lose him low."

"No!" she said, "Hold it level. I can finish him!"

"Petrovna..."

"Just give us a clean shot, comrade pilot," Seratov pleaded. "We can do this."

I bit my lip, "Very well. Levelling out."

"Here he comes," Petrovna muttered, "Straight up our chimney pipe. Not too bright are you Herman?"





"Come on, come on..." Seratov urged.

"Now!" Petrovna yelled, and as one, both of their guns opened up. I craned my neck to watch, but the German was hidden behind Petrovna's helmeted head.







The machine filled with cordite smoke and I heard Seratov yelling as loud as his gun was hammering.







Petrovna's gun fell silent and she whooped, "He's done for!" She punched the glass canopy above her head. "Going down."



"For Russia!" Seratov yelled, his own gun still firing as the German fighter rolled on its belly below us and fell away.







"Well done," I said, "Well done both of you."

"Let's get some more," Petrovna reached forward and punched me on the shoulder. "This is our lucky day."

"Told you," Seratov agreed, "Three is the charm."

I turned back to the distant dogfight, where I could see a couple of Peshkas tangled with the Stukas. No sign of the other 109.



In five minutes we were on them again, and I picked up a Stuka well away from the action, trying desperately to get some altitude, thinking it was all alone.



The engagement was over before it began.

I pulled into a gentle banking curve, coming at him from a low quarter.



Suddenly, the sun fell right across our nose. I lost him. I lost everything!





I threw my hand up to my face. When I pulled it away, there he was. Right under our nose and rushing toward us.



His gunner had a perfect shot. I heard the stuttering of his MG15 as if it was firing in my ear, and our port wing fuel tank caught fire.



It didn't matter. We slammed into him milliseconds later, his port wing burying itself in our starboard wingroot right between the engine and the cockpit.



There was a wrenching scream and we were pitched forward. I smacked my head into the gunsight.



"Get out!" I yelled, "Get out!" I have no idea if anyone could hear me. We were fused together with the wreckage of the Junkers, falling flaming through the sky.







As I tugged desperately at the canopy release, I saw the German pilot heave himself out of his machine and tumble free. Harness! I released my harness.





Out, have to get out! It was all I could think. The machine was corkscrewing now, throwing me from side to side.

The canopy fell away. Air blasted into the cockpit. Cold, freezing, beautiful air. I grabbed both sides of the cockpit and pushed myself up.



I had no idea how high we were. My chute jerked me to a stop and the Peshka kept falling. 1000 feet? Five hundred?

Over my shoulder I saw Petrovna lever herself out of the flaming aircraft.



But she was stuck. Her leg, her boot, I don't know. Something was jammed. She pulled frantically trying to free herself. Come on woman!

Finally she fell free and grabbed for her parachute cord.



I lost sight of her.

Seconds later, the Stuka went in, and then the Peshka, right below us. A hot pyre of smoke rose up toward me.



I floated right through it, my eyes stinging, lungs spastic as I tried to breathe in the oily blackened air.



Then I saw her.

Right next to the crater our Peshka had made.

She looked so small.



A tank crew found us. I think it was a tank. They transferred us to a truck, towing artillery. We rode in that back to Kalach. Me and the smashed body of Agrippina Petrovna.

Seratov? We never found him. I didn't see a chute. He wasn't in the fuselage. He never reported back in Kalach. He was reported MIA, and after the war I checked. He was still MIA. His bones might still be out there on the steppes west of Kalach for all I know.

But I like to think of him this way. I like to think he made it down. And he rolled up his parachute, and he scratched his moron head, and he thought, screw this, and he went back to his farm. And he looked after his mother, and he grew old there, and he died a happy poor farmer.

And I think of Agrippina Petrovna, who I only knew for three months in 1942.

Who I killed.

I think of her every damn day.

Because I know when I die, she is going to be waiting for me.

And she is not going to be happy.



[Linked Image]
#4051784 - 12/16/14 10:33 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #10 Dec 16: Finale - end of Ch 1. [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 19,965
oldgrognard Offline
Administrator
oldgrognard  Offline
Administrator
Veteran

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 19,965
USA
That is some mighty fine writing. You sure do have a talent.

Really excellent!!!


Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Someday your life will flash in front of your eyes. Make sure it is worth watching.
#4051823 - 12/17/14 12:27 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #10 Dec 16: Finale - end of Ch 1. [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,180
scrim Offline
Member
scrim  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,180
Agreed, I rather enjoyed reading these!

#4051832 - 12/17/14 01:12 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #10 Dec 16: Finale - end of Ch 1. [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Bumfluff Offline
Member
Bumfluff  Offline
Member

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 774
Lovely.

#4051845 - 12/17/14 01:54 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #10 Dec 16: Finale - end of Ch 1. [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 6,709
CyBerkut Offline
Administrator
CyBerkut  Offline
Administrator
Hotshot

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 6,709
Florida
You killed off Petrovna! Noooooooo....

OK, OK... It's alright. I'm better now.

I have to agree... you have a real talent for this, HeinKill. Well done!

#4053326 - 12/19/14 06:41 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign AAR #10 Dec 16: Finale - end of Ch 1. [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Thx all for the nice words.

I will give a little taster for Ch.2 before I go away on holidays...

Hope you all stay safe and have a fantastic holiday wherever you may be!

H


[Linked Image]
#4053398 - 12/19/14 08:25 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
FAT FRITZ GOES TO WAR: THE EASTERN FRONT

If this is your first acquaintance with Luftwaffe kanonier 'Fat Fritz' you are welcome to start here:

http://airwarfare.com/sow/index.php/foru...-aars-raf-1#596

and catch up on the adventures of Oberlt. Hein Kill and Fat Fritz during the Battle of Britain.

Otherwise, read on:




"Well, this is another fine mess you've gotten us into Fritz."

"Oh come on Oberleutnant, how was I to know it was a Gestapo Major's daughter?"

"Perhaps because she had a picture of the Fuhrer over her bed?"

"True. I thought she was just patriotic."

"With a camera behind it?"

"Well I didn't check that, did I?"

"No, which is why we are here, Fritz."

'Here' was Barsagino airfield, inside the Stalingrad pocket, January 1943. If there was a worse place for a Stuka pilot to be in the entire world, I would like to trade with him.



We were completely surrounded by very annoyed Russians. The only supplies getting through were fuel and ammunition, and very very occasionally, some food.

Fritz and I were still dressed in the uniforms we had been wearing when we were summarily marched from the cosy barracks in Norway where we had been attached to a JG5 Bf110 Zerstorer unit, doing not very much at all and having a lovely war.

Now, thanks to Fritz and his penchant for officer's daughters, we found ourselves in the Kessel. Which we quickly learned, was slang for 'toilet pot'.



And we were right in it.

If there was a worse duty in the world than flying Stukas out of the Kessel with the entire Russian VVS overhead waiting to swat you from the sky, I would gladly take it.

But we were here, leading a flight of fellow war criminals on a mission where only certain death awaited. You don't believe me? Not only were we flying Stukas, the only bombs available were huge 1800kg bunker busters which had been adapted from Heinkels.



Seriously, the smallest piece of flak and we would be vaporised instantly. There was no question of maneuvering with those monsters slung underneath us. And the German flak gunners were so starved and deranged, there was just as much chance it would be German flak that killed us.

It was our first sortie. Fritz was still settling in.

"Oberleutnant, what marque is this Stuka?" he asked.



"It is the mighty Ju87-D3," I told him ironically. "King of ground attack aircraft."

I could hear him settling his large bottom on the hard metal seat. "I like it. Roomy."

"Roomy? What is 'roomy'?"

"And a good view too," he said. "Plus, a two barrelled MG81Z."



"Yes. Leave that alone."

"But, Oberleutnant, I am your gunner," he said proudly.

"Fritz, you have not managed to hit a single target through the whole of the Battle of Britain..."

"We were withdrawn too early," he said sullenly.

"...or over Murmansk," I added.

"We hardly ever saw the VVS over Murmansk," he complained.

"So just leave those guns alone, it will be best for all of us."

He was quiet for a while. Clearly I had hurt his feelings. I sighed. We were in this nightmare together...I guessed I would have to try to keep him motivated somehow.

"Oh very well Fritz, you can test fire them, but then leave the safety on," I told him.

"Danke Oberleutnant!" he sang happily.



I heard the staccato chatter of the twin MGs. Then I heard something much worse. There was a metallic screeching sound, the Ju87 slewed suddenly to the left. I jammed my foot on the rudder and held the stick hard right as we began to slip to port. I looked frantically behind me.

"Fritz! Did you just shoot off our starboard tailplane?"

"Jawohl Herr Oberleutnant!" he replied, "A bit. Well, mostly. There is still some left."



"I don't believe it."

"But...on the Ju87C, and in the 110C, there is a metal plate blocking the traverse of the gun Herr Oberleutnant!" he protested. "It is not possible to shoot off the tail!"



"Well, apparently is IS possible in the Ju87D Fritz."

"Ja, apparently."

"I am just glad you are not a belly gunner, Fritz," I told him.



"Ja, me too."

Suddenly the radio crackled. Our escort. "Sealion flight, we can see a furball ahead. We will investigate, you hold your course," the fighter leader said, and our precious, inadequate escort of three 109Gs peeled away.







"Well, now we're stuffed," I told Fritz.

"What is the plan, Herr Oberleutnant?" Fritz asked.

"Generally or specifically, Fritz?"

"Specifically generally, sir."

I recalled our briefing. "Well, specifically, we are supposed to attack an enemy supply dump outside the pocket, at Nemkovsky," I said.



"Is that bad or good?"

"Anything which exposes us to a violent death is..."

"Bad?"

"Bad, Fritz. Yes, you are learning."

"So, generally..."

"Generally, we are going to do the absolutely minimum necessary to get out of this alive Fritz. Which means, we fly to the combat zone, we make a show of putting bombs on target so that we cannot be shot for cowardice, we avoid any and all flak, fighters, or recreational sports involving parachutes, and before the Russian tanks roll in, we commandeer a plane and fly out of Stalingrad."

"Good plan Herr Oberleutnant."

I nodded. It was a good plan. It could, and would probably, be ruined by Fritz sooner or later, but I enjoyed the simplicity of it, while it lasted.

The Russian steppes rolled on underneath us, uniform, white and dull.



Above us, a dogfight raged, as our escort and a gaggle of other fighters, duelled in the frozen skies.











Leaving them to fight it out, we chugged toward the enemy supply depot. Soon it lay below us, calm, quiet. Even the flak crews were mercifully somnolent. I keyed the R/T.

"Sealion leader to Sealion flight, target below, line astern, keep your spacing, starting attack....NOW!" I said, and rolled the Stuka onto its back as the Russian town disappeared underneath my nose.



I reacquired it as we went vertical.





I had no desire to let the automatic dive recovery system pull us out of the dive. That would mean going as low as 500 metres, which would put us in range of both light and heavy AAA, and actually hitting the target was irrelevant to our survival.

I pickled our bomb at 1000 metres, and pulled out.







I guess it hit the ground. Gravity tends to take care of that. I didn't even bother to look, but Fritz couldn't help himself.





"Two bombs on target!" Fritz cried. "Those muttis are huge! We wasted half the town!"



"Be glad there is not one slung under our belly anymore, that is all," I told him. "Now let's get home."

I called the flight to rejoin and we headed east, at best possible speed. We were low. That was not good. But I did not want to waste time climbing.

Sure enough, it turned out, it was the wrong choice.

"Fighters above!" Fritz called. "Dogfight in progress! Someone hit!"





Luckily, most of the aircraft above were our own. And the victim was Russian.









I tried to fly invisibly. A stealth Stuka. I willed the Russian pilots on high to keep their eyes on our fighters, and not on our lumbering Junkers so low and slow below them.

"Train below" Fritz called.



"Don't care."

"But Herr Oberleutnant!" he complained, "A nice, juicy, fat Russian troop train."



"Yes, with nicy juicy fat Russian flak cars," I said, "Forget it."

He sulked the rest of the way home.

I was immune to his moods after two years and three battlefields. Fritz was the worst shot in the Luftwaffe, the most dangerous drinking companion, the most unlucky in love, but he was lucky in war. We had been shot at, shot down, crashed, burned, half drowned, but we were still here.

Despite my missing tailplane, I manhandled the Junkers into a reasonable approach at Barsagino.



We bounced a few times on the icy runway, but we got down.



"And that, Fritz," I told him, "Is how we are going to get through this nightmare. I am going to fly safely and drop bombs uncaringly, and you are not going to shoot at anything."

"That is a deal, Herr Oberleutnant," he replied. "We will be gloriously incompetent."

Well, it sounded like a good plan. But like all good plans, it did not survive contact with the enemy.

TO BE CONTINUED



[Linked Image]
#4057031 - 12/29/14 03:22 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,122
theKhan Offline
resident pacifist (sic)
theKhan  Offline
resident pacifist (sic)
Member

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,122
Canada
Fritz is baaack!!!


I used to work for a living, but then I took an arrow to the knee.
#4057587 - 12/30/14 09:40 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,244
FlatSpinMan Offline
Member
FlatSpinMan  Offline
Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,244
Land of the Rising Sun
Excellent fun to read. Thanks very much.

#4057680 - 12/30/14 04:28 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 57
SoupyC Offline
Junior Member
SoupyC  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 57
Biggest Little City
LOVE your AARs Heinkill! Always so entertaining! Thanks for sharing!


"A desire not to butt into other people's business is at least eighty percent of all human 'wisdom' . . . and the other twenty percent isn't very important." - Jubal Harshaw
#4058390 - 01/01/15 02:15 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,916
carrick58 Offline
Senior Member
carrick58  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,916
wave

Heinkill: U have a true talent for writing AARs Great Reads Thanks.

#4059263 - 01/03/15 01:38 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 7,310
Stratos Offline
Hotshot
Stratos  Offline
Hotshot

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 7,310
Amposta, Spain
Excellent AAR's with great and fun readings.


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#4061479 - 01/09/15 05:57 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #1 prelude: Fat Fritz goes to War [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Thx next episode up soon...now that I have recovered from my New Year hangover.

H


[Linked Image]
#4062267 - 01/10/15 10:08 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #2 Jan 10: On a Wing and a Prayer [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
A wing and a prayer

"Fritz, what are you reading?"

I should have been asking him, "Why are you reading?" but after all we were still taxiing out.

"Nothing," Fritz replied, turning a page. Among his many failings, I forgot to mention, Fritz was also a True Believer. In the 1000 Year Reich. The infallible wisdom of our masters. And the justice of our cause.

"Fritz. You are reading Mein Kampf again, aren't you."



"Ja. Well, the part that is about Russia. It is always good to remind myself why were are here." he said.

"I can tell you Fritz," I said as we lined up on the runway at Barsagino, "We are here because you are unable to control your libido."

"No, I mean, why Germany is here."

"Even easier Fritz, Germany is here in Russia because your glorious leader is a deranged lunatic."

From the back seat came a wave of disapproving silence.

"What have I told you about reading that book in my airplane?"

"But the Fuhrer says..."

"Fritz, is the Fuhrer the pilot of this airplane?"

"No, Herr Oberleutnant."

"Then put it down and check that your guns are on safety please."

As we took off, I pondered the mission ahead. A deep penetration northeast into Russia to try to relieve some of the pressure on our positions by knocking out an enemy bomber base.





"Well, the Fuhrer says, in Russian bolshevism we must see Russia's twentieth-century effort to take world dominion unto itself. And he will continue to move farther on his fatal course, until another force opposes him and, in a mighty struggle, once more pitches the stormer of the heavens back to Lucifer."

"The Fuhrer said that?"

"Ja. Page 961."

I looked around us. All was snow and ice. I had imagined hell to be a little warmer.



"So we are driving the Bolsheviks back to Lucifer?" I asked him.

"Ja, all the way, Herr Oberleutnant. It says so here. Page 961."

"Why, then, are we surrounded in Stalingrad and retreating all over the Eastern Front?"

"A strategic repositioning," Fritz insisted, "Stalingrad is the rock upon which the Bolshevik wave will break."

I grunted and strategically repositioned my backside on the hard steel of my seat. Despite being on the back foot, we had managed however to summon up considerable strength for this raid. It felt a little better to know we were being heavily escorted. There was a flight of 109Fs overhead, and a second flight joining us a short way north.







And it was just as well. Not even halfway to the target, some world-domination-seeking Bolsheviks fell on us. Did they not appreciate we were saving the world from the 'spawn of hell'?





Apparently not. Our escorts and the Russian fighters joined with the ferocity of drunken lovers.





We soon left them behind, and thankfully none broke through to us.



After a short time, where I am sure he had fallen asleep with Mein Kampf in his lap, I woke him.

"We are approaching the target Fritz, what would you say the Fuhrer would like us to do now? Hit this target at all costs, or survive to fight the Bolsheviks another day?"

"I am sure he would like us to hit the target, and survive, Herr Oberleutnant. Let us send some Bolsheviks to Lucifer!" he said happily.

The airfield was underneath us soon enough. And the Russian guns, unlike Fritz, were not asleep. As I gave the order to attack, and rolled our machine onto its back, the sky around us bloomed with flak.





Involuntarily, I crouched lower behind the stick. I punched the dive brakes and yelled to Fritz, "Fritz, do you know any prayers?"

"Jawohl Herr Oberleutnant!"

"Then say them!"

He began praying as we fell through the sky...

Father in Heaven, resolved to the death
Kneel we before Thee, O answer us, then!




Does aught other people Thine awful command
More loyally follow than we Germans do?




Is there one such? Then, Eternal One, send
Laurel and victory to it, mighty with fate.








Father, Thou smilest? O joy without end!
Up! and onward, onward, to the holy crusade.










We made it out and rejoined, without even a scratch.



But then somewhere over Shishikin...





"What is that smell?" Fritz complained, "It woke me up!"

"We were hit by AAA," I told him, "But it was the smell that woke you?"



"Ja, pu ha, can't you switch it off or something?"

I toggled the left and right fuel tank switches, we were bleeding out pretty quickly.





There was no way to manually pump fuel into the port wing tank, but we wouldn't need it. We were nearly home.

"No. Just don't light any cigars," I advised him.

We were still streaming white vapour as Barsagino came into view.



I called an emergency and wasted no time on the approach.



But in the end, it was a non event, and we touched down with both fuel and runway to spare.



As we pulled off the runway, I heard Fritz heave a sigh of relief.

"Another mission without firing my guns," he said, "This is maybe not such a bad duty after all."

"A couple of close calls from the flak though Fritz. That was a useful prayer," I told him, "Where did you learn it?"

"Mein Kampf," he replied happily. "Page 993. It is a very useful book."



I was suddenly inspired, "Can I borrow it for the next mission Fritz?"

He sounded pleased as he responded, "Certainly, Herr Oberleutnant! We'll make a good National Socialist out of you yet!"

"That AAA came too close for comfort," I told him, "It is a nice thick book. I think I will sit on it."




[Linked Image]
#4065441 - 01/18/15 10:53 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #3 Jan 18: In the Cauldron [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
In the Cauldron

And then in the week from January 10, if you can believe it, it became worse.

The 'airbridge', well that was already a joke, but by January 18 if any Tante Ju made it through the blockade, it was a miracle if it could be unloaded before it was destroyed by strafing Russian fighters or artillery.

The casualties from the front lines kept coming in, but there was no way to evacuate them. The wounded were left out in the open under blankets because there was no room to house them. They rarely made it through the night. The bodies were just piled up in the trenches around the airfield.



The word among the pilots was that General Paulus had betrayed us to the Russians, and they were just waiting until we were too weak to fight back, before they walked in to slaughter us.

Fritz, a mountain of blubber that no Russian winter could bring down, somehow managed to scrounge food and water from thin air. He appeared in our bunker carrying a brown sack.

"Supplies!" he said.

I looked up wearily, "How?"

"I went over where that Junkers was shot down this morning," he said. "I traded a leather helmet to a guy who had found this."



He dropped the sack at my feet, "He said it was marjoram!"

I looked at him numbly, "Marjoram?"

"Yes!" he smiled, "We can put it on our biscuits!"

I sighed, "Fritz, do you know what Marjoram is?"

"He told me it was a kind of condiment..."

"It's a herb. Dried herb," I told him, and I rummaged in his sack and pulled out something else, "Pepper. I suppose we could throw that in the faces of the Russians when they arrive."

He looked, for just a moment, crestfallen, but then brightened again, "This must mean they are sending in pork on the next flight!"

I just shook my head, "Stay on your feet," I told him, "We have a mission."



We were going hunting for Russian convoys northeast of the Kessel near a crossing on the Don river. If it had just been us alone, I would have been delighted. We could have faked engine trouble and landed at a German field to the west, but Luftflotte 4 command had somehow managed to find bombs and fuel enough for a staffel of Stukas and a couple of escort fighters, so we were trapped into following our orders.



We tramped out to the flight line, past bomb craters and wrecked aircraft. In one of them, we saw the dead pilot and gunner still slumped in their cockpits, frozen solid. You would have needed an axe to remove them, so no one bothered.



"At least there is no mortar fire today," Fritz observed. "Or artillery. Not so bad."

"Fritz, shut your trap, I swear you are trying to jinx us."

Sure enough, as we formed up for takeoff, the jinx hit us. The air raid siren began to wail again. They might as well just have left it on permanently.

An airman ran up to our machine and jumped up on the wing, "Dive bombers coming in!" he yelled, "Cut your engine and run for a trench!" He slid off the wing again, fell over in the snow, and then disappeared.



I looked up. Our escort had already taken off and were circling above Pitomnik. I saw they were already engaged with Russian fighters. Our precious few remaining flak guns began to bark.





The bombers would not be far behind.

"Fritz, you want to run for it?"

"It's warmer here, Oberleutnant," he replied.

"My thoughts exactly," I told him and keyed my R/T, "Gull staffel to Pitomnik tower, we are taking off." I didn't wait for a response, but shoved the throttle forward, the engine began to roar and the Stuka began to shake as we began our takeoff roll.

Then I realised the roaring was not my engine, but bombs, falling across the runway.

One landed directly in front of us, scattering aircraft and debris.



We ploughed straight through it. The aircraft behind us were eviscerated - one of them, its wing torn off, ploughed into the machine beside him.



Others, their airframes chewed up by a thousand schrapnel strikes, rolled slowly to a halt, dead men at their sticks.



We stayed low, hiding under clouds and smoke as we pulled away from the field. Flak chased the Russian bombers into the distance.



When I felt we were safe enough to begin our climb out, I looked back. Only four had made it up. Should I have aborted and told them all to run for a hole in the dirt? Maybe a few men would have made it.



But if you ask me, the dead men were the lucky ones.

We had a nice thick layer of cloud to hide in on the way to the target area. As we had no escort anymore, I made the most of it, hopping from cloud to cloud.



As we passed over the River Don, I gave the order to the other Stukas, "We are over the target Gull staffel," I told them, "Break off and look for targets. Happy hunting." There was no whooping or hollering any more. Each man just quietly peeled away to find his fate.



I stayed high, near the base of the cloud, circling above a large town. Eventually I saw what I was looking for...a line of trucks creeping through the mist below.



"Target identified Fritz...a small convoy...we are going in," I told him. "Keep an eye out for fighters."

"Knock them on their backsides Herr Oberleutnant!" he said. "I want some bragging rights around the fire tonight."

"We are making one run Fritz, and then we are heading West."

"West?"

"Back behind our own lines. Nemkovsky field. Did you bring that pepper? We are going to be eating hot food tonight."

"Jawohl Herr Oberleutnant!"

It was too late for more explanation. The convoy was crawling around a bend in the road below, alongside a forest.



It was not a perfect approach, but the bend meant they had to slow and were grouped closer together. I came in at a shallow dive and released my bombs in pairs.







"Ha! Take that Ivan!" Fritz yelled.

"Did we hit anything Fritz," I asked.

"Two burning," he replied, "The rest have scattered."



It was good enough. I began to pull up toward the clouds again, thinking about the flight ahead. It would be nearly 100km, southwest, over enemy territory almost all the way. But then we would be back behind our own lines. I would call an emergency at Nemkovsky, and put down there. Tell them we had gotten lost in the cloud. Oh, they'd probably send us back, but at least tonight we would have food, and a warm bed. Maybe I could even find a way to sabotage the engine...they'd have to find us another machine, or...

I never saw the VVS fighter sneaking up below us.



He must have seen the smoke from the convoy and been following as we pulled away from the forest. He was a clever one, knew where our blind spot was.

The first I knew of him was when our machine started shuddering, huge holes appeared in the wing and a shadow flitted past as he soared up from beneath us and into the clouds above. Fritz grabbed his guns and started firing wildly but the Russian was long gone already.



And we were trailing fuel. There was no point trying to make altitude anymore. The clouds were still too far above us and climbing would just make us slower. We had to try to lose him in the treetops. Limit his options. I pushed us back down toward the ground.



"Where is he Fritz!" I yelled as I snaked across the forest, swerving left and right.

"I don't...oh scheisse," he said, "He's coming in again!" His guns opened up. I kicked the rudder, slewing the Stuka so that its nose was pointed left as we skidded through the sky to the right.



As he got within firing range, he lost his nerve and pulled away. I couldn't believe Fritz had scared him off, so it must have been his speed and proximity to the ground. As he pulled up and away, I saw there were not one, but two Russian fighters stalking us.

So it was just a matter of time. They could make ten runs like that, and it would only take one to kill us. We were low, slow and full of holes already.



And then a beautiful thing happened. In peacetime, a beautiful thing is a break of sunshine on a cloudy day. An apple, fresh from a tree in the middle of autumn. A steaming plate of schnitzel and a big black beer.

In wartime, a beautiful thing is when friendly fighters appear out of nowhere and attack your attacker.

I will always remember that German pilot because I owe him my life. He came screaming down from the heavens, all alone, like a Teutonic Knight on a charging horse. The two Russians saw him and turned up toward him.



They all opened fire at the same time, the German in his 109, and the two Russians. But he was outnumbered and his opponents were good pilots, they shredded him.



He kept diving, straight through them, and into the ground.

But by the time the Russians had regrouped and were looking for us again, we were gone.



With fuel pouring from our tanks, there was no question of trying for German lines anymore. Doomed, surrounded, cursed Pitomnik was our only option.

We go there on fumes, a thin mist trailing behind us. The wreckage of our takeoff had been pushed to one side of the landing strip, and we bumped down past still burning aircraft and frozen bodies.



"Welcome home Fritz," I said, killing the engine as close to our bunker as I could. Even with the cockpit still closed I could smell the burning oil barrels not far away. "Sorry we didn't make it behind our lines after all."



"It was a nice idea, Herr Oberleutnant, while it lasted," Fritz said. "When you said it, I could practically taste the coffee already."

I killed the engine.



"Don't worry Fritz," I told him, "The Poles, French and British couldn't kill us. I'll be damned if I let Paulus and Goering do it. We aren't going to die in the Kessel."








[Linked Image]
#4066848 - 01/20/15 11:41 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #3 Jan 18: In the Cauldron [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
OK, fair warning, the next mission turned out pretty...weird.

H


[Linked Image]
#4068476 - 01/23/15 11:09 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4 Jan 23: Flight of the Eagle [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
January 23 1943

"Xotite potancevat? Xotitepotancevat? Xotite potancevat?"

"Fritz what are you doing?"

"Ostav' menja v pokoe! I am practicing my Russian Herr Oberleutnant. The rumours say that Paulus has offered to surrender and the Russians will be here any day now."

"You just asked me to dance with you."

"Nyet. I am pretty sure I said 'Let me be your slave.'"

"I have a phrase for you...'Moio sudno na vozdunoy poduke polno ugrey '."

"Moio sudno na vozdu...What does that mean?"

"Please shoot me I prefer to die quickly."

"That is defeatist, Herr Oberleutnant. I will be able to live off my fat for at least three months in which time the 6th Army will have broken through and liberated us."

I looked around us. Fritz was reading his Russian phrase book by the dirty light of a burning wick made from trousers taken from a dead man, soaked in oil from the sump of a destroyed truck. We had not eaten for three days. We had not flown for two. There had not been any fuel. A couple of our Stukas were still flyable, despite the constant shelling and bombing, but without fuel they had been as useless as any of the wrecks strewn around the field.

Like everyone else but Fritz, I had spent the day listlessly staring at the skies. Then we had heard it, the thrum of engines! A Ju57 loaded with supplies!



But not food. Just fuel and ammunition which was quickly rolled out and pushed aside. Starving men stormed the aircraft when they realised there was no food aboard. Some tried to hijack the aircraft and force the pilot to fly them out. He fought back and was shot. Then the Junkers was burned. German soldiers, drunk on white spirits, danced around the burning machine.

I had quietly asked the Kommandant for permission to take one of the remaining Stukas, fuel and arm it with the supplies the Junkers had brought in, and attack German troops advancing on Pitomnik, to try to stem their advance.

"It is pointless," he said bitterly, drawing on a brandy bottle. I doubted it contained anything like brandy. "You think one Stuka will stop them when the whole of Heeresgruppe Don can't even break their lines?"

"It is better to die trying," I told him.

He had shrugged and pulled out his map.

"If you want to do any good, go here..." he pointed towards the southern front. "Von Manstein is trying to break through here. A few bombs more or less won't make a difference, but it's your funeral." He turned and kicked a radio operator, sleeping at his radio set. "You, get onto Luftflotte 4 command. Ask them to send a couple of 109s over for an escort." He sat down heavily again, "They probably don't have any machines, and if they do, you'll be lucky if they don't shoot you down by mistake, they're so jumpy." Then he went back to his bottle.



I had looked closely. It was exactly the target I wanted.

Back in the bunker..."Fritz," I said, "Put down your phrase book. We have a mission!"

It took a lot of shouting to rouse the ground crew from their frozen stupor and for good measure, I had a detachment of guards accompany us to the plane, in case any of the desperate troops huddled in holes around the field were tempted to try to storm our machine as we were taking off.

"Where are we going Oberleutnant?" Fritz asked.

"We're going to punch a hole in the Russian lines so that Army Group Hoth can charge through and rescue us all," I told him loud enough for all the men to hear. I showed him the map.



"But, that's..." he whispered, looking over his shoulder at me.

"Yes Fritz, only 10km from German held territory." I confirmed, just as quietly.

It was 1820 hours by the team the machine had been fueled, armed and manhandled onto the runway. We wasted no time, but ran it up quickly and took off under the angry and desolate stares of thousands of dying or soon to be dead men.



I had hoped that Luftflotte command had indeed deserted us, and would ignore the request for an escort, but unfortunately, as soon as we had taken off, I heard a voice over the radio..."Eagle flight, this is Eagle escort, we can see you. Proceed sector 771, we've got you covered."





There were two 109s circling above.

We would have to lose them somehow.

"What is the plan Herr Oberleutnant?" Fritz asked, "We will gloriously punch a hole in the Russian lines allowing the 6th Army to steam through...and then?"



"We will do no such thing, Fritz," I told him. "We will avoid any and all enemy contact. We will hope for cloud over the target in which to lose ourselves, or enemy fighters to distract our escort, and then we will make straight for Luftflotte command at Tatchinskaya airfield and put this machine down."

"But, we will be shot for deserting!" he said.

"I have thought of that, Fritz," I told him. "Trust me."



TO BE CONTINUED






[Linked Image]
#4068772 - 01/24/15 06:44 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4 Jan 23: Flight of the Eagle [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
PART II

"Where are we Fritz?"



I heard him folding and unfolding the flight plan.

"Uh...somewhere near Generalovsky," he said, "About half way to the front line. Probably."



"And that damned escort?"

"Still with us Herr Oberleutnant, they are annoyingly attentive."



"There is not a cloud in sight," I observed. "We'll never lose them like this."

"Perhaps we will be lucky and get attacked by a swarm of Russian fighters?"

"Be careful what you wish for Fritz."

We plodded along, over the snowbound landscape. But at least we were getting further and further from the Kessel. I felt my morale improve with every kilometer that fell behind us.



"City below Fritz, what is it?"



"Nizhny Yablochny," he said.

"Gesundheit Fritz. But what is the name of the town?"

"That is the name. We are coming up on the target sector now."



I saw muzzle flashes below. Tanks advancing toward trenchlines. They weren't ours.



It was the Russians, pushing the 6th Army further west, further away from Stalingrad. There would be no miraculous rescue for those poor sods left behind.

Suddenly Fritz called out, "Enemy fighters! Six oclock and high!"





"About time," I muttered.

"Eagle escort to Ju87, you are on your own, we are engaging fighters," the leader of the 109s announced, as they pushed their noses down and dove for the Russian planes. They soon began duelling and we left them quickly behind.







"Time to get out of here Fritz. Dumping ordnance." I toggled the bomb release and the unarmed bombs dropped away as the Stuka bobbed higher and lighter.



"How can we land at Tatchinskaya without raising suspicion Herr Oberleutnant. They will accuse us of running from the Kessel and shoot us in an eyeblink."

"Not if our machine is badly damaged by enemy fire Fritz."

"Oh no."

"Yes."

"You are going to go back and try to get those fighters to attack us?"

I laughed, "Don't be foolish Fritz. No, you remember on our very first mission in the Ju87D, how you nearly shot our tail off?"

"Ja Herr Oberleutnant. It was not my proudest moment."

"Well, Fritz, I want you to nearly shoot our tail off again."

"Seriously?"

"Most seriously. We have to be able to plausibly claim we needed to land our machine due to battle damage Fritz."

"It will be my honour to shoot us down, Herr Oberleutnant!"

"Just a little damage Fritz, ja?"

But he was already taking aim.



Moments later I heard his twin MG81s hammering and the Stuka shuddered violently as the stream of lead chewed at our tailplane.





"Fritz! Cease fire!" I yelled.

"Just a bit more Herr Oberleutnant," he yelled over the rattling of his guns, "It is not so easy to actually hit your own tail..."

"Halt!"

It was too late. I had felt the Stuka begin to nose over, and the stick was frozen in my grip. I had lateral control, but the vertical control was stuck. One of his rounds must have jammed the elevator



"Is there a problem?" Fritz asked.

"Let's just say we aren't going to Tatchinskaya today, Fritz. My controls are stuck. Most probably, we are going to die."

"Ach, that's life, Herr Oberleutnant," he replied meekly, "And after we got so close. It is such a shame, ja? We nearly made it. It's not your fault the idea with shooting the tailplane was not a good one."

We began to descend, stuck at about 15 degrees nose down.



"Fritz, you better hope the crash kills you," I told him. "Because if you live through this landing, I am going to beat you to death with your ammunition belt."

But I was not giving up. I cut the engine to try to keep our airspeed down, and pointed the nose at a long flat stretch of snow. If we were lucky, it would be covering hard ground and we might be able to slide in.



If we were not, well, it would be over soon.

The steppe loomed up quickly and filled the front windshield.



As the airspeed fell below 200 kmh I dropped the flaps. Mercifully our dive flattened out.



We begin to float over the snow just above a stall. I tried applying more power, but the nose began dropping again, so I backed off until we were level again, but falling like a dead weight.



I could see grass poking up through the snow - at least it wasn't covering a lake or ditches! Then the wheels hit. We bounced hard, once, twice and then on the third time, the machine stuck to the ground and we went skidding across the hard packed snow.



I gently applied the brakes but this just sent us into a spin. One wingtip rammed the earth, we nearly flipped, but it turned us on our axis like we were in a carnival ride. Then the world stopped spinning.



We were down. I reached forward to kill the engine, then thought better of it. I left it ticking over.

"Are...are we...did we..." came a voice from the back seat.

"Yes, Fritz, we survived. Again. Before I beat you to death, have a look at your map and try to estimate where we are."

There was some humming and hawing, then he decided, "That was the Don River ahead of us. That forest looked like...I think its Filipovskaya."

"And was Filipovskaya in German hands when we took off?"

"There was some uncertainty about that Herr Oberleutnant."

I grabbed my own map and found Filipovskaya. "This other town Fritz, Chekalov, is that ours or theirs?"



"Most definitely ours," he said, "It is the headquarters of the 4th Panzer."

I had an idea. It was a crazy idea, but I didn't fancy our chances of surviving a night out in this field in subzero temperatures, with the Russian army just over the horizon. Even if we made it through the night, we would probably be captured in the morning.

I eased the throttle foward a notch. The nose pitched forward a little, then the snow and ice holding the wheels cracked and we began to roll forward.



"Buckle up Fritz," I told him. "We are going to drive to Chekalov!"

I ignored his protests. Yes, it was about twenty kilometres, across the steppes and through forested fields. Yes, there could be fences, lakes, creeks and ravines hidden beneath the snow. Yes, we would probably end up groundlooping and breaking our necks as twenty tons of airplane fell on our heads.

I didn't care. I pointed the nose northwest, turned on the landing lights to provide some idea of what lay ahead, locked the tailwheel and eased the throttle forward until we were bumping across the icy ground at a teeth chattering 20 km/h.





Using the rudder and brakes to steer, I pointed us at a gap in the treeline ahead.

The Stuka flew like a lumbering delivery truck. Now I was going to see if it would drive like one.

TO BE CONTINUED










[Linked Image]
#4071291 - 01/29/15 04:47 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4-6 Jan 29: The Eagle has landed [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
PART III

"I...just...lost...my....breakfast..." Fritz yelled as the Stuka ploughed through another snow drift and then bounced two feet into the air.

"Well you can clean that up yourself if we survive."

"No, I mean, really. I brought a little snack in case we were thrown in prison when we landed, and it just flew out of the cockpit."

"Why was your cockpit open?"

"So I don't throw up. The fresh air helps."

It had been an eventful trip so far but the Stuka was holding up well. I had said to myself several times 'Mr Junkers, you build a darn fine all terrain vehicle.'

Steering was the hard part, as I was trying to avoid the deepest drifts, fence poles sticking up out of the snow, lakes and creeks.

We came a little too close to the trees a few times...



But most of the journey was over hard packed snow and ice.



Visibility was good. It was a star spangled night, and with the landing lights on, though we risked being shot at by Russian patrols, at least I could see ahead of us.



And in fact, if you were a Russian patrol who saw a Stuka passing you doing 40 km/h along the ground, wouldn't yhou be more likely just to have another shot of vodka, than take a shot at the Stuka?

We made good progress, and within an hour were halfway to Chekalov. We had no idea if Chekalov was still in German hands, but it had been when we took off, Fritz was sure.



Which meant nothing, I know.

"If we die in a ravine, it will be easy to find us," Fritz remarked.

"We won't necessarily catch fire," I told him. "We would probably just die in the impact."

"I know, but we are leaving a set of tracks in the snow which a blind man could follow."





As we approached Chekalov we came across a rudimentary road. It was probably a goat track, but it was smoother and safer than skiing along the snow and ice steppes, so I stuck to it as much as possible.



Then the track turned into a path, and the path into a road.

"That's what I call first class!" Fritz hooted, as we pulled onto the road and the teeth chattering bumps smoothed out into jitters instead.



It turned into one of my most fond memories of the war, strangely enough. Driving my Stuka across Russia in the dead of night, sure, with death ahead at every bump, but with the north star to guide us, and Fritz so beaten up by the buffeting that he wasn't talking the whole way.



Finally, Chekalov approached. We would be coming at it from the East, and it was possible, just possible, the Russians would hold the eastern bank of the Don River, and our troops would be on the other side holding them back. We had not passed a single trench or outpost yet, Russian or German, but that was neither bad, nor good.



As we approached the river, I started to worry.

"Fritz, I think that is the town, across the water there."

"Ja! Good driving Herr Oberleutnant, we are nearly there!"

"Anything strike you as strange Fritz?"



"No, looks nice and peaceful. No Russians shooting at us!"

"No Germans either Fritz. In fact, not even a light in a window."

"Ah."



"For the Headquarters of the 4th Panzer Division Fritz, there is a dismal lack of tanks."

"Uh, ja, I can see that," he admitted.



"Plus, that bridge that was shown on the map is actually a punt ferry, and the punt is stranded in the ice in the middle of the river."

"Not good?"

"Not good Fritz. Panzers need bridges to cross. A lot of Panzers, need big bridges. Do you see a big bridge?"



"Nein, I...oh, wait. Did you say Chekalov?"

"Ja."

"I thought you said Chersakov..."

"You thought..."

"Ja, the headquarters of the 4th Panzer is at Chersakov. How stupid of me. Forgive me Herr Oberleutnant, but your Russian pronunciation is not so good you know."

I sat for a moment staring out at the bridge we could not cross, toward the town that was probably full of Russian troops, or at the very least, hostile Russian farmers.



"Fritz," I said, calmly and softly.

"Jawohl Herr Oberleutnant?"

"Please hand me your reserve ammunition belt, and take off your flight helmet."

"Ja...uh, why Herr Oberleutnant?"

"Because I am now going to beat you to death, drink the last of the brandy from my hip flask, and then shoot myself."

"I have a better idea Herr Oberleutnant," Fritz said.

"I doubt that."

"Let's just wait until daylight. Something might turn up. Something always does."









[Linked Image]
#4071440 - 01/29/15 09:07 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4-6 Jan 29: The Eagle has landed [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,124
Chucky Offline
Veteran
Chucky  Offline
Veteran

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,124
UK
A very interesting and imaginative AAR Heinkill yep I should be joining in the fun by next week hopefully.


“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
#4071718 - 01/30/15 03:51 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4-6 Jan 29: The Eagle has landed [Re: Chucky]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Originally Posted By: Chucky
A very interesting and imaginative AAR Heinkill yep I should be joining in the fun by next week hopefully.


Welcome aboard! Though, my advice is don't buy yet if you haven't done so!

The devs 1CGS have advised they will be announcing on Feb 2 an option to remove the 'weapons/skins unlock' requirement that so many people hate - as well as other 'major news'. (As you may know, the current version of the game requires players who play online, to first unlock all the aircraft weapons in the offline campaign before they can use them online. Many people hate the idea they aren't competing on a level playing field online, just because the guy they are dogfighting may have upgraded to better armour or weapons by grinding through the offline campaign.)

Originally Posted By: Ghost_swe
By Zak:

"Loft (BoS developer) said that there will be a option to have all unlocks available without playing the campaign.
And that a pretty big announcement is coming up early next week."


There are a few ways such an 'option' could be implemented, among them:

- server side: ie server admin decides if unlocks are open to all online, closed to all, or still only unlocked by progress in the offline campaign. This would be a nice simple and fair option to implement (likelihood low, the devs make no money this way.)
- unlocks and mods as a free of charge option in the player settings, for online and/or offline play ie player can enable or disable the unlocks as they wish (likelihood low - the devs make no money this way).
- unlocks and mods are a paid option where players can 'purchase' weapons and mod packs for one or more aircraft either with real cash, or by grinding in the offline campaign (likelihood high, devs make money on this, at the risk of enraging existing players unless they find a way to give an 'unlocks discount' or something similar to existing players).

I'm also speculating/hoping that the 'major news' just might include the announcement of a free or cheap to play version (there is one already available on the Russian market). In this version you can either purchase the full plane set, or grind your way to aircraft/mods in the campaign. The obvious next step for this version is to release it globally, and make it so that you can buy these aircraft/mods as an alternative to grinding for them eg War Thunder style pay or grind model.

All of the above is just guesswork, I have no special insight.

But before you buy in, it would be wise to wait until after Feb 2 to see for certain what the future price vs feature set really looks like for this sim.

Cheers,

Fred


[Linked Image]
#4071736 - 01/30/15 04:18 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4-6 Jan 29: The Eagle has landed [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,124
Chucky Offline
Veteran
Chucky  Offline
Veteran

Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 10,124
UK
Too late but I'm not unduly worried about unlocks.


“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”
#4071812 - 01/30/15 07:01 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #4-6 Jan 29: The Eagle has landed [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Me either. I cant hit anything with the default weapons. Bigger guns and bombs just mean I miss louder.

biggrin

H


[Linked Image]
#4074326 - 02/05/15 10:10 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #7 Feb 6: Flight to Freedom [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Flight to Freedom

Fritz was right. Something did turn up. It was called frostbite.

By the middle of the night, I could not feel my fingers or toes. By morning, my legs were numb too. There was nothing for it, we had to abandon our machine and pick our way across the floes on the icy river to the town on the other side. If there were German troops, we might get shot for deserting; if there were Russians, we would definitely be shot. Either way, it was better than freezing to death.

But when we entered the town of Chekalov, we saw why there were no lights the night before. All we found was death and ruination.



There had been German troops here. But they had pulled back, leaving scorched earth behind them. A few brave children threw rocks at us, old men and women cursed us, but there were no young men. We started combing the empty houses for food, but the town had been thoroughly ransacked. On the outskirts of town, we found the men, those who were left. They were busy moving bodies.



One started towards us with his fists balled by his sides, until I put my hand on my sidearm, pushing Fritz down the street until they were out of sight.

In a barn outside the town, we lit a fire and looked at our map.



"We flew over a Russian airfield on the way here," I pointed out to Fritz, "Here...Safronov."

"That is 40km back behind Russian lines," he said. "Isn't it better to keep going toward our own lines?"

"The whole Red army is between us and them," I reminded him. "We are more likely to get ourselves killed trying to get to German lines, than going back into Russia. If we can make it to that airfield, we might be able to steal a plane. Then we can make for this German field...Karpovka. It is far enough West that it must still be in German hands."

There was just the little problem of how to get there.

But God loves scoundrels. In the distance, we heard a whistle, and the unmistakeable chug of..."A train!" I yelled. "Come on!"

We stumbled through the snow toward the sound of the train and emerging from some trees we saw it, slowly pulling itself up the hill toward us. We waited until it drew level with the trees...



And after the troops in flak cars had passed, we rushed out and pulled ourselves up onto one of the freight cars.

It was headed directly north, and when it was roughly parallel to Safronov (as near as we could tell) we jumped off, and slogged our way West. We had gone a little too far north, and hit the forest, but we tracked down and there it was. A beautiful Russian airfield full of beautiful Russian aircraft. And cold, grumpy, Russian sentries.

We crouched behind some barrels at the edge of the field near some berms.

"What is the plan Herr Oberleutnant?" Fritz whispered, his teeth chattering. "Shall we wait until nightfall and then..."

I tested my feet, stamping them hard against the icy ground. I felt nothing.

"We won't last until nightfall Fritz," I told him, "We have to..."

Just then, the sky filled with aircraft, and one by one, a staffel of Russian heavy attack aircraft began landing, engines revving loudly as they began pulling into the berms right in front of us.

One of the machines nearly drove over the top of the bushes we were hiding behind, and close enough that I could see the pilots in their cockpits...



"This is our chance Fritz," I told him, watching as another Russian pilot taxiied past, braked his machine to a halt and shut down his engine. I could see the kites were all carrying weapons, rockets slung under the wings. They must have been rotating in from another field. They were warmed up, and probably still full of fuel. The ground crews were busy with other machines, and this one was left alone as the pilot and his gunner climbed out, laughing, and then walked off toward a group of tents.

"This is it Fritz!" I thumped him on his back, "Let's go!"

We ran at a crouch to the Russian machine and threw ourselves up onto the wing. Fritz fell headfirst into the gunner's open position, while I levered myself into the cockpit. I could still feel the heat off the engine. The Russian pilots had left their headgear on their seats and we quickly pulled on the helmets and goggles. We wouldn't pass close inspection, but from a distance, it might be enough.



It would have to be. I scanned the unfamiliar cockpit.

"Schiesse!" I cursed, looking at the switches all labelled in Russian, "I have no idea...magnetos...fuel...oh come on!"



I started flicking switches and pressing buttons at random. I pulled a lever and heard something drop underneath the machine...could be the radiator vent? Another lever and the flaps fell open with a clank.



"Stukas!" Fritz called suddenly, "Overhead."

I looked up. There they were, the swines. Heading south, unmolested, totally ignorant of the two fools on the ground underneath, failing completely to steal a Russian aircraft.

Then the engine coughed. The prop kicked once, twice and suddenly the engine roared to life! I shoved what I hoped was the throttle forward, and the engine responded with a satisfying growl. We began to roll and I kicked the rudder to line us up with the runway.



It seemed like the damned thing would never come unstuck, but as we neared the end of the runway, the tail lifted, then with a lurch we were airborne. I eased into a gentle left handed bank. We were up!!



The Russian machine, an IL2, had two monstrous cannons on each wing which must have created massive drag. I estimated we could be doing no more than 250 km/h , at full throttle, (if I was indeed even looking at the airspeed indicator) though of course I hadn't any idea of how to trim the machine properly.



But the sky was clear, and we were soon barreling southwest, toward our own lines. I was nervously scanning the skies above.



But I should have been watching my six.

"Uh, Herr Oberleutnant?" came Fritz's voice over the intercom.

"Fritz, why are you whispering?" I asked. "Speak up!"

I could hardly hear him over the din of the IL2s engine, but what I did hear, I didn't like..."coming up on our wing. It's a Russian!"





I looked over my shoulder in panic, and sure enough, there he was. Another IL2, sliding into position on our wing!

Now the radio crackled to life, as our new friend babbled away in Russian, no doubt asking if he could join with us, or where we were headed, or whether we knew any pretty girls...I had no idea.

He pulled up alongside, frowning, looking across the gap between us trying to signal to us. I pointed at my helmet and made what I hoped were the universal hand gestures for 'I can't hear you!". After a bit more pointless waving, he seemed to give up, and slid back into place on our wing.



"Shall I shoot him?" Fritz asked.



"No!" I ordered. "Ignore him. He will eventually get bored or go away and do whatever he was supposed to be doing!" Do not shoot!"

"You are no fun Herr Oberleutnant."

Fun? We were about to learn the meaning of the word fun.

Side by side with our Russian comrade, we crossed over the front lines and suddenly the air was filled with aircraft. Overhead I counted at least a dozen machines, furiously engaged in a fight to the death.



It looked like Stukas, with 109s in escort, engaged by a squadron of Russian fighters...it was probably the same Stukas that had flown right over the top of us.





...and they were right on top of our destination, Karpovka.



"Oh no..." Fritz suddenly said.

"What now?"

"Enemy fighters, coming in! Six oclock and high!"

I jinked and then suddenly realised, this was good! Russian fighters? We were in a Russian machine!

"Good!" I yelled to Fritz, "The more Russians the better!"

"Ja, but...these Russians, are German!" Fritz said.





"You said enemy fighters Fritz!" I scolded him.

"If you are flying a Russian machine, then German fighters are the enemy!" he pointed out. "Evade! Land! Do something!"

At least it solved one of our problems. Our unwanted wingman saw the German fighters streaking toward us, broke away and dove for the trees.



I should have done the same but I was caught in a quagmire of indecision. Should I engage? Evade? Bail out? Turn toward them, turn away, give them a Nazi salute? Head for the trees like my much cleverer comrade? At least I dropped our nose, but it was too late.

"Firing to miss!" Fritz yelled. At least one of us was thinking.

As the first German fighter pulled in on top of us, Fritz opened fire and I saw his tracer leading the 109 and missing completely.



It was enough to scare him though, and he barrel rolled right over my head and disappeared to starboard.



His katschmarek was not so careless. He stayed well back, matched our speed, and opened up from long range. By now I was down too low, and out of options.



Fritz started firing again but this particular German was not going to be scared so easily. Heavy shells thudded into our airframe and he slid neatly off to port and pulled away.





"We are trailing smoke!" Fritz called. "But the airfield is right below us!"



I craned my neck and saw he was right. But which airfield? I had totally lost my bearings. Was it ours, or theirs?

I swung around toward the lines, scanning the skies, and the ground. We had lost the German fighters, or they had decided we were done for and not worth more of their time.



As a burning Stuka plummeted to the ground ahead of us, I pulled around to make a low pass over the airfield. If it was German, we would probably be shot down by flak. If it was Russian, we would probably be shot down by German fighters before we got down anyway. It was turning out to be one of those days. I grabbed the gear lever and as it came down, we bled airspeed dramatically. I shoved the throttle forward, but the engine had no more to give.



Through the side glass of the cockpit, rapidly smearing with oil, I tried to make out the aircraft below.



"What are they Fritz?" I yelled. "Friend or foe?" I couldn't tell! I threw back the canopy and stuck my head out into the ice cold slipstream.



"Well, it depends, are we Russian or German?" Fritz asked.

"German of course!"

"So if they are Russian, they are the enemy?"

"Yes, idiot!"

"Then they are ours," he replied, a little huffily. "Stukas Herr Oberleutnant!"



I gave a whoop of delight.

Now we just had to get down, without being shot down.

The front windshield was completely covered in oil by now, and the engine was starting to clatter like a clapped out tractor.



I leaned out again and got my bearings, and pulled on a few of the more likely levers until I heard the flaps come all the way down and felt the nose pitch up.





Some light MG fire passed under our wing as a gunner somewhere made a half hearted effort to warn us off, but there was no heavy AAA and without wasting a moment, I wheeled around onto the approach and bullied the aircraft toward the runway.



It was already near a stall, engine barely turning the prop, and we thudded onto the ground, bounced once, so hard I was sure the undercart would collapse, and then we began trundling across the field.





As we coasted to a stop, our prop jerking around as the last dying revs of the broken engine kept it turning, I saw armed German troops running toward us, rifles at the ready.

"Take off that Russian headgear and get ready to yell 'Tus Nicht!" Fritz," I warned him. It would be disappointing to get this far and get shot by our own troops without even the courtesy of a court martial.

"I think 'Heil Hitler would be better," he said. "Show them we are proper Germans."

"Whatever. And let me do the explaining," I told him, "It was going to be hard enough explaining how we got a Stuka out of Stalingrad. But how we got here in a Sturmovik, that is a whole other level of creativity."



"I cannot wait to hear it, Herr Oberleutnant."










[Linked Image]
#4074346 - 02/05/15 11:12 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #7 Feb 6: Flight to Freedom [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,180
scrim Offline
Member
scrim  Offline
Member

Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 1,180
Next one, next one, next one! Can't wait!

#4074883 - 02/06/15 10:42 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #8 Feb 7: No rest for the Wicked [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
No rest for the wicked

As we were marched away from the wounded Sturmovik by the German airfield guards, any doubts they had that we were actually German were erased by Fritz reciting entire chapters to them from Mein Kampf.

I thought we might be taken straight behind a wall and shot for desertion, but instead we were checked by a doctor, told to take a bath (cold), get some food (hot) and sleep. We repeated this routine for three days and then we were ordered to see the II./StG 77 intelligence officer (grumpy), Hauptmann Friedrich-Karl Freiherr von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels.

Yes, that was his real name, and with that many 'vons' and 'zu's you knew he was going to be totally incompetent and completely untouchable.



He looked at us from under thin eyebrows. We were made to wait at his desk while he sharpened his pencil, which he then began tapping on his front teeth.

Tap tap tap.

"So. You are the men who brought us the Sturmovik?"

Tap tap tap.

Fritz and I had been here before. Gestapo, Abwehr, civilian police, at one time or other Fritz had been called in front of them all and I usually had to come and persuade them he was harmless. We knew the routine.

Don't answer until they ask you twice.

"And what, I wonder, should we do with you?"

Tap tap tap.

Fritz tried not to look bored. I found a spot in the wall behind his head and pictured it exploding in different ways, depending on what calibre shell would come through the wall.

He picked up a folder.

Tap tap tap

"Kanonier Fritz Neimeyer, enlisted 1938, twice failed physical, twice wounded...in gunnery practice. Served...Poland, France, Northern Russia," he looked up sharply. "Neimeyer...is that Jewish?"

Fritz smiled, "Is Von Dalwigk Polish?"

Tap tap tap

He took up the folder again. "Oberleutnant Kill...Poland, France and...Northern Russia. You two have served together for many years it seems? Unusual," he squinted. "Are you homosexuals?"

I smiled, "I don't think Fritz is even homosapiens, Hauptmann."

He reached into his drawer, and from within he pulled two small velvet boxes. This was new. Most interrogations did not involve small velvet boxes. With the pencil he pushed each box toward us.

I am not sure what I expected. Suicide pills?

"The glorious leader of II./StG 77, Major Kurt Huhn, has instructed me to present you with these," he said. When neither Fritz nor I made a move to pick them up, he opened his hands, as though completing a reverse clap. "You may open them."

Inside lay a small bronze badge. Von Dalwigk leered at us. "Please, put it on. It will look splendid on the pocket of your tunics beside your ground assault badges."



It was the Luftwaffe Oberserver's Badge, usually awarded to reconnaissance aircrew.

"I am to congratulate you on behalf of the Major, for your valour in reconnoitering the enemy airfield and obtaining a mostly intact example of his inferior aircraft." Fritz opened his mouth, and Von Dalwigk held up his pencil. "Speeches are not required. Your gratitude to the Reich for this highest of commendations is noted."

Tap tap tap

He reached into his drawer again and pulled out two envelopes, and as before, pushed them across his desk toward us with the tip of the pencil. This time I knew what to expect. New orders. They would be sending us somewhere bad, I knew it. But we were already at the Russian front - where could they possibly send us that was worse?

I opened my letter as Fritz opened his. We both spoke at the same time.

"Where is Tatchinskaya?!"

His thin lips closed on the pencil, then he pointed at a map on the wall.



"The most forward of our forward fields," he explained with a pleased tone, "10km behind the front line troops of Army Group Don, within easy striking distance of the two Russian airfields at Morozovskiy and only 10 minutes flying from the Red Airforce main base at Chernishevskiy"

Tap tap tap

"The Hauptmann was certain that two heroes such as yourselves would want nothing less than the honour of being at the point of the spear, holding back the Red Tide."

"How can a spear hold back a..." Fritz started to say, but I kicked him on the leg and stood up.

"Thankyou Hauptmann, if you will excuse us, we are keen to transfer to our new post."

We presented our orders to the duty controller, who pointed across the field, "Hein Kill, Kill...ja...here you are. You are taking a flight of replacement pilots and machines to Tatchinskaya yes?"

I nodded.

"You'll be flying E for Elefant," the others in the room snickered when he said this, and he shrugged, "It crashed last week but it has been refitted and declared operational. It probably is."

Fritz went ahead while I collected our things, such as they were. As I approached the machine, I sighed. The winter camouflage, if you could call it that, consisted of some white splotches that had been dabbed on the green factory paint with what was probably a roll of toilet paper.



Then I saw what was hanging under the wings of all of our machines, and I slapped my hand to my forehead.

I had heard about these, but hoped never to see them in combat.

The Giesskanne, otherwise affectionately known as the 'watering can'. It was a pod holding a trio of twin barrelled MG81z guns similar to those Fritz controlled. It could fire 1500 rounds at a withering 9000 rounds per minute with a declination of up to 15 degrees allowing a pilot to fly low and level above a target and sweep it from existence with a single burst.



This, at least, was how the Mauser factory sold it to the Luftwaffe. In reality it was a non aerodynamic airspeed killer that was prone to jamming at the first sign of actual combat, with a dispersion so great that with a zero point of 100m its 7.9mm rounds were spread over an area just a little smaller than a football field, with as much chance of scoring a kill as a dart, thrown at a barn. That, at least, was what I had heard about it.

I briefed our motley crew of pilots, then climbed in and coaxed the battered old Stuka into the air.



Actually, I had to admit, she didn't handle too badly. I banked sharply after takeoff and pulled back on the stick and the machine seemed to handle almost normally.



As we formed up, I settled into a nice 300km/h cruise, and still had a little to spare. The pods were lighter than if we were carrying bombs, even fully loaded with ammunition, as they were - at least that was something.



I began to think that really, it was a shame we were just ferrying those machines to Tatchinskaya...or...

"Fritz, give me a bearing to those Russian fields at Morozovskiy please," I said.

"Oh no," Fritz said, "Herr Oberleutnant, no..."

"Oh yes, Fritz," I said, "The proud German firm of Mauser-Werke Oberndorf Waffensysteme designed these mighty weapons to be used against the enemy, and use them we shall."



I gave the order to my flight to move to line astern, and prepare for a run against the nearest Russian airfield. As Von Dalwigk had promised, it was only a short distance from the front.



It was not unprotected.

"Fighters! Two Laggs at least!" Fritz called. "Wait! 109s coming in. This is going to be messy!"



"Break formation!" I called on the radio, "Good hunting men!"



I figured the MG81s would be best against soft targets like parked aircraft, so as the furball erupted around us, and flak began to bark, I pulled the stick into my stomach, sent the Stuka into a carnival ride of a zoom climb, then rolled it on its back and pointed it at the ground as I dropped the dive breaks and rolled wings level.



"Lagg coming in!" Fritz warned.



I ignored him. I was committed now, my nose lined up on a row of parked aircraft at the side of the Russian field.



I heard Fritz open up with his own MG81s, but it was just noise in my ears. My focus was in front of me.



I armed the Geiskanne as we closed at 400 km/h.

I thumbed the firing button.

The guns rattled like marbles in a glass jar as several thousand rounds of 7.9mm poured downrange!



I could see the shells peppering the ground ahead, small black puffs of smoke erupting from the parked aircraft.





As I pulled the stick back and climbed away, I could see we had shredded the enemy aircraft like paper targets.



Fritz gave them a beating of his own as we pulled up and into clear air, enemy tracer burning past our cockpit.

"That's for the boys in the Kessel!" he yelled.



There was a solid kerump behind us, as the combination of my fire and his set a fuel tank alight.



Fingers of AAA and heavy MG fire reached up toward us as we zigged and zagged away from the field, a line of Russian tanks stretched out in the snow below.



I ignored them, the Watering cans would have been useless against tanks. But that AAA emplacement just ahead...

I had about five seconds of ammunition left, and I kept my thumb down all the way in. With a hacking sound like an old woman's cough the guns ran dry, but again I saw the target erupt with smoke as ammunition ignited.





I had to say one thing about these guns - you didn't have to be a very accurate shot! Just point the nose toward the enemy, and fire!



I could hear over the radio that the other boys were having a slightly less easy time of it, and had attracted quite a lot of unwelcome attention.



I called them to break off and make for Tatchinskaya, only a few minutes flying away.

We soon left the dogfight behind us, and none of the Russian fighters followed.



Our new home looked slightly more hospitable than Pitomnik, that was for sure. We put down on the concrete runway with empty guns, and dare I say, optimism in our hearts.



It was a feeling that lasted a full 24 hours.



[Linked Image]
#4075911 - 02/09/15 01:38 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #9 Feb 10: Weapons Unlocked [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Weapons 'Unlocked'

"Arkhangelsk," Fritz announced.

We were standing around an oil barrel, filled with burning wood we had ripped out of the walks of the abandoned hovels of Tatchinskaya. We were still cold, dying in large numbers, but at least we were getting some food each day, so it had one advantage over the Stalingrad Kessel.

"What are you talking about?"

"You asked, how could the high command have screwed up so badly they sent the German army into Russia without winter uniforms, waterproof boots, antifreeze for the engines and chains for the tires? And I said 'Arkhangelsk'."

I stamped my feet. "I know what you said, I want to know why you said it."

"It happened, because the generals of today, always think they know better than the generals of yesterday," Fritz said. "So they think they don't need to read history, because the world has changed, warfare has changed and new thinking is all that is required for victory."

"Fritz!" I said, acting shocked, "Is this you, criticising your beloved Fuhrer?"

"Not the Fuhrer, never," he said, chewing on a piece of dried horsemeat (not a pretty sight) "I am talking about Jodl and Guderain and their faith in Blitzkrieg. They expected a quick victory, and sent us here in summer sightseeing clothing expecting they would all be sitting snug and warm in the Kremlin by now."

"And what," I reminded him of my question, "Has Arkhangelsk to do with anything?"



He spat out a bit of hide which still had horse hair on it. The meat we were getting was not entirely fresh. "In the winter of 1918 the Allies were worried about the Russian revolution, some Czech troops were trapped by the Reds in Arkhangelsk defending a huge cache of weapons, but the war was over, so what should they do? The British and Americans had a few thousand troops they were planning to send to Denmark to supervise the handover of southern Jutland to the Danes, so without any preparation for a winter war in Russia, they put the poor sods on ships, and landed them in Arkhangelsk. The idea was a short, decisive victory that would put a stopper to any communist ideas of expanding to the West."

"And now you are going to tell me what lessons they learned, I suppose."

"Since you ask, Herr Oberleutnant," Fritz said, "I will. First, the attacking force was too small. When they landed, the 2000 allied troops had a numerical superiority, but within days they were facing not 700, but 7000 Red Army troops. Second, the Russians were equipped for winter, so they could sit in their foxholes in their white capes and fur lined boots and just wait out the Allies who had no choice but to make ill timed attacks, or freeze to death. Thirdly, the Russians had their artillery mounted on skis so that they could drag them over the mud and snow, while the allied artillery was on wheels and just sunk into the mud..." he took a breath. I really was quite impressed. I knew he could read, but I didn't know he read anything other than Mein Kampf. "...and finally, when the Russians counterattacked, they underestimated how willing the Russian commanders were to sacrifice their troops - you know in one single attack, the Russian commander Fillipovsky attacked with 1300 men, lost 450 of them without success, and then regrouped and attacked again the next day."



"Four hundred and fifty in a single attack..." I reflected on this. It was a lot of mother's sons.

"As many as the allies lost in the entire battle," Fritz said.

"How do you know all this Fritz?" I asked. "Unless I am mistaken, you did not attend the military academy..."

"My Poppa was there," he said, "Attached to the German diplomatic corps overseeing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. He always used to warn me, this new generation of Generals has been brought up in the tradition of von Moltke who said a general should be concerned with grand strategy, and not with details such as winter capes and boots. He said that while our Generals were busy with their grand strategies, our troops would be dying without boots."

I looked down at my own feet, where I was still wearing the boots I had left France with, wrapped in blankets tied with string. It was a sad sight.

We had been in Tatchinskaya for several days now, flying mostly anti tank and anti artillery missions trying to hold back the Red Army, just like in 1917. But it seemed for every tank we killed, another 5 took its place. And we were not killing very many - trying to hit a fast moving tank with AP bombs was a joke. If you were lucky you might knock off a track and slow it down, it was rare you would ever kill it.

"Enough of the history lessons for today Fritz," I said, looking at my watch, "We are late for the mission briefing."



It was our first mission for today. This time we would be heading to front line to attack Russian artillery and tank positions. But we had been hearing noises for days that some of us would be getting a new anti-tank weapon on our Stukas, and the Kommandant, Major Kurt Huhn, confirmed it.

"You have probably already heard the rumours, and I can tell you they are true. High Command has unlocked its Christmas Chest, and we have got five new prototypes of the Ju87 Gustav 'Kanonenvogel' with two Bordkanone BK 37mm cannons under the wings, each with a six-round magazine of armour-piercing tungsten carbide-cored ammunition."



Someone whistled. All I could think about was 'Six rounds?! I can't hit anything with a Watering Can with hundreds of rounds, how am I going to hit a moving tank with six?'

Major Huhn must have seen the scepticism on my face, because he addressed the next remark to me, "Our own Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Knights Cross First Class, Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, who personally sank the Russian battleship Marat, has developed this weapon Oberleutnant - I trust it will be sufficient for you to stop bothering me with your excuses for why you are so ineffective in your attacks on Russian tanks."

I smiled at him, "The bigger the gun, the bigger the danger I pose to the enemy, Sir!" I told him.

And to myself, I added, quietly. In my head.

TO BE CONTINUED


[Linked Image]
#4076103 - 02/09/15 07:27 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #9 Feb 10: Weapons Unlocked [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Weapons Unlocked PART 2

It was a 200km round trip that would take us within a few minutes flying time of the two Russian forward airfields at Morozovsky, which would be teeming with Laggs and Yaks. That was the bad news.

We got the good news as we looked over the new prototypes. Not only had the armourers installed the new 37mm cannons, they had added extra armour plate to the pilot cockpit to help protect his...dignity.



"Why don't I get armour plate too?" Fritz whined. "I am the one sitting right where the enemy will be shooting from."

"You ARE the armour plate Fritz," I told him. "Anyone shooting from our six has to get through you before they hit me - the Luftwaffe has already thought of that."

"It's just not right."

"Fritz, think of it this way. It is more important to protect the pilot, because without the pilot, there is no one to land the aircraft is there?"

"If the gunner is dead, he doesn't very much care whether you can land the aircraft or not," Fritz said.

"But the Reich does, Fritz, the Reich does - we do not have a limitless supply of Stukas do we?"



I slid back my canopy before we took off and leaned out of the cockpit. The long barrel of the Bordkanone stuck well out from the wing, more or less level with the prop. On any other front we would have been given the chance to at least train with the weapon before going into combat. But this was 1941 and the Russian front, what better testing ground than this?



They were based on Flak 18 AAA guns, and could be time or contact fused. These were zeroed at 200m, which was as close as I would want to be to an exploding 37mm shell, that was certain!

Like the Geiskanne or Watering Can, they were at least streamlined, and no worse than flying with bombs under the wings.



We settled into a steady climb at 250km/h and 10 m/s climbing rate, up to our mission altitude of 2000m. Along for the ride were a pair of 109Gs, which given how close we would be going to the Russian frontline airfields, was about 8 aircraft fewer than I would have regarded as bare minimum.



But it was another sign that the war was not going well.

The run in was quiet, but sure enough as we approached the target zone, we could see enemy fighters circling over their positions, 'riding shotgun' on the troops and tanks below.



One had already been in action, or had been hit by our AAA, because I could see it trailing vapour.





"Swallow flight, you are free to engage, watch for Indians and good hunting!" I called as I released my wingmen, and we scoured the ground below.

"Fritz, try to find me some tanks which are not moving too quickly," I told him. I did not fancy my chances with the new tank killing cannons any better than I did with the AP bombs I had been using, but it would help if the tanks were not moving.

After a few circuits, dodging only light AA fire, Fritz called out, "Starboard three oclock Herr Oberleutnant! Tanks in berms!"

"What type Fritz? T34s I hope?" A pair of 37mm shells would make a nice dent in a T34, that was for sure.

"Even better Herr Oberleutnant, these are KV1s."



KV1s! It could not be worse. The Kliment Voroshilov 1 was bigger and badder than any German panzer at that stage of the war. The Panzer III and IV could barely scratch it, and even an 88mm anti tank gun had to hit it more than once to stop it. It had 90 to 130mm armour on the turret, front and sides, and 20mm on the rear. That meant the only possible way to damage it would be to hammer repeatedly on the back door with the 37mm.

"Fritz, in what way at all can that be good news?" I asked.

"It would make me very proud to kill a KV1," he said, "I would write about it to my mother."

I let the tanks fall behind me and then pulled my machine up and rolled the wings over until we were facing back the way we came.



"Oh well then, if it will make your mouther proud."

I chose the centermost tank, whose berm was at least aligned so that the rear of the tank was exposed. As we closed I squinted through the gunsight...



"Fritz, was that a AAA emplacement next to those tanks?"

"Ja...perhaps...I didn't want to worry you."

We were falling toward our fate at a barely controlled 500km/h. There was no time for worry. I pressed the trigger and the wings blew off.

At least, that is how it sounded. The explosions from the Bordkanone were so loud I was certain the recoil had ripped our wings off, but I checked and they were miraculously still attached. Two harmless gouts of snow kicked up beside the KV1.





"I think you woke him up Herr Oberleutnant!" Fritz said as we pulled up out of our dive.

"That just means he'll make a run for it if he has any sense," I muttered unhappily.

"Flak, break right!" Fritz called.

Tracer flashed our wings and I hauled the machine into a tight climbing turn.



It was only light calibre, but it would only take a few rounds in the engine to ruin our day.

"We have to deal with that AAA vehicle Fritz, the tanks will have to wait." I pulled us up and around and began another approach.



Over the radio I heard the cool and calm chatter of our fighter escort as they kept the Russians busy. They were outnumbered at least four to one, so I had low expectations for their ability to keep our sixes clean for much longer.



The truck mounted MG was turned toward us and firing as we approached. I jinked a little until I was in range, but it was a matter of luck and fate who would hit first, him, or me.





It was me. This time.

The truck went up in a fiery yellow ball and I gratefully hauled back on the stick. Well, at least I could destroy soft targets with my new wonder weapons.



"What about those tanks Fritz?" I asked him as we pulled away. "Are they backing out of the berms?"

"Nein. I don't think they are too worried about us Herr Oberleutnant."



And why would they be. Up until now, the KV1 had been invulnerable from the air, to all except a 250kg AP bomb making a direct hit on the top of the turret.

Maybe they still were.

We would have to see. Once again I pulled the Stuka around. I could hear my wingmen calling targets and enemy fighters, but none had claimed a kill yet. The smoke from the burning flak truck made a good beacon for me to line up my next run. I only had four times two rounds left. The first salvo had been wasted, and I'd used one on the flak truck.





I waited until I was closer this time. With only four salvos left, I decided to give the KV1 two bursts.

The first fell short, but the second salvo caught it right in the ass.







"So then!" I yelled, pulling up, "That's how you kill a KV1 Fritz!"

"Uh, not dead, Herr Oberleutnant."

"What?"

"Smoking a bit. Probably you disabled it, maybe. But not dead. The crew isn't even bailing out."





"I don't believe it, that last salvo was definitely two direct 37mm hits in the hintern!"

"Well, they probably have a terrible headache now, if that is a consolation sir."

I was furious. I know it would usually take an 88mm anti tank barrel to disable a KV1, even with a rear end shot, and I was only packing 37mm. But gotterdammerung man, I had two of them, with tungsten carbide AP tips, and they were being delivered at a starting speed of 500km/h. That had to count for something?

I had two salvos left. I knew six salvos was not going to be enough for a poor shot like me, or a big ass tank like the KV1.

Now I was being more cautious. Surely I had at least weakened it. I got close, and then I got closer. I thumbed the trigger just once. The Stuka bucked like a constipated donkey.



And the KV1 went up with a very satisfying WHOOMPH!







So much for superior Russian armour.

"Nice shot Herr Oberleutnant!" Fritz said.

"Fritz, take a memo," I told him. "From Oberleutnant Hein Kill to Staffelkapitan Hans Ulrich Rudel."

"I don't have a pencil," he said.

"Then memorise it...you seem to be able to memorise whole chapters of Mein Kampf and obscure facts from the Great War. Ahem. Dear Hans Ulrich, regarding the field trials of the Ju87 Gustav with 37mm Bordkanone...I can say the results were...what would you say Fritz?"

"Ehrfrchtig, Herr Oberleutnant."

"Indeed Fritz. Most ehrfrchtig!"



TO BE CONTINUED


[Linked Image]
#4076185 - 02/09/15 10:16 PM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #9 Feb 10: Winter Campaign' Unlocked' [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
PS This has always been my favourite version of the Stuka...the DGen Kursk campaign in 1946 was one of my all time favourites,

And the BoS model is even sweeter...


The old 1946 Stuka with Bordkanonen. Not bad for its age...but BoS version is v cool.


Cant wait for the full mission editor, and a talented mission maker, to whip up some real historical missions for it...

If I could wish for one other thing though, it would be a bigger recoil effect on stability and airspeed. I can't help think that you should be able to hear and feel them much more than currently in game.

H


[Linked Image]
#4076392 - 02/10/15 09:55 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #9 Feb 10: Winter Campaign' Unlocked' [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
PART 3

We had one salvo left and I knew now it wouldn't be enough on its own to knock out the other KV1 in its berm. I also didn't fancy my chances of hitting a fast moving T34 with one salvo. I circled looking for other likely targets. Up ahead I suddenly saw something interesting. Two Stukas chasing a damaged Russian fighter?



"This is all very good Herr Oberleutnant, but it isn't getting us any closer to The Dream."

"Ah yes Fritz, The Dream," I acknowledged.

Every soldier has The Dream. It is the plan for What I Will Do If/When I Make It Home. Some agreed they would go into business together. Others wanted to buy some land and become farmers. Get married to their sweetheart, get divorced from that complaining witch. For Fritz it was to become a Metzger...his very own butcher shop, with imported Danish bacon, prosciutto from Italy, smoked hams from Baden-Wrttemberg, nicely marbled steaks from German Piemontese cattle, Bavarian White Sausages... I doubted any of it would make it past his stomach and into the display window, but a man can dream.

My dream was simple - a life without Fritz in it.

"You said after France we would go to a training unit. We ended in Norway fighting Russians. Now we are in Russia, fighting Russians. It was a miracle we made it out of Stalingrad Kessel. We are still on the front line, Herr Oberleutnant. The Dream is not getting any closer," he said.

"We are here because you diddled a Gestapo Major's daughter Fritz, had you forgotten? And besides, you had your chance to be quit with the war once and for all. But you didn't take it."

"What? When?"

"You remember August 13 1940?"

"Ja. Too much. You landed at Manston and sent me to challenge the English CO to come up and fight."

"You could have surrendered, and waited out the war in a prison camp in Canada. But instead you returned to our machine and your war continued."

"Ja, that was a bad decision. But I didn't want to desert you, Herr Oberleutnant."

"You are so kind Fritz."

As we got closer to the dogfight I could see the two aircraft were my wingmen, chasing down a wounded Lagg. It was cruel, merciless, and unecessary.

"Look at those two ahead there Fritz, brave German pilots chasing a Russian pilot who is trying to crash land."



"Swallow 2 and 3 break off, I repeat break off your pursuit!"

They grumbled, but I repeated my command and they complied, one breaking right, the other left.





I pushed the throttle forward. Now he was mine!

I had to catch him before he went in, if I wanted to be able to claim at least a partial. If I was carring MGs, or even my Watering Can, I could let him have it from long range, but I had only one salvo of 37mm left and had to be sure. I crept close and closer, as he got lower and lower.



Then, just as I was about to open fire, the coward jumped!





I let fly with my 37mm anyway, but they passed harmlessly between the pilot and his machine.

"Got him!" I called as the parachute drifted behind us, and the Lagg speared into the ground.

"But...I am pretty much sure I saw his parachute before you fired," Fritz said.

"You definitely did not Fritz."

"Ja, I did, he was..."

"Fritz, I have a plan for getting us out of here, and making The Dream come true...do you want to be part of it?"

"Jawohl Herr Oberleutnant."

"So, did I finish off that Lagg or not?"

"Most definitely, Herr Oberleutnant. In fact I think he crashed into a supply dump full of trucks and blew it up as well."

"Did he Fritz? Yes, it was a big explosion. I believe you, of course."

"Ja, you know, I think I saw Stalin's personal motor vehicle down there."

"Now Fritz, we mustn't embellish."

Approaching Tatchinskaya I was dismayed to see a dogfight in progress, right over the airfield.





But this time, the odds were in our favour, and as I watched, either the AAA or our fighters swatted the Russians from the sky.





It left us to make an uneventful landing, and as we came in, one of the Russian pilots was drifting down under a parachute, his war over.





We coasted to a stop with empty guns, two vehicles and one partial fighter kill to our names. Plus the rather lucky destruction of the enemy supply dump, of course.

"So, what is this great plan of yours Herr Oberleutnant?" Fritz asked as I shut down the engine.



"Simple Fritz," I said, "Fight. Win."

It did not satisfy him. Actually I did have a plan, a real plan, that would get us out of this war once and for all.

But when I returned to my quarters, I had to put it on hold.

There on my bed were new orders.

I was being transferred.

To bombers.

Major Huhn was pleased to advise that I was to take over a staffel of He111s with a handpicked crew of veterans. He hoped I would have more luck hitting large stationary targets than I had hitting small moving ones.

There was just one detail to attend to. The crew was missing a man, the navigator/front gunner/bomb aimer. Perhaps I should take my current navigator/gunner with me?

A quote from a favourite book of mine, came suddenly to mind. The world is full enough of hurts and mischances without wars to multiply them.








[Linked Image]
#4077404 - 02/12/15 05:52 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #9 Feb 10: Winter Campaign' Unlocked' [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,122
theKhan Offline
resident pacifist (sic)
theKhan  Offline
resident pacifist (sic)
Member

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,122
Canada
Nice!! Can't wait for the next episode.


I used to work for a living, but then I took an arrow to the knee.
#4077951 - 02/13/15 08:51 AM Re: Mostovskoy goes to war: BoS campaign Ch. 2 AAR #9 Feb 10: Winter Campaign' Unlocked' [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Thx! The next Chapter will take us back to the Russian side, and a rather different view of the conflict...the Soviet female aces.

It actually needs the planned summer 1942 map, but who knows when we'll see that, so we'll have to allow for some historical time/place stretching.

wink

H


[Linked Image]
#4077963 - 02/13/15 09:50 AM BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #1 Feb 13: YEKATERINA 'KATYA' BUDANOVA GOES TO WAR [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
YEKATERINA 'KATYA' BUDANOVA GOES TO WAR: PRELUDE

Shtab Glavnogo Verkhovnogo Komandovaniya
October 8, 1941

NGO 0099

By order of Commander Air Force Main Administration
Colonel General A A Novikov

Subject: About the constitution of female air regiments of the Red Army Air Force.

In order to use available female flight and technical personnel it has been ordered to create three aviation regiments under the organisation of Aviation Group 122: the 586 IAP (Fighter Aviation Regiment), the 587 BAP (Bomber Aviation Regiment) and the 588 NBAP (Night Bomber Aviation Regiment), drawing from the number of women serving in the Air Force satellites, CAF, Osoaviahima and Komsomol Trainees.

Headquarters for Aviation Group 122 staff will be the territory of Petrovsky Park in Moscow in the building VVIA. Operational flight and training headquarters will be established at Engels, in Saratov region, under the command of Chief of the School for Flight Training Lieutenant Colonel V.P. Petrovicha.

It is instructed that all regiments are to be fully established and training to be commenced no later than 1 December 1941.

By this order, Hero of the Soviet Union Comrade Major Marina M Raskova is hereby promoted to Women's Aviation Group Commander Aviation Group 112 effective immediately.

Signed

Novikov, AA





[Linked Image]
#4079060 - 02/15/15 06:57 PM BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #2 Feb 15: Katya's first kill [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
(Reader note: each one of the following AARs represents an actual mission flown by Soviet combat pilot Yekaterina 'Katya Budanova' - 16 December 1916 to 19 July 1943, RIP. The Chapter starts with the posting of Budanova and four other women pilots of the 586th IAP to the 437 IAP based at Verkhnaya Akhtuba. Historical detail comes primarily from the book "Wings, Women, and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat" by Reina Pennington. Much detail is based on Budanova's letters home to her sister Olga, or 'Olya' Budanova.).

14 September 1942: According to historian Hans Seidl, on this date Yekaterina Budanova shared her first aerial kill, a Bf 109 fighter, over Stalingrad, Russia; the kill was shared with fellow pilot Lydia Litvyak. However according to her merit citation for the Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Degree, on 22 July 1943, this shared kill was a Ju88. This AAR assumes a 109.

Dearest Olya

At last! Training is finished!

Two days ago Lydia, Maria, Raisa and I were transferred to the 437th Fighter Regiment which is currently at CENSORED on the east bank of the Volga river. Partly it is because we caused such a fuss about that cow of a commander Kazarinova. General Osipenko put her in charge just because she has an Order of Lenin Dedushka! She was an acrobat before the war, she knows nothing about combat flying. Colonel Starishenko called a meeting of the pilots because we were not the only unhappy ones. All her toadies spoke for her, but we were more who spoke against. Starishenko told us he did not have the authority to change our commanding officer, but a week later, we were told that the four of use would be sent to Stalingrad as replacements, along with our Yaks and our ground crews! I was angry at them removing us from the unit, rather than Kazarinova, but Lydia was right, she said it didn't matter as long as we were not reporting to that cow, and we were going to a front line regiment!

Our Yaks are such beautiful machines Olya, you would be amazed if you could see one. The other pilots in the 437th fly Laggs, which are also fine machines, but they cannot touch our Yaks, which can carry cannons, rockets and bombs and are better than any machine the Germans have.

[Linked Image]

The men here will not fly with us. They say they do not want the responsibility of 'looking after women' in combat, and they do not trust us to protect them. Lydia says they have 'Yak envy'.

But the reason for my letter! Today we saw our first real combat!

We were supposed to conduct a patrol along the front line. We were to avoid combat with enemy fighters and concentrate on their ground attack aircraft, which were supporting their push on Stalingrad.

[Linked Image]

But the Germans had not read our orders.

We took off just after lunchtime, the first time all four of us - Lydia, Maria, me and Raisa, were going on a patrol over the front lines together. The Lagg pilots had gathered outside dispersal to cheer us off. Even though they wouldn't fly with us, I think they wanted to see us get back in one piece! Well, mostly Lydia probably, but that's another story Dedushka.

[Linked Image]

I was flying at the rear of the formation, protecting all three. Lydia calls me 'Mother' just because I am five years older than the others, and I try to keep them all out of trouble - in the air, and on the ground.

I had seen Stalingrad from the air, but it was a terrible sight today. The whole city was burning, and the low cloud trapped the smoke so that the whole horizon was black.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

We were just settling into the flight, and I had only just trimmed myYak for low level cruising, under the clouds at the height the German Stukas would have to fly in this weather.

"Enemy fighters! Three oclock, two hundred metres below!" Maria called.

"Watch them, do not engage, remember our orders," Lydia said. But she led us in a slow turn above the German fighters, keeping an eye on them as we passed.

[Linked Image]

There four of the, 109Fs, you have probably seen a picture of them Dedushka. Small, with square wings, cannons and machine guns, they are fast, but we could out turn them in a dogfight.

[Linked Image]

Unfortunately, they saw us, and started to climb toward us. They would catch us eventually if we ignored them, and we were not the types to run from a fight.

"Stork flight, engage, engage!" Lydia called, "Stay with me Katya!"

She put her machine into a steep dive and headed down toward the 109s. We had practiced this many times. You did not want to meet them head on, with their weapons all aimed at you. The idea was to pass them on the side, going at high speed, then pull around and up beneath them while they were at the top of their climb, and vulnerable.

[Linked Image]

Lydia made the maneuver perfectly, but I misjudged my dive, going too fast. As I tried to pull up, I nearly blacked out!

[Linked Image]

As my vision cleared I spotted an enemy fighter up above, close to a stall and zoomed up under him.

[Linked Image]

But Lydia was already on his tail. He panicked and turned right in front of her, but he was too slow, and she was moving at nearly 400 kph.

[Linked Image]

She fired and I saw puffs of smoke from his machine.

[Linked Image]

But then his wingman came from nowhere. I should have been there to protect her, but I lost her when I blacked out. "Break left Lydia!" I called over the radio and she pulled left just as he fired. He hit something on her machine, because she started leaking fuel, but she was still flying.

"Finish off that 109!" she ordered, "I'm OK."

[Linked Image]

I came in behind him as he tried to climb away, trailing grey smoke. The smoke from his engine mingling with the smoke rising up from the city.

[Linked Image]

He turned back to his own lines, and I got within firing range. I fired one burst with cannon and MG.

[Linked Image]

He banked hard left, trailing an ugly black plume now.

[Linked Image]

I let go with another burst, and he decided it was better to take his chances on the ground, than in the air with me! He jumped for it.

[Linked Image]

"Good shooting Katya!" Lydia called, and we formed up on each other's wings again. The 109s were gone, but Lydia had lost the fuel from her port wing tank, and Maria was also reporting her engine was running rough, maybe had taken a hit. We decided to be satisfied with our one kill and return to CENSORED.

Back at the airfield, we lowered our wheels and Lydia and I made a pass over the airfield in two by two formation as she asked for permission 'for two victorious pilots' to land.

[Linked Image]

After her bragging, I was terrified I would make a bad landing, and there was a strong crosswind too to make it worse, but I put it down alright.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

So now I have finally started to repay the Germans for what they are doing to Mother Russia Olya. I will make you and Pyotr proud of me.

Say hello to everyone in Konoplanka for me, I hope the winter is not too hard and you have enough to eat. When my pay catches up with me, I will try to send some money home for you.

Yours,

Katya.

PS I included a photo of me from a month ago, with Lydia on my left, and Maria on my right. It was a photographer from a magazine who took it. He said they would do an article about us, but I don't believe him. At least he gave us a copy of the photograph.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by HeinKill; 06/02/18 08:55 AM.

[Linked Image]
#4082342 - 02/22/15 10:52 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #3 Feb 23: She who fights and runs away... [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
20 September 1942

Dedushka,

Maria is dead and it is my fault.

It is impossible. I keep staring at the door of the mess, waiting for her to walk in, but I know she never will, ever again.

Just this morning at breakfast she was reading a letter she had received from an RAF pilot. Yes, someone she had never met! Apparently he saw her on a newsreel in London and so just wrote a letter addressed to 'Russia, The Female Combat Pilot, Maria Kuznetznova.' There are two M Kuznetsova in the VVS and it took time to realise that he meant Maria Mikhailovna Kuznetsova - our Maria.

She wouldn't even touch the letter!

"You have to read it aloud," we told her. "So we can try and translate for you." Of course we all wanted to know what was in it.

"I don't even want to look at it," she said, "I'll be accused of having 'foreign relations'."

So we took it from her and read it. It seemed to me he was saying he wanted to give her his hand and heart, but that sounded more like a Russian than an Englishman.

"Budanova, Kuznetsova!" our CO called, "Stop gossiping, get on patrol!"

We were not late, he just resented us enjoying ourselves. We started our takeoff roll at exactly 0800 as ordered. I led the flight away, with Kuznetsova, who was much more junior, on my wing.

"We will take off and stay low until we cross the Volga, then climb and come back over at about 3,000," I had told her. "First we will scare off any low flying Germans, then we can see if there are any fighters or medium bombers looking for trouble."

As we were taking off, I looked over to see her on my starboard wing, and was shocked to see she had her landing lights on! "Maria!" I called over the radio, "Cut your lights!" I briefly flicked mine on and off, "See how bright they are, you have to learn to take off in the dark, without them."



"Yes, comrade Budanova, I am sorry," she said meekly.

As we pulled up from the runway at Verkhnaya Akhtuba I looked back with satisfaction to see she had cut her lights.



But it was too late.

Those brief flashes must have been like lighthouse beacons to the 109s circling above Stalingrad.





I don't know how long it took them to stalk us and find us. We made it over the Volga and had turned and started to climb back toward the city when we saw them.

There were at least eight.



"Fighters, 11 oclock high!" I called. "Coming straight for us!" They had the height, and the numbers. What should we do? To turn into them would be suicide!

"Orders comrade?!" Maria called.

I was frozen. And in that moment, Maria made the decision I should have made.

"Breaking left to engage!" she called, and her guns opened up almost immediately.



I could see her target scream past her, trailing grey smoke.

"A hit," she called, "They are on my tail! Katya!"

But I was too late Dedushka! Too late! As I got my machine in position behind her, one of the 109s opened fire and I saw a flash of fire from Maria's Yak.





"Bail out Maria!" I yelled, "Bail out!"



I could see her hammering at the canopy, but it didn't open.

By now I had two Germans on my own tail, and I watched in horror as her burning machine plunged toward the ground.



The German who was trailing smoke appeared in my mirror.



And I lost my nerve. It was like that time when our cow bolted and I couldn't shut the gate in time, and I went and hid under the straw, remember?

I put my nose down at tree level and ran.



I headed for the smoke over Stalingrad, trying to hide in the noise and chaos.





They lost me. Then as I put the city behind me, heading back over Russian ground, I felt ashamed. Maria was dead, for nothing. I pulled back on the stick and began to climb back toward them.



There is no heroic finish to this story Dedushka. It was still eight to one and I did not want to add my name to the list of those who died for nothing. I just wanted to show them...I don't know. That they had not scared me into hiding under the straw.

So I pushed the engine to its maximum and climbed out over Stalingrad.



Eventually I saw them again, circling just behind German lines, waiting for their next victim.



I rolled over on one wing and started diving toward them and my airspeed rocketed...280...300..350...400...450...500...



The Yak shook so hard I was sure the wings were going to rip off. At 620 km/h I gripped the stick hard and pulled it slowly into my stomach so the machine would not tear itself to pieces in mid air, trying to line up on the rearmost pair of 109s. They were turning gently but it was still too much for me to follow at that speed and I just managed to get off a snapshot across their noses.





Before I was past again, and climbing for the sky, leaving them scattered and confused in my wake, searching for their attacker.



I left them swirling in confusion and headed back toward Verkhnaya Akhtuba. And that was it. My hands were shaking, I was crying, and my fight was over. I was alone, and beaten and I had done exactly nothing to avenge Maria.

As I made my approach, I looked at the dashboard clock. It was 0835.



I had prepared myself for thirty years for this, and it took thirtyfive minutes to prove I was no sort of flight leader after all.



Perhaps I should go to a factory. I might be more use making cannon shells, than trying to fire them.

Yours,

Katja.








[Linked Image]
#4082496 - 02/23/15 09:33 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #3 Feb 23: She who fights and runs away... [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,456
Smithcorp Online content
Member
Smithcorp  Online Content
Member

Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 1,456
Oz
Golly!

#4085394 - 02/28/15 01:37 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #4 Feb 28: Two birds with one Yak [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
2 October 1942: According to regiment archivist Ekaterina K. Polunina on 2 October 1942 Budanova achieved her two first solo air victories, shooting down a bomber and a Bf 109 over Stalingrad. However, Budanova's aircraft mechanic and good friend, Inna Pasportnikova, wrote that she shot down her first aircraft on 6 October when she attacked 13 Ju 88 bombers, downing only one. Her actual tally of kills remains the subject of considerable debate.

Dearest Olya

We are not only fighting the Junkers and 109s, we are fighting the attitudes of our own men as well.

When I reported that Maria had been shot down, the squadron political, Myalo, sniffed, "What do you expect? She was probably using the mirror to fix her hair."

"I'll set your hair on fire, see if you can fix it!" I told him, before Lydia pulled me out of the room.

She pushed me up against the wall outside. "You can't let them get to you!" she told me, "Remember back at the start, when they ordered us all to shave our heads, just like the men? 'Why should there be different rules for you?' What did we do?"

"We shaved our heads," I said, remembering the humiliation of walking out bald and hearing the men's jeering.

"And when we cut up that old fur coat to put fur collars on our flight jackets, they ordered us to remove them again, what did we do?"

"We removed them."

"And ...?"

I looked at her, standing there with her long blonde hair that she bleached with peroxide given to her by a hospital orderly, with the fur collar of her flight jacket snug around her neck.

"And now we have our hair and our fur collars," I admitted.

"We have to earn everything we want Tanya. We have to cut our hair to win it back, we have to wear their uniforms before we can make our own, and we have to die...like Maria...like they do, before we they will give us respect. You are a fighter pilot, as good as any of them!"

It was a fine speech, but inside I did not believe it. I was a pilot, yes, but not yet a fighter pilot.

In civilian life I had been an instructor, I could fly single, twin engine machines. biplanes, monoplanes. I could repair engines and patch canvas. I was the oldest pilot in the regiment.

But in that last fight, I had frozen. And Maria had burned alive.

I asked to be number four of four on our next mission, a late afternoon bomber intercept. No one questioned that, and I didn't blame them.





The Germans liked coming over Stalingrad at dusk, using the fires from the already burning buildings to aim their bombs.



We climbed to 5000m, steering for the intercept coordinates we got from ground control, our contrails were standing out against the ice blue sky.



But so were theirs.





"There they are comrades," Lydia called. "Snowflake two, you stay with me, we'll take the bombers. Snowflake three and four, you take the fighters."

We acknowledged and dropped toward the German formation about 500m below us.






There was no time for nerves, and I only had to follow orders, not give them. I picked out one of the escorts.



I pushed the engine to its limit, but as I closed within firing range, I quickly checked behind me, and closing fast, was his wingman.



I got off a quick burst that went across his nose without hitting him...



Then I rolled the Yak on its back and dived away just as the 109 behind me opened fire.



"That's it Katja, keep them busy!" I heard someone call.

The 109 on my tail followed me down, and I chopped the throttle. He screamed overhead and suddenly I was the predator, and he was the prey. He appeared in the top of my cockpit glass.



He pulled up into a gut wrenching zooming climb. Usually we could not follow the 109s in a climb, but I had a massive amount of energy from my dive, and I followed him up, urging my Yak higher, and higher. We both hit the top of our climb at the same time, and he hung in the air, two hundred meters ahead of me.



As we dropped he filled my sights, I pushed my nose down to follow, opened fire and he fell away, his contrail crossing my nose as I followed him through.



As I looked over my shoulder I saw his machine twisting like a leaf, something wrong with his tail.





My shells had sawn his tailplane and elevators clean off, and he was fluttering to the ground, out of control. The pilot leapt.



"One for Maria," I thought to myself.

I turned back toward the bombers. There were no more escorts in sight. One bomber was falling out of the formation, damaged or dead. I saw Yaks buzzing around them like deadly gnats.





"Snowflake four rejoining," I called over the radio. "Orders please."

"Katja!" Lydia called, "Just in time! We are out of ammunition, there are three of them left, do you still have guns?"

"I have guns," I confirmed.

"Then use them comrade," she replied. "We'll cover you."

I closed on the rearmost bomber. After the two or three bursts I had used on the 109s, I guessed I might have five or six seconds of cannon ammunition left. It was a dangerous rear aspect angle but I got as close as I dared.

They were curving left and I banked to follow them. I fired, holding down the trigger until my guns ran dry.





MG fire from the bombers thudded into my Yak, but my rounds hit home, and the bomber fell away, fire streaming from an engine.



I pulled up into clear sky.

"Snowflake 4, ammunition gone, rejoining, where are you Snowflake one?" I looked around me.

There was no answer.

"Snowflake four to Snowflake flight, anyone?"

Nothing but static and dark blue sky.



I tried again for a few minutes, increasingly worried as I circled. I was still deep behind German lines, and now I was alone. I turned back toward Verkhnaya Akhtuba. I doubted German radar would pick me up, but I was also low enough for the German sound locators to be able to hear me. Sure enough, two searchlights suddenly sprang to life and started combing the sky around me.



One of them played over my machine, lost me, and then locked itself onto me. Blinding white light poured into my cockpit and I stood out like a coloured kite against the starry sky.





There was nothing for it but to dive for the ground and try to lose the searchlights in the ground clutter.



That brought me within range of light MG fire from the troops below, but I ignored it and snaked my way back and forth over the German positions.





Finally I made Stalingrad itself, and ploughed through the smoke of the burning city.





It was only five minutes flying to the airfield, but to avoid night attack, it would not be lit at night, and I would have to find it by dead reckoning.

The light was so weak, all I could make out on the ground below was trees and snow. And none of it looked familiar.



I slowed the machine down to 180 km/h, threw back the canopy and stuck my head into the roaring cold wind. Through eyes that were quickly starting to gel, I saw something ahead. A field! But, ours or theirs?



I pulled the canopy shut and made a pass across the field, hoping the ground defences wouldn't wake up too quickly. As I passed overhead a white flare shot into the air, to signal that they had recognised me.



"Verkhnaya field, this is Snowflake 4, requesting permission to land." I asked, with relief.

There was a short delay, then in Russian, "Permission granted Snowflake 4, but you will have to land without lights, enemy aircraft in the area."

I dropped my gear and flaps and approached on the edge of a stall. There would be no second pass this time unless I wanted to land in full darkness.



As the ground loomed up, I panicked a bit, hauled the canopy back and stuck my head out again.





I was short! I hauled back on the stick, the nose reared, the airspeed dropped to almost nothing and the Yak slammed down onto the packed ice and gravel right at the end of the runway.



I trundled to a stop by the control tower, panting heavily. I could see the other 3 Yaks in their berms at the other end of the field. So they got back safely. Good.



Two kills this time. That made two solo kills and a shared kill now. Clearly, I was a better follower than I was a leader.

But two kills wasn't enough.

It won't ever be enough.

Our pay has finally arrived. I have enclosed some money for you and the neighbours. Don't worry, we don't need it here. We get food, a place to sleep, and mighty Russian fighter aircraft to fly. Tell Pyotr I am fine,

Your sister,

Katja.

*****






[Linked Image]
#4085737 - 03/01/15 09:57 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #4 Feb 28: Two birds with one Yak [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,233
rollnloop. Offline
Member
rollnloop.  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,233
France
Thanks for these great stories popcorn

#4087384 - 03/04/15 08:58 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #4 Feb 28: Two birds with one Yak [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
You're welcome. I really find these stories of women pilots from WWII inspiring.

Totally recommend reading the book

Wings, Women, and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat" by Reina Pennington

http://www.amazon.com/Wings-Women-War-Airwomen-Studies/dp/0700615547/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425459179&sr=8-1&keywords=Wings%2C+Women%2C+and+War%3A+Soviet+Airwomen+in+World+War+II+Combat%22+by+Reina+Pennington



And another good one, from a different front, but just as impressive:

http://www.amazon.com/Contact-Britain-pilots-during-England/dp/1453787836/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1425459375&sr=8-5&keywords=raf+Air+Transport+Auxiliary+%28ATA%29



By Nancy Stratford who flew no fewer than 50 different types of combat aircraft during WWII!

H


[Linked Image]
#4087689 - 03/04/15 08:21 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #4 Feb 28: Two birds with one Yak [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,233
rollnloop. Offline
Member
rollnloop.  Offline
Member

Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,233
France
Thanks for these references.

This one was nice too:

Anna Yegorova

She wasn't in Stalingrad though IIRC, fought in Caucasus.

Last edited by rollnloop.; 03/04/15 08:24 PM.
#4088878 - 03/07/15 09:30 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #4 Feb 28: Two birds with one Yak [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Thx must read that one!

H


[Linked Image]
#4088883 - 03/07/15 10:47 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #5 March 7: Katja and Pyotr against the world [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
6 Oct 1942 Yekaterina Budanova shot down a bomber over Stalingrad, Russia.

We are now at the tipping point Olya.

You remember I told you about my young friend Pyotr from the Dzerzhinskiy Tractor Factory? He was that cheeky boy who asked me for a date when he drove us out from the train station in his truck. I told him sure, he could date me one day, when he had started to shave. I said he reminded me of my little brother Pyotr who is just 12 years old. He didn't like that. Last night he came to the airfield in his truck with some supplies and I saw him. He said the last of the worker's brigades were evacuated from the factory yesterday after a full day of dive bombing from dawn to dusk. He said they counted hundreds of Stukas. During pauses in the bombing, the German troops attacked from Barrikady.

"Where were our fighter aircraft Katja?" he asked.

I had nothing to tell him. We are only three girls left of four. The men of the 437th Fighter Regiment have just six Laggs and we have our three Yaks. Every time we go up, it is two or three against one.

But the 37th Guards Rifle division is still holding onto the factory Dedushka, and the bombers keep coming.

We do what we can. This morning we were over Stalingrad waiting for the bombers.



It was Lydia and I in our Yaks, and four guys in Laggs. That was all we had to defend Stalingrad on October 6. The days when the men wouldn't fly with us were long past.



We had been on station about ten minutes, when I saw them.



"Bombers, looks like Heinkels and Stukas..." I called, "Five oclock!"

The flight leader in one of the Laggs gave the orders, "Laggs take the Stukas, Yaks the bombers, break now."

As we turned toward them, the German formation spotted us, and the bombers broke right, while the Stukas dove for the city below. I was still 600m away when the first tracer from the bomber's guns started streaking past my machine.





Lydia went high and I went low. It was a way to divide the gunners fire. Almost immediately I saw one of the bombers begin to belch black smoke. Go Lydia!



I had my own target and closed to 200m then opened with all guns.



If I really hit him, I don't know but he dumped his bombs and turned radically to starboard, just missing me as I went up and over.



I barrel rolled over the top of him and saw some thin smoke coming from his wing. He had his nose down in a steep dive, but was still under control, trying to flee.



Over the radio I could hear the Laggs were carving up the Stukas.





My target was going low and fast now, weaving right and left, but I could still get below him where he had only one gun able to threaten me.



I hung back, peppering him with cannon and MG, trying to knock out an engine, or at least, silence the gunner.



Thick black smoke began to pour from one engine, but still he kept flying.



It streamed overhead as I came at him, again and again.





Finally, I saw flame.

Burn you dolboeb. Like Maria burned. It was all I could think of Dedushka. I wanted them all to burn.



I pulled up ahead of them. Flame was pouring over one wing, but still the pilot kept it level and the gunners kept firing. They were dead men, but refused to admit it.





Finally, as slowly as a tree toppling in a forest, the bomber slid onto its side and went in.





Some sickness has taken my soul Dedushka. I watched men leaping to their deaths from that burning behemoth and you know what?



I was laughing.



One of their chutes opened, just before the man hit the ground. Probably he broke every bone in his body.



And I was glad.

I circled, and the bomber burned out. I wanted to watch it. Only as I pulled away did I realise something was wrong, and I was trailing white vapour from my left wing. I guessed that a German MG round had found my fuel tank.



It was only a few minutes flying back to the airfield. By the time I got there, the white vapour was taking on a more dirty, foul grey aspect. It was probably more than just a fuel leak, but my temps and revs were still alright.



I couldn't see any other aircraft taxiing around the field, and got permission to come straight in. I later learned they were still engaged. It is amazing how you fight your combat in a small bubble, where a long patrol ends in the small punctuation mark of combat, and suddenly you are home again. Or dead.



The landing strip was as hard as concrete and I bounced uncomfortably but then pulled the machine off to the side of the runway and shut down the engine quickly.



You know, as I disconnected my RT cable and harness, I wasn't even thinking about the German bomber? Or poor Maria in her burning Yak? As I reached up to take off my helmet, I was thinking about little Pyotr.



As we'd shared a cigarette I'd asked him what he was going to do.

"I'm going back across the Volga tonight," he'd said. "Zholudev's 85th artillery needs men." He'd shrugged. "I can't shoot a rifle, but I can push a wheelbarrow full of shells around."

He barely came up to my shoulders so when I gave him a hug, he complained I was smothering him.

So have heart Olya. Together little Pyotr with the bum fluff on his cheeks, and your tall awkward sister Katja will hold back Hitler's hordes!

Yours,

Kat.

PS another photograph for father's album. My mechanic Inna took it when I wasn't really ready, but it is not such a bad one anyway because you can't really see that big fat Budanova nose we got from Dedushka.






[Linked Image]
#4088916 - 03/07/15 02:12 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #5 March 7: Katja and Pyotr against the world [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 6,709
CyBerkut Offline
Administrator
CyBerkut  Offline
Administrator
Hotshot

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 6,709
Florida
The good stuff just keeps coming. thumbsup

Thanks for sharing your gift with us, HeinKill !!

#4090593 - 03/11/15 12:55 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #6 March 11: Yak down [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
On 2 December 1942 Budanova scored a double kill over Stalingrad, 2 German attack aircraft, according to regimental records. According to her merit citation, she was credited with only one kill.

(Note: first paragraph below from actual letter written by Katja Budanova to her sister Olga taken from the book 'The White Rose of Stalingrad: The Real-Life Adventure of Lidiya Vladimirovna by Bill Yenne'. They indicate that Budanova had by this time become very aware of her own mortality and the likelihood she would die in combat.)

My dearest Olya,

You write to me that you worry about me and hope I get back from the war soon. I can't lie to you - I doubt that will happen Olya. Though I don't want to die, I am not afraid of it. If and when I must die, my death will cost the enemy dearly. My dear winged 'Yak' is a good machine and our fates are indissolubly joined together. If we must perish, we are bound to die like heroes.

The fascists tried a few days ago, but as this letter shows, I am still here.

Lydia and I were sent to intercept German attack aircraft that were harassing our troops northwest of Stalingrad on the Don Front at Kachalinskaya.



My Yak had been damaged the day before, so Inna had prepped a reserve machine for me. It was still in the factory paint! (It did not stay shiny for very long, but I am getting ahead of myself).

Lydia told me to lead the flight. Even though she is younger, she is the superior officer but she wants to see me lead my own squadron one day and she says it will never happen unless I learn to take command in the air.





Over Kachalinskaya it was not difficult to find the enemy - there were at least half a dozen Stukas, with escort.



"Swan 2, take the escorts, I will go for the Stukas," I told Lydia. "Good hunting."

I blasted past the 109s as they came up to meet us, trusting that Lydia would keep them away from me.



I lost the Stukas momentarily in cloud.



But dropping lower I picked them up again.



My dive caused me to close quickly, too quickly, and I overshot on my first pass, scattering the enemy attack aircraft but without getting a single hit.



I stayed beneath them where their rear gunners and pilots would have trouble seeing me, and closed on one of the Germans. I opened fire at about 200m.





The crew of the Stuka leaped almost before I had even stopped firing.



But as I pulled away, I realised I was not as clever as I had thought. My brand new shiny Yak was pouring smoke from a hit to my engine.



Inna would be so angry! Not to mention the strips Lydia would tear off me.

But there was no time to think of that, because a flight of enemy aircraft lay right in front of me and I kept the engine at full throttle, willing it not to seize up, as I got closer, and closer...until...as I was about to fire



Oil erupted out of my engine and completely covered my windscreen!

My prop seized, and stopped turning. So I threw back the canopy and prepared to bail, but as I stuck my head out into the fierce, cold slipstream, through the tears in my eyes I could see the Germans just ahead of me!



I was without power, but within range, and with my head out the window, using just dead reckoning and with Saint Peter to guide my shells, I opened fire and sprayed the German formation.





My nose dropped and I began sideslipping away, but as I did, I saw one of the Stukas had been mortally wounded and was streaming smoke even more black and foul than my own.





He plumetted underneath me, and soon disappeared into the ground.



But now I was too low to bail out. I turned the machine back toward Kachalinskaya and our own lines, a dirty smudge on the horizon.



These emergency landings are not as terrifying as you would think Olya. You don't have time to be terrified. You are checking your instruments - airspeed, attitude, altitude - tightening your safety straps, spinning wheels to keep your pitch right and your attitude nose-up, reaching for levers to drop your flaps, craning your neck out of the cockpit trying to see ahead, and then suddenly the ground is there, right in front of you...



The machine slides on its belly, if you are lucky, or if you are not, or you don't manage to keep the nose up, the nose digs in and you are thrown forward, grinding your teeth as the prop bites the ground



The whole machine shakes like the worst fairground ride you can imagine, hard enough to rip the fillings from your teeth!



Do you remember when that grain elevator on our farm collapsed in the wind? It sounds like that - tearing metal, grinding stones - you just sit there strapped in thinking 'please don't flip, please don't flip'...



And then it is over.

The snow settles. You can taste blood from where you bit your lip or gashed your face.



And everything is suddenly quiet except for the tick tick tick of hot metal cooling in the freezing air.



Then all that is left is to gather your things and jump out of the machine as quickly as you can, in case of fire, and work out how in hell you are going to get back to your unit from here.



So, it was a lucky mission, considering I lost a Yak but kept my life, and took care of two of the fascists for you.

But not every mission will end this way Olya. You have to prepare for the day when you and Pyotr will have to fight on without me. You will have to be the strong one.

Keep well... and don't forget me.

Katja

PS Just learned we are being transferred to the 9th Guards Aviation Regiment so that we can keep flying Yaks. Not sure where they are currently based. But I heard they soon will be re-equipping with American P-39s so I don't think it will be a very permanent move if the idea is to keep us flying Yaks! I will try to write when I know more.



[Linked Image]
#4091658 - 03/13/15 01:13 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #6 March 11: Yak down [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Have been in touch with the author of 'Wings, Women and War' to see if there is any more archival material on these ladies to flesh out the story a bit more for the finale...

Looking forward to see what comes back!

H


[Linked Image]
#4092627 - 03/16/15 08:23 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #7 March 16: Chivalry is dead [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
By January 1943 Budanova had been promoted to Lieutenant from second Lieutenant, and given 'free hunter' status. After briefly being assigned to the 9th Guards IAP, together with fellow ace Lydia Litviak and her faithful mechanic Inna Pasportnikova, Budanova was transferred to the 296th IAP commanded by Nikolai Baranov. Various records indicate Budanova was lightly wounded in January 1943 (cuts and contusions) and no kills were accredited. On 10 February 1943 however she is credited in various sources with a shared kill on either a FW190A or FW 189 Uhu. Luftwaffe records however show no such loss occurring on that day, although Budanova herself claimed shooting down the FW 189 in a lecture to a group of young communist women. Her official citation for the Order of the Patriotic War did not include this kill.

Importantly, no further kills were officially accredited to Yekaterina Budanova between February 1943 and July 1943. Various authors claim that in March and April 1943 she was conducting propaganda duties (such as the speech noted above) in Moscow and other cities. Other sources claim she was badly wounded in combat in May 1943 and took several months to recover, but this was never revealed to the Russian public, for obvious reasons.



25 June 1943


Dearest Olya

I hope this note reaches you. I am so sorry that I have not been able to write and you must have been terribly worried, but I have been in hospital and though I am well and back flying again I was wounded and then got a terrible lung infection which has kept me out of communication since I saw you in Moscow in April.

But you see not even German shell splinters in my lungs can kill your Katja!

I will tell you what happened so you can read it to Pyotr. It was a heroic action - not my part, but the part of my comrade pilots.

I have moved to a new unit, the 296 IAP, at Kotelnokov southwest of Stalingrad. Lydia is already here, and Inna, so we are all together again. I have been given permission now to go on free hunts along the front line with my own wingman, and when I am not doing that, it is my honour to be chosen to fly as wingman for a great hero, regimental commander N Baranov, who flies a Yak with a bold red nose so the enemy can always see him. He is afraid of nothing.



We were conducting a routine patrol when we came across a formation of a new German aircraft, the Focke Wulf 190. It is no match for our Yaks in air to air combat, so the group of them were circling around below us, strafing our ground troops.





Commander Baranov ordered us to attack and led us down straight at the enemy.



Too late, they realised we were there and turned toward us, one of them just missed flying into me.



With me on his wing to watch his back, Commander Baranov had soon latched onto one of them, and even though we were outnumbered two to one, he pressed his attack.



The German pilots made the mistake of trying to turn and fight against us which their machines are not good for, and N Baranov made a shot straight across their bows and filled one of them full of holes so he started smoking.









Without waiting, Commander Baranov turned on another German, and he ordered me to 'finish him off'. He had disappeared behind me, so I needed to turn sharply to find him.





The speed of the turn made my sight go black - that happens if you turn too fast.



As my vision came back, I found myself surrounded by Fockers! One of them took a shot at me but he was not a good shot and only just slightly damaged my machine.



They came hard after me, but I was already on the tail of the machine that Commander Baranov had engaged and they were too slow even though my machine was damaged! I caught it trying to escape and finished it off as Baranov had ordered, with the help of another of our comrade pilots.









But those pesky Fockers had caught up with me by now, and my poor Yak was slowing down so I had to break off and head for a nearby airfield. They followed, but they were terrible pilots and could not get a clean shot.





They were still some distance behind when I arrived back at Kotelnokov airfield so I called our tower, lowered my wheels and prepared to land.

Now, you should know that lowering your wheels is the internationally accepted signal in modern air combat that your machine is out of the fight. No honourable pilot would ever attack a machine with its wheels down, because in that position, it cannot fight back.





I had just touched down, and was bouncing down the runway, when the ground erupted beside me!



The German pilot is never honourable, and does not respect the rules of war. One them was swooping down from above, and trying to destroy me on the ground.



I kicked my rudder and swerved away from his shells, but the ice and dirt from the explosions were battering my poor Yak.



I am not sure, but that may have been when I was hit, or it may have been later. As I looked up to see where he was, a shadow zoomed right over my cockpit and I saw him flash overhead, incredibly fast and low.





But as befits a coward like that, he could not pull up in time, and his machine slammed into the ground right beside our control tower.







The explosion was tremendous! I could feel the heat from the blast through the wall of my cockpit, and the machine was again rattled, this time with schrapnel. If I had not been hit earlier, I was certainly struck by some flying metal then.





Luckily for me, his cowardly comrades did not follow his example, and when they saw what happened, they retired from the battle to lick their wounds.



I felt like my side was on fire, and could feel my uniform was wet with blood, so I quickly stopped my machine and waited for help, which came very quickly.


In fact, Inna was the first one up on my wing and she pulled me out of my Yak and threw me over her shoulder and after that I think I passed out, because I don't remember anything until I woke up in hospital.

I had a lot of metal in my tough old hide, and unfortunately some got into my left lung, which is how it got infected and they say it was only my rude country girl health and lack of respect for God, which helped me hang on.

But now I am back flying, dear Olya and Pyotr, and back on the wing of the hero N Baranov, driving the cowardly fascists even further west.

For now, I will say goodbye and promise to write again soon.

Yours

Katja


PS This time I will send you a picture of Inna from a magazine article they wrote about us girls. I doubt you have seen it, but Inna is the one in the dark blue shirt fixing the engine of a Yak. That girl can fix anything from a watch to a tank and even Commander Baranov has asked her personally to tune his Yak after seeing how fast she has made mine.



[Linked Image]
#4093862 - 03/19/15 10:20 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA

Actual letter from Russian ace Lydia Litviak to her mother, 23 July 1943

Mummy dearest

I feel your pain quite clearly. It is one thing to lose a comrade in this war. It is another thing entirely to lose a close friend. It is with great sadness I inform you about losing my friend Katja, my flying comrade.

I am angry. What animal has done this?

I don't know if I could bear another such close loss. I wish you were by my side. You are always in my thoughts.

Much love,

Your Lilia.


The 'White Lilly' of Stalingrad, Lydia Litviak. Superior officer and close friend of Katja Budanova. 12 solo, 4 shared kills in 66 missions. Born August 18, 1921 died in combat August 1, 1943.

Account of the death of Yekaterina Budanova, from Inna Pasportnikova, gathered from the accounts of the pilots who flew with her and the villagers who found her body.


Inna Pasportnikova. VVS Mechanic and friend of Katja Budanova and Lydia Litviak


"The hero Lieutenant Yekaterina Budanova together with other pilots of 296 IAP were escorting IL2 Sturmoviks for an attack on German positions near the village of Novokrasnovka.





Suddenly, their Yaks came under attack by three Bf 109Gs of JG3.



Reacting instinctively, Katja pulled up to screen the bombers, trying to draw the Messerschmitts away from the Sturmoviks. As she succeeded, they turned to attack her aircraft instead.





She urged her machine into a turn, using its maneouverability and tight turning radius against the enemy's superior speed and power, and found a Messerschmitt in her sights.



She gave the Luftwaffe fighter a 20mm burst from her ShVAK cannon, and according to pilots who were there, it dropped its nose, lost control and went down.





Meanwhile, her Yak had taken some serious hits itself. Below, though not far below because the aircraft were operating at fairly low altitudes, people in the villages of Kalchynivka, Ksenivka, Novoansyol and Novokrasnovka were watching the aerial battle with great interest.





They heard the snarl of the Daimler Benzes and of the Klimovs and watched fast airplanes streaking through the sky.

They recall seeing Katja's Yak roll over on one wing, and rush at another Messerchmitt, let out a long burst and then the second Messerschmitt began to fly away leaving a black trail of smoke behind it.



The people of Novokrasnovka saw this red starred fighter turn upside down.



Out of control, it began to fall, then it sideslipped and leveled off. Tongues of fire licked its wings.



The plane began to glide into a field adjacent to the village. After it touched down, one of its wheels fell into a hole and the fighter nosed over.










The pilots who shot her down were Georg Schwientek of JG 52 or Emil Bitsch, of 8./JG 3, the only two pilots that claimed a Yak-1 at Novokrasnovka on 19 July 1943.

Some farmers from a nearby kolkhoz rushed to the plane and pulled out the pilot before the flames spread. They were shocked to see the pilot was a woman, and that she was still alive. An old woman wiped off the blood from Katja's face, loosened the collar of her flying suit, and took out her party card which read, 'Yekaterina Vasil'yevna Budanova'.



The people carried her to the nearest house, but Katja was dead by the time they got her there. They buried her nearby."

On 20 July 1943, Budanova was posthumously recognised. Her citation read, "For excellent performance of combat orders of command to defeat the Nazi invaders at Stalingrad and Rostov, for personally shooting down 2 enemy aircraft and for displaying courage and heroism, Comrade Budanov is awarded the government awards the Order of the "Red Star" and worthy of the government award the Order of "Patriotic War 1st degree."

Yekaterina Budanova's remains were not located until the 1980s. After a campaign by Inna Pasportnikova lasting nearly fifty years, in 1993 Russian President Boris Yeltsin conferred on her on 1 October 1993 the title, Hero of the Russian Federation.


Yekaterina Budanova
6 December 1916 19 July 1943, R.I.P.


Credits: with thanks to Prof Reina Pennington, author of 'Wings, Women, and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat' for historical material. And Lupsons Simple Mission Editor for enabling the accurate recreation of Budanova's last mission.









[Linked Image]
#4093973 - 03/19/15 03:52 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 57
SoupyC Offline
Junior Member
SoupyC  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 57
Biggest Little City
Again, masterful writing. Thanks for sharing Heinkill. Hope to see more!


"A desire not to butt into other people's business is at least eighty percent of all human 'wisdom' . . . and the other twenty percent isn't very important." - Jubal Harshaw
#4094010 - 03/19/15 04:42 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: SoupyC]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Originally Posted By: SoupyC
Again, masterful writing. Thanks for sharing Heinkill. Hope to see more!


Actually didnt write any of that last post. The first letter is Lytviaks actual letter to her mother, and the description of Budanova's last flight is the words of Pasportnikova her mechanic. I just flew the mission to illustrate what happened and it was actually quite spooky that I flew the mission three times, and what happened to Budanova happened 2/3 times to me, so getting the screenshots was not hard at all.

H


[Linked Image]
#4094115 - 03/19/15 10:00 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 57
SoupyC Offline
Junior Member
SoupyC  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 57
Biggest Little City
Well, meaning all of these stories. You have a knack for narration and dialogue. Great work! smile


"A desire not to butt into other people's business is at least eighty percent of all human 'wisdom' . . . and the other twenty percent isn't very important." - Jubal Harshaw
#4094939 - 03/21/15 06:35 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Thx, working on a book right now, hope to have it out for summer, so will need to give these a rest.

H


[Linked Image]
#4101169 - 04/03/15 12:57 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
BTW: got the following letter today from Professor Reina Pennington, author of 'Women, Wings and War' (and a former airforce officer herself). Great website for anyone interested in the Soviet air aces. The site is a WIP but particularly interesting to me was the account of Lilya Litviak/Katja Budanova's faithful mechanic Inna Pasportnikova, who accompanied them on all their postings, until their deaths.

http://lilylitviak.org/styled-21/styled-2/



Dear Fred,

I just launched the web site: http://lilylitviak.org. If you have a chance, take a look. It's very much a work in progress, so suggestions are appreciated. You'll find some info on Pasportnikova that you'll like. I haven't done a lot with Budanova yet.

Be sure to check out the page on the new book "Defending the Motherland." I believe that will have a lot of new information.


best wishes,

rjp

Reina Pennington, PhD
Professor, Department of History and Political Science
Norwich University


[Linked Image]
#4101247 - 04/03/15 03:07 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 828
Lipfert Offline
Member
Lipfert  Offline
Member

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 828
Ayr, Ontario
Great story telling, thank you.

Only wish we could create pilots and do proper Dead is Dead Campaign with Battle of Stalingrad. Maybe a 3rd party will come up with something useful.

S!


JG1 Lipfert - Jagdgeschwader 1 "Fritz Schmenkel" "Oesau" "Richthofen"
#4110644 - 04/23/15 02:52 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Battle of Moscow will use the same campaign engine, so we will need a Pat Wilson or similar - no one has stepped up to the plate yet. I am worried the game might not have attracted the user base to justify someone spending the time needed; showing the perils of leaving single player development to your users instead of developing it yourself. Kind of a catch 22 - you go to market without a great SP campaign game, hoping your user base will develop it for you, but because you don't have a great SP game, the user base is too small...downward spiral ensues.

H


[Linked Image]
#4402718 - 01/31/18 09:29 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,778
piston79 Offline
Member
piston79  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,778
Originally Posted by HeinKill
...........
H


Hi!


Please, fix your photobucket account. All your screenshots are gone!

#4402746 - 01/31/18 02:48 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: piston79]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Originally Posted by piston79
Originally Posted by HeinKill
...........
H


Hi!


Please, fix your photobucket account. All your screenshots are gone!


Sorry no can do ... this thread too old unfortunately. My photobuck account closed when they started charging 300 bucks a year to link to images...


[Linked Image]
#4423613 - 05/31/18 02:03 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8:THE DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: piston79]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 26,042
wheelsup_cavu Offline
Lifer
wheelsup_cavu  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 26,042
Corona, California
Originally Posted by piston79
Hi!


Please, fix your photobucket account. All your screenshots are gone!

As of this post the screenshots are showing again. No idea for how long that will be valid though?


Wheels


Cheers wave
Wheelsup_cavu

Mission4Today (Campaigns, Missions, and Skins for IL-2)
Planes of Fame Air Museum | March Field Air Museum | Palm Springs Air Museum
#4423864 - 06/01/18 12:04 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,916
carrick58 Offline
Senior Member
carrick58  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,916
300 a Year for Photo Bucket Hokey Smokes !

Last edited by carrick58; 06/01/18 12:05 AM.
#4423977 - 06/01/18 04:23 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Not sure why, I certainly haven’t coughed up that ridiculous fee! Bigtime nostalgia reading it again tho!

ADDENDUM

"Photobucket has a new management team that wants to do the right thing. We are committed to earning back your trust and offering comprehensive and flexible image storage and hosting options for our customers. We’ve taken your feedback and made some changes to our pricing model that allows us to offer competitively priced plans that fit the needs of all of our customers.

For a limited time, our current customers’ hosted images have been restored and Photobucket is introducing a new pricing plan that is built around everyone’s needs."

So, it won't last... and wow, they decreased the price of a 3rd party link sharing account from 500 to 400 dollars. For only 100 dollars a year you can email links to family and friends...

I asked them what the cheapest plan is that allows you to link to images on boards and it is $30 a year allowing 400 pictures. $70 allows 5000. Not worth it when Imgur is free and not worth the effort of downloading and porting all those game images. sigh.

Last edited by HeinKill; 06/05/18 06:47 AM.

[Linked Image]
#4438461 - 09/12/18 02:05 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Last chance if you want to read with pix. I just got an email from photobucket that images will be removed again at end of month...


[Linked Image]
#4438963 - 09/14/18 03:56 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 26,042
wheelsup_cavu Offline
Lifer
wheelsup_cavu  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 26,042
Corona, California
Originally Posted by HeinKill
Last chance if you want to read with pix. I just got an email from photobucket that images will be removed again at end of month...

Knew it was too good to last. frown


Wheels


Cheers wave
Wheelsup_cavu

Mission4Today (Campaigns, Missions, and Skins for IL-2)
Planes of Fame Air Museum | March Field Air Museum | Palm Springs Air Museum
#4441675 - 10/01/18 12:57 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
Stab1JG51Molders Offline
Junior Member
Stab1JG51Molders  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 2
Europe
Originally Posted by HeinKill
Last chance if you want to read with pix. I just got an email from photobucket that images will be removed again at end of month...


Move to postimage ( https://postimages.org/ ).

Here your pictures will be never deleted unless you want and it works 100000 times better than that Photobucket s..t!

It's completely free. wink

Last edited by Stab1JG51Molders; 10/01/18 12:58 PM.
#4442349 - 10/05/18 07:12 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: Stab1JG51Molders]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Originally Posted by Stab1JG51Molders
Originally Posted by HeinKill
Last chance if you want to read with pix. I just got an email from photobucket that images will be removed again at end of month...


Move to postimage ( https://postimages.org/ ).

Here your pictures will be never deleted unless you want and it works 100000 times better than that Photobucket s..t!

It's completely free. wink


Thanks, I would need a week to move all these images and edit the posts! Sadly that time machine aint invented yet!


[Linked Image]
#4471457 - 04/22/19 07:08 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
ooooooh, now they yelling at me...

[Linked Image]

they left one option off their list of what i MUST do.

IGNORE


[Linked Image]
#4471862 - 04/25/19 06:33 PM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 26,042
wheelsup_cavu Offline
Lifer
wheelsup_cavu  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 26,042
Corona, California
They have that very annoying "proudly hosted on photobucket" superimposed over every free image now, not just those in your account, and I suspect your warning is the next step towards them disabling everyone's images again.


Wheels


Cheers wave
Wheelsup_cavu

Mission4Today (Campaigns, Missions, and Skins for IL-2)
Planes of Fame Air Museum | March Field Air Museum | Palm Springs Air Museum
#4471928 - 04/26/19 06:32 AM Re: BoS campaign Ch. 3 AAR #8: THE END; DEATH OF YEKATERINA BUDANOVA [Re: HeinKill]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
HeinKill Offline
Senior Member
HeinKill  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,629
Cloud based
Which is their prerogative. But their marketing guys/gals are not too smart. Never heard of a successful sales strategy called 'yell at your potential customer'.


[Linked Image]
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5

Moderated by  RacerGT 

Quick Search
Recent Articles
Support SimHQ

If you shop on Amazon use this Amazon link to support SimHQ
.
Social


Recent Topics
HBO’s «Chernobyl»
by semmern. 07/20/19 06:15 PM
Spacesuit Article
by Rick_Rawlings. 07/19/19 09:31 PM
Storm Area 51
by Chaz. 07/19/19 08:20 PM
Checking in from Spokane our new home
by JimK. 07/18/19 11:45 PM
Old Crow Mustang
by DBond. 07/18/19 08:42 PM
Trailer for you know what!
by archermav. 07/18/19 07:58 PM
Copyright 1997-2016, SimHQ Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0