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todgeroff
05-26-2006, 06:56 AM
Just been reading BoB book 'Finest Hour' by Tim Clayton & Phil Craig (excellent) and more than once RAF pilots talk about hosing down the bombers cockpit area to kill the gunners so they can get in close. I've given up trying to do that in IL2 and have now realised that not only are IL2 air-gunners crack shots but they must also be about 2 inches high - which would explian why I can never kill them........

VFA-25_Cobain
05-26-2006, 08:00 AM
You could equally make a headon pass with cannons, killing the pilot, and ultimately bringing the plane down.

You don't need to kill the gunners, you need to develop tactics around them. You have to know their range of vision and exploit the blind spots. I don't beleive the He-111 has waist gunners, so try from 3 O'clock or 9 O'clock.

todgeroff
05-26-2006, 09:42 AM
yes, good point - there's other strategies to get them (though I think you'll fnd that He 111 does have waist gunners). It just seems a shame that in real life the guns of the hurricanes and spitfires were able to disable air-gunners more easily than in the sim - surely an area that could be modelled better to become more realistic.....

LEBillfish
05-26-2006, 10:56 AM
Strafing groups of people often did little in end result on the ground......So imagine now trying to pick out a single un-moving person on the ground....Much harder.........Now put that person in a moving, bouncing plane.....

Pilots may have hosed down the bombers as you say, but my guess is lucky shots and them taking reflexive cover did more then actual kills........Try different tactics my suggestion.

Ki-43 pilots in New Guinea were supposedly masters of shadowing a plane and then sweeping in from the side and ahead to keep their plane in the B25's prop arc. The gunners couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't shoot through it, naturally as they're hammering the engines and cockpit.

However, I'd say a good 80% of my bomber kills come from high diving head-ons....Often if aiming for the cockpit I'll kill the pilot with even a short burst....Raking down the fuselage pointless. Also, if applied to the engine I often can seriously damage it......and in all cases I'm not talking cannons yet lighter guns from 7.7mm to 12.7.

Make your pass, shadow, get ahead, do it again....Or get over anxious and get shot down. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Ernst_Rohr
05-26-2006, 03:10 PM
Outside of the US bombers, most of the other bombers in the game have some signifigant blind spots that can be exploited.

Brit bombers are notoriously vunerable to attack from below, and the Blenheim in game can be easily attacked from 6 low with a great deal of success.

The Russians are a mix.
DB-3F/IL-4: hit em low, they have no defensive armament below, so low attacks are safest. Otherwise, hit them high from 10 to 2 on the clock.
Pe-8 Very bad news. Packs a lot of 20mm, has very heavy defenses to the rear and pretty good all around coverage. Best to hit this high and from head on.
TB-3 Early model with no tailgun is an easy kill from below. Later model has VERY flexible gun arcs, which makes a tailing position dangerous. Vertical from below or above are very good postions, and the slow speed of the TB-3 makes it easy to manever for postion.

US bombers are universally bad news.
B-25: heavily armed for a medium, best to hit from below or head on, or go low or level from 10 to 2 on the clock. Early models lack tail guns, so low 6 is a good option. J models have a tail turret, so avoid tail attacks.
B-24: Heavy armament all around and below make this a tough customer. Best to hit it from high diving attacks to the front, or high fast obliques from 10 to 2 on the clock. Still tough at those angles. NEVER attack a 24 from behind, the split tail means the 24 can put SIX 50s to the 6 o'clock level, so forget even trying the 6!
B-17: Just like the 24. Early model 17s are weak to the front (compared to the rest of the plane) so head ons are a good option. Late model 17s are all around tough, so stick to high attacks from 10 to 2.
A-20: The 20 has good defense to the rear, so hit from high to the front or high obliques. Despite its size, the 20 can take a beating, so you may have to repeat attacks.

German bombers have very limited arcs of coverage, get into a He-111 and take a look. 2 to 4 or 11 to 8 on the clock are great angles to attack a 111, ditto the Ju-88. Hitting the 88 from low angles is also a good route.

The Japanese heavies are nasty. The Betty is actually one of the tougher birds to tackle, it has good coverage, and its fast, and the tail gun is a killer. Hit the Betty from a vertical dive, vertical climb, or a high diving pass from 10,11,12,1, or 2 on the clock. This is even more important agains the later war Betties, as they pack FOUR 20mm cannon. Bad news.
The HK8 flying boat is even worse news, lots of 20mm cannon, and VERY tough for a Japanese plane. Hit it from below!

jamesdietz
05-27-2006, 10:12 AM
I was going to ask this on a separate post, but its fine here...Seriously...does anyone know if the guners can be killed?I know they will eventually bail out from a severly damaged aircraft,but I would like to know if my gunfire CAN kill or disable them....does anyone have definitive proof that these uber gunners can die???

knightflyte
05-27-2006, 10:20 AM
I turned the animated mode of IL2 on, and it displayed 'head shots' and 'gunners killed' voice bubbles.

So I believe they can be.

Low_Flyer_MkVb
05-27-2006, 10:24 AM
You can kill them, the He111 dorsal gunners will slump.

HellToupee
05-27-2006, 10:49 AM
Best is to approach dead six but sit far back out of gunners range and use cannons, eg tempest vs ju88 u can sit outside of the guns range the bullets literally disappear in your face(if its human and hes shooting early) before hitting while ur cannons shells rain down on him most times u can even kill em before they even get a chance to shoot in ur direction, little harder in 190 vs b25 with the .50 guns but they go down a bit quicker and ur guns hit harder.

Works with most bombers especially ones with tail or something blockin the rear.

Dtools4fools
05-27-2006, 11:09 AM
Hope in a TB-3 and start mowing down you buddies. pilots, AI gunners, all poossible, but the need quite some burst of MG right through thier bodies and head to die...
Real tough those dudes...
*****

horseback
05-27-2006, 01:23 PM
AI gunners can be killed, but it takes repeated hits on portions exposed through canopy glass or in the open air. You can shred the fuselage area where a tunnel or gondola gunner hides and never faze him.

In almost 4 years playing this and the original Il-2, I cannot ever recall taking out a gunner who could not be clearly seen from outside. They are truly killer 'bots.

cheers

horseback

RSS-Martin
05-27-2006, 05:32 PM
Well I fly the Betty a lot and yes I have had it a lot that my gunners have been killed. Even a few times where the pilot was the last one alive. Against rookie pilots the Betty has good chances, those who have more expireance tackling a Betty are a bit more of a problem for a Betty pilot.
A shame that the G4M2E is not flyable some ohkas against carriers would be a real bang!
http://www.studenten.net/customasp/axl/image/foto/23-4-2003-9-19-mitsubishi_g4m2e_betty_of_721st_kokutai_with_ohka_ readied.jpg

horseback
05-27-2006, 10:30 PM
AI on human crewed aircraft are a lot like friendly ai in campaigns offline -useless.

"Pure" AI openly discriminate against non-AI, partial AI aircraft, and the traitor AI who associate with them.

Where's Reverend Al when you need him?

cheers

horseback

MR.Reah
05-28-2006, 02:32 AM
Bah! try taking a seat AS a gunner- all i've ever seen is very, very crude mouse/targeting ......... rather tricky to be precise from what i see- have you better results? advice?

horseback
05-28-2006, 11:22 AM
Not nearly as 'tricky' as manhandling a 40 lb machine gun on a moving aircraft trying to hit another aircraft, unless of course you use a pintle-mounted 40 lb mouse that shakes wildly every time you click the left button.

AI gunners in AI planes are the next best thing to bulletproof & they are capable of hitting you from a plane that has lost a wing and is spinning wildly to the ground from 600m away. Dealing with THAT is 'tricky.'

cheers

horseback

cheers

William_966
05-28-2006, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by LEBillfish:
Strafing groups of people often did little in end result on the ground......So imagine now trying to pick out a single un-moving person on the ground....Much harder.........Now put that person in a moving, bouncing plane.....

Pilots may have hosed down the bombers as you say, but my guess is lucky shots and them taking reflexive cover did more then actual kills........Try different tactics my suggestion.

Ki-43 pilots in New Guinea were supposedly masters of shadowing a plane and then sweeping in from the side and ahead to keep their plane in the B25's prop arc. The gunners couldn't/wouldn't/shouldn't shoot through it, naturally as they're hammering the engines and cockpit.

However, I'd say a good 80% of my bomber kills come from high diving head-ons....Often if aiming for the cockpit I'll kill the pilot with even a short burst....Raking down the fuselage pointless. Also, if applied to the engine I often can seriously damage it......and in all cases I'm not talking cannons yet lighter guns from 7.7mm to 12.7.

Make your pass, shadow, get ahead, do it again....Or get over anxious and get shot down. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif I found shooting rockets at close range.....aim for the tail and fire! A good shot can kill a Heinkel.

WTE_Galway
05-28-2006, 07:36 PM
They can be killed but tis not easy.

On the other hand killing the AI pilot in the ju88 is somewhat too easy. You can almost fly past hedon and wave and the crew will bail.

DuxCorvan
05-29-2006, 03:18 AM
AI gunner efficiency is plainly ridiculous.

I remember a book by one of the most famed Spanish Civil War aces, Cpt. Lacalle, who flew I-15s for the Republican Air Force.

Shortly before the war, around 1935, the Spanish Air Force was still equiped with the obsolescent Hispano-Nieuport Ni.622 as fighters, and the clumsy biplanes Breguet Br.XIX as bombers.

Lacalle had a dispute with a bomber crew, that the rear gunner would be able to dispatch any fighter approaching from their six without trouble.

So they made a bet, and arranged a flight to count how many times they could consider they had each other aimed and at range. They sweared not to lie or cheat -in those times that was enough, remember they were officers, gentlemen and... Spaniards. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Since both planes -Breguet XIX and Nieuport 62- were rather slow, times to approach, aim and fire were considerably longer than in WW2, which made the gunner task even easier.

Even so, Lacalle managed to reach the six spot of the Breguet in fire range no less than a dozen times, always finding the rear gunner frantically struggling to have its gun aimed and tracking the target, which was a relatively easy target coming almost straight from six level, high or low, or a bit offset to five or seven. Lacalle used to avoid the Breguet XIX blind spots from six low, in order to have a fair competition.

After the flight it was ten to one, and gunner had to admit that it was very hard for him to keep Lacalle in his aim, even if he was straight 6 and level, because of the vibration, the G forces, the weight and clumsiness of the gun, turbulence, etc. For Lacalle was mostly a child game, for he pwned the bomber almost every time.

During Spanish Civil War he confirmed this, by downing many Nationalist two-seaters, allegedly almost always from their six.

In WW2, very heavily armed bombers flying in special formations were another thing. It was very dangerous a six approach. So Germans developed two tactics: firing head-on, and making special nose-armoured FW 190 units to deal with bombers from 6. But it was more a question of massive cross firing than of Robocop aiming.

Anyway, in FB, the AI gunner precision even against fast passing bouncing targets is ridiculous.

Asgeir_Strips
05-29-2006, 04:00 AM
Originally posted by Ernst_Rohr:
Outside of the US bombers, most of the other bombers in the game have some signifigant blind spots that can be exploited.

Brit bombers are notoriously vunerable to attack from below, and the Blenheim in game can be easily attacked from 6 low with a great deal of success.

The Russians are a mix.
DB-3F/IL-4: hit em low, they have no defensive armament below, so low attacks are safest. Otherwise, hit them high from 10 to 2 on the clock.
Pe-8 Very bad news. Packs a lot of 20mm, has very heavy defenses to the rear and pretty good all around coverage. Best to hit this high and from head on.
TB-3 Early model with no tailgun is an easy kill from below. Later model has VERY flexible gun arcs, which makes a tailing position dangerous. Vertical from below or above are very good postions, and the slow speed of the TB-3 makes it easy to manever for postion.

US bombers are universally bad news.
B-25: heavily armed for a medium, best to hit from below or head on, or go low or level from 10 to 2 on the clock. Early models lack tail guns, so low 6 is a good option. J models have a tail turret, so avoid tail attacks.
B-24: Heavy armament all around and below make this a tough customer. Best to hit it from high diving attacks to the front, or high fast obliques from 10 to 2 on the clock. Still tough at those angles. NEVER attack a 24 from behind, the split tail means the 24 can put SIX 50s to the 6 o'clock level, so forget even trying the 6!
B-17: Just like the 24. Early model 17s are weak to the front (compared to the rest of the plane) so head ons are a good option. Late model 17s are all around tough, so stick to high attacks from 10 to 2.
A-20: The 20 has good defense to the rear, so hit from high to the front or high obliques. Despite its size, the 20 can take a beating, so you may have to repeat attacks.

German bombers have very limited arcs of coverage, get into a He-111 and take a look. 2 to 4 or 11 to 8 on the clock are great angles to attack a 111, ditto the Ju-88. Hitting the 88 from low angles is also a good route.

The Japanese heavies are nasty. The Betty is actually one of the tougher birds to tackle, it has good coverage, and its fast, and the tail gun is a killer. Hit the Betty from a vertical dive, vertical climb, or a high diving pass from 10,11,12,1, or 2 on the clock. This is even more important agains the later war Betties, as they pack FOUR 20mm cannon. Bad news.
The HK8 flying boat is even worse news, lots of 20mm cannon, and VERY tough for a Japanese plane. Hit it from below!

Good post. Although i always attack from the rear. dunno why but i seldom get hosed anyways, only if i stay in the same spot too long. usually if im attacking bombers (you usually get the idea that there's going to be bombers in the briefing) i converge my guns at like 5-600 Yards. And Dive down in a 60 Degree angle from the 5-6 O'clock position with guns blazing the whole time. (i always aim for the engines or wing root) if i manage to flame the airplane i just move on to the next one.

tagTaken2
05-29-2006, 04:08 AM
Originally posted by LEBillfish:
Make your pass, shadow, get ahead, do it again....Or get over anxious and get shot down. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

True, and easy to forget. Several times I've gotten frustrated with this game from losing sight of the main goal: Not to rack up kills, but to make it back.

Blottogg
05-29-2006, 03:41 PM
The Ai gunners have several sim-isms in Il-2 that we'll have to live with, until they're hopefully addressed in BoB. B-25C and DB-3/Il-4 both have tunnel guns or belly turrets, and the gunners have SA on you well outside of their porthole/periscope view, so sneaking up on them in game is dangerous. Even "rookie" gunners often hit with their first ranging burst (not a big deal in a LaGG-3, but sortie ending if you're flying something with an Allison engine DM.) As horseback said, they can be killed, but only if you hit their exposed heads, so you're aiming at a volleyball instead of a person. Il-2's damage model is like an R rated movie, there is no penetration modeled. So instead of a couple of soda cans between your guns and that Il-2 field mod gunner sitting on a canvas sling, you've got to shoot through, or around, three control surfaces, three fixed fins and the rear fuselage. Beam attacks have a clear line of fire, but with only a second or two to fire, and a half second pause between rudder input and any effect, the torque/recoil/p-factor effects (which are pretty well modeled) can't be countered realistically, and it comes down to spray and pray. Then there's the Ai's eyesight, which is apparently good enough to see the convergence settings of my guns from 200 m, and jink appropriately...

To counter these sim-isms requires more sim-isms unfortunately. Though techniques are like @$$holes (everyone has one, and they all stink), what works for me is to gain altitude, and come in fast from six o'clock low, perhaps with a wingspan of offset to one side, and start firing from just outside convergence range. The initial spread may catch a wing fuel tank, and allows the first rounds to hit before the Ai does its auto-jink. Rookie Ai seems to occasionally freeze when hit, allowing you to keep pouring the fire on. Either that, or the gunner kills you with his first burst while protected from your fire by 1/8 inch of plexiglass...

Sorry to gripe about the gunners again, but it I hate defeating the code instead of a simulated opponent (there should be a difference.) Oleg mentioned that the BoB gunners would feel fear, and this will I assume affect their aim. I'll be happy if they just feel my bullets through the fuselage.

Crash_Moses
05-29-2006, 08:08 PM
Or maybe they've just been studying this...

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y125/Crash_Moses/gtf1.gif http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y125/Crash_Moses/gtf2.gif

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y125/Crash_Moses/gtf3.gif http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y125/Crash_Moses/gtf4.gif

S!

leitmotiv
05-29-2006, 08:42 PM
Main goal is to rack up kills and make it back. Geoffrey Page, a famous English fighter pilot, was the most famous victim of an uncunning 6 o'clock attack. His leader took the formation right up the Valley of Death on a formation of Dornier 17s and Page's Hurricane was hit in the fuselage tank ahead of the pilot, and he was horribly burned (no firewall between that tank and the pilot). High side attack bombers or attack them from dead ahead as the most experienced Hurricane Squadron, 111, did in the Battle of Britain. Forming up and rolling in on bombers from 6 o'clock is the aerial equivalent of a land war frontal assault.

WTE_Galway
05-29-2006, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by tagTaken2:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LEBillfish:
Make your pass, shadow, get ahead, do it again....Or get over anxious and get shot down. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

True, and easy to forget. Several times I've gotten frustrated with this game from losing sight of the main goal: Not to rack up kills, but to make it back. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>



High scores in the battle of Britain were 5 or 10 kills for the whole battle. The occasional pilot had a spectacular day with 3,4 even 5 kills in one day but they were made famous for it and usually never repeated it.

leitmotiv
05-29-2006, 09:20 PM
That egregious, dimwit BATTLE OF BRITAIN II by Shockwave allows 6 o'clock attacks on massed formations of bombers by RAF fighters with impunity. This, perhaps, is creating the impression IL-2's defensive guns are too effective.

horseback
05-29-2006, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Main goal is to rack up kills and make it back. Geoffrey Page, a famous English fighter pilot, was the most famous victim of an uncunning 6 o'clock attack. His leader took the formation right up the Valley of Death on a formation of Dornier 17s and Page's Hurricane was hit in the fuselage tank ahead of the pilot, and he was horribly burned (no firewall between that tank and the pilot). High side attack bombers or attack them from dead ahead as the most experienced Hurricane Squadron, 111, did in the Battle of Britain. Forming up and rolling in on bombers from 6 o'clock is the aerial equivalent of a land war frontal assault. In this game, yes. But most of us are not talking about the inevitable results of essentially flying formation with a group of bombers, with lots of gunners to shoot at you.

We're talking about small formations or single aircraft with one or two guys trying to defend it with light machine guns in ball-and-socket or pintle mounts. Attacking a multiengine aircraft with that sort of defense from the rear was universally considered a relatively easy kill for a single engined fighter, and an awful lot of pilots' accounts mention 'silencing' the rear gun, which is a polite way of saying that a human being was torn apart and saw it coming.

Shooting down an aircraft with another aircraft was very hard, hence the adulation and admiration rained down on succesful fighter pilots. Shooting down an aircraft from another aircraft with a flexible machine gun mount (while somebody else is driving) was the next best thing to impossible, which is why aerial gunners' claims are universally discounted.

The AI gunners in AI aircraft are universally deadly, they can shoot and see through the skin of their aircraft, they are practically bulletproof within that skin, and their guns are amazingly powerful.

I'd happily trade the destructive capability of the Forgotten Battles Mustang 6x.50 HMGs for the destructive power of the 2x7.9mm guns wielded by the rear gunners on AI Me 110s as modelled in this game, and if given the choice between facing a Terminator with a modern Gatling gun, and a Forgotten Battles AI gunner armed with a single-shot flintlock pistol, I'll take on the Terminator every time, because my chances of survival are better.

cheers

horseback

WTE_Galway
05-29-2006, 10:43 PM
Originally posted by horseback:
Attacking a multiengine aircraft with that sort of defense from the rear was universally considered a relatively easy kill for a single engined fighter,


I have never seen that claimed. Parking yourself 50 to 100 metres directly behind some guy with a machine gun and sitting there without moving is generally regarded as hazardous.

Early on with the Brits against the germans in the BoB they regular used team tactics with a feint from one side with a couple of planes to draw fire followed by a proper attack from the opposite side. This worked especially well with Heinkels who generally only had the one waist gunner to cover both sides.

Latewar the main german strategy seemed to be frontal attack.

My impression is only an inexperienced (and probably short lived pilot) who could not deflection shoot is likely to have done regular dead six attacks .. afterall there is no real reason to attack from dead six when it was the least effective in terms of damage and so many safer options are available.

leitmotiv
05-30-2006, 04:25 AM
One Blenheim accounted for the greatest early war Japanese Army ace, Kato, when he tried a one-on-one attack in his Ki-43. And, his vengeful squadron was unable to chop it down in retaliation. Speaking for myself, I usually do better than that, but my favorite way of attacking a Blenheim is from 6 o'clock low, but, admittedly, the canny Blenheim AI rarely lets me get away with this. The HORNET Dauntless squadrons at Santa Cruz blew off Zeros when they made an unescorted charge at SHOKAKU at Santa Cruz---they flew wing tip to wing tip and they had no belly protection at medium altitude. They then proceeded to execute one of the great dive bombing attacks of the war by smashing hapless SHOKAKU with hit after hit. Read THE FIRST TEAM---the Zeros which tore the Devastators apart at Midway clawed them down with slashing high side attacks---even against clunkers wise fighter pilots did not risk a bullet through the windscreen. Greenhorns went up the six, not the old hands. Even at night German night fighters did not like a six o'clock attack against an RAF heavy's quad .303 turret. They preferred striking from below and shooting into the wing or bomb bay while standing on their tails. This is a tough maneuver to pull off even against a target which is unaware of what you are doing.

todgeroff
05-30-2006, 05:49 AM
Originally posted by knightflyte:
I turned the animated mode of IL2 on, and it displayed 'head shots' and 'gunners killed' voice bubbles.

So I believe they can be.

".....the animated mode of IL2....." what is this?

horseback
05-30-2006, 10:47 AM
This turning into an Apples and Oranges debate. It is one thing to make a solo attack from behind on a formation of bombers flying steadily in one direction with mutual coverage from between 5 and 10 gunners in turrets. It is (or should be) entirely something else to attack a single or pair of 'twins' with a couple of poor schlubs manhandling their guns around while both the attacking and target aircraft jink and swerve wildly.

Galway, I specifically agreed that it is and was a Bad Idea to fly formation with (i.e., park yourself 100yds directly behind) a bomber or attack a/c with a rear gunner.

HOWEVER, it was orders of magnitude more difficult to hit a fighter 100-150yds behind you with a hand-aimed, ring-and-bead sighted machine gun on a pintle or ring mount than it was for the pilot of the fighter to hit the gunner's position from the same distance (and the pilot usually took out the gunner from much greater ranges than the gunners could hope to hit a fighter from). Fighters trailing bomber formations were prone to damage because of the sheer numbers of rounds directed in their direction, not because of the mad skills of the average gunner.

My objection is to getting constantly whacked by gunners on single aircraft while making a high speed, off angle approach masked by tail or rear fuselage, or getting nailed by a gunner who should be only able to hang on for dear life.

It offends me that a split second of exposure to an ai gunner 200m away in a wildly maneuvering 110, Stuka, Val, Kate, Il-2 or Pe-2/3 almost always results in an oily screen and a stopped engine if not a black screen. That's simply horsesh!t, and absolutely contrary to the historical record.

The US heavy bombing offensive was stalled in late 1943 because their formations were mauled by the German heavy 'twins' once the bombers ranged beyond their fighter cover. The 110s, 410s, and Ju-88C models were able to break up the bombers' formations with rockets and cannon fire from beyond the gunners' effective range, and then the single engined fighters were easily able to 'mop up' the single bombers deprived of the mutual defense of their formations.

When the US singles started appearing over Germany, the German 'twins' were quickly decimated in spite of their rear-firing defenses. I somehow doubt that US fighter pilots sought headon passes with fighters armed with multiple cannons in their noses, or used up extra fuel and time to set up low probability high deflection shots in preference to coming up from behind and below at high speed(which would be my preferred approach if the gunners had remotely realistic limitations).

Kato's loss came while flying a notably fragile aircraft that was NEVER an effective bomber killer, attacking a relatively fast bomber (low closure rate) with a well-trained aircrew (most of Kato's credited victories came against the Chinese and Soviets-whose bomber crews in 1939-40 were not close to RAF standards in early 1942).

He got sloppy and arrogant, and paid for it. His two wingmen lacked the gunnery skill necessary to take out the aircrew or engines with their 7.7mm peashooters from behind and above (the Blenheim flying as low and fast over the sea as possible left no other options), and had to withdraw when their ammo was expended.

The Dauntless example is another formation attack example (and we won't go into a long discussion of much higher USN aircrew gunnery standards). The fact that the Japanese attcked from the six tells me that they did not expect an effective rear defense.

The Midway TBD example also neglects the fact that torpedo attacks called for very low speed, low altitude run in to target; the Zeros were making the only first opportunity attacks available to them after getting to the TBDs as quickly as possible. When enemy aircraft are attacking your ship, there is the issue of time limits. You have to get them before they drop their torpedoes. The TBDs' predictable courses made them more vulnerable to the necessary high side passes than a more time consuming and hazardous slow low rear approach, which would also have deprived the fighters of their greatest advantage, speed.

Finally, the Germans attacked from below because shooting in the dark announced your exact position more than it revealed your targets' location; therefore, a slow and careful approach was necessary, aided by the fact that the British largely neglected to install belly gun positions, and there wasn't a lot of tail standing in heavy 'twins' festooned with radar and tailwarning radar antennae. They used guns pointed upwards, called 'schrage muzik', I believe. They would spot the bomber, close carefully from beneath, and when the chances of missing with the upward pointing guns was very small, blew the hell out of it.

RAF night bomber losses were extremely high, and not least because in the darkness they were unable to obtain mutual defense by flying in tight formation.

cheers

horseback

leitmotiv
05-30-2006, 11:15 AM
Schrage Musik was the second stage of the underside attack tactics of the German night fighters, horseback. I will concede that hand-held rear gunners in highly maneuverable aircraft seem to be remarkably able to zap you given slight opportunities and while the pilot is frantically maneuvering.

totalspoon
06-01-2006, 06:40 PM
Kato was killed in one of the wierdest fights of WW2. A Blenhiem was sent long range recon from india following the coast deep into Japanese teritory. The airgunner who controlled the single vickers K-gun LMG was on his first ever combat mission. His name, I **** you not, was McLucky. On the return journey, they were spotted by the 3 Ki43's and dived to just above wave height to stop the enemy getting underneath them. The first Ki43 dived, McLucky fired and it went out of control straight into the water. Kato then dived on the Blenheim. Ace vs Rookie. Hand held Light Machine Gun with rough iron sites Vs one .5 and one .3 firmly mounted and aimed by reflector site. McLucky fired incredably setting Kato on fire. Kato pulled up but reliezing he was doomed, rolled over and dived into the water. The third Ki43 attacked. McLucky fired hitting it in the wing where-apon it broke off and returned home...

Maybe McLucky is manning the guns in Pacific Fighters. But while Mclucky might have been a crack shot, many gunners were not.

Ronald Dahl, author of charlie and the chocolate factory, attacked an entire formation of JU88's by himself during the Greek Campaign. Flying a Gloster Gladiator he incredibly slowly closed on the Germans from directly behind with the Germans firing the entire way. He finally got to medium range where he fired off all his ammo with little result before breaking off.

He managed to get away without a single hit despite the fact the germans had been shooting at him for 10 minutes.

Total Spoon

Snootles
06-01-2006, 09:15 PM
McLucky?! Talk about truth being stranger than fiction.

And the more I hear about Dahl, the more facsinating he sounds.

totalspoon
06-02-2006, 05:41 AM
Later on during the chaos of the retreat from Greece, Dahl's squadron (which was flying Hurricane by then) landed at a dirt strip to find no one there. Starving, not having had a decent meal in days, they collected all their cash and sent a couple of guys to the local town for food. They returned with some baskets of olives, some loaves of fresh baked bread and some local wine.

Dahl always said the the best meal he ever had was sitting under the wing of his hurricane with his mates eating nothing but olives, fresh bread and cheap wine...

I love that story... Totalspoon

PBNA-Boosher
06-02-2006, 10:15 PM
I know how you feel. I repeatedly am sniped from dead 3 or 9 O'Clock. Best way to deal is to sacrifice your wingies.