PDA

View Full Version : Strafing



neural_dream
01-04-2009, 07:10 AM
I have some questions on strafing and tank busting. It would be great if I can get knowledgeble replies to any of them.


What is the realistic distance from an enemy tank/troops/train/trucks at which a strafing attack can achieve a kill? Assume that there is opposition in the form of antiair and we can't get too close.

What was the angle of a strafing attack against a tank and what part of the armor would the plane go for in order to get a kill (not just to track it)? The top, the back, the side? Assume late-war tanks. E.g. could the Tiger II be killed by aircraft?

Rudel killed hundreds of tanks with his 2x37mm cannon and 6 rounds per gun. How many rounds would he spend on average to get a kill? Also, what were the toughest to kill and which ones were easy job? What part of the armor was he going for and how could the Stuka G's 2x37mm penetrate armor that the Tiger's 1x88mm would need several rounds to penetrate?

DD_crash
01-04-2009, 08:40 AM
Dart has some tutorials on his web site (http://www.darts-page.com/) try looking there http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/10.gif

JtD
01-04-2009, 01:18 PM
Late war tanks were very difficult to take out, unless you bounced 0.50 cal off the road into their underside.

Col._King
01-04-2009, 01:45 PM
~S~

Hard targets, indeed....

TinyTim
01-04-2009, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by neural_dream:
Rudel killed hundreds of tanks with his 2x37mm cannon and 6 rounds per gun.

Wasn't it 12rpg?

general_kalle
01-04-2009, 03:29 PM
tanks were nearly always armoured the most on the front
second most on the sides with the top and the rear as the weekest spots. therefore its best to attack from behind and aim at the back
this is also where the engine is, dont know if it makes any difference in game but it certinly did in real life.

try to aim slightly above the tank and then take good aim at the lst second, this will keep you from hitting the ground before you are within range.

also dont get "greedy", remember to pull up in time even though you might not have hit it. some people keep shooting till they hit the tank or crash into the ground.

experiment with ranging and try to set your guns for the range at which you prefer to open fire, when attacking tanks its important to shoot at your convergence range otherwise the bullets will either hit each side of the tank after or before they converge.

neural_dream
01-04-2009, 05:19 PM
So, nobody knows what tanks Rudel was killing and where he was aiming at for each type? I'm trying to find out optimal angles and armor spots if possible. I'm not really interested in the way they are represented in IL2. After all, SoW will be more accurate.


Originally posted by JtD:
Late war tanks were very difficult to take out, unless you bounced 0.50 cal off the road into their underside.
Let's ignore myths for the time being http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif.

JtD
01-05-2009, 12:00 AM
Rudel attacked about any tank the Soviets fielded. Among that there were T-34. They were a lot easier to take out from the air then from the ground, because the angled armor (good against shots from the ground) presented almost a 90? angle against an aircraft attack. Also the top was less well armored than the front, for instance. The 37mm gun, usually with 12 rpg, had a short range penetration capability similar to those of the 75mm tank cannon the German fielded. It did so by using special, expensive ammunition that also did less damage than a large round after penetration.

If you search at youtube, you can find a clip showing Rudel attacking a T-34.

Against late war heavy tanks, 37mm can be considered the minimum effective caliber for effective AP shots, and even that needed special ammo. It is possible to disable tanks without piercing the armor, using smaller calibers. This was unlikely to happen, though.

A study conducted by the British (I think) showed that aircraft attacks against heavy tanks were generally ineffective and cannons next to useless.

neural_dream
01-05-2009, 04:35 AM
Thanks a lot JtD. I hadn't thought that the sloped armor of the T34 is actually flat when seen from the angle of a strafing attack and I wasn't aware of that British study.

K_Freddie
01-05-2009, 07:20 AM
If you read up on some of the Soviet IL2 tactics (and probably others), you'll notice that they first flew beyond the front line, and attacked the axis tanks from the rear (where the armour is the weakest) knocking out the engine and may more.
They would then fly in great big circles over the area elliminating anything of tactical value.
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

JtD
01-05-2009, 09:45 AM
You can find an article evaluating AT aircraft performance here. (http://web.telia.com/%7Eu18313395/normandy/articles/airpower.html)


Evidently two of the main causes for losing Panthers were abandonment and destruction by the crews. These two categories accounted for nearly half the Panthers lost and during the period in August they constituted 80 % of all the Panthers lost. Air power only accounted for about 6 % of all the lost Panthers investigated. Those investigations showed above also included other types of tanks. Of 40 Tigers only one was hit by air weapons, of 121 Pz.Kpf.Wg. IV nine were hit by air weapons. Evidently allied air power was not really capable of destroying large numbers of German tanks.

Bremspropeller
01-05-2009, 10:14 AM
Rudel had Chuck Norris as tail-gunner.

Freiwillige
01-05-2009, 10:30 AM
The Ju-87G's set their convergance at 300 meters and flew in from the rear of the formation of tanks at tree top height to avoid flak. The most common armored targets would be the T-34\76 or later the T-34\85. Upon attacking the Stalin series of tanks "IS\IS2" they changed their convergiance to 100 Meters and aimed squarly at the back deck or the back of the turret! They used special Tungsten-carbide core ammo on the Flak 18's with a total capacity of 12 rounds per gun. Also it is noted that usually one shot did the trick.

Source: The great book of World War II Airplanes

Freiwillige
01-05-2009, 10:40 AM
Also you might want to check out this thread I started on the subject a while back, Has some usefull info.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/9001084866/p/1

Kernow
01-05-2009, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by Freiwillige:
... Also it is noted that usually one shot did the trick.
If only the game was anything like that! I find T-34s very difficult to take out with the twin 37 mm cannon. Shermans can be almost as tough. If there is a weak spot it just might be the (rear of) the turret, which I have reason to think is a weak spot on some tanks against cannon-armed ac, but I can't be 100% sure that is the reason that sometimes a T-34 or Sherman blows up from 37 mm cannon-fire when normally it doesn't. Going for the weak decking over the engine doesn't seem to work, despite all the RL evidence, some quoted previously. Hs-129s with 20/30 mm cannon also took out plenty of tanks at Kursk.

Not everyone attacked from the rear, as this quote from Wiki shows:

"Oberfeldwebel Hans Hans Krohn, a radio operator of a II./StG 3 Ju 87 recalled:

'Our "cannon aircraft" took a terrible toll of Soviet armour. We attacked at very low altitude...and my pilot opened fire at a distance of only 50 metres. Most of our attacks were made against the side of the tanks, because in that way they offered the largest targets. I know that some pilots attacked from behind because that was where the armour was weakest, but that also meant the target was so small that it was difficult to hit.'"

Evidently his pilot had no trouble with RL armour thicker than the rear armour which is so tough in the game.

As for the 37 mm NS cannon-armed IL-2s, I once did extensive tests on the IL-2 and its weapons. Here are a couple of quotes from what I found (although I've not flown this version recently):

"...However, in the game I haven't found a tank that I could destroy with a top rear attack, which I could not also destroy with a straight side or rear shot. Avoiding the front armour is probably the main thing to concentrate on.

In the game aiming is pretty straightforward, with no adverse yawing characteristics, however, even hits on the top rear armour of Tiger tanks do not kill them. Lighter tanks are another matter, however, and they can be killed fairly easily with a hit or two."

I forget exactly what the NS 37s could take out, but Pz.IIIs and Pz.IVs are probably the limit - StuG.IIIs can be killed I recall.

One other cannon-armed tank-killer is the Hurri Mk.IIc. The limit is probably early Pz.IIIs and you need to make a steep dive aiming for the rear decking over the engine. The method works pretty consistently, although there is very little time for aiming... and crashing into the ground is a distinct possibility.

Kernow
01-05-2009, 01:17 PM
And to address another of your questions.


Originally posted by neural_dream:
What is the realistic distance from an enemy tank/troops/train/trucks at which a strafing attack can achieve a kill? Assume that there is opposition in the form of antiair and we can't get too close.

A British report has been mentioned previously. Here are some quotes from an article by Dr Alfred Price on Typhoon ops in Normandy. It looks like he is quoting from that report.

"A report on the results of operational rocket attacks on ground targets during April and May 1944 concluded that under combat conditions the 50 per cent zone for the rockets was 75 yards. That meant that the chances of an eight-rocket salvo securing a single hit on a tank with an area of 200 square feet, was about 0.7 per cent.

"A direct hit on a tank with a three-in rocket
invariably caused serious and usually irreparable damage. The weapon was too inaccurate to achieve that often, however, and usually a near miss did no more than shower the vehicle with mud."

One reason for the inaccuracy was the range at which the rockets had to be fired. In the game we are used to getting to within a couple hundred yds of a tank and clinically picking it off with a 2-rocket salvo, whether Brit 60 lb rocket, US HVAR or Soviet BRS series. Then we go around again attempting to make each pair count. But in the real world:

"When striking at a defended target, the preferred tactic was to enter a 60o dive at about 8,000 feet (2,440 m). All eight projectiles were fired in a single salvo as the Typhoon passed through 4,000 feet (1220 m), at a slant range of about 1,700 yards (1,550 m). After firing its complement of rockets, the aircraft was to pull into a zoom climb to take it beyond the range of automatic flak weapons as quickly as possible.

Against targets with light defences, the preferred tactic was to enter a 25o shallow dive at 3,500 feet (1060 m). The eight rockets were then ripple fired as the aircraft passed through 1,500 feet (460 m), at a slant range of about 1,000 yards (915 m) from the target."

RAF Tactical Bulletin No 45, Tactical Employment of RP Aircraft

The small chance of a hit from those ranges doesn't mean the attacks were ineffective, however:

"Interrogation of prisoners has shown without question that German tank crews are extremely frightened of attacks by RP [rocket projectiles] . . . Crews are very aware that if an RP does hit a tank, their chance of survival is small. It is admitted that the chances of a direct hit are slight; nevertheless, this would hardly be appreciated by a crew whose first thought would be of the disastrous results if a hit was obtained."

Tactical Bulletin No 45,

And, as Air Marshal Coningham stated in his post-war report on the Mortain battle:

"As the tempo of the attacks increased, so did the morale of the tank crews diminish, and at the height of the battle it was observed that the enemy were not waiting to stand our fire. The action of the Typhoons made many of them abandon their tanks and take cover away from them."

Hans Krohn, the Stuka gunner quoted in my previous post, observed the same phenomena amongst Soviet tank crews subjected to Ju-87G attack.

To simulate real life practice you'd have to launch your rockets at long range - 1000 m plus - and allow for a great deal of 'drop' in the flight of the missile. You'd be doing well to kill one truck with your entire payload. Many people want to blow up more things than that. However, you will be minimizing the risk from AAA - which is quite a consideration when there's no 'Refly' option http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

TinyTim
01-05-2009, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by Kernow:
One other cannon-armed tank-killer is the Hurri Mk.IIc. The limit is probably early Pz.IIIs and you need to make a steep dive aiming for the rear decking over the engine. The method works pretty consistently, although there is very little time for aiming... and crashing into the ground is a distinct possibility.

I did some testing with Hurri MkIIc on a PzKfwIII. It seems this tank doesn't have armour modelled very well, since I got best results attacking it level head on. StugIII was another matter. Results can be seen here. (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/5861061176?r=8721044176#8721044176).

Kernow
01-07-2009, 04:01 AM
Actually, TT, you used the Mk.IId from the mods there. I was talking about the IIc - it wasn't a typo - with the 4 x 20 mm cannon. Nevertheless, it'll be worth going back and tackling the Pz.IIIG from head-on - I just didn't consider that worth trying before. Your results with the 40 mm cannon indicate there could be quite a bit of randomness, as multiple hits sometimes do nothing when just a couple - in what looks like the same places - destroy the tank. Certainly the top rear armour doesn't look like a weak point - more a strong point.

RSS-Martin
01-07-2009, 08:30 AM
Well if you are into low level attacks with a Ju87 maybe this is of interest to you?
http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=cU6OK1zSxKg
This shows a Ju87 D3 in action if of course a little differant than the game.

TinyTim
01-07-2009, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by Kernow:
Actually, TT, you used the Mk.IId from the mods there. I was talking about the IIc - it wasn't a typo - with the 4 x 20 mm cannon.

Ah true, sry, I confused IIc with IId.

Tank armour (at least the one of PzKfwIII) seems wrongly modelled since the armour of this tank probably wasn't euqally thick on all sides and roof, while StugIII or T-34 behave like expected - much harder to pierce from front compared to other attack angles.

Kernow
01-07-2009, 12:34 PM
No problem. It was useful to check this out again. First attack from head-on with a Mk.IIc v Pz.IIIG resulted in a kill, however, I couldn't get another kill with the 20 mm cannons from a level attack. I did manage to get a few with a steep diving attack.

Also tried the 87G again, after checking Freiwillige's link. The steep attack does indeed work, even against T-34s, so it can be used effectively against heavier armour, although not quite in the way it was actually used. Handy to know, and with some training one could become proficient.

Aaron_GT
01-08-2009, 11:27 AM
Were Ju-87Gs really as effective as suggested? The Western Allies looked seriously at AT planes, although only two were produced AFAIK, and in small numbers. If they were effective then you would have expected more use, for example the 40mm Typhoon, which was tested. Or were the 40mm Vickers and the 57mm Molins substandard, training or tactics wanting?

(The 37mm of the P-39 was for A2A work).

I might play with the Tempest as an ersatz Typhoon with historical distances, although given what I've seen of films I think our rockets fly better.

As a side note, the 3 inch RP motor was used in groups as the motive power for the SAM defences of London from 1944. Perhaps not strictly SAM as they weren't properly guided, guidance systems not arriving until 1945 after VE day.

JtD
01-08-2009, 01:56 PM
I think the reputation of the Ju-87G is based on Rudels successes alone. Rudel destroyed a load of tanks. There were plenty of enemy tanks, and few pilots like Rudel. Rudel flew from early in the war right up to the end.

Now look at the RAF - less tanks for targets, pilots that were rotated out before they could ever reach a level of experience like Rudel. The Western Allies had to find means that enabled the average pilot to kill a single tank with an as high probability as possible - should he ever find one.

It should be mentioned that the Germans, too, primarily used fighter bombers for AT missions as the war progressed. Even Rudel flew a Fw 190.

I'm also willing to bet that German AAA in late 1944 was considerable more dangerous than Soviet AAA in early 1944. It should be, as the Allied aircraft certainly were a more serious threat to ground units than the Luftwaffe aircraft.

Kernow
01-09-2009, 02:43 AM
Originally posted by JtD:
I'm also willing to bet that German AAA in late 1944 was considerable more dangerous than Soviet AAA in early 1944. It should be, as the Allied aircraft certainly were a more serious threat to ground units than the Luftwaffe aircraft.
That's almost certainly the main reason: it was just too costly to loiter over the battlefield at low level.

The 40 mm Hurricanes suffered heavily when used directly over the battlefield in a CAS role. They were then saved for attacking enemy armour on the move, as in the retreat across North Africa, when there was less flak. And that was against 1942 style AA defences.

In fact the Germans found the same on the Eastern Front. Early losses to AAA with the experimental Kanonenvogel Kommando resulted in normal bomb-armed Doras flying 'escort' in a flak-suppression role. Even so the Gustav was best used against Soviet armour once it had broken through. AT guns and tanks were probably more effective on the frontline, but only aircraft have the speed of response to quickly counter a breakthrough. The enemy tanks would also have outstripped much of their AA cover and would often be on the move in the open: ideal conditions for the 87G.

I once read that some pilots thought the Dora better than the Gustav for tank-killing, because "Not everyone was a Rudel", as I think the quote went. Better to drop a big bomb on a group of tanks and kill/disable at least one than to make multiple attacks on a small manoeuvring target and miss evey time.

With the weapons available the Western Allies probably had more success against the panzers by destroying the soft vehicles upon which the panzers could not move or fight, ie the trucks that move the tons of fuel/ammo without which a tank is useless. Most of the tanks examined in those British reports were either abandoned undamaged or destroyed by their crews - they had to be abandoned for lack of fuel to escape.

This thread has come just at the right time as far as my 'Stuka Leader: Kursk' campaign is concerned. The player was going to fly Doras exclusively, with the AI being left to fly any Gustavs, although under command of the player (I noticed AI Gustavs can sometimes kill T-34s). Although not strictly realistic to switch back and forth between types during a campaign, it does look like it will be worth giving the player both types to play with. Just need to wrap up 'Stuka Leader: Tobruk' first.

Aaron_GT
01-09-2009, 12:01 PM
With the weapons available the Western Allies probably had more success against the panzers by destroying the soft vehicles upon which the panzers could not move or fight, ie the trucks that move the tons of fuel/ammo without which a tank is useless. Most of the tanks examined in those British reports were either abandoned undamaged or destroyed by their crews - they had to be abandoned for lack of fuel to escape.

This is what I thought reading the link you posted earlier - that a number of the abandoned tanks might have been secondary victims of air power due to fuel issues and was unimpressed by the lack of analysis of this. Also an army could find its casualties high due to being unable to move tanks even on an overcast day due to destruction of fuel convoys the day before. Lots of potential knock-on effects.

b2spirita
01-11-2009, 04:16 AM
Ah true, sry, I confused IIc with IId.

Tank armour (at least the one of PzKfwIII) seems wrongly modelled since the armour of this tank probably wasn't euqally thick on all sides and roof, while StugIII or T-34 behave like expected - much harder to pierce from front compared to other attack angles.

Which loadout were you using, AP or HE?