Idle (non-Polish) chit-chat on the RAF Redux campaign Radio Telephone in a recent mission had led me to expect an early encounter with the silliest thing in CloD, the girl you apparently take for an 'air experience flight (!) in your Spitfire. However, instead I got a strange visual recce flight to Calais (accompanied by even stranger R/T chit-chat about another silly sub-plot). As reported in a previous AAR.
Ok....it'll be the next mission, then, that will finally get Spitfire Girl out of the way. So that we can finally get on with flying some serious missions. Missions that bear at least some resemblance to the real Battle of Britain. Right?
The next mission's briefing recounts we 602 Squadron pilots witnessing a battle-damaged Messerschmitt 110 coming in to land at our coastal airfield at Manston. Nothing weird about that. I've just finished reading 249 Squadron pilot Tom Neil's Battle of Britain memoir 'Gun Button to Fire' and he recounts how, in November 1940, they escorted back to Manston a damaged 109 whose pilot had decided to do just that. Only to be shot down and killed in a hasty attack by an inexperienced pilot whom Neil says he would gladly have killed himself had he been able to pick him out!
The weird bit is actually that - apparently because it is suddenly revealed that 'you understand German' - my pilot is detailed to fly the apparently quickly-reparired 110 to North Weald at once, for further evaluation. With no escort. Without the markings being overpainted. 'Everybody' en route has apparently been warned not to kill me, though. So that's all right, then.
Suddenly, Spitfire Girl doesn't seem quite so silly.
Here I am, ready to go. The Hun pilot must have had a Knight's Cross (not uncommon in CloD?) around his neck, for it now adorns mine. As it happens, I have a gunner with me, and as it further happens, he's wearing a Knight's Cross, too.
Here I am, taking off.
Here I am, having taken off.
And here I am, climbing out.
Bored yet? In which case, I suggest reading no further because this is as exciting is it gets. You might just want to look at the pictures from here on, if only so that visiting this thread hasn't been a complete waste of your time.
Here I am (I did warn you!) crossing the Thames Estuary with dusk closing in. I'm staying low because I think this is the mission they warn you about in the intro to the RAF Redux campaign - where you have to kill some of your own side. Undoubtedly, because somebody, somewhere will cross my path and decide I'm exactly what I look like, a Hun who needs to be shot down.
But the only excitement comes when I notice my exhausts seem to be emitting rather a lot of burning fuel and my machine has started to shudder and lose power. Having not a clue on how to fly CloD's 110s, I try to troubleshoot the problem with no success. And then let the autopilot take over, at which point all is well again. My auto-self climbs back up though, where I feel even more certain that something bad will happen.
But no, it doesn't. The worst that happens is that, when I request permission to land (in faintly-audible GERMAN!), I am denied (in faintly audible GERMAN!).
Here I am coming in to land, regardless. Manually, because the autopilot tried to force me to make a circuit and I can't be bothered.
And here I am, having landed (at which point one of my engines cuts out, the unknown ailment having returned, but just too late to kill me).
Now, wasn't that exciting?
After the non-appearance of the invisible Hun fighters the boss announced seeing taking off from Calais Marck during our recce mission, I'm thinking the RAF Redux campaign has been damaged by a later update. Such that required planes are not spawning or required triggers are not firing. Still, if they had spawned or triggered, that would only have meant the missions are merely weird, instead of weird AND uneventful.
So Spitfire Girl's next, right?
We are to escort Blenheim bombers on a raid to destroy 'that...thing' we saw at Calais - a radar set, or maybe a transmitter for the Knickebein or X Gerat navigation and blind bombing systems. I hope at least the Blenheims show up, and that we achieve the mission objective, so that I can get back to nice, sensible missions. Like giving Spitfire Girl a joyride.