Thanks JR2. BoB2 runs for me in Win 10 - not sure what compatibility settings I'm using - but CTDs when I Alt+X out of a mission, and sometimes earlier when flying campaign missions. Leaving me able to play all the single missions without being able to get to the debriefing screen. Nothing I could find online improved on this. Recorded my experiences and my ultimate solution - basically Win 7 dual boot - here: https://combatace.com/forums/topic/92753-battle-of-britain-2-wings-of-victoryand-windows-10/ Was a small price to pay to enjoy this classic.
Back in the Ops Room, a WAAF reports that a raid has wrecked the airfield at Hawkinge. Minutes later, another raid is reported to be threatening Lympne. I join the Spitfires of 74 Squadron just after they sight the raid, which is approaching rapidly from ahead and above. I lead Green Section up and around so as to come in from their right rear, while the rest of the squadron goes left and takes a more direct route.
I make a stern attack on the rear wedge of what turns out to be a bunch of Ju88s, but seconds later I'm falling through space and reaching for my ripcord. The bomber I attacked is no longer in its place on the left rear of the formation, but that's a rather poor price to pay, for my Spit is falling away in flames.
What got me, I'm not sure. There were 109s reported spotted, but I think it was return fire from the bombers which did this to my kite. Meanwhile, I doubt we did much to save Lympne, which will mean that until they're repaired, 11 Group will have two heavily-damaged airfields close together near the coast, liable to create something of a gap in our defences. This isn't going terribly well.
Well, I have been extracting a bit of enjoyment from CloD Blitz Edition while gritting my teeth at its many vicissitudes, but my most recent RAF 'commander' campaign mission, while not exceptional by BoB2 standards, was another reminder why - late convert that I am - I still consider Battle of Britain II - even by current standards - to be a far superior product, both as an air combat sim and as a convincing representation of 'the Battle'.
I'll post a mission report/AAR in the appropriate forum later, but here's a few screenshots from the action. This involved jumping aboard as Green Leader with 41 Squadron as we met a raid without close escort, whose target seemed to be poor old Dover, getting it in the neck again despite Fighter Command's best efforts.
Here's the raid as I lead Green Section up after it.
By the time I'm getting into position for a stern attack, the rest of the squadron is getting stuck in.
On my second pass, I get a shock when a round from a Heinkel smacks into my armoured glass windshield.
And that's not the only place I've been hit...
Engine misfiring but rounds to spare, I get another shock when, on my next firing pass, I find myself so close to this Heinkel, I can see the face of the ventral gunner staring down his sights at me.
After recovering sufficiently to make another pass, I pull away as the air fight rages behind. By this point, a Hurricane squadron has joined in and the Heinkels are having a hard time.
I've played a few air combat sims in my time but - while BoB2 has some limitations of its own - none better than this. The flying is convincing, the visuals are still more than good enough, and the air battles are as epic to witness as they are to fight in.
And some people complain about mobile phone masts...they're lucky they didn't have a Chain Home station in their back garden, and a set of Chain Home Low masts next to that. [Edit - the smaller towers aren't as I first thought meant to represent a co-located Chain Home Low station (which IIRC had rotating 'mattress' antennae on higher or lower frames) - the normal CH stations had separate transmitting and receiving towers, the shorter ones being the latter.]
'Oh, I do like to be beside the sea-side, I do like to be beside the sea'...even if it's Sheerness dockyard. British readers, at least those 'of a certain age', will likely be humming along by this point.
I've heard the Luftwaffe tendency to insist they were never shot down by Hurricanes, only by Spitfires, being referred to as 'Spitfire snobbery', but having it painted on the side of your Spitfire is taking it a bit far, don't you think?
I've heard of the Luftwaffe tendency to insist they were never shot down by Hurricanes, only by Spitfires, as 'Spitfire snobbery', but having it painted on the side of your Spitfire is taking it a bit far, don't you think?
Hee hee! I guess it's better than if the N wasn't there, wot?
It's the morning of 21 July. Lympne airfield has just been hammered by Hun bombers and 74 Squadron are left chasing after the retreating raiders. Their escort has already decided their job's done and they may be right!
The rest of the squadron seems to be trying to head off the Huns, and goes wide to my left. I lead Green Section on what I hope is a more direct route.
As the range winds down, I steer towards the right hand bomber in the right-hand group - Heinkels, they turn out to be.
I knock my target out of formation but my first attack is my last, I took a lot of hits from below as I broke up and away and my engine is running very rough. I try to catch the bombers again but give up and turn back when I'm about half way over the Channel. The rest of the squadron hasn't appeared yet and I'm not sure where Green 2 and Green 3 ended up, but I'll be happy to get home without getting my feet wet.
We now have three south coast fighter airfields damaged, one so badly as to be out of action. And our claims of aircraft shot down are not very far ahead of our losses. Production and repair of Hurricanes is keeping pace with losses, but Spitfire strength is falling. And the battle is just eleven days old!
Late morning, 21st July 1940. There have already been several big air fights as raids are intercepted. A thirty-plus is over the Channel heading for hard-pressed 11 Group's westernmost flank, A Sector, which includes the coastal airfields of Westhampnett and Tangmere, near Chichester. Tangmere is recovering from bomb damage inflicted the day before, and one of the two airfields looks like the target again now. The Sector Controller scrambles 601 Squadron's Hurricanes against the raid. We're not up to full strength - a quick count shows about eight of us, including the three I'm leading in Green Section.
Our first sighting of the enemy is the familiar one of three waves of about ten, each wave hard on the heels of the one in front. Bombers, with no sign yet of the fighters (which from information received later, seemed to have carried out a sweep somewhere well ahead of the bombers). Problem is, as seems to be the norm now, they are well above us. As they near the coast, the boss gives the order to go for them and I lead Green Section up and around independently of the others.
My vic arrives behind the bombers slightly behind some of the other Hurricanes. Automatically, Green 1 and Green 2 split off from me and come in for their own attacks. By now the bombers are inland and what I feared has happened - sticks of bombs begin to fall away from the Huns. Too late!
The Hurricanes ahead of me have not attacked the bomber on the outside right of the rear group - I can see now that they are Ju88s. So I go for this fellow and send him down with his port engine on fire.
Down and away he goes - no doubt about that one!
Down below as I come around for another pass, the bombs are bursting - in open countryside, by the look of it. The target looks to have been the area of grass to the left of the bursts - Westhampnett satellite fighter base [the shape co-incides exactly with an air recce shot of the airfield in Philip Birtle's 'Battle of Britain Airfields', so kudos to A2A/BDG.). The town down there will be Chichester, as it would have looked at that time, and complete with its cathedral, which is clearly visible. The airfield with the X-shaped concrete runways will be Tangmere.
This is the map view at that point, zoomed out. No town labels but you get a read-out of your position in relation to a landmark, in this case the coastal town of Bognor Regis.
As I come in for my next attack, the Huns are making a turn to the left, to make their withdrawal back out over the coast near Portsmouth. Our fighters are still snapping at their heels.
I get another Junkers on this pass, with the crew bailing out instantly.
I'm on a roll now and another bomber goes down in flames from my next attack. These Junkers types seem rather more vulnerable than the slower Heinkels, and their speed advantage doesn't seem to do them much good, even against Hurricanes.
The bombers make another left turn over Portsmouth, and another attack sends another bomber going down with the crew taking to their parachutes.
As I look down and right, I can see that the middle group of bombers is looking intact but the group behind has been well whittled down.
I peel off and go for one of the Junkers which is streaming smoke, which makes aiming difficult when I come in from astern. Down he goes nevertheless! The airfield visible here is Thorney Island, I believe.
My next pass is my last - my ammo runs out after just a few rounds are fired. I break off and watch the Huns go, still with Hurricanes snapping at their heels and the calls of our pilots on the airwaves. Where Green 1 and 2 have got to I'm not sure, but I decide it's time to go home. Having done an air start and not checked where 601 was flying from, I call up Control and get a vector to my home base. This turns out to be the airfield, next to the bombers' target, which I had identified as Tangmere. Cockpit canopy slid back, I make my approach. I forget to ask for permission to 'pancake' (BoB2 uses the correct radio pro-word) and have to watch out for a couple of other Hurricanes milling about. At the last moment I notice some splodges of earth on grass and runways and remember the base has been bombed, but I keep on coming.
The repair people have done a good job, though, and despite the signs of craters seemingly filled in, I make a safe landing after a bump (or two) and a longish roll out. This takes me onto the perimeter track so I roll to the right around it and come back towards the hangars, which seemed to have escaped destruction.
The squadron seems to have had a red letter day, with just one pilot and his aircraft lost and a claim of no less than fifteen Ju88s shot down, and the rest of the thirty damaged. The 3d air combat in BoB2 is said to be rather bloody and more so than if things are left to the 2d wargame element to resolve, but I'm not complaining - not at all!