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The Burning Blue

Example of Play

The following is an actual play through of scenario 2 by Gordon Christie (RAF) and Guy Pickett (Luftwaffe). The map images are taken from the game's cyberboard play-by-email set and so do not represent the quality of the printed game.

Abbreviations: A = Angels; FJ = Freie Jagd; GT = Game Turn; H = Hostile raid; RL = Response Level

Time of Day: 11:00 AM; Sun: SE

Weather: Bad weather rolled for English Channel (Broken layers at A4 and A10); Straits of Dover (Patchy at A2 and A6, Broken at A10); Tangmere (Broken at A10-12); Middle Wallop (Broken A4); Kenley (Broken A10, Broken A4). The broken cloud at Angels 10 will play a major part in events in the Tangmere and 10 Group sectors but elsewhere apart from some high patchy cloud at A24 over Hornchurch, the weather is generally good to fine.

Luftwaffe Raid Planning

Raid Chits: The following chits were picked.

Z: 2g Do17, 3g Me109 to Biggin Hill (14 VP / RL 4).

DD: 1g Do17, 1g Me109 to North Weald  (5 VP / RL 1.5).

BB: 4g Ju87, 2g Me110, 8g Me109 to Tangmere, Lee-on-Solent, Portsmouth and Ventnor (58 VP / RL 11).

Guy's Comments: Weather dominates the planning for Luftflotte 3. The Channel and Tangmere weather zones are affected by broken cloud. The Ju87s cannot claim the dive bomber column shift when diving through broken cloud, so they will have to ingress below the cloud at Angels 10. Putting top cover above the cloud and the raid below is a recipe for disaster. Putting top cover below the cloud would push the bombers lower still. So I decide to gamble by assigning the Stukas a close escort and employing the excess fighters in a Freie Jagd role. Grouping the Stukas together will entail splitting the raid at some point as they head for their separate targets and will complicate the navigation plan (it also presents a big easy target for the RAF), so I decide to have four separate raids comprising 1g Ju87 with 1g Me109 close escort, just below the clouds at Angels 8.  With four small bomber raids and lots of Freie Jagd about it should complicate the defence for the RAF.

So here's the plan: one FJ raid leads off from Cherbourg on GT1, comprising 2g Me109, at A8 and A18 (either side of the cloud layer). They will move at speed 3 to look like bombers, going across the Isle of Wight to Portsmouth to suck in the first defenders. At Portsmouth the Freie Jagd raid splits left and right to cover the approach of the bombers. Just behind them the main wave of three Ju87 raids goes to Lee-on-Solent, Portsmouth and Tangmere. These are spaced to include two FJ raids so the RAF is faced with a broad frontal attack of 5 raids, with a Freie Jagd raid probing out in front.

The second wave just behind consists of the final Ju87 gruppe with its close escort heading to Ventnor, while off to the west a Me110 Freie Jagd makes for Portland in a feint to pin Squadrons there away from the main target area. The Freie Jagd finishes passes over airfields or balloons to get some strafing or balloon busting in if the opportunity presents itself.

ILLUSTRATION: This shows the raid plan for the bombers from Luftflotte 3. All four raids comprise a Stuka gruppe and a close escort of Me109s. All raids set off from Cherbourg except for Hostile 03 which comes from Caen (off map to the right). In addition to these bombers there are six additional Freie Jagd raids plotted (not shown here) to sweep the target areas or run interference for the bomber raids. Most of the raid plots are fairly conventional except for Hostile 07 (in red), which cleverly fakes out the defence before turning west to bomb Portsmouth and then escape to the southeast.

Luftflotte 2 presents a different set of problems: a reasonable-sized raid headed for Biggin and a more vulnerable raid targeting North Weald. There are not enough fighter assets for Freie Jagd support or deception, so they just go as 2 raids: the Biggin raid at A16 with a Me109g close and two gruppen of top cover stacked above. The North Weald raid is at A18 with their lone Me109 gruppe in close escort.  They will start their form up on GT 1 in the hope that the RAF is tied up with Luftflotte 3 and head off on GT5. An Me109 gruppe from the Channel Patrol is detailed to do an early sweep towards Biggin Hill, then go north to operate ahead of the North Weald force coming in from the North Sea. That might stir up the defence a bit, but I'm short of options here.

ILLUSTRATION: This shows the raid plan for the Luftflotte 2 forces. Hostile 10 is a gruppe of Do17s with escort aimed at North Weald aerodrome; its first turning waypoint, way out to sea, risks getting the raid lost. Hostile 13 is a strong raid on Biggin Hill comprising two gruppen of Do17s and an entire geschwader of Me109s (three gruppen) in escort. After making landfall they will try to bull it through to the airfield. Finally Hostile 01 is an Me109 gruppe from the Channel Patrol mounting a Freie Jagd fighter sweep across Kent and into Essex, hoping to pick up some RAF fighters.

The form up rolls all go on time except the Biggin raid which is a Late 2 result. This means Gordon should be able to deal with Luftflotte 3 and Luftflotte 2 in turn. At least the Luftflotte 3 extravaganza will start as planned.

Game Narrative

Gordon, the RAF player, narrates this section.

Luftwaffe Set Up: Two form ups appear over the Pas de Calais; one over Cherbourg. RDF reports little Luftwaffe activity. The total form-up strength detected is 10+, so no squadrons start airborne. 'The bastards are up to something...'

Game Turn 1

74 Sqn. scrambles from Manston. 11 Group controller is worried about his exposed forward airfields and doesn't want anyone caught on the ground. In the Form Up Phase, Hostile 01 appears over Cap Griz Nez (20+, A16) and H02 appears at Cherbourg (20+, A8). Two new form ups appear over Calais area (40+ and 10+) and three more over Cherbourg (30+, 10+, no result). In the Luftwaffe Movement Phase, Hostile 01 sets out heading west over the Channel. At least it's obviously a Freie Jagd moving at 4 hexes per turn but the forward airfields in Kent are perilously exposed. Meanwhile in 10 Group things are happening fast. H02 (20+, A8) moves to Channel A, and no less than 3 tracks -- H03 (30+, A6), H04 (20+, A18) and H05 (20+, A18) -- are picked up over the Baie de Seine. Looks like a big Luftflotte 3 effort coming in below the cloud cover with some Freie Jagd above.

Game Turn 2

The random event is an Emergency Scramble, so 64 Sqn. is triggered from Hawkinge. 74 Sqn. is ordered to orbit Canterbury at A22 (just below the patchy cloud layer).

Still, a strength of only 130+ has been detected so only two squadrons can scramble. Two more formups appear over the Pas de Calais. It looks like the Filton squadrons don't have time to reach targets in the Portsmouth/Tangmere area in time, so the 10 Group controller begins scrambling more distant squadrons with a chance of making it first. 152 goes up from Warmwell and 609 from Middle Wallop. Barely has the controller put the phone down when three tracks break out from Cherbourg. Hostile 06 is 40+, A10; H07 is 60+, A8; H08 is 60+ at A6. All three move into Channel A. Hostile 02 moves out into the Channel proper, whilst H03, H04 and H05 move into Channel B. Clearly something big is brewing from Luftflotte 3, but what?

In the east, Hostile 01 heads inland and is almost over Ashford. 74 Sqn., led by our historical advisor John Freeborn, continues its battle climb over Canterbury whilst 64 climbs over Hawkinge.

Game Turn 3

The random event is Weather Change. The weather improves over Middle Wallop, the English Channel and Straits of Dover. The Tangmere sector squadrons (43, 601 and 602) all scramble. Hostile 02 moves within 15 miles of the Isle of Wight. Behind them a wall of raids -- H06, H07, H04, H08 and a newly detected H09 (20+, A4) -- enter from the Channel boxes, heading northwards. H03 and H05 move to Channel A, looking like a second wave. Over Kent 64 and 74 Squadrons continue to climb whilst H01 sweeps south of Maidstone.

Game Turn 4

The random event is Dash to Dispersal; 65 Sqn. comes to Ready. The last 10 Group squadrons with any real chance of reaching the action -- 249 from Boscombe Down and 234 from Middle Wallop -- are ordered up. Against the faint chance that at least one deep penetration raid is hidden in the mass of tracks heading across the Channel, 1 Sqn. is ordered up from Northolt. One Luftwaffe form up fades from view over Calais, with nothing detected.

152 Sqn. climbs hard and heads for the Needles at A8. 609 is heading for Lee-on-Solent at A20 while the Tangmere squadrons climb west, apart from 602 which is vectored towards Bognor to protect Ford RDF and Tangmere. The broken cloud at A10 makes it unnecessary to gain a lot of altitude as the raiders will all be relatively low but 10 Group will struggle to intercept forward if the targets are on the coast. Already the LW raids are well out over the Channel and H02, looking very much like a Freie Jagd, is over Ventnor. The rest of the wall heads inexorably north at 3MP making it hard to differentiate raids and fighter sweeps. H07 and H08 are both 60+ so probably contain bombers, as does H07 at 40+, but working out fighter allocation is going to be very difficult in the situation that is developing, particularly as it looks likely that most of the targets will be coastal. 10 Group manage to concentrate effectively against only one or two. Behind the main wave H03 (30+, A6) enters from Channel A and heads the Isle of Wight and H05 (20+, A18 -- this is actually the Me110 diversion) heads towards Portland at 3 MP a turn.

To the east, H01 sweeps just southeast of Biggin Hill. 64 and 74 Sqns. are almost at combat height and continue to orbit Hawkinge and Canterbury, eyeing the two form ups which appeared on GT2 over the Pas de Calais with great suspicion.

Game Turn 5

54 Sqn. scrambles from Hornchurch as activity mounts in Luftflotte 2 with the appearance of H10 (30+, A16) over Gravelines. 615 & 111 are scrambled from Kenley and optimistically vectored southwest towards Portsmouth to join 1 Sqn., which is racing southwest at A8 but is likely to be too late as the main Luftwaffe force in the Channel will make landfall long before these squadrons get into position.

10 Group is now fully committed with 601 Sqn. at A8 over Lee-on-Solent, covered at A20 by 609. 43 Sqn. is above Portsmouth at A8 while 602 is near Bognor at the same altitude. 152 is approaching the Needles while 249 and 234 are still just north of Southampton heading southeast. H02 then moves to Portsmouth while H04, clearly a Freie Jagd, accelerates to 4MP and is over Newport. The remaining raids move within reach of a number of coastal targets and can level bomb next turn, but are too distant to dive bomb. Way out west diversionary raid H05 heads towards Portland, completely disregarded by the RAF

In the RAF Combat Phase H07, one of the Stuka raids, is tallied by 601 Sqn. at three hex range in 0914. Another Stuka raid, H04, is tallied by 43 Sqn. in 1012. 602 tallies the bombers of H08 approaching Tangmere and goes into pursuit. The shape of the LW effort is becoming clearer & the RAF has a couple of tallies but things are about to go seriously awry.

In the LW Combat Phase, H02 over Portsmouth tallies 609 & III/JG53 engages at A20 shooting down 1 Spitfire for the loss of 1 Me109. 609 pancakes and the Me109s escape without disruption. Losing 609 was bad judgement on the part of the RAF together with sharp eyed and well placed Freie Jagd but the situation is compounded when H02 is revealed as not just one but two gruppen of 109s, split high and low. II/JG53 breaks out as new raid Hostile 11, tallies 43 Sqn. under the cloud layer and pounces. Neither side loses any aircraft but both receive 1 disruption, causing the RAF unit to pancake. Suddenly the situation looks much worse for 10 Group. Only 7 squadrons were going to be in a position to intercept at all. The Freie Jagd have dealt with two of the remaining five, three are badly positioned and will struggle to intercept before bombing. 601 and 602 Sqns. have early tallies on H07 and H08 but there are probably four bombing raids to stop with H06 and H03 just about to make landfall. 152, 234 and 249 Squadrons may not arrive in time.

To the East 64 and 74 Sqns. are vectored to orbit Dunkirk RDF at A22. This positions them to intercept raids should the Luftwaffe lunge at the forward airfields but are far enough away from the Straits to avoid impromptu fighter sweeps. H01 is now over Gravesend -- clearly touring fighter airfields looking for scrambling squadrons to pounce on.  There's no strafing as yet, suggesting he has other tasks to perform. From Gravelines H10 (30+, A14) heads out into the North Sea. Not yet an immediate threat but needs to be covered. This may be a raid into the Thames Estuary or some evasive routing before going after the exposed forward airfields. Time will tell.

Game Turn 6

The random event is a survival scramble. H01 over Gravesend  flushes out most of 11 Group. 32 & 610 Sqns. scramble from Biggin, 501 from Gravesend, 65 from Rochford. 151 also scrambles from North Weald. The RAF is probably close to the response limit, assuming that another significant Luftflotte 2 raid is yet to come. If not, the RAF is in deep trouble!

In the West events are moving fast towards a conclusion. 602 awaits H08 at Bognor, covering Tangmere, Poling and Ford. 43 & 609 return to their airfields. 249 & 234 move to 1313 and 1314 respectively, hoping to catch anyone attacking Portsmouth and Lee on Solent. 152 Sqn. is vectored to Spithead whilst 601 prepares to pursue their tally, Hostile 07.

In the Luftwaffe Movement Phase H06 approaches Lee-on-Solent, H07 passes east of Portsmouth, H03 flies toward Ventnor and H08 runs into the pursuing 602 at Bognor. The escort successfully reacts, shooting down 2 Spitfires and causing 1 disruption for 1 aircraft loss and a disruption in return. The Freie Jagd moves to cover the approaches to the target hexes: H02 (1g Me109 high) goes to the north of Thorney Island, H11 (1g Me109 low) goes to the north of Lee-on-Solent. H04 (1g Me109 high) goes southwest of Woolston, while H09 (1g Me109 high, 1g Me110 low) moves just east of Tangmere. H05 passes east of Portland heading northwards, serene and undisturbed.

In the Pursuit Phase 601 makes contact with H07 but loses 1 Spitfire to the reacting close escort and pancake after, inflicting one casualty. In the RAF Combat Phase 234 Sqn. in 1314 tallies H06 in 1114 and 249 tallies H07 moving east of Portsmouth. 152 tallies H06 over Spithead but is intercepted by the close escort, losing 1 Spitfire and pancaking while the escort suffers no losses and survives the cohesion check intact.

In the Luftwaffe Combat Phase H09 over Tangmere tallies the pancaking 43 Sqn, and breaks out 1g of 110s (creating new raid H12)  to attack. They intercept, inflicting no further casualties, losing a Me110 and getting a disruption in return. H11 (1g Me109s) tallies 249 Sqn. north of Portsmouth, intercepts andshoots down 2 Hurricanes for no loss, but gets 2 disruptions levels. Both units pancake.

Most of the RAF squadrons (609, 152, 249, 43, 601, 602) have now engaged and are pancaking. 234 Sqn. has a tally on H06. So far the RAF has lost 7 fighters and the LW 3 Me109s and 1 Me110.

In the east, the Freie Jagd H01 roams south of Chelmsford. Raid H10 (30+, A14) drones northwest to a point 15 miles east of Ramsgate.

Game Turn 7

In the Form Up Phase Hostile 13 appears at Wissant and heads out northwest, identified as 60+ strength, A14. There's relief for 11 Group that the Response Level has not been completely blown.

The late-arriving Kenley and Northolt squadrons rush southwest in the vain hope of catching any leftovers from Luftflotte 3. The pancaking Tangmere squadrons are ordered to divert to Kenley.

In the Luftwaffe Movement Phase H06 runs into the pursuing 234 Sqn. at Lee-on-Solent. The close escort reacts and 234 loses 1 Hurricane and pancakes, the escort taking a disruption.  H06 passes its navigation check and, avoiding damage from balloons and Heavy Ack-Ack, dive bombs Lee-on-Solent, netting 15 VP. H07 dives on Portsmouth without damage from the ground defences for another 15 VP. H03 then hits Ventnor for further 15VP; they get a +5 for not being Raid Matched, so the total is 20 VPs. Amidst the bombing Ventnor RDF stays on line.

ILLUSTRATION: The situation at the end of the RAF movement, GT7. 609 Sqn. is engaged and pancaking. 43 Sqn. is pancaking over Tangmere. Hostiles 02 and 11 are the early Freie Jagd.

H08 arrives over Tangmere and loses a Ju87 to HAA and is disrupted one level. H08 dive bombs the airfield for 9 VP. There's no damage to the Sector control room but the Stukas get an additional disruption level on the post-dive bombing cohesion check. In a loose gaggle the Stukas start to stream back home.

The Freie Jagd continue to flit about. H02 patrols north of Thorney Island, H09 (which is undetected) and H12 move westward from Tangmere towards Portsmouth. H04 moves back to Ventnor, H11 is pancaking and running for home and H05 away to the west turns, overflies an empty Warmwell and heads inland.

The main burst of action in the West is now over. The RAF has engaged with 7 squadrons, losing 8 fighters for very little return against very heavily escorted Stukas (there was, if you recall, 1g of Me109s to each Stuka gruppe) and a great deal of FJ cover. The Freie Jagd have attacked four times (twice against 43 Sqn.) H06, H07 and H08 have all been attacked before bombing but to little effect. Three Me109s and one Me110 have been lost but the fighters protected the bombers well and the only Stuka to be lost goes down, surprisingly, to HAA. Accurate bombing has netted the Luftwaffe 59 VP against a raid target, for chit BB, of 58. The LW loses 8 VP for the fighters and Stuka brought down but gains 8 VP for RAF fighter casualties.

In the east 64 and 74 Sqns. are vectored to Manston at A22 as activity builds, covering Manston in case H10 heads west. H01 (containing Freie Jagd) moves east to Foulness, while H13 sets out from Wissant across the Channel and H10 slips northwest past the eastern tip of Kent.

Game Turn 8

Detection checks resulting from the random events roll sees several of the high Freie Jagd roaming the south coast targets (H02, H04 and H05) disappear as the Observer Corps struggles to see through the cloud. There are no scrambles -- the RAF has enough in the air and is worried about the Response Limits (in real life the group controller would have been afraid of follow-on raids and would be keen to keep a uncommitted squadron reserve).

64 and 74 Sqns. are shifted back to cover Hawkinge, now threatened by H13, as H10 (the North Weald raid) is momentarily out of range of Manston. Better to cover both potential targets with a strong force of two squadrons at an altitude where they have a chance of inflicting some damage than divide them between two targets where the escort is likely to stop them. However, this tactic does risk raid matching penalties. 54, 65 and 501 Sqns. are vectored towards Eastchurch while 111, 615 and 1 are recalled to cover Biggin and Kenley. 151 is vectored towards Southend whilst the Biggin Sqns (32 and 610) are vectored towards Maidstone.

The Freie Jagd, H01, turns east and arrives over Foulness while H13 passes over Dover and turns west.  H10 is now heading west down the middle of the Thames Estuary towards the wandering Freie Jagd. 64 and 74 over Hawkinge tally H10 as 2 gruppen of bombers at A16 and 3 gruppen fighters (one close escort with top cover at A20 and A26). Both squadrons attack but decisively get the worst of the exchange, losing 3 aircraft whilst inflicting no casualties and only a single disruption on the escorts. Both top cover gruppen are pulled down to A16 but this is scant return for 3 Spitfires. In the Luftwaffe Combat Phase H01 tallies 501 Sqn. at three hexes range climbing over Eastchurch and goes into pursuit.

In the west the known Luftwaffe tracks head out to sea. With all of 10 Group and the Tangmere Squadrons pancaking there isn't a lot the RAF can do. As the bomber wave recedes the Tangmere sqns are ordered back to land at their bases, instead of diverting to Kenley. H09 (a freie Jagd of Me109) reappears briefly over Portsmouth and shoots up the balloons, downing 3, then disappears heading south. Not quite enough balloon damage to earn a VP.

Game Turn 9

Taking a gamble on the Response Levels, 56 Sqn. scrambles from North Weald. With one big raid and another bomber raid (H10 is unlikely to be anything else, given its behaviour so far)  the margins are narrowing. 54 is vectored southeast across Kent to try and get up-sun whilst 501 and 65 Sqns. carry on climbing over Eastchurch (a favourite Luftflotte 2 target and possible destination of at least part of H13). 32 and 610 are over Maidstone at A20 in a position to attack next turn. 615, 111 and 1 are nearing the Biggin Hill/Kenley complex, assuming that is where H13 is headed. 54 will be well positioned up sun with 32 and 610 next turn if the bombers are going west for Biggin. If they turn against Eastchurch or Detling the RAF will be wrong-footed.

Duning Luftwaffe movement the bombers press on west but H01 in pursuit swoops on 501 Sqn. over Eastchurch, shooting down a Hurricane and forcing the squadron to pancake. Then in the Combat Phase they tally 65 and hit them as well, shooting down 2 Spitfires for no loss. Another good return from the Freie Jagd although they are now at their maximum disruption levels and are pancaking with just enough endurance left to get home.

ILLUSTRATION: The end of RAF movement, GT10. Hostile 01 is undetected over Eastchurch after hitting 501 and 65 Squadrons last turn. H10 is barely visible at bottom right.

Hostile 05 reappears on the map to strafe Middle Wallop for 2VP, destroying 2 Spitfires on the ground from 609 Sqn., but missing 234.  Then H04 reappears to strafe Tangmere, destroying 4 fighters on the ground from the recently-landed 602, but missing 43.

For the RAF it's all getting tight.  The Luftwaffe has done well in the west. The scenario now hinges on whether raid Hostile 13 can be decisively damaged. However, H13 is a big raid and only one gruppe of escort is disrupted. After the loss of 501 and 65 to the FJ over Eastchurch only 56 is available to tackle H10 while everyone else concentrates on H13 which appears to be aimed at Biggin or Kenley. However, if Hostile 13 turns unexpectedly the RAF could be wrong footed. 11 Group has now lost 6 fighters for no return whilst 6 more fighters have been destroyed on the ground at Tangmere and Middle Wallop.

Game Turn 10

Raid Hostile 13 is now at hex 1932, just north of Ashford. The RAF vectors 32, 610 and 54 Sqns to hex 1829, just south of Maidstone, to try and get the up-sun position, while 615, 32, 111 and 151 are vectored to positions to be over Tunbridge Wells and repeat the attack if the bombers carry on west. 56 climbs east from North Weald. It all now hinges on the bombers carrying on towards the likeliest target of Biggin or Kenley.

Fortunately the Luftwaffe do as predicted and continue west on the same track. The RAF attacks. 54, 610 and 32 all tally. 54 attack first, going for the bombers. Top cover gruppe II/JG3 successfully reacts, both sides losing one aircraft and a disruption. 610 go next and III/JG3 (already disrupted) reacts, killing 2 Spitfires and losing no aircraft but getting two more disruptions, forcing them to pancake. Finally 32 Sqn. attacks. The last top cover (II/JG3, now down at Angels 16)  reacts late. The close escort react, losing 2 aircraft and two disruptions whilst 32 lose only 1 aircraft but are forced to pancake. The late-arriving top cover intercepts the disrupted Hurricanes (not stragglers) and level the score, shooting down 2 Hurricanes for only 1 loss but also earn two more disruptions, putting them at their maximum disruption level. Both top cover gruppen in H13 are now gone.

The escorts have held off five squadrons so far but have been stripped away, leaving one badly disrupted close escort gruppe remaining. More RAF squadrons are gathering for the kill.

Meanwhile, H10 sails on just north of Rochford. The target is not clear but 56 Sqn. seems unlikely to get to height soon enough.

Game Turn 11

Raid H13's course is not entirely clear so 1, 111, 615 and 151 Squadrons are vectored to 1927, south of Sevenoaks. 56 is still climbing over Stapleford. H13 moves to 2026. 111 squadron fails to tally but 1, 615 and 151 are well-placed and all attack. The close escort fails to react at all against the up-sun squadrons and 5 bombers go down from I and II/KG76 although only I/KG76 gets disrupted. 615 even manages to survive the first attack and get in a second against the other bomber gruppe, and still, thanks to bad rolling, the close escort declines to get involved. No RAF fighters are lost in the turkey shoot. 56 tallies H10 as it moves towards North Weald as a gruppen each of fighters bombers at A18. At A14, 56 are simply too low to intercept before the raid attacks.

H12 (the Me110 Freie Jagd), which was still meandering around the south coast, pops up over Warmwell and strafes for 1 VP but misses 152 Squadron's aeroplanes on the ground. They turn for home.

Game Turn 12

The random event is a survival scramble. The Debden squadrons (85 and 257) leave the ground, probably pushing the RAF decisively over the Response Level. 111 Sqn. is vectored to Biggin. They should manage to engage on the second attempt but won't manage to do so before the bombers attack. 56 Sqn. can't move, as it is awaiting the Pursuit Phase, and is in any case too low to intervene.

H13, comprising I and II/KG76, flies to Biggin and bombs through broken cloud for 7 and 5 VPs before turning away southeast. H10 is decoyed at North Weald but bombs anyway for 9 VPs (column shifts for Angels 18, decoyed, but not raid matched). In the Pursuit Phase 56 Sqn. attacks. The escort fails to react but, with the bombers exposed, 56 somehow manage to foul up the intercept. They retain their tally. 111 Sqn. duels indecisively with the last remaining close escort gruppe of H13.  The escort loses one aircraft and both units pancake but the RAF has nothing left to harry the two battered Dornier gruppen as they retreat.

H13 has lost 5 fighters and 5 bombers for -17.5VP and bombed Biggin for 12 VP. 9 RAF fighters have been lost trying to stop H13 and 3 more to the supporting Freie Jagd, H01, for 13VP.

H05, the Me110 Freie Jagd, reappears over Tangmere, takes a disruption from Light Ack-Ack (going to two disruption levels) and strafes again for 0 VPs, but destroying 3 more aircraft from 602 Sqn. on the ground. 43 Sqn. has led charmed lives -- involved in two combats and strafed twice but with no aircraft lost! Whereas 602 lost 2 in combat and 7 more to strafing. The Me110s disappear out to sea, heading home.

Game Turn 13

56 Sqn. finally catches H10 outbound, but are intercepted by the close escort. 56 loses 1 Hurricane and pancakes while the close escort loses 2 Me109s but otherwise survives intact.

All raids are now outbound, the Debden sqns cannot catch the retreating H10 raid at Angels 18, so the game is called.

Victory

Luftwaffe Victory Points

Bombing: 15 + 15 + 20 + 9 + 7 + 5 + 9 = 80

Strafing: 2 + 2 + 1 + 0 = 5

RAF losses: 25.5 (21 combat, 9 strafe)

Response Level: 16.5 vs. 21 squadrons scrambled = 13.5

Luftwaffe Total = 124

RAF Victory Points

Luftwaffe Losses:

6 bombers = 12

11 fighters = 16.5

1g Channel Patrol taken as Freie Jagd = 2

RAF Total = 30.5

Final Scores

Net = 93.5, with a scenario VP total for the raid chits of 77, this means a Luftwaffe victory.


The Burning Blue copyright © Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, 2006. All rights reserved.