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33LIMA

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33LIMA last won the day on June 29 2017

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About 33LIMA

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Belfast, NI
  • Interests
    Military history, AFVs, infantry weapons, flight/flying, airsoft.

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  1. Tigers at Cintheaux

    This is me...or rather, this was me, as at the end of the mission (which continues, so I may be hit again). I've been well and truly plastered with hits, including one from an APDS round. Which one finished me off, I don't bother checking. At least two Fireflies are still in action... ...but we got several of the others... Closer in, the battlefield is littered with knocked-out Sherman 75s. There's also a troop of Churchills which I hadn't noticed, like this one which is immobilised but still shooting. As for our Tigers, all four are lost. This one was my number two... While these two were on either flank. from the large craters, they look like the victims of an air attack which I didn't notice, closed up and in the heat of battle. SF missions can have variable elements so I'm looking forward to playing this one again - but with different tactics. Even if you've got the STA 3.4 or ITM mods, a second install with the Japanese Community Mod is a must have, IMHO, given the distinct content. If you like Steel Fury (cheap on Steam and Gamersgate) and haven't got either...what are you waiting for?! Good hunting!
  2. Tigers at Cintheaux

    Meanwhile, back in Normandy... ...we haven't yet reached our intended fire positions, when there's a warning on the net of jabos - enemy fighter-bombers. Time for the tank commander to duck inside the turret and close his hatch. We're still not there when first one, then many more Shermans come racing over the low crest we were trying to reach. I'd gambled on this not happening - and gambled wrong. This being the British sector, I'm looking for any with the long and deadly 17-pounder gun. But all these Shermans seem to have seventy-fives. We start picking them off, but they don't stop and seem determined to close the range, or at least find some cover to their front. After some increasingly frantic gunnery, the Tigers have stopped the onrush in its tracks - literally. After a final scan of the horizon ahead... ...I decide it's a good time to complete the advance to our planned fire positions. Once there we halt and tank commanders pop up from under armour, the air threat not having materialised. We're joined by a few hardy grenadiers. The crest is almost invisible here and I feel very exposed. But I've no time to do anything about it. Another wave of Shermans crests the horizon. I duck into the cupola and through the forward episcope, watch my gunner open up on the nearest tank. We seem to be hitting but not stopping the Sherman. I drop back into the gunner's seat and take over the shoot. Again we punish heavily the advancing Shermans. They seem more resistant than I was expecting to 8.8cm. AP and most seem to need several hits before finally lurching to a halt. In return I'm aware we're being hit too, but everything still seems to be working. All that changes when yet another group of Shermans comes into view. These look different. Sure enough, they are Fireflies, the ones with the dangerous 17-pounders. I clobber the first one then switch to the next. Before I can finish him, I'm heavily wounded and for me, the battle is over (the STA 3.4/ITM mod lets you play on even after this, but not the STA 2.2-based JCM). We've been overwhelmed! Nothing for it now but to review the battlefield! ...to be continued!
  3. Tigers at Cintheaux

    Nice pics, Gatling! Yes Edge has a 'translate this page' button too, easy-peasy. The JCM is a great way of getting a comprehensive package with the minimum of fuss.
  4. Hat in the Ring!

    Now then...there are some woods to my right, but on the other side, plenty of promising fields and I have more than enough height to reach them. Better avoid the ploughed fields, methinks. Those grassy ones over there look good. The undulations in the land become a bit more evident as I settle onto a final approach, but I reckon I'm still doing fine. Suddenly, a fence comes into view! Fences and WoFF aircraft don't mix too well, I remember. I can't get down short of the darned thing so try to keep the nose up and get over it. But I just haven't got the airspeed! Crunch! The fence stops me dead lie a fly in a spiderweb. 'Dead' is the operative word, for the debriefing tells me I've been killed! WoFF's lethal fences have claimed another victim! Granted I had only just touched down and was travelling quite fast, but an animation showing my kite flipping over or breaking up would have been at least more convincing. That was probably my shortest-ever WoFF career! Next time, I'll be more careful where I force land!
  5. Hat in the Ring!

    I'm soon attacking the second DFW. My rounds are knocking sundry small pieces off him and he banks right in an effort to escape. I take some hits in return. Just when I think I've got him, my guns stop. Trying to clear them doesn't work. I'm almost certainly out of ammo. So I break down and left, keen not to become the one who gets shot down. My engine is now running rough as I make a run for it, turning and diving for base. But the Hun doesn't seem to want to let me go! After a few scary seconds, the DFW clears off. Which is just as well, for now, my engine conks out altogether. Right - now I just need to find somewhere to force land. Can't be that difficult, eh? ...to be continued!
  6. Tigers at Cintheaux

    The front in Normandy is collapsing - can a handful of Tigers save the day? Feeling like a bit of WW2 tank action, I decided to fire up Steel Fury. To be precise, my Steam version, modded with the excellent Japanese Community Mod. This is available here... https://wikiwiki.jp/pzfr/Steel Tank Add-on ...complete with links and installation instructions (Edge does a fine job translating the site).This is based around version 2.2 of the Steel Tank Add-on (STA 2.2) and is a good free alternative to the donationware ITM mod (itself based on STA 3.4 - I have installs of SF for both). The JCM adds many new theatres, tanks, troops and missions to vanilla SF, including some unique to this mod. As well as the British A-13 and Centurion Mk.I... ...and the German super-heavy E-100... ...there are some 'fakepanzers' which I understand are from a Sony Playstation Panzer game, like this 'E-79'. Scrolling through the JCM's long list of missions and campaigns, I decided to go for one that's included in the JCM's own mission pack - 'N158 Highway', with Tigers defending the locality of Cintheaux in August 1944, as the Germans struggled to prevent the Allies breaking out from their bridgeheads. The mission briefing doesn't tell me a great deal. I've got two Tigers lined up on the N158 with another apparently independent tank, off to my right, and another, covering our left. There are also some grenadiers in the woods north-west of Cintheaux. I decide to push my panzers out to the right, in the hope of reaching a hull-down position on the edge of a low hill, commanding the enemy line of advance. We'll be out in the open, but I hope better able to take advantage of our Tiger's long-ranged 8.8cm guns. A bad idea as it will turn out - this is 1944 and there are some enemy weapons more than capable of killing a Tiger. Panzer, marsch! ...to be continued!
  7. Hat in the Ring!

    There's another pair of (presumably) Hun 2-seaters up ahead and I race after them in my Nieuport, which is still wobbling slightly after my tight spiral dive earlier on. My engine's still running normally, though. A quick look behind to clear my tail... ...then I'm in range and shooting at the nearest Hun. This time, they are two-bay biplanes not the single-bay Hannovers. DFWs, I think. I'm hitting steadily but this time, take some in return. The big Hun suddenly dips nose down and falls away. Got him! I pull up hard to avoid fire from his companion, ahead and right. Having got well out of range, I bank right and go for the other DFW. Do I have enough round left? There's one way to find out! ...to be continued!
  8. Hat in the Ring!

    As I get closer I shove down the nose and build up speed. The plan is to pull up into an attack from well out of the observer's field of fire. The biplane tail reveals the Hun to be a Hannover escort and ground-attack type. Up we go and I start shooting. And hitting, as I can see from smoke and flying fragments. There doesn't seem to be any return fire... ...despite my climb gradually taking me up behind him. As I break left to avoid a collision then snake back to the right for another pass, I can see the observer is tracking me with his gun. However, he doesn't seem to be getting off any shots. My next pass from astern gets more hits and the Hannover begins a gentle turn to the right. I keep closing and firing, in short bursts. Suddenly, the Hun's wings fall off. The fuselage rolls right and pitches sharply downwards... ...then bursts into flames. No doubt about that one, a dramatic first victory on my first operational flight! Out of habit I call up the map and the clock, noting time and location for a combat report when back at base. West of Epernay, 08:47. Nobody wants to miss out on being credited with their first success! But I've ammo left and there are still Huns out there, so I'm not done yet! ...to be continued!
  9. U-33 - the patrol continues...

    My immediate priority is establishing that none of the ships is a collision risk. That done, I start picking out targets fore and aft. There are so many that I’m a bit overwhelmed. On top of that, some are a bit too far away; others are a bit close for comfort. And above all else, experience tells me the heavy seas are going to mean that even shots that are accurate for line will have problems with the wildly undulating sea surface and ships pitching up and down, on it. Shot at close range but not too close, eel is running straight and true for this modern tanker... ...but runs under it without hitting and without the magnetic pistol setting it off. I have no better luck with the second eel at the same tempting target. In the end, I lose off all four torpedoes from the forward tubes – with no hits. At this point I need to dive to avoid being run down by the nearest column of ships. I then take the opportunity to turn nearly 180 degrees to extricate myself from the middle of the convoy. On the way out, I pop back up to periscope depth and let fly with the stern tube at the nearest suitable target... ...but it’s another miss. The plan now is to do what I should have done, originally – shadow the convoy, attacking only after the wind drops and the sea state settles. Unreliable eels are bad enough - combined with heavy seas, shooting them off is a waste of reichsmarks! ...to be continued!
  10. Hat in the Ring!

    Yes, that can only be Epernay down there. Definitely not lost. That's always good to know. At about ten thousand feet I'm getting a bit blasé if not yet actually bored, so I decide to short-circuit all the wheeling around to gain height. Instead, I climb as we head for the next waypoint, which will take us over our airfield. Lovely, elegant little aeroplane, the Nieuport 28. Much nicer-looking than the angular SPAD. I can understand why some US pursuit squadrons were reluctant to be re-equipped with the S.13 and its unreliable geared engine. Urban legend or not, I read somewhere that French esadrilles who had it, retained a full, parallel complement of S.7s, just to enable them consistently to put enough aircraft into the air. Looking down at our base as we pass above, I realise with a shock that this patrol isn't going to be a milk run, after all. White bursts of friendly AA fire are tracking enemy aircraft headed for Villeneuve les Vertus! I throttle back and spiral down, careful not to over-stress my machine, prone as its upper wing is to shedding fabric along its leading edge. By now the first bombs have fallen on our field. These Huns have no intention of letting the new kids on the block ease themselves into the war! There's a sort of staccato barking sound and at first I think it's rounds whacking into my aircraft. But there's no bad guys in sight, so it looks like I haven't treated my mount gingerly enough. She's a bit wobbly as I level off and race after the enemy, who are now running north for the Lines and safety. I hear the rattle of MGs behind me. It was all clear there a second ago! Now there are Nieuports and Albatros scouts whirling around in a small but intense dogfight. It looks like the others have their hands full and it'll be up to me to pay back the Hun bombers in kind. I'm soon closing on the nearest of two pairs, from below and behind. Soon now, soon! ...to be continued!
  11. Hat in the Ring!

    A new campaign with the 94th Aero in France! I don't really have the system as yet for the latest version of Wings over Flanders Fields but I was inspired to start this campaign after seeing some of BladeMeister's screenies of the Nieuport 28 in a certain other new sim, over on SmHQ. I've always liked the N.28 ever since making the newly-issued Revell 1/72 kit back in the 1960s. I'm no big fan of SPADs so I decided to start with the 94th Aero 'Hat in the Ring' Squadron in late March 1918, before the SPADs arrived. We're based at Villeneuve les Vertus near Reims, which latter is behind the Lines to our north. I'm leading a patrol of four. We're new to this game and are starting out by getting used to the area, and to combat flying in general, well behind the front. So I'm not really expecting too much to happen today. Here I am, ready to start up. And there are the boys, shortly after doing so, engine smoke blowing away in the propwash. As well as my foursome, A' Flight is putting up a pair of Nieuports to patrol the same general area. As befits the flight leader, I'm first off the ground, into clear blue skies. Time for a quick look at my map, I think. Then up and away we go again. I throttle back slightly and begin a gentle right turn to help the boys catch up. I reckon that's Epernay, down there. If not, then I've wasted no time in getting us lost. Right, now for the boring bit, the long climb for height, before the patrol really begins. ...to be continued!
  12. Western Approaches, 6th June 1940 After failing to locate the first convoy reported, we have at last located another. We're waiting, submerged at 80 metres, ahead of its track, for the leading escort(s) to pass over... ... before coming up to periscope depth and attacking the merchantmen, who range from whale factory ships... ...to more conventional freighters, large... ...and small. In the event, the convoy approaches quite quickly and by the time I’m at periscope depth, there are merchantmen all around me, in several columns. My immediate priority is establishing that none of the ships is a collision risk. That done, I start picking out targets, fore and aft. There are so many that I’m a bit overwhelmed. On top of that, some are a bit closer than I’d like... ...while others are within range, but still too far off for a high probability of a hit. Above all else, experience tells me the heavy seas are going to mean that even shots that are accurate for line will have problems with the wildly undulating sea surface and the ships pitching up and down, on it. But I'm here, and they're there, right in front of my torpedo tubes! I can't resist the urge to do something about it, here and now, while I can! ...to be continued!
  13. SH3 - U-33's back at sea!

    For a while, it looks like our interception has gone awry, for the second time. Then, we get a distant hydrophone contact nearly dead ahead. We surface and run towards it. Our first sighting is an escort off the port bow, likely a ‘sweeper’ ahead of the convoy. I order a quick contact report made to BdU. Then I alter course to starboard, to open the range from the escort, then back to port. So far, the expected convoy remains invisible, but I'm convinced it's there. And coming straight for us. Down we go again. Another hydrophone sweep picks up the swishing thump of the screws of many merchantmen, over a wide arc ahead... ...with the escort we spotted off to port. We've got them where we want them! In the convoy is an Armed Merchant Cruiser... ...and a fine variety of shipping. I dive to 80 metres and slow down. The plan is to track the enemy with the hydrophones, let the escort pass over our heads, and then come up to periscope depth just ahead of the convoy itself. Preferably slightly to one side. Then, I'll let them have it! ...to be continued - here!
  14. SH3 - U-33's back at sea!

    Within a few hours, we are enveloped in another weather front - high winds, turbulent seas, low clouds and driving rain. About half-way to the estimated interception point, we dive for a hydrophone check. In SH3 you can hear further if you man the hydrophones yourself, but neither myself nor the regular sound man can hear any screws but our own. The next day, the weather has improved, but there is neither sight nor sound of the convoy. Nothing else for it but to resume our search pattern. The better weather holds for a couple of days... ...but by 6th June, it's once again dire. The rain is staying away but the seas are rough. As this point, it seems our luck has changed. While we're back in BE39, our original patrol area, there's another report of a large convoy, this time just to our west and heading our way. We go for it at once! ...to be continued!
  15. SH3 - U-33's back at sea!

    Thanks Trooper! That's how playing it feels! On the evening of 27th May, we finally reach our patrol area in BE39 and start a search pattern. We're in the Western Approaches and so should pick up shipping traffic on any of the southerly routes to or from the British Isles. I report my arrival to BdU. Happily, the conditions are still fine and settled... ...and I reduce speed to conserve fuel. We may be searching for some time. Towards nightfall, one of the steady stream of incoming radio messages reveals that I'm not the only one sinking doubtful neutral shipping. Oehrn in U-33 has been at it, too. We're not far away but can neither see not hear any shipping, neutral or otherwise. And by nightfall, it's raining again! Next day, the wind has picked up again too. The day after that, May 29th, having more than completed my minimum 24 hours in BE39, I extend my search pattern in the hope of running into something. The next day is much the same. Strong winds, regular showers, fruitless hydrophone checks, empty horizons. This is past tedious; it's now wearing us down. Where is everybody? Next day, same again, though the showers seem to have decided to stop. But the wind is picking up again, and soon the bridge watch is back in wet weather gear. On we rumble, searching for something it seems isn't there. Our dreary and morale-sapping routine finally ends on the morning of 1st June. A large convoy is reported to our north-north-west. It's a long way off at 140 kilometers, moving fast and heading away to the north-east. But it seems highly unlikely the convoy intends to reach Britain by sailing all the way up the west coast of Ireland. I'm prepared to bet it will turn onto a more easterly heading to make for St Georges Channnel, bound for Bristol or Liverpool. I plot a course to the north-east, in the hope of cutting them off. Full ahead both! to be continued!
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