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Cliffs of Dover/IL-2 Series Screenshot Thread

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IL-2 '46+Dark Blue World - some pics from a recent mission in the Willi Jederman series of campaigns from FlatSpinMan, this one set in North Africa.

Desert Air Force Kittyhawks are providing air cover for a convoy:

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The Regia Aeronautica on its way, though - they did fly some Stukas but the twin-engined bombers above and behind are repainted IL-4s:

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Jedermann and his schwarm of Bf 109Es sweep the skes ahead of the Italian formation, which he can see as dark specks against the clouds below and behind:

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The Kittyhawks are soon on the scene, trying to hit the attackers before they can unload on the convoy:

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Two of them go for Jedermann and the fight is on:

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Our hero knocks down one of the Kittyhawks after a protracted dogfight:

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Turning around, Jedermann is just in time to see the splashes settling from bombs directed at the convoy, whose flak seems to have succeeded in spoiling the aim of the Italian airmen.

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But he's soon engaged with a second pair of Kittyhawks, one of which he sends curving away, trailing what looks like leaking glycol:

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After another burst, an aileron comes adrift from the stricken Curtiss and down he goes, engine seized and prop dead:

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Climbing gently in a wide arc around the rear of the convoy, Jedermann recalls the schwarm, although his own wingman hasn't gone far.:

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One of the other 109s isn't answering, but his number three is soon behind and to his left, with the North African coast and safety looming in the distance:

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The raid seems to be over but there are still some Hurricanes about:

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Jedermann is out of cannon rounds - the 60 rounds per gun he has doesn't last long - but he chases a vic of retreating Hurricanes and leaves one smoking but still flying, before heading back south for base.

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For some reason, I/JG27's current desert airstrip is always illuminated, day and night, by these fires along the single improvised runway. Maybe  keep the flies at bay?

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Anyway, it's been a worthwhile trip, with two victories and a third damaged, in return for a 109 missing. And Jederman returns to find he's been awarded a medal, the EK1. The convoy attack didn't go particularly well, but from the air-to-air perspective, Jermann's not complaining...until he find that the boss, determined not to let the enemy convoy go unscathed, wants him to pay it another visit, this time, with the 109s taking the bombs...

 

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Reluctantly, Jederman set out after the east-bound convoy, at the head of four bomb-laden 109s. The boss had expressed some confidence that a rapid repeat attack by jagdbomber coming in at low level would likely arrive before the enemy air cover culd be replenished, but as he climbed away, our Willi had his doubts...

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It wasn't long before Jedermann had the convoy in sight. At first he thought the shell spalshes indicated that somebody else on the same side had similar plans for the convoy, but he soon realised that they were 'shorts' from heavy-calibre AA fire from the convoy escort.

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The first sign of trouble came when his number four came on the air in a panic, reporting he was going down. Looking behind he saw the 109 slanting down to the left, but no sign of any enemy aircraft. Had he been hit by the flak? It seemed unlikely at this range, but all of a sudden those shell spashes looked a lot more dangerous.

Jedermann decided to attack a merchantman at the rear of the convoy and to bomb from level flight on a track diagonally across the enemy. He began to swing around in an arc towards his intended target.

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At this point, the other two 109s were still  with him...

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...so he ordered them to attack independently, if only to draw the enemy's fire. He wasn't feeling confident that any hits would be scored, and just wanted to get this done and get out of it. Loseing one of his comrades to an unknown cause short of the target had thoroughly dampened any ehthusiasm he'd felt for this show. Which wasn't very much, at all.

Quite keen not to be caught by the blast of his own bomb, crash into the masts of his target or get show down, Jederman pulled up short of his target, levelled off, tried to ingnore the flak, and then let fly as target started to disappear under his nose. Bomb gone, he rolled hard to the right and began a steeply banked turn to get out and away. In the pic below you can see the bomb, just beneath Red 5's spinner.

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Boom! Nobody was more surprised than Willi when the bomb hit just ahead of the merchantman's bridge.

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As if that wasn't sufficient good fortune, Red 7 got a hit too, on a 4-stack destroyer, towards the head of the convoy. Bravo!

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Both ships obstinately refused to sink, but that wasn't to be expected from a single 250 kilo bomb. But it was all rather satisfying, nevertheless. Perhaps this jabo business isn't so bad after all, Jedermann told himself.

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Jedermann set course south, for home, and throttled back, checking the skies around and calling for the schwarm to re-form. Red 7 was soon in position, but of Red 6, there was no sign as yet.

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The reason for that, it soon became clear, was that he was having a bit of bother with a couple of Hurricanes. Back north went our hero, but by the time he got there the two RAF fighters were beating a retreat, having evidently snapped up Red 6.

Jedermann slowly overhauled the culprits...

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...but (as usual with un-modded AI) they saw him coming, and it was only after an extended dogfight that Jederman managed to get hits on one of the Hurris.

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The Hurricane had only been lightly hit, though, its strong structure displaying its customary resistance to enemy fire. Especially as Jedermann had been using mainly his twin synchronised MGs, saving his cannon rounds for the kill.

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With the range wound down, now was that time. Another burst with all weapons sent the Hurricane down, minus several feet off the tip if his left wing.

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Meanwhile, up behind, Red 7 was rolling inverted onto the tail of the second RAF fighter, clearing Jedermann's tail and getting a kill of his own, into the bargain.

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Time to go home! Two 109s lost was too high a price to pay in Jedermann's eyes, whether or not the air sea rescue people managed to bring one or both pilots home. Two Hurricanes shot down evened the score, and better still, Jedermann's merchantman was seen to go down, so he's now joined the rather exclusive club of single-seater ship-killers. He just hopes the boss believes him when he puts it down to pure luck, and won't make a habit of giving him such missions. There's plenty to do in the skies over Africa, without going to sea to look for trouble.

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Some pics from Cliffs of Dover Blitz Edition. Taken during the stock mission that involves about six Spitfires intercepting a staffel of nine unescorted Heinkels as the latter approach London.

Our Spits are from 79 Squadron. I have on a shelf in front of me the Corgi 1/72 diecast spit with the same code, ZP-A, of ace 'Sailor' Malan, with the earlier black and white undersides. The Heinkels might have done better to bomb the airfield over which they're flying - Biggin Hill, I think - rather than stooge on to London. Flak is bursting around the formation but my squadron-mates are already attacking.

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This was my sole victory of the mission, a bomber I finished off after he broke away from the formation, losing altitude and being attacked in turns by my and another fellow.

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The rest are all pics I took after the fight. I have bumped up the texture quality to 'Original' and without any obvious performance penalty, planes and terrain seem to look better, though perhaps I'm imagining it. Unbelievably CloD seems not to like antialiasing; the in-game option has some effect but radio antennae and planes further away look ragged. I still think the landscape looks a bit dark when sunlit especially, though it's an order of magnitude more authentic than it was with the original cartoon-y colours. But where oh where are the hedgerows?

Still, it's hard not to enjoy flying and fighting in CloD, despite its pretty serious limitations as a Battle of Britain sim. Between 1C and Team Fusion, lot of effort has been put into it. Even if the results sometimes still fall a bit short in some important places, it's an outstanding simulator of flying detailed and rather beautifully-rendered Battle of Britain aircraft in a Battle of Britain setting, and that's ok by me.

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