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Bletchley

1918(1) Mod

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Available now from here: http://combatace.com/files/category/353-maps-missions-and-campaigns/

 

1918(1) January-April : German Spring Offensive in Picardy and on the Lys. Poor weather in January restricted much British air observation, but as the weather improved it was clear, by February, that the German build-up was taking place against the British Third and Fifth Armies opposite the Cambrai salient. During this period Jagdgeschwader 1 was joined by two new German fighter wings, JG2 and JG3, to give the German air service a numerical superiority for the first time. But they were remaining quiet, for the most part, trying to conceal the extent of the build-up of air units in this sector, only bombing the British rear areas by night and sending out high altitude recon., photorecon. and art.obs. machines by day. The British responded to this build-up with a programme of intensive recon. and bombing of the German airfields and rail network by day and by night. Fighter squadrons were also being used to attack airfields by day - in part, in an attempt to lure the German fighters into the air (mostly without much success). But the main work of the Corps machines was with their artillery units, ranging the guns on to enemy gun batteries, supply dumps and lines of communication in the front sectors. This was supported by the fighter units, flying squadron-strength 'Close' and 'Distant' patrols to keep the airspace over the front clear of German machines. On 21st March the German Spring Offensive was unleashed, aiming for Amiens. German two-seaters supported the attack with contact patrols, ground attack and art.obs., with the single-seater fighters flying above to protect them from air attack. As and when the weather allowed, British machines were also flying contact patrols and tactical recon. missions, with fighters flying line patrols and ground attack missions. The bombers were attacking rail junctions and bridges, mostly but not always, by night. After eight days of heavy fighting the German assault was held along the Amiens Defence Line, a line stretching from Mezieres to Ignaucourt and Hamel, and on 5th April the German attack towards Amiens was finally blocked, just ten miles short, at Villers Bretonneaux. On the 9th April the German focus switched to the Lys valley with a surprise assault on the weakly held British and Portuguese line in heavy mist. After the initial breakthrough and swift advance, this attack was also held, although in the ten days that it lasted the Germans managed to recover nearly all the territory lost to the British in the previous autumn. By the end of April, however, both attacks had been halted. The Germans were aware, though, that a decisive breakthrough was still an urgent necessity - In April nearly 120,000 US troops had landed in France, to be followed by a further 220,000 in May and another 275,000 in June. German attention now switched again to the French sector, for one more throw of the dice before it would, finally, be too late...

 

Bletchley

Edited by Bletchley

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Again, you managed to explain the situation in that part of the war with great detail, without being wordy.

Very well done, Bletchley. Looks like I must create another pilot again - my existing ones may not last

long enough to get there.

:grin:

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I have mostly just paraphrased the historical background from entries in Trevor Henshaw's 'The sky their battlefield' :)

 

Bletchley

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Hi guys sorry for maybe a daft question,but like uncleal says if in doubt ask,my question is whats the difference between the quiet sector,and the active sector files

in the mods,is it number of aircraft in the air,or missions available many thanks Adger over and out.

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You'll see when you get OFF, there's a large difference between being posted to a quiet or active sector. It basically just means when there's a battle going on where you're stationed.

 

Example:

 

When I first joined 56 Squadron we deployed to Flanders in the middle of the Battle of Arras. April - June my sector was active as all hell. High air activity, intense bombardments and gas attacks and infantry battles down below, and things are just a lot busier in general.

 

June 12 - the end of July things were quiet again. The front sounds more like a dull rumble, less air activity, always there's bombardments but not the hellstorm it was before. You won't see much in the way of gas attacks and the infantry are all entrenched.

 

Now it's August and we've launched another offensive (Passchendaele) and things are busy again. But if I make a trip over to Alsace it's nice and quiet.

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So far as the date-mods go, the difference is in the missions you get to fly. The generic set of OFF missions does not change throughout the year. In the 'active sector' mod you will get more ground support type missions (contact patrols, ground attacks, balloon busts, etc.). In the 'quiet sector' mod you are more likely to get a free-ranging or 'lone wolf' type patrol, or a long recon., or a long offensive patrol. This will vary by the period (sometimes on the offensive, sometimes on the defensive), and by your choice of pilot nationailty (so you won't get any long offensive patrols or ground attack missions if you are flying a German fighter). The only date-mod that changes the level of air activity is the '1915' mod, where 'light' air activity is pre-selected within the weather file (if you find that you don't like this, you can increase the regional air activity setting in the workshop by one level, and this should get you back to something like the previous default setting).

 

Bletchley

Edited by Bletchley

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How often did RFC pilots typically get assigned to balloon busts? That's the most terrifying mission you can get if you ask me.

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thanks javito and bletchley,you guys have cleared everything up for me once again many thanks :drinks:

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"How often did RFC pilots typically get assigned to balloon busts?"

 

I would say, not often, and some never. Attacking the balloon line was usually done just before or in the first few days of an offensive (from 1917 onwards) to try and 'blind' the enemy to the last minute movement of troops and equipment into the forward positions, and to conceal any initial progress on the ground. It was usually a concerted attack along the whole balloon line, not just isolated attacks against individual balloons - the individual attacks on isolated balloons were usually undertaken as a 'self-tasked' mission by pilots who went on to specialise in this dangerous work (most pilots appear to have stayed well away). So for this reason, in the date-mods, I made balloon attacks a mission only in the 'active' sectors, and they should not come up very often even there, but it is a frequent option as part of a lone-wolf mission in 'quiet' sectors. The balloons themselves were easy to replace, and shooting only one or two down was mostly a temporary inconvenience - but the trained Observer was valuable, which is why they were issued with a parachute :)

 

Bletchley

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B............love the change up in these missions of yours...........first time out with 4 wingies in an SE5 we were bounced by 11 Albs.......horrible fur ball...escaping singed thru the trees...love it...THANK YOU

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"How often did RFC pilots typically get assigned to balloon busts?"

 

I would say, not often, and some never. Attacking the balloon line was usually done just before or in the first few days of an offensive (from 1917 onwards) to try and 'blind' the enemy to the last minute movement of troops and equipment into the forward positions, and to conceal any initial progress on the ground. It was usually a concerted attack along the whole balloon line, not just isolated attacks against individual balloons - the individual attacks on isolated balloons were usually undertaken as a 'self-tasked' mission by pilots who went on to specialise in this dangerous work (most pilots appear to have stayed well away). So for this reason, in the date-mods, I made balloon attacks a mission only in the 'active' sectors, and they should not come up very often even there, but it is a frequent option as part of a lone-wolf mission in 'quiet' sectors. The balloons themselves were easy to replace, and shooting only one or two down was mostly a temporary inconvenience - but the trained Observer was valuable, which is why they were issued with a parachute :)

 

Bletchley

 

 

 

 

 

Good to hear. I only ask because, as I've said before, I consider balloon busting the fastest way to an early grave heat.gif

 

I look forward to trying this out when I reach 1918! For now I'm still flying in August '17 with your last date-mod enabled and having a great time with it all.

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Since I had a pilot with 24 Sqdn, RFC, in March 1918 anyway, I made a sortie today with Bletchley's mod.

 

Active area - we were sent to the British advanced front line bend at Cambrai, to fly a ground attack.

We loaded Cooper bombs to do some damage.

Proceeding to the target area, we sighted high flying German DFW two-seaters, but we had a different

mission. Arriving near the front line, we sighted several Albatros coming towards us. This German

barrage flight was very effective; these pilots were veterans, if not aces!

We could only drop our bombs to be able to fight them.

I don't know, who had told us, that the Albatros fighters were obsolete - these pilots were flying absolutely

superiour; they kept their altitude advantage, pounced down on a target, and zoomed up again. We could

not get to grips with them. And there came more of them!

I tried to get at one, but either I did not hit him right, or that craft can take quite some. Helpless, I could only

follow my wingman, Douglas Hurst, who was chased by a Hun. He had tried to escape and was too far

away, when his craft was hit. I saw the S.E.5 going down, pulling a trail of dark smoke.

Then the German turned. He came back to attack me now. I could evade his attack, but got hit by another

Hun. My engine didn't run on full power anymore.

Now I had to tangle with two of these falcons - in a damaged kite. After many turns, my craft got hit again

and caught fire. Fortunately not the tank - I think the right side exhaust pipe got blown away. I switched

the engine off immediately, and went into a very steep dive. The Albatros could not follow there, and I

really managed to reduce the flames, and to put the craft down near a road.

That was a very close shave today!

I got driven back to our base by an ambulance truck. No news yet from Douglas - I still refuse to think of

him as being dead. The waiting is killing me.

 

 

Edited by Olham

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Thank you Olham, it is great to read these stories. I am glad the date-mods are working :)

 

Bletchley

 

18(2) May-July will be up soon. The last one will then be 18(3) August-November. I will be away for a week from the 8th, so I will try and get the last two done by then.

Edited by Bletchley

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