Sightseeing # 2 - Brighton Pier, showing BoB2's attention to historical detail (the inner section of the pier had been removed by the Battle, to limit its usefulness to the anticipated Jerry visitors)…
Sightseeing # 5...unfortunately, those mean people in the Totenkopf Geschwader weren't content with merely having a gander at Portland harbour, the cheeky beggars had to chuck bombs at the place, too...
Flying the mission 'Interceptions - single fighter against single bomber' and opting to fly as a gunner in the latter, my He111 has managed to reach safety over the French coast. I didn't get the Spitfire, but he didn't get us, either.
Nice shot of a 64 Squadron Spitfire. No point disputing matters of taste, but I prefer BoB2's stock rendition of the Dark Green/Dark Earth scheme to the lower-contrast, somewhat 'plasticised' finish seen on some more modern sims. If I ever get around to making up some of the 1/72 BoB-era kits in my stash, this is how I would like them to look:
From what I have seen, this is a fairly typical raid from the first, 'convoys' phase of the Battle in BoB2. All the contrailing aircraft are I think bombers, about seventy of them. Their escort is out of sight somewhere, so probably this raid is labelled a 'hundred plus' on the plotting table, as represented in the sim. The specks under the raid are a squadron of Spits climbing hard to intercept. At command level I have simply been accepting the default directives, so the campaign AI is handling that level for me; I can just fly the interceptions I choose, either from take-off or after spotting the Bandits. This approach seems to be producing historical results, with costal convoys covered by patrols, and when the large raids come, additional individual squadrons being scrambled to intercept. So you do get a nice sense that you're re-fighting the Battle of Britain much as it was fought and experienced by the commanders and the pilots. Super stuff really, BoB/BoB2-WoV2 with the BDG's efforts must still be a strong candidate for the best single player air combat sim ever made, definitely Rowan's finest hour at any rate.
The AI Luftflotte II seems especially to like hitting convoys in and around the Thames Estuary, not just those in the Channel. No. 74 Squadron was one of those scrambled to intercept such a raid on the morning of 12th July.
Tally ho! But what are they, this time? And which are the escorts?
We were not long in finding out. A swarm of Me110s curved across our front, their leaders firing at another Spitfire squadron which was nearer the main body of the raid than us.
I cut the boys loose on them and then tackled a couple of the beggars myself, starting with this fellow.
Having gunned down a couple of ME110s on campaign, I thought I'd get a feel for how it was the other way around, by flying for I Gruppe, Zerstorer Geschwader 26 on the 'instant action' historical raid that sent KG54's Ju88s against Portland naval dockyard.
Basically, I was lucky to get away.
I did manage to get a nice pic of my mount before the fun started.
But warning cries over the radio and a glance behind showed that the mission had started with the skies behind us rapidly filling up with RAF fighters.
Before trying to get out of their way, I looked ahead to clear my conscience of concern for our charges, and was happy to see the Ju88s rolling in on the target unmolested. Sehr gut, time to look after Nummer Eins.
Unable to think of anything cleverer to do, I told everyone else to look to their own skins and then did my best to save my own.
It was all a bit of a blur after that. I managed to avoid some attacks from astern by one or more Hurricanes by pulling up and into a half loop. After a few of those, the skies seemed to be empty, if not the airwaves. I even managed to turn the tables on another Hurricane which came after me but I could not get my guns onto him for more than a few snap shots, after the last of which he dived away and left me in peace.
I called the boys to order and circled gently, throttled back, so they could re-form, noting with some satisfaction that the bomber people seemed to have hammered the target.
But the others all seemed to have disappeared somewhere. All I could see in the sky was more single-engine fighters, behind and above. And from the way they were approaching me, I didn't think they were ours.
They weren't. I firewalled the throttles and nosed down, speeding for home at sea level. After a short chase, my small squad of pursuers pulled up and away, and I could breathe again. Phew!
I also once or twice fell for the temptation to fly through Tower Bridge hoping not be be sent to the Brig there. The campaign is as historically accurate as possible due to the fine work of initially Rowan of course, the BDG Battle of Britain Development Group which also corrected some bugs, and then refined during the conversion to BoB2/WOV specification.