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View Full Version : bomber gunners should not be a concern or factor



Jumoschwanz
02-16-2004, 07:16 PM
On December 20th, 1942, 100 b-17s and B-24s of the 91st Bomb Group attacked the Luftwaffe service base at Romilly-serSeine, sixty miles southeast of Paris.

After the Spitfire escort turned back at Rouen, the bombers were attacked by II/JG26 and III/JG2 in relays for ONE HOUR. The last german fighters did not break off until the return escort was spotted over the channel. Five B-17s went down over France and thirty one sustained combat damage. INITIAL AMERICAN CLAIMES WERE OF 53 GERMAN FIGHTERS KILLED LATER REDUCED TO 21.

In fact only three german pilots were killed, and only four german fighters damaged beyond repair.

IN the history books this was the norm. The gunners in bombers in WWII were not a factor in bringing down fighter planes.

Sure the guns on bombers altered the manner in which the fighters could attack the formations. But they simply did not account for more than one percent of fighters shot down in WWII.
Now If I had the system that would let me attack 100 four engine bombers for an hour in Forgotten Battles do you think my odds on being hit would be as small as it is in the history books? 1% or 2%?

Gunners in IL2 and FB have always been ridiculously accurate. Their chances of a kill should be one or two percent, but most will agree that in this sim it is more like fifty-fifty. In the last stages of the old Il2 and early patches of FB the rear gunner of the sturmovik was probably eighty percent accurate.

So that is my third wish for FB and future sims, make the bomber gunners historically accurate, make them no concern at all.

Jumoschwanz

Jumoschwanz
02-16-2004, 07:16 PM
On December 20th, 1942, 100 b-17s and B-24s of the 91st Bomb Group attacked the Luftwaffe service base at Romilly-serSeine, sixty miles southeast of Paris.

After the Spitfire escort turned back at Rouen, the bombers were attacked by II/JG26 and III/JG2 in relays for ONE HOUR. The last german fighters did not break off until the return escort was spotted over the channel. Five B-17s went down over France and thirty one sustained combat damage. INITIAL AMERICAN CLAIMES WERE OF 53 GERMAN FIGHTERS KILLED LATER REDUCED TO 21.

In fact only three german pilots were killed, and only four german fighters damaged beyond repair.

IN the history books this was the norm. The gunners in bombers in WWII were not a factor in bringing down fighter planes.

Sure the guns on bombers altered the manner in which the fighters could attack the formations. But they simply did not account for more than one percent of fighters shot down in WWII.
Now If I had the system that would let me attack 100 four engine bombers for an hour in Forgotten Battles do you think my odds on being hit would be as small as it is in the history books? 1% or 2%?

Gunners in IL2 and FB have always been ridiculously accurate. Their chances of a kill should be one or two percent, but most will agree that in this sim it is more like fifty-fifty. In the last stages of the old Il2 and early patches of FB the rear gunner of the sturmovik was probably eighty percent accurate.

So that is my third wish for FB and future sims, make the bomber gunners historically accurate, make them no concern at all.

Jumoschwanz

Fillmore
02-16-2004, 07:35 PM
"So that is my third wish for FB and future sims, make the bomber gunners historically accurate, make them no concern at all."

How about you make the fighters' attacks upon bombers historically accurate? 100 bombers and only 5 were shot down? After 1 hour of continuous attack? Clearly they were not getting close enough for the bombers' defensive guns to play a significant role.

I believe it was Gunther Rall who said he never attacked a bomber group without being hit by at least 1 50cal round. And for every instance you can find of small casualties attacking large numbers of bombers, someone else can find an instance of large casualties being suffered.

"IN the history books this was the norm. The gunners in bombers in WWII were not a factor in bringing down fighter planes."

your own example contradicts this statement, in your example only 5 bombers were lost at a cost of 3-7 german fighters (you say 31 bombers sustained combat damage but no indication how many were beyond repair, though we built so many of those things I don't see that it matters to repair them).

"Their chances of a kill should be one or two percent, but most will agree that in this sim it is more like fifty-fifty. In the last stages of the old Il2 and early patches of FB the rear gunner of the sturmovik was probably eighty percent accurate."

An Il2's rear gunner has such a low chance of a kill because his firing arc sucks, not because his gun does no damage or he can't hit anything with it.

I agree there are a couple problems with AI gunners' routines, but I think instead of looking at how the defensive gunners fire as to why game results are different that IRL, you should instead look at how the fighters conduct their attacks.

Oso2323
02-16-2004, 08:20 PM
Something is rotten in Denmark when I whiz by a fw-189 at 90 degree angle doing 600kmph and am killed by a single burst from the gunner's 7.92mm pop-gun!

clint-ruin
02-16-2004, 08:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Fillmore:
"So that is my third wish for FB and future sims, make the bomber gunners historically accurate, make them no concern at all."

How about you make the fighters' attacks upon bombers historically accurate? 100 bombers and only 5 were shot down? After 1 hour of continuous attack? Clearly they were not getting close enough for the bombers' defensive guns to play a significant role.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The size of the interception force is not given.

The 'relay' size and times are not given.

The damage to LW planes is not given, nor are we told if the 3 pilot deaths are seperate from the aircraft losses.

5 bomber kills in one hour hints at a very, very cautious approach to attacking the bombers. German casualties are either 7 or 4 depending on what the real information is as to their losses, for 5 confirmed bomber kills.

That is not a spectacular ratio by any measure. If the report is correct then these are losses solely to bomber gunners with no fighter escort, over the period of an hour.

As Oleg and many others have mentioned, it is quite easy to destroy 4 bombers all by yourself with no backup of any kind in just a few minutes, at most.

People would do much better to spend more time experimenting with their attacks in the game than spend time *****ing about it.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

Kampfmeister
02-16-2004, 09:03 PM
I remember having much the same problems while playing the old CFS2. The defensive gunners on the bombers were murder, especially on the Betty's. I don't mind so much getting hit by the bomber's gunners, it's just that when I do, it's usually only a couple of rounds that hit my ac, but those few rounds either seriously damage my engine, controls, or kill me outright. It is especially frustrating when getting hit by defensive fire from the small rifle caliber bullets of the German bombers. They on the other hand having taking almost everything I can throw at them, with engines smoking, fuel leaking, damaged control surfaces everywhere etc..., and fly away no worse for wear unless I hit them in the sweet spot.

Yeah, I know I suck http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif Now reverse the roles, and I'm the gunner on the bomber, and I pour everything I have at the opposing fighter at close range, I'm lucky if I can damage his engine most times just to drive him off before he gets me.

Like I said, I really don't mind getting hit now and again, but their accuracy is uncanny. Like somebody mentioned on another thread, they are sniper gunners. Well I guess I'd better just keep practicing.

maverick7614
02-16-2004, 09:20 PM
Hey oso, don't you mean that the reargunners shot a 7.62mm round. I could be wrong about this, but I've never heard of the 7.92mm. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/mockface.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/crazy.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

http://aa.1asphost.com/Niklamort/06022004/Hard-day-over-berlin.JPG

ASH at S-MART
02-16-2004, 09:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jumoschwanz:
So that is my third wish for FB and future sims, make the bomber gunners historically accurate, make them no concern at all.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The day a sim can model 100 B17's in formation is the day I will agree with you.. But until then, the realitys of sims is there is a scale factor envolved.. ie SCALED DOWN!! Therefore, we only see about 10 or so B17s in formation i.e. about 1/10th... Knowing this up front.. sim makers have been know to SCALE UP things like bombers weapons effective ness and aim.. And here we are! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

On that note.. I would like to see the current poly count of aircraft be held to what it is in IL2 and just use the extra PC and vid card power to put more aircraft in the air.. Instead of more detailed aricraft.

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg

clint-ruin
02-16-2004, 09:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I would like to see the current poly count of aircraft be held to what it is in IL2 and just use the extra PC and vid card power to put more aircraft in the air.. Instead of more detailed aricraft.

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The amount of aircraft FB can support is in the 10s of thousands.

The limit is CPU/FSB speed and RAM rather than a limit in the FB code.

Polygon counts can be manually controlled using the object detail/draw distance settings.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

WUAF_Badsight
02-16-2004, 09:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
As Oleg and many others have mentioned, it is quite easy to destroy 4 bombers all by yourself with no backup of any kind in just a few minutes, at most. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


its also not hard to get PK at 600 Kmh on the first pass from the first AI burst flying past one bomber

whats your point Clint ?

Kampfmeister
02-16-2004, 09:55 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by maverick7614:
__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________
Hey oso, don't you mean that the reargunners shot a 7.62mm round. I could be wrong about this, but I've never heard of the 7.92mm. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/mockface.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/crazy.gif http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________

No, he is right. He is talking about a German reconnaissance aircraft. The German small arms caliber was 7.92mm while the Russians had 7.62mm caliber weapons. Russian heavy mgs would have been 12.7mm while the Germans would have had 13mm.

clint-ruin
02-16-2004, 10:19 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WUAF_Badsight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
As Oleg and many others have mentioned, it is quite easy to destroy 4 bombers all by yourself with no backup of any kind in just a few minutes, at most. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


its also not hard to get PK at 600 Kmh on the first pass from the first AI burst flying past one bomber

whats your point Clint ?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Since you've been kind enough to tell us your agenda, I think it's pretty clear what you would find satisfactory.

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=63110913&m=318104612&r=847106612#847106612
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
it should be biased for the player
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Those who are able to stand up to the AIs gunnery as-is - and depend on it to make even slightly realistic missions in the FMB - don't seem to have any such desire.

Playing from any flyable bomber with a gunner position will make it clear to you just how easy it is to hit a target that 'hangs' in midair with no relative movement to the gunner station.

It does not matter how fast the target is going, other than reducing the total firing time at the target.

For a frontal approach:

600km/h interceptor speed + ~330km/h bomber speed = ~930km/h x 0.000277777778 = ~258 metres per second.

+ 884m/s Browning M2 muzzle velocity

= ~1142 metres per second combined speed of impact.

884m/s is just one figure I've found for the M2s speed, most sites seem to quote between 780 and 930m/s.

You should not be at all surprised if a .50 cal bullet travelling at ~1100-1200m/s penetrates through frontal or cockpit armor of any WW2 fighter plane. You also seem to be surprised that a gunner is able to hit you at point blank range as you pass by the formation.

Try attacking in either a slight climb, slight dive, or 15-20 degrees off centre at the bombers. Straight down the middle can indeed work, but every time it's done it's rolling the dice on getting hit one more time.

You need to lengthen the odds against the gunners.

As you have already been asked to do more than once, reading the thread http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=400102&f=23110283&m=41610019&r=21110149#21110149 would probably clear up a lot of your misconceptions.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

Achilles97
02-16-2004, 10:26 PM
I'm not saying the gunners are too accurate, but it's seems hard for to damage anything with my 109's machine guns, but I've often been severely damaged by a few hits from a bomber's .50 cals. Maybe the damage of the bombers guns are too high?

WUAF_Badsight
02-16-2004, 10:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
Bla Bla Bla .... bullet speed ...... Bla Bla Bla <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ok another thread you jump into with ZERO PROOF posted about real world gunner accuracy

many have given you REAL WORLD accounts but oh no .... its not enuff for Clint-Ruin , as he knows better

tell how you could justify AI accuracy Clint .... what they manage isnt just sniper shots ..... its in the realm of laser guided GPS tracked one-in-a-million shots

& it happens every time you boot up FB

not realistic ................. not by half

ASH at S-MART
02-16-2004, 10:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
The amount of aircraft FB can support is in the 10s of thousands. The limit is CPU/FSB speed and RAM rather than a limit in the FB code.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Never said it wasnt.. Never said it was

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
Polygon counts can be manually controlled using the object detail/draw distance settings.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Never said you couldnt.. Never said you could...

All I tried to say is this...

I would like to see the current poly count of aircraft in IL-2 used in BoB..

Put another way..

I would like to see the MAX detail of the aircraft in IL-2 used in BoB.

Thus allowing the sim to use the EXTRA PC and Video Card power to put MORE aircraft in the sky instead MORE DETAILED aircraft.

The reasoning is that by the time BoB comes out we will have faster PC's and faster Video Cards.. Use that extra power to put 100+ aircraft in the air.. At IL2FB detail levels instead of 10+ aircraft in the air.. At TWO or THREE times the detail levels of IL2FB

There.. I said it in more detail and in three differnt ways..

SUMMARY.. MORE aircraft NOT MORE DETAILED aircraft.. In that I feel that IL2FB detail is good to go!

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg

pourshot
02-16-2004, 11:16 PM
What I hate about AI gunners is they are able to shoot at angles impossible in the real aircraft,for example try shooting at a stuka from the six and low the buggers must have flexable gun barrels.

Also the AI gunners seem almost bullet proof sure you kill one every now and then but sometimes you can concentrate your shots around a gunner and he escapes unhurt then to add insult to injury he can fire a short burst back at you and get a instant PK.

So for me it's not that the gunners hit my plane it's more to do with how they shoot and what they hit when doing it.

I mean how often do they hit something other than your engine or pilot?

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~andycarroll68/mybaby.jpeg.JPG
Ride It Like Ya Stole It

clint-ruin
02-16-2004, 11:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I mean how often do they hit something other than your engine or pilot?

http://members.optusnet.com.au/~andycarroll68/mybaby.jpeg.JPG
Ride It Like Ya Stole It<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Quite often, when given the chance.

Turn arcade mode on and take a look.

Hits to the engine, cockpit and fuselage area tend to happen when those areas present the largest target area to a bomber.

Look at a front or side plan view of a plane and tell me what percentage of the visible area you think is made of wings or the tailplane.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

LEXX_Luthor
02-16-2004, 11:34 PM
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif Forget it ASH_SMART, Corporations advertise their flight sims with Grafix and the Noob game Reviewers review only Grafix. That's all they have time for.

~ http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ~


__________________
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:
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clint-ruin
02-16-2004, 11:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
SUMMARY.. MORE aircraft NOT MORE DETAILED aircraft.. In that I feel that IL2FB detail is good to go!

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry about that - I had no idea you were talking about BOB since BOB appears absolutely nowhere in your post. The original poster said "FB and future sims", and I was simply pointing out that everything you ask for is already part of FB.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

TgD-Sammie
02-16-2004, 11:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Sure the guns on bombers altered the manner in which the fighters could attack the formations. But they simply did not account for more than one percent of fighters shot down in WWII.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Where did you get that from??

Thanks,
Sammie

Jumoschwanz
02-17-2004, 12:23 AM
So how about someone coming up with an actual event of WWII like I did to back up their words? It is not like I read one paragraph of one book and came up with the history of WWII. When the escorts were not around and it was just the bombers and the axis fighters the germans did not get shot down.

Come up with an instance where the a unescorted bomber box decimated the german air force ok?

It has always been obvious the gunners in the Il2 series have had too much talent. I just compared the sim to historical gunners and stated my wish for more realism in a few areas.

Thanks for all the constructive replies,


Jumo

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 12:36 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jumoschwanz:
So how about someone coming up with an actual event of WWII like I did to back up their words? It is not like I read one paragraph of one book and came up with the history of WWII. When the escorts were not around and it was just the bombers and the axis fighters the germans did not get shot down.

Come up with an instance where the a unescorted bomber box decimated the german air force ok?

It has always been obvious the gunners in the Il2 series have had too much talent. I just compared the sim to historical gunners and stated my wish for more realism in a few areas.

Thanks for all the constructive replies,


Jumo<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think your account is more than satisfactory to support what we see in FB. The missing data, such as total LW aircraft damaged, and the size and duration of each relayed wave would help nail it down further. Nonetheless, thanks for posting it, historical accounts are always worthwhile.

As I mentioned, 5 kills in one hour for 4 or 7 losses - against bombers with absolutely no escort - hints at incredibly careful, cautious attacks.

We can infer from a lot of German actions just how strong the defensive fire from the B17 was.

Things such as:

The astounding amount of R&D poured into standoff, large cal weaponry.

Use of standoff rockets.

Withdrawal of the BF-109 from direct bomber interception due to it being too fragile to withstand the defensive fire.

The addition of extra armour to the engine and cockpit area of the FW190A9 and the refit of the A8 to include this for bomber interception.

The development of tactics that stressed minimising the time spent in the gunners fields of fire - frontal area attacks, taking on planes at the extreme bottom or ends of the bomber formations, etc.

If gunner fire was nothing to worry about or unimportant - could you suggest an alternative theory for each of these things being done?

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

pourshot
02-17-2004, 01:23 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:

Look at a front or side plan view of a plane and tell me what percentage of the visible area you think is made of wings or the tailplane.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Seeing you like to answer with questions how about you tell me what percentage of the pilot is not covered by either engine or armour be it metal or armour glass from dead ahead then calculate how large a target that represents at say 200 yards then tell me what the odds are of getting a PK when both the shooter and target are wizzing around the sky at 300mph.

Then tell me why the odds of a kill this way fails to work for both the human player and the AI tail gunners.

I'am not a idiot I do understand the finner points of gunnery both in this game and IRL,but if you think the AI gunnery is close to the real deal then I'am sorry we are not playing the same game

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Ride It Like Ya Stole It

Destraex
02-17-2004, 02:02 AM
I have noticed uncanny AI gunnery also but do get in very close to my targets. I have noticed that I cannot seem to damage fighters fromthe Bomber gun positions very easily either, even when pouring fire into the front of the enemy fighter at point blank. They seem to float behind my HE111 dorsal turret for an eternity taking fire. I have also observed that it is pretty hard to get killed as an Bomber gunner.
THe AI fighters do not tend to target gunners but rather the wings and the tail.

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 02:21 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pourshot:

Seeing you like to answer with questions how about you tell me what percentage of the pilot is not covered by either engine or armour be it metal or armour glass from dead ahead then calculate how large a target that represents at say 200 yards then tell me what the odds are of getting a PK when both the shooter and target are wizzing around the sky at 300mph.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


If you can find me a reference to transparent glass armor - including that made to this day - that guarantees stopping a .50 cal bullet please let me know. As far as I am aware, cockpit glass of the era was only resistant to rifle caliber weapons. The FW190 may be a special case due to having 60mm of front armoured glass at a very steep angle, maybe enough to deflect a bullet, but not stop it.

So the area of the pilot 'protected' becomes the area sitting behind the engine, only. Bear in mind that the directed turret fire from B-17s around the individual targetted bomber is quite likely to impact all along the sides of the interceptor as well.

So now we're down to calculating how much it matters if the tail/belly/dorsal turret can't hit the pilot in the eye. Unfortuntely - the protection by the engine is unlikely to matter to the other 15 bombers in the specific box, or indeed the other 99 in the raid, which have a firing angle on the plane that completely removes the engine as being valid pilot armor. Much harder to shoot at the interceptor from those gunners point of view, but if there's say, 4 x 15 gunners in the immediate area able to draw a bead, the sheer weight of fire makes each individual gunners aim less relevant.

To answer the question about how likely pilot kills were I would point you to the design of the interception-specific build of the FW190, the A9.

Additional 30mm glass panels were fitted to the cockpit panels, and additional [5mm?] armored plates were attached to the sides of the cockpit.

Neither of these additions were to the frontal armour of the plane specifically - they were added to the sides to protect the pilot from directed gun turret fire. The interceptor marks became so heavy that they required their own fighter escort. If the chances of hitting the pilot were as small as you seem to suggest then this would have been a useless addition, needlessly weighing down the plane and making it easy meat for escorts.

It was in reality so useless that the additional armor was refitted and used on A8 interceptors as well.

The old apocryphal story of how B17s were armored comes to mind again. Damaged B17s were alledgedly inspected for the exact location of hits, but rather than recommend armor plating the areas that had suffered the worst damage, the assessment teams did the opposite. They recommended armouring the areas that no returned planes were damaged in, because those planes were obviously not making it back.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Then tell me why the odds of a kill this way fails to work for both the human player and the AI tail gunners.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is actually somewhat of a complaint for me as well - three things actually. The first is that bullet deflection seems to kick in far too much for AP rounds when targetting gunners - as far as I am aware the B17 wasn't even proof against a screwdriver being pushed into most of its skin, meaning most AP rounds should make a nice neat hole and keep on going through.

The second is that it would appear from arcade mode that no concussive effect is modelled from HE ammunition. If a piece of shrapnel doesn't hit a gunner dead on, it doesn't count for anything.

This of course is something that benefits the pilot of the interceptor as well, though.

The third thing that is somewhat annoying is that AI gunners do not seem to suffer from ammunition use at all. I can understand this from a coding point of view - adding in an extra 8 x 3 digit counters per AI bomber would be an immense bloat in terms of memory use. It does remove the known LW tactic of making rookie gunners shoot off their rounds, then closing for the kill in an unprotected sector of the plane. This is however a very cautious tactic that I doubt many would have the patience to use, even if it could be done.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I'am not a idiot I do understand the finner points of gunnery both in this game and IRL,but if you think the AI gunnery is close to the real deal then I'am sorry we are not playing the same game<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think you're an idiot, I just think your view of how bomber interception should work seems to be completely at odds with the LWs perspective of taking on the 8th. A great mahy people seem to expect to be able to charge in and kill half a formation by themselves in a few runs - something that is actually quite possible to do in FB currently, but only if you are very picky about making your attacks.

To me an analogy of it is like playing a WW1 simulation and having people complain that they can't storm multiple machine-gun nests all by themselves. Should you expect to?

edit: stupid quote tags

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

[This message was edited by clint-ruin on Tue February 17 2004 at 01:49 AM.]

Destraex
02-17-2004, 03:00 AM
You should expect to if you have local superiority in your Trench RAIDing party rater than on your own.

I say this because I think of it more like;

You approach a lone Bomber from one angle, its a German Bomber with only one machine gun in each turret, say one 7.92 fires at you from the Dorsal while the others cannot get a Bead becasue of the angle.
You bounce in with your two cannons and 6 machnine guns or so from 200m but the rear gunners first shot takes your engine out.

You had local superiority but it has been negated because the enemy is a rapidfire superhuman sniper with a pea shooter.

I understand your point was attacking a formation of Bombers here, but believe the point is more one of AI accuracy in being able to hit vital components of your aircraft almost immediately rather than one of attacking a huge formation and expecting to come out unscathed.

My main beef is as above, one shot and your gone. Imagine if enemy fighters always killed with the first burst.

pourshot
02-17-2004, 03:06 AM
When did I ever mention the .50cal? I was talking stukas remember

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Ride It Like Ya Stole It

Slush69
02-17-2004, 03:44 AM
I don't get it. I regularly attack bomber formations, and occasionally I get hit, but I've never, ever experienced those 1 hit PK's some are complaining about.

cheers/slush

http://www.wilcks.dk/crap/Eurotrolls.gif

MandMs
02-17-2004, 03:53 AM
First off, 100 bombers would not be all firing together at the attacking fighters.

There would be 5 groupings of bombers as in this late '42 formation.

http://www.b17bomber.de/english/formation_04.jpg
or
http://www.b17bomber.de/english/formation_05.jpg

There would be approx 1.5 miles between the above groups.

http://www.b17bomber.de/english/formation_06.jpg


The fisrt Schweinfurt/Regensburg raid showed that bombers were incapable of defending themselves.

"August 17, 1943

Schweinfurt-Regensburg Raid: The US Army Air Force launches a dangerous and complicated raid on German ball bearing factories. The plan called for one group of bombers to hit Schwienfurt while another hit Regensburg. It was thought that the timing would confuse the German fighter defenses and reduce the risk to the unescorted bombers. IN the end, the staggered targeting resulted in a huge delay between the raids, allowing the German fighter defenses to land and rearm between raids. The result was a disaster. Of the 230 bombers sent against Schweinfurt, only 184 hit the city and 36 were shot down. Similar results occurred against Regensburg as 24 of the 146 bombers in that group were shot down. In all, 8th Air Force lost nearly 550 men that day. This was a particularly bitter defeat because bomb damage assessment concluded that the bombing was very inaccurate and the factories not severely damaged. Thankfully, the American air commanders had finally seen the folly of long-range unescorted bombing missions."

Destraex
02-17-2004, 04:03 AM
When you do notice you get hit do you ever have a look to see if you were hit anywhere else.

ie bullet holes in the wing.

Ankanor
02-17-2004, 04:18 AM
To answer the original "bomber gunners should not be a factor/concern", pardon me, but they should be. Edit-they are a factor when you have 32 bombers in box formation, covering and supporting each other. But even then, if no fighter escort was present, chances were getting much lower. If I remember right, initially it was thought that Flying fortresses(my greatest concern in FB) could effectively defend themselves in large groups without fighter cover. It is not the best example, but After the famous Tidel Wave operation(yes a lot of other things went wrong that day, but it does not decimate the fact that half of the attackers did not made it back) Perhaps someone here could enlighten us on the numbers of the fighters present-my sources say about 50 german and romanian fighters, a lot of them being Me110. After the attack on Ploest, the returning bombers(most of them having wounded or killed crew members) were attacked by 2 pairs of Bulgarian fighters. 2 were downed by Lt. Stoyanov, √¬ļsing a head on, 1 was badly hurt by Lt. Bonev and later bellylanded in Macedonia, 2 more were shot down by Lt. Botchev and Lt. Krustev. Lt. Botchev attacked from low 6, was hit multiple times but the bomber he attacked simply exploded in midair. Only one crew member-the tail gunner of the Liberator survived because he had his parachute on when he was thrown out by the explosion.

Clint, most of the people here are concerned not about being hit when attacking a 20+ group of B-17s, but about being PKd by the super sniper of the lone B-17 that they were attacking at 600 kmh. And before you tell me about the relative velocity, 300 kmh is about 83m/s, not concerning the angles and deflections a gunner has to compute.
Also, preferable attack of the Rammjager was the group attack by say 8 planes flying very close to each other, attacking the bombers from 6 o'clock slightly above, shallow diving on the the box below, firing when they "saw the whites of the enemy's eyes", about 150m was the best range. Head on was a difficult attack that was used mainly by experienced pilots and it was preferred when the fighters were separate, not flying in groups.

http://server4.uploadit.org/files2/101203-delphinche.jpg
Some things are worth fighting for.

SeaFireLIV
02-17-2004, 04:23 AM
Bombers gunners are accurate (though they have been toned down fom v. 10 FB, they used to ALWAYS get headshots, incredibly annoying it was).

But I like it how it is now. In previous flight sims (EAW, PAW, CFS3 http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif) I would saunter up to the bomber to its six, watch it shoot me ineffectively and shoot it down. In FB 1.22 I really have to THINK before I attack. I have learned to attack a bomber at SPEED from different angles and only when the gunner is dead do I know I can follow from the rear safely.

It`s taught me to be a BETTER pilot and to respect the gunners. As pilots had to. I think for FB, it needs this or it will simply be too easy and then go to the other scale in not being realistic.

SeaFireLIV...

http://img12.photobucket.com/albums/v31/SeaFireLIV/LAlowblue.jpg

Destraex
02-17-2004, 04:28 AM
SeaFireLIV I agree with you, I like it the way it i.

However I can see what other people are complaining about as explained in earlier posts.

Ankanor
02-17-2004, 04:45 AM
I also agree, SeaFireLIV. You have to think before you attack. but gunners fire should not be so accurate in terms of instant PKs or one engine-killing shot. What about the wings?
On a side note, there was a film about the Vietnam war and in one scene the Vietkong soldiers were mortaring a boat with a few americans and an Elephant in it. the first was a miss, the second also and one of the americans says "I have been in a mortar squad, they will hit us on the fifth time."-Gunners should correct their aim.
http://server4.uploadit.org/files2/101203-delphinche.jpg
Some things are worth fighting for.

[This message was edited by Ankanor on Tue February 17 2004 at 03:55 AM.]

HansKnappstick
02-17-2004, 05:36 AM
I suppose the gunners have been made that effective in order to give lone bombers a chance. I know, lone bombers did not have any chance historically, but it is impossible right now to have 100 or so of bombers flying in our game. So perhaps one can think of that lone bomber one sees as of a whole formation, a surrogate for that at least. In this way, the effectiveness of this bomber's gunners becomes a perceived sumaric effectiveness of the whole formation.

Friendly_flyer
02-17-2004, 06:31 AM
Hi!

At first I too was a bit set back by the deadly accurate gunners. Then I decided to see how this looks from the opposite side, letting the AI-pilot deal with a He-111, and manning the guns myself. It was good fun too!

The result was coming home with 1-3 downed veteran or ace Hurricane Is every time. Off coerce, my bomber fell down every now and then too, but against fighters armed only with MGs, a hand-aimed MG is very effective. With cannons, the fighters have the possibility to stay out of range of the gunners, at the cost of not doing much damage themselves. The story of the German fighters following the B-17s (which are some tough mothers and don't come down easily) seems to fall very much into what I experienced. The B-17s even had better guns, 12,7 X 99 Browning (.50 BMG), opposed to me and my 7,92 X 57 (8mm Mauser) in the Heinkel.

Here's a shot of the German ammo, for those with an interest in such things:

http://www.municion.org/pintes/792sencera.jpg

Fly friendly!

Petter B√¬łckman
Norway

Oso2323
02-17-2004, 09:23 AM
Here's an idea: try simulating some of the great bomber massacres of WWII. Now I don't mean the Schweinfurt raid or anything with B-17's - it's too large to recreate effectively. No, try to simulate those times when squadrons of Hurricanes caught unescorted Stukas, or when P-40's caught Me-323's and Ju-52's off Tunisia. You should be able to pull it off without losing a single plane - but I doubt very much that you will be able to in this game.

And as far as the argument about increasing gunner effectiveness to simulate a formation of 100 bombers, what happens to your realism when you just want to intercept a single recon plane?

Something strange BTW: I've noticed that running identical missions in similar planes (i.e. 109G6as/G-10/G-14) yields different results. No, I didn't change my tactics. The G-14 seems to be the most vulnerable of the lot (i.e. was a magnet for rear gunner lead). Haven't fully tested this out yet - but it's wierd.

[This message was edited by Oso2323 on Tue February 17 2004 at 08:32 AM.]

[This message was edited by Oso2323 on Tue February 17 2004 at 08:33 AM.]

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 09:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ankanor:
Clint, most of the people here are concerned not about being hit when attacking a 20+ group of B-17s, but about being PKd by the super sniper of the lone B-17 that they were attacking at 600 kmh. And before you tell me about the relative velocity, 300 kmh is about 83m/s, not concerning the angles and deflections a gunner has to compute.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The reason I keep restating the speed of impact is because it is quite obvious people are somehow expecting pilot armor or armored glass to stop those kinds of rounds impacting at those kinds of speeds. The very fact that you seem to find this irrelevant is a bit of a worry as far as your career as an intercept pilot goes :&gt;

The surprise at PKs is quite evident. If the angle of impact on the interceptor intersects the pilot at all, you really have too much faith in 1940s aircraft armor if you expect it to stop a .50 cal round from a B17 turret, a UBT gun, or in the case of most early war fighters even a pair of MG17s is likely to start punching holes pretty quickly.


Do you really think it matters how fast an interceptor is going going if there was no or only a minimal angle to lead on? You know those kids who hang over freeways and are perfectly able to hit cars with a booger - intercepting a target travelling at 100kmh with a projectile travelling at a max of 9.8m/s2? How do you think they do it? Evidently those kids are considered some kind of super sniper crack shots who should get themselves down to a recruitment office immediately.

The only thing the speed influences is the total time a gunner has to fire on the target. Which is a very good thing to try and reduce, but it still presents a fairly simple firing solution to compute unless the interceptor also makes the gunner station pull lead.

As I have mentioned countless times by now, the best thing you can do to improve your attacks is to use the track playback feature of FB. Watch your attack runs from the bombers perspective and get an impression of which of your runs make the gunners work the hardest to pull lead. Other tactical choices such as coming in from the sides at high speed, or 'blocking' turrets from firing at you by putting a B-17 between you and the rest of the formation, are also good to use.

As Friendly_Fire has mentioned, the other good thing to do is check out a gunners station yourself, and get an impression of which attacks are the most difficult to fend off. Then use them yourself.

[/quote]
Also, preferable attack of the Rammjager was the group attack by say 8 planes flying very close to each other, attacking the bombers from 6 o'clock slightly above, shallow diving on the the box below, firing when they "saw the whites of the enemy's eyes", about 150m was the best range. Head on was a difficult attack that was used mainly by experienced pilots and it was preferred when the fighters were separate, not flying in groups.
[/QUOTE]

This is also a sound tactic to use in FB.

A shallow dive on a bomber formation from above minimises the number of turrets you are exposed to [dorsal+tail] at one time, and a shallow dive angle means that quite a lot of lead must be pulled on the target from the gunner stations.

The use of group tactics as opposed to solo runs in this form of attack also hints at the Sturmjager/Rammjager trying to minimise the fire any one individual interceptor would be exposed to by giving the gunners more than one target, distributing the fire.

Absolutely everything I have read indicates that the LW took the B17s defensive fire very seriously and did just about everything possible to minimise their exposure to it.

The other factor that is not being quoted in the historical accounts is B-17 losses to flak. I should hardly consider this surprising since this tends to be the other focus of "it's too hard to avoid" style complaints.

Certainly most B-17 crewmembers seemed to hate flak worse than fighters :&gt;

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

gates123
02-17-2004, 10:56 AM
Yeah this whole sniper thing needs to be addressed by 1c. Myself and my wingman were on last night, we were in la-5's attacking a lone he-111. I was in the lead and had to dodge a few rds to get into my convergence which was 150m. As soon as I got the shot I took it and flamed the right motor at about the 4'oclock low. As soon as the motor was flamed I was immediatly Pk'd. My wingmen came in after me flamed the left motor and was instantly pk'd. This is not reality. I can deal with some structural damage but this whole instant PK thing just isnt tolerable and needs to be addressed... OLEG!!!! I would have a better chance of to live if I just flew a storch with a shotgun hanging out the window.

http://gr.fipu.krasnoyarsk.edu/camms/archive/ww2_fighters/0112/pics/0112_2_1.jpg
Did anyone see that or was it just me?

yarbles67
02-17-2004, 11:09 AM
We all know the AI gunnery in Il:FB is absurd. Nobody wants a cake walk but nobody wants to loose a 20 mission guy that did all the right things in an attack only to have a gunner fire a magic bb through the fuselage of his bomber as it was diving away from you in an 11 G dive. If you park on the *** of a plane, then you should die. If you perform a 600 km/hr dive on a tail end charlie at a 90 degree attack angle, you shouldn't even get touched.

horseback
02-17-2004, 12:24 PM
Comparison of RL situations to in-game situations, even playing as a gunner, ignores the realities of trying to stand, or sit, or lie down in a moving, vibrating, bouncing aircraft, particularly a maneauvering vibrating, bouncing aircraft, in a 300kph wind (in open gunner's pits) and hitting ANYTHING. We don't even have to factor in the extreme physical discomfort and the effects of stress on marksmanship for the average gunner in air combat.

Jumo's initial example was taken from early in the heavy bomber campaign, when the Jagdewaffe was still trying to adjust their aim to the sheer size of the B-17s and B-24s, which were MUCH larger than the British mediums that were the largest things they had seen before. They found themselves opening up as much as three times as far away as they thought.

Generally speaking, though, results of unescorted raids seemed to support the idea that gunners in turrets or at flexible mounts were still generally ineffective, regardless of their guns' caliber. German pilots learned to avoid the relative danger of the tail gunners' fire and still bore in close enough to do serious damage (remember, the B-17's tail guns were relatively limited in their horizontal range of movement, and the aiming apparatus on flexible mounts was crude compared to the reflector sights on fighters).

In fact, by mid-1943, German interception tactics had become much more effective, and only the introduction of long ranged fighter escorts allowed the daylight bombing campaign to continue.

My point is that the gunners' stations would be considered clumsy and inefficient even in a stationary position; in flight, they were orders of magnitude harder to shoot from even at targets 'hanging in the air' relative to them. This has never been addressed in this or any other air combat sim that I've played, and as a result, I tend to dread, skip over or avoid the unrealistic missions calling for me to be shot to rags by German or Russian Davey Crockett trick shooters from as far away as 600m, a range a good marksman on the ground would have problems hitting me or my engine from in that seat/sling/hole in the belly/turret position. There's no fun in this, and I play this game for pleasure, not out of masochism (I have an ex-wife to satisfy that particular need).

Maybe there's a loophole approach that some of you 'experten' have stumbled upon, but for the rest of us, the whole bomber-gunner sniper issue sucks a lot of the realism out of the game, and we can't justify historical accounts with the results we get from using historic tactics.

I'm with Jumo on this. It needs to be fixed.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

Capt._Tenneal
02-17-2004, 12:58 PM
Since Schweinfurt has been used as a reference of unescorted bomber losses, I looked for an article
http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com/20040209_3.htm

to see any mention of LW fighter losses in the same battle, and found out that the LW didn't get off easy themselves losing 100 fighters, according to the above.

In RL, at least, it's all "common sense" to me : if a bomber's defensive armament was really ineffective to the tune of only 1-2 % fighter losses, then Hap Arnold, Bomber Harris or their Soviet equivalent would have just done away with the turrets altogether. It might have even saved some weight.

Blutarski2004
02-17-2004, 01:02 PM
Some quick thoughts -

Bomber defensive fire can generally be considered as aimed fire only in the sense that a gunner is reacting to and pointing his guns in the general direction of a target. Unless responding to an attack from the 5-7 o'clock zone, bomber gunners as a rule faced high deflection and/or high closure rate targets. High closure rate is as difficult a problem as high deflection, even for 50cal. Fighters shot down by bomber defensive fire probably inadvertently flew into bullet streams as often as they fell victim to an actual aimed shot.

Consider it from this point of view. Assume ten fighters make a head-on attack pass against a box of 36 B-17's and lose two to defensive fire. Assume that half the B-17 gun positions get a shot. 36 x 6 / 2 = 108 gunners shooting to score two real kills. This is less than 2 percent efficiency. Maybe an additional 4 or 6 percent will cause some damage without shooting down the fighter. Take this to a single fighter versus single bomber scenario and draw your own conclusions about how dangerous the defensive fire of a single bomber ought to be.

OTOH, another problem with virtually representing the effects of bomber defensive fire is that in real life the deterrent effect is at least as important an any likely damage effect. Real pilots react with fear when fired upon and it has been demonstrated that the act of firing upon an attacker will likely reduce the effect of the attack by more than half. Virtual pilots are largely immune to this fear factor. How does one deal with this? Maybe by just reducing the effect of fighter to bomber gunnery by half?

BLUTARSKI

SeaFireLIV
02-17-2004, 01:18 PM
IMHO, saying (in the title) that Bomber gunners should not be a concern or factor is very mistaken. The poster seems to imply that bomber gunners should be as ineffective as though they were none there at all.

OF COURSE they should be a concern and a factor. Perhaps toned down a little, but still a threat. (Like I said I like them how they are in FB, my fear is they`ll be made too weak if fiddled with any more).

The point of bomber gunners in WWII was not that they were ineffective, but they simply were not as effective as original expected. The idea was that bombers were supposed to defend themselves without any need for fighters.

But when discovered they couldn`t defend themselves very well alone, they never removed the gunners/guns to make them faster. The gunners were still able to give fighters a difficult time. So they should always be a concern/factor.

SeaFireLIV...

http://img12.photobucket.com/albums/v31/SeaFireLIV/LAlowblue.jpg

MandMs
02-17-2004, 01:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Capt._Tenneal:
Since Schweinfurt has been used as a reference of unescorted bomber losses, I looked for an article
http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com/20040209_3.htm

to see any mention of LW fighter losses in the same battle, and found out that the LW didn't get off easy themselves losing 100 fighters, according to the above.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Are those USAAF claims? I can't find the numbers of LW losses right now but it was not what you have shown.

There was over 300 LW fighters involved so that would mean 1/3 of the LW a/c were shot down. Units taking part were JG 1, 2, 3, 11, 26, 27, 50, 51, ZG 26. Some of these had combat with the escort fighters before they had to turn back and with them again when the bomber were picked up on the return to England.

ps "October 14, 1943: The US 8th Air Force delivers a heavy attack against the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt but at a heavy price: of the original force of 291 B-17's, 198 are either shot down or damaged beyond repair, while the Luftwaffe lost about 40 fighter planes. German forces evacuate the Zaporoshe bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnepr river."

http://www.feldgrau.com/october.html

[This message was edited by MandMs on Tue February 17 2004 at 12:59 PM.]

Slammin_
02-17-2004, 01:52 PM
I certainly won't dispute the renowned accuracy and effectiveness of the AI gunners, but as was already noted, SCALE is the mechanism at play here.

Just to make yourself feel better, the next time you run up against a B-17, use your imagination and picture that single bomber as a group of, oh, lets say 16 bombers, and proceed accordingly.

I personally do not want to see the AI guns watered down, since I already have a great imagination.

rick_475
02-17-2004, 02:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jumoschwanz:
On December 20th, 1942, 100 b-17s and B-24s of the 91st Bomb Group attacked the Luftwaffe service base at Romilly-serSeine, sixty miles southeast of Paris.

After the Spitfire escort turned back at Rouen, the bombers were attacked by II/JG26 and III/JG2 in relays for ONE HOUR. The last german fighters did not break off until the return escort was spotted over the channel. Five B-17s went down over France and thirty one sustained combat damage. INITIAL AMERICAN CLAIMES WERE OF 53 GERMAN FIGHTERS KILLED LATER REDUCED TO 21.

In fact only three german pilots were killed, and only four german fighters damaged beyond repair.

IN the history books this was the norm. The gunners in bombers in WWII were not a factor in bringing down fighter planes.

Sure the guns on bombers altered the manner in which the fighters could attack the formations. But they simply did not account for more than one percent of fighters shot down in WWII.
Now If I had the system that would let me attack 100 four engine bombers for an hour in Forgotten Battles do you think my odds on being hit would be as small as it is in the history books? 1% or 2%?

Gunners in IL2 and FB have always been ridiculously accurate. Their chances of a kill should be one or two percent, but most will agree that in this sim it is more like fifty-fifty. In the last stages of the old Il2 and early patches of FB the rear gunner of the sturmovik was probably eighty percent accurate.

So that is my third wish for FB and future sims, make the bomber gunners historically accurate, make them no concern at all.

Jumoschwanz<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think you have a good point. I'm not a gun expert, but it seems odd that there's no recoil when I fire in the gunner position. If they could add some kind of recoil action to the gunner position + AI gunners, I believe their accuracy would drop a lot. I have seen the movie Memphis Bell and when I look at some of the gunner positions, there's no way they can fire with precision, some of them are standing up, the plane is not very stable etc... It would be like taking a sniper shot while standing up in a bus. It's pretty much the same, the road is bumpy, you can't really take aim, you are bouncing everywhere, you add gun recoil to that and I believe you have a realistic situation.

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 02:41 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MandMs:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Capt._Tenneal:
Since Schweinfurt has been used as a reference of unescorted bomber losses, I looked for an article
http://www.lookoutnewspaper.com/20040209_3.htm

to see any mention of LW fighter losses in the same battle, and found out that the LW didn't get off easy themselves losing 100 fighters, according to the above.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Are those USAAF claims? I can't find the numbers of LW losses right now but it was not what you have shown.

There was over 300 LW fighters involved so that would mean 1/3 of the LW a/c were shot down. Units taking part were JG 1, 2, 3, 11, 26, 27, 50, 51, ZG 26. Some of these had combat with the escort fighters before they had to turn back and with them again when the bomber were picked up on the return to England.

ps "_October 14, 1943: The US 8th Air Force delivers a heavy attack against the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt but at a heavy price: of the original force of 291 B-17's, 198 are either shot down or damaged beyond repair, while the Luftwaffe lost about _40_ fighter planes. German forces evacuate the Zaporoshe bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnepr river._"

http://www.feldgrau.com/october.html

[This message was edited by MandMs on Tue February 17 2004 at 12:59 PM.]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I had a big message on this but the forum decided I hadn't entered anything in the message body field, and ate it. The bastard.

Anyhow, just providing links and summaries rather than quotes now.

For the raid on 14 october 43, http://www.390th.org/unit/Schweinfurt.htm lists 60 bombers lost of 228 which reached the target [291 dispatched]. Kills on LW aircraft are listed as 186 destroyed, 27 probable, 89 damaged. No mention of which were to escorts and which were to gunners, though it mentions 'some were caught on the ground' which muddies the kill claiming somewhat.

The page http://www.thirdreichruins.com/schweinfurt.htm lists for the raid on 17 august 43:

230 B17s sortied
184 reached the target
36 did not return to england
Also mentions 24 losses on a second strike at Regensburg on the same day, no mention of whether these were from the same 230 sortied - some apparently continued on to North Africa after the strike, no idea if this is what it means by "did not return to england". Force faced 300 available interceptors and some of the heaviest flak in Europe to make that strike.

For the second strike on Schweinfurt it lists 291 sortied, 229 reaching the target, and 60 losses.

This is starting to sound like a pretty poor showing for the LW in relation to what is possible in FB, especially considering that the interceptors were able to take two bites at the bombers!

It should be mentioned that these losses were considered so abnormally heavy that daylight bombing was debated as a worthwhile method of fighting the war.

Different figures are provided by: http://www.valourandhorror.com/BC/Raids/Scheinft.htm

First raid: 376 sortied, 230 to Schweinfurt, 176 to Resenberg, 147 "lost" [no mention if this is 'unrepairable' or 'blown up in midair']. Second raid, 60 lost of 291, with 142 damaged.

One of the key figures I have not been able to find is confirmed losses to flak or confirmed flak strength over the target. Given the alledged flak strength over the target I think it would be improper to attribute all [or possibly even most] of the losses to the interception force.

Also found this bizarre babelfish-esque translation of a german page at http://www.b17bomber.de/english/schweinfurt_1.htm which is at least amusing to try and make sense of.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

Curly_109
02-17-2004, 02:46 PM
The only 2 thingz that really buggin' me in this superb flight sim is:

1. sniper bomber gunners (tottaly unreal, for instance try flying Ju87 in gunner position and the only thing you can shoot for sure is your tail http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif)
2. Fact that AI have Superman eyes (don't bugger too much, they have other disadvantages)...

From this game, i learned that bring down a AI bomber is harder than bring down a AI fighter... http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

But hey this is still the best flight sim ever(for me)

cheerz

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 02:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I think you have a good point. I'm not a gun expert, but it seems odd that there's no recoil when I fire in the gunner position. If they could add some kind of recoil action to the gunner position + AI gunners, I believe their accuracy would drop a lot. I have seen the movie Memphis Bell and when I look at some of the gunner positions, there's no way they can fire with precision, some of them are standing up, the plane is not very stable etc... It would be like taking a sniper shot while standing up in a bus. It's pretty much the same, the road is bumpy, you can't really take aim, you are bouncing everywhere, you add gun recoil to that and I believe you have a realistic situation.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

From powered turrets [tail / dorsal / chin / belly] I would be surprised if there is any factor other than the usual .50 cal dispersion at work. Possibly the aerodynamics of firing off-centre from a moving position come into play, but other than that, we're talking about the relative stability of a gigantic 4 engined bomber versus a small fighter at high altitude.

Any physics experts care to comment on this issue?

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

MandMs
02-17-2004, 03:11 PM
Yes clint, but are those claims of LW a/c by the USAAF? If so that would mean almost 2/3 of the attacking LW force was destroyed.

We all know how accurate those claims are, especially when the claims are by bombers.http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Even during Big Week the USAAF did not have single day claims that good and that was with fighter escort.

Feb 20 1944

" 1. 417 B-17s are dispatched to Leipzig/Mockau Airfield, and aviation industry targets at Heiterblick and Abnaundorf; 239 hit the primary targets, 37 hit Bernburg, 44 hit Oschersleben and 20 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 14-5-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 17 WIA and 72 MIA.
2. 314 B-17s are dispatched to the Tutow Airfield; 105 hit the primary and immediate area, 76 hit Rostock and 115 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 15-15-10 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 3 KIA and 60 MIA.
3. 272 B-24s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Brunswick, Wilhelmtor and Neupetritor; 76 hit the primary, 87 hit Gotha, 13 hit Oschersleben, 58 hit Helmstedt and 10 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 36-13-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 10 KIA, 10 WIA and 77 MIA. "

Feb 21 1944

" 1. 336 B-17s are dispatched to the Gutersioh, Lippstadt and Werl Airfields; because of thick overcast, 285 hit Achmer, Hopsten, Rheine, Diepholz, Quakenbruck and Bramsche Airfields and the marshalling yards at Coevorden and Lingen; they claim 12-5-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 63 damaged; casualties are 4 KIA, 13 WIA and 75 MIA.
2. 281 B-17s are dispatched to Diepholz Airfield and Brunswick; 175 hit the primaries and 88 hit Alhorn and Verden Airfields and Hannover; they claim 2-5-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; casualties are 20 KIA, 4 WIA and 57 MIA.
3. 244 B-24s are dispatched to Achmer and Handorf Airfields; 11 hit Achmer Airfield and 203 hit Diepholz, Verden and Hesepe Airfields and Lingen; they claim 5-6-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 31 MIA. "

Feb 22 1944

" 1. 289 B-17s are dispatched against aviation industry targets at Aschersleben (34 bomb), Bernburg (47 bomb) and Halberstadt (18 bomb) in conjunction with a Fifteenth Air Force raid on Regensburg, Germany; 32 hit Bunde, 19 hit Wernegerode, 15 hit Magdeburg, 9 hit Marburg and 7 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 32-18-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 38 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 141 damaged; casualties are 35 KIA, 30 WIA and 367 MIA.
2. 333 B-17s are dispatched to Schweinfurt but severe weather prevents aircraft from forming properly and they are forced to abandon the mission prior to crossing the enemy coast; 2 B-17s are damaged.
3. 177 B-24s are dispatched but they are recalled when 100 miles (160 km) inland; since they were over Germany, they sought targets of opportunity but strong winds drove the bombers over The Netherlands and their bombs hit Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Deventer; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost and 3 damaged; casualties are 30 MIA. "

Check the numbers, but I get 118 LW a/c destoyed in 3 days.

from http://hometown.aol.com/jlowry3402/feb44.html

MandMs
02-17-2004, 03:18 PM
Anyone know what the rotation and elevation speeds for the different turrets are?

Chuck_Older
02-17-2004, 03:29 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by LEXX_Luthor:
http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-sad.gif Forget it ASH_SMART, Corporations advertise their flight sims with Grafix and the Noob game Reviewers review only Grafix. That's all they have time for.

~ http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif ~


LEXX, I agree with that 100%



As far as the gunners go in real life-

The Japanese had a healthy respect for the B-17.
In the quoted instance of repeated attacks against the bomber stream for over an hour, some conditions apply:

1) WHEN in the air campaign did this happen? B-17s groups did not instantly adopt perfect tactics and combat box formations on Day 1. In this example, we had been at war for one year and 12 days. That may seem like a long time, a good long time to develop tactics. Well, let's look at it objectively: you have to FAIL before you can LEARN. I cannot beleive that the tactics used and the formations adopted were the optimum anti-fighter tactics and formations on that date. Maybe someone can post dates on when tactics and formations were adopted and standardised? I don't have a lot of bomber reference here.

2) How many attacks did a single Luftwaffe plane make, per minute? Did they make a pass, get clear of the gunners by a good margin, climb to altitude, secure position in front of the sun or hide in some contrails, split S down on the tops of the B-17s, and zip through the bomber stream, get clear, climb, and secure position again?

Or did they dive down, make a pass, quickly set up again after securing only one or two advantages, like we commonly do in Il*2:FB? These guys were playing with their lives. The attacks came more slowly, per fighter, than they do in FB. I can of course conceive that this would draw out the battle for a longer period of time.

3) If the attacks had not been made over terrain friendly to the Germans, many more would have been killed, captured, or had planes damaged beyond repair.


In regards to gunners in FB:

1) YES! I hate that the gunners seem to be able to fire at odd angles. Never had a Stuka shoot me from 12 o'clock high though, never once.

2) If you attack from high speed, my personal experience is that you are hit MUCH less. I only attack bombers from quarter, beam, or head on attacks if I am setting up the attack, and I get shot down MUCH less, and get hit much less often as well. If I am not showing 450 KPH, I think twice about making my attack.

3) The accurate AI gunfire from bombers in FB is a great deterant from making the stupid attack: 6 o'clock slow and on the same level as the bomber.

4) I never THINK about attacking in a climb against a bomber in FB

*****************************
from the Hundred Years war to the Crimea, from the lance and the musket and the Roman spear, to all of the men who have stood with no fear, in the service of the King~ Clash

PzKpfw
02-17-2004, 04:02 PM
Claims by bombers are irrelevant, the culmative effect damage done to the Luftwaffe from these raids is relevant Ie, In July the LW lost *335 fighters to operations and non operational causes. This represented 18.1% of all single engine fighter strength as of July 1 1943.

August 10 1943 cost the LW 24 single engine fighters, shot down, 10 SE fighters & 2 BF 110, written off due to battle damage.

By the end of August 1943 the LW had lost *248 SE fighters, or 16.2% of SE fighter force, & 86 BF 110 or 11.6% of the twin engine/night fighter forces, available.

By August 1943 the US daylight formations were pushing deeper and deeper into Germany, leaving the German fighters less area to intercept.

August was a war, of attrition between both sides to see who would be standing when it was over, and we know how that turned out.

*See: Murray Williamson. Strategy For Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933 - 1945 pp.181 - 182.


Regards, John Waters

-------
"We've got the finest tanks in the world. We just love to see the German Royal Tiger come up on the field".

Lt.Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. February 1945.

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 04:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MandMs:
Anyone know what the rotation and elevation speeds for the different turrets are?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't have the figures, but Oleg has mentioned in a post at SimHQ that the turrets we have in FB track more slowly than they can in reality.

http://oldsite.simhq.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=98;t=006236;p=2#000 056

TheMooN,

Please calculate real relative looses of German fighters and US bombers in WWII in German intercepts of US bombers....
Then you will see that we have even better picture for Germans. I mean AI vs AI.
As for me I can shot down 4 B-17s before I will be shot down myself. Please also take it in account.

Also you say about high speed. But this speed is very relative in case if the fighter fly with a bit higher speed than bomber in the same course.
The correction for the wind is experience of gunner. And if you are at six - it is almost like to shot down the stopped target for the gunner...(like sitting duck)

So here really is just experience of you... Gunners rotate in FB slowly then in real life jut by request of users....

[ 12-19-2003, 06:52: Message edited by: Oleg Maddox ]



If someone could provide us with the real figures that'd be great though, since one can work out from those just how many degrees of movement relative to the target you need to beat to out-turn the turrets.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

Zen--
02-17-2004, 04:11 PM
I can add some real life experience firing the M2HB 50 cal from a tank as an illustration of what ground firing is like.

At 800 meters against the broadside of a truck target, the cupola mounted 50 cal on an M1 series tank will hit perhaps 5-10 rounds out of a belt of a hundred fired. Thats about 5-10% hit rate, which doesn't sound so bad.


Some things to consider:

The tank is stationary and does not move during the firing.

The target is stationary and doesn't move either.

The truck target has a much larger surface area than a fighter.

The TC has usually zeroed his weapon prior to firing, which means he has already fired at a target 500-800 meters out and set his crosshair on that distance.

The true range to target is known, the TC does not estimate the distance to the target, he knows how far away it is beforehand. Range estimation skills are developed in other exercises or training sessions, the point of an exercise like this is to successfully put rounds on target using the real weapon.

So against a stationary target larger than a fighter at a known range while firing from a stationary vehicle, you can expect to achieve 5% or greater hit percentage. But not that great, I can tell you from experience.

The 50 cal is a notoriously inaccurate weapon in the armed forces. It is called an area fire suppressive weapon and not a specific target weapon. It is not used on troops either and not just because it is against the geneva convention. It's best suited for houses, vehicle columns, defensive positions for suppressive fire etc. It is if you will, a spray and pray weapon. It serves an extremely valuable role on a tank and believe me, I wouldn't want to go into combat without one for a variety of reasons, but let me say that it's just not that accurate of a weapon in general.


Now consider a bomber MG gunner, something I have never done and can only conjecture about:

Firing at a smaller target, distance uncertain and rapidly changing (though generally known to be less than 1000 meters), often standing up or firing from a cramped position, having to account for the movement of the enemy plane as well as the movement of the bomber itself and under combat conditions.

Is it really likely that a single gunner would score 5% hits, even with twin 50 cals?

I think perhaps two gunner stations could bear on an attacking fighter...so what do you have, maybe 4 MG's firing at the fighter? Maybe more, I can't say right now I'm visualizing the B17 in my head, don't have a photo handy.

Gunnery is difficult under optimal conditions for most people, calculating all the variables in a short span of time as well as doing all the techniques that need to be done as well, all at the same time is not easy. Try doing it when you are tired, really scared and the confusion of battle has overwhelmed your senses...it's not easy at all, let me tell you.
For a bomber crew, I can only imagine that everything I had to deal with is magnified in the air shooting at moving targets to boot.

It seems that one effective way to overcome this obstacles is by simple volume. More guns added to bombers and more bombers flying close together..volume of fire, not accuracy of fire.

There is a big difference.



My .02 cents is that AI gunners are over done, though truth be told, shooting them down is almost certainly too easy as well. The AI could use a little tweaking definately, but I personally don't see this as ruining the sim for me and don't really understand some of the reactions as though some of us are taking it personally.

What does it matter? I don't like the forward view in the FW at all, but I took that hit and rolled with it. I didn't take it personally like Oleg screwed me on purpose or something.

Back to the point, bombers aren't highly accurate, they depend on volume of fire and numerous bombers as well to have any level of saftey, I think history illustrates that pretty clearly. A lone bomber in FB shouldn't present a challenge to a single fighter, but that bomber shouldn't most likely be destroyed in one pass either (unless using 30mm perhaps). you probably shouldn't have your plane shot to pieces at such a high probability we have now...right now it's like flying through a bomber stream's defensive fire.

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

TgD-Sammie
02-17-2004, 04:38 PM
I'm just curious, because a show I saw on The History Channel about the 8th Air Force claimed that the bombers accounted for nearly 2/3rds of the kills over enemy aircraft. I am wondering if I got my facts straight...

Thanks,
Sammie

Zen--
02-17-2004, 04:40 PM
S~ Sammie,

I wouldn't be surprised if they did to be honest, just don't think that lone bombers can rack up the kills. Now hundreds or even a thousand, thats a different story. Lotta MG fire in there http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

Chuck_Older
02-17-2004, 05:13 PM
Zen-

I agree with what you say, you have the first hand knowledge and it makes perfect sense.

But one point-

800 meters seems to be a long ways to even see a fighter sized target at speed, let alone open fire on, if I'm a gunner in a bomber. 5% hits on the target you describe sounds reasonable to me, but I wouldn't think that a bomber gunner could get even 5% hits at 800 meters gainst a fighter the size of a Bf 109.

How do you think that a B-17 tailgunner would do at 100 meters, against a Bf109 sized target? I'm asking, not criticizing. Personally, if the Bf109 didn't maneuver, I would guess at 20% hits

*****************************
from the Hundred Years war to the Crimea, from the lance and the musket and the Roman spear, to all of the men who have stood with no fear, in the service of the King~ Clash

horseback
02-17-2004, 07:57 PM
Chuck, Zen,

Thank you for confirming my earlier statements about the difficulties of firing a machine gun from a moving airplane. I don't expect that any MG mounted in WWII a/c were particularly more accurate than the .50, as described by Zen. Since the .50 round is sufficiently accurate to be used in a sniper rifle, could it be that the way most MGs are held is what works against accuracy, Zen?

However Chuck, it shouldn't be that hard to see an aircraft about half a mile (804 meters, if I remember from my high school swim team days) away in the clearer skies above 20,000 ft. This should be especially true if you've gotten in the habit of looking for them in the knowlege that if you don't, the s.o.b.s are going to try to kill you. If that doesn't get your vision up to 20/20, nothing will.

I never had any trouble seeing the flying displays from the grandstand of an air show I attended, and those usually keep farther away than 2600 ft from the spectators. On the other hand, I never tried shooting at them...

Accuracy at any range would seem to be a problem. Large aircraft of that era did not have anything like the smooth ride of airliners today, and the pilots of a/c in the middle of the formation were trying to hold position in the turbulence of aircraft ahead of them.

If I remember correctly, the Liberator in particular was a real pig in the air, with a severe tendency to wallow even at speed, which was why they couldn't hold formation as well, and took higher losses in general than B-17 units. It had to have had a relative effect on the gunners as well, even tho the Libs had better positioned powered mounts than the Forts.

Finally, what are the relative speeds of the bomber and the fighter approaching it? In a head-on pass you have to add the speeds, and in an approach from behind, there's a little more geometry, but it's mainly a subtraction problem , the difference in relative speeds. Come in from dead six at any speed and you deserve to die, if there's a tail gunner.

BUT the difficulty of hitting a single fighter from a rear gunner's station located in the mid fuselage complicates the gunner's immensely, especially if he's at one of those 'tunnel' mounts in the belly. I cannot imagine Annie Oakley hitting anything from that position if it wasn't flying in formation directly behind and below her.

Those things were strictly 'scare' guns, and it offends me immensely every time I have to take on a Pe-3 knowing that I'm screwed if I can't hit the cockpit from 90 degrees on the first pass. It's impossible to approach from any rear angle and not get hit, usually badly enough that you couldn't make it back to base.

Okay, I'm starting to rant again, but my point is valid, and I won't back down. Scale, schmale. They should never be that accurate, and even less so from belly guns or when the plane is gyrating all over the damn place, and it should be fixed.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

Jumoschwanz
02-17-2004, 08:18 PM
Thanks everyone for putting up with another controversial "Jumo thread".

That is really interesting info from the .50 caliber gunner that posted above.

I have a bunch of scenarios in QMB set up so I can play gunner and it is a real challenge to shoot down an attacking fighter.

I just noticed the great job the AI gunners do in the sim, and then I read about how gunners fared in actuality and it didn't seem to correlate.
Thanks again for all the input.

S!

Jumo

Flamin_Squirrel
02-17-2004, 08:25 PM
After unload some .303 rounds into some stukas with the hurricane the other day, and suffering the humiliation of being shot down by them i might have been tempted to agree with the title of this thread.

However, it inspired me to set up a little test. Flying a mk108 equiped FW180 A-8, I attempted to down a formation of 4 B-17's. Needless to say my first attempt was an abysmal disaster lol. I kept at it though, and after practicing for a while, working out the best way to attack I managed to down all 4.

IMO the gunners might be a little too acurate (espcialy on those pesky stukas!) but its not impossible, and the fact you have to work hard to get a kill makes it all the more satisfying if you manage it.

rick_475
02-17-2004, 08:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zen--:
I can add some real life experience firing the M2HB 50 cal from a tank as an illustration of what ground firing is like.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nice post Zen! Just for curiosity, I would like to know what you have to say about the recoil effect on that 50 cal.

Thanks

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 09:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zen--:
I can add some real life experience firing the M2HB 50 cal from a tank as an illustration of what ground firing is like.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Zen,

Thanks for sounding off with your experiences firing a real live .50 :&gt;

Should we expect similar accuracy from the left/right 'door' and 'cheek' guns on a B-17G, or would a similar hit ratio apply for the powered turrets as well? The door and cheek guns seem to track the worst of any gun in FB - I don't believe I've ever seen the door guns track in the vertical axis, and most of the time they seem to just blast away without aiming at anything in particular - just providing a stream of fire for you to run into.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

WUAF_Badsight
02-17-2004, 09:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
From powered turrets [tail / dorsal / chin / belly] I would be surprised if there is any factor other than the usual .50 cal dispersion at work. Possibly the aerodynamics of firing off-centre from a moving position come into play, but other than that, we're talking about the relative stability of a gigantic 4 engined bomber versus a small fighter at high altitude.

Any physics experts care to comment on this issue? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

have you ever even been in a A/C Clint ?

they are FAR from perfectly stable

clint-ruin
02-17-2004, 09:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by WUAF_Badsight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by clint-ruin:
From powered turrets [tail / dorsal / chin / belly] I would be surprised if there is any factor other than the usual .50 cal dispersion at work. Possibly the aerodynamics of firing off-centre from a moving position come into play, but other than that, we're talking about the relative stability of a gigantic 4 engined bomber versus a small fighter at high altitude.

Any physics experts care to comment on this issue? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

have you ever even been in a A/C Clint ?

they are FAR from perfectly stable<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Some really good words start with the letter C.

Let's take this one as an example: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=context

From http://www.heavenr.com/interest/b_17g.html
________
In The Mighty Eighth, Gerald Astor's history of the B-17-equipped 8th Air Force, he cites several instances where other pilots complained of the turbulence‚"Ēor "prop wash"‚"Ēcaused by Forts. Pilots of the smaller attack fighters were wary of grouped B-17s even though they flew for the specific purpose of protecting the heavy bombers. Bombs were blown off target after being released from the bombers. And even other B-17 pilots recognized their compatriots ahead would cause later-arrivers a bumpy ride through the target zones.
_______

I'm quite well aware of turbulence, and the amount kicked up by large bomber formations.

The context [ah! magical word] of the quote is that I'm asking for references on the relative effects of turbulent air on both the B-17 and small 1-2 engine interceptors.

In the case of FB it would appear that neither the bomber nor the interceptor is affected by prop wash, it simply does not seem to be present in the engine. This removes it as a factor that throws off the aim of gunners as well as the interceptor trying to engage them.

I shudder to think of the complaints if such a thing was added and people found their aircraft falling out of the sky and being shot to pieces as they made their bonehead dead 6 approach on a bomber. Scary to even contemplate, really.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

Zen--
02-18-2004, 12:52 AM
Weapon mount stability is why the M2 is not an accurate weapon on a tank and it's the same reason why the weapon is inaccurate in most platforms.

Vibration from firing the weapon is severe, the mount shakes so badly that the weapon will swing off target after 1/2 second or so. On a tank the mount is very sturdy and the 50 cal is itself a very heavy weapon, about 100 pounds with the barrel attached IIRC. (I'm guestimating based on what my sore back remembers from picking it up all the times I did). Even though it's heavy, the power of the projectile disharge is immense and the weapon mount will slew around uncontrollably in extended bursts (it's quite amazing btw and the sound...wow, louder than the main gun going off, but more on that some other time).

The projectile itself is not even necessarily all that accurate either. M2 ball ammunition is relatively low grade, but it's cheap so you get a lot naturally. Thats why the military uses it, not because it's great but because it's passable and is intended to be used en masse. MG's are not precision weapons, they are not sniper rifles but they also don't require all that much skill to fire in general, so they are an everyman weapon. The Barret 50 cal sniper rifle (if I'm not mistaken, could be since I've never fired one) doesn't use standard ball ammunition, it uses a bullet with a different design that has better ballistics. Thats not uncommon for sniper rifles because even the amount of propellant in the case is a factor in recoil and accuracy, as is the weight of the projectile itself. Most of them use somewhat specialized ammunition.


I can only imagine that the typical aircraft mount for an MG is going to be unsteady and the weapon will vibrate and rattle continuously while firing...this again is why volume is the key and not precision.

Other factors are air density, windshear, relative motion, propellant temperature and most importantly gravity, which is the big killer for accuracy. Bullets drop with range, even short ranges and that is probably the single biggest reason why shooters miss, is because they misjudge the effects of gravity. The next biggest reason is windshear and this is where your 300mph bomber speed plays a big part.

The projectile doesn't fly in a straight line, it curves downward because of gravity. Dispersion is caused because the muzzle is pointed at slightly different places at any given moment of firing due to vibration caused. When the bullet hits the 300mph windshear, it is IMMEDIATELY deflected onto a different path...the longer the range to the target, the more significant this deflection is. On our tanks we have a crosswind sensor and our main gun round fires at the alarming velocity of 1890 meters per second (more than a mile a second). For us, a tank target at 800 meters is usually no problem to hit, but with a 30 mph crosswind, we'd miss a fair amount of time without the ballistic computer calculating that into the firing solution. 800 meters against another tank is spitting range, we were expected to hit targets at 3000 meters + so things like windshear are very important.

On a bomber moving at 300mph which is itself vibrating, pitching and bumping around, with an MG mount vibrating from the intense recoil of the weapon, with the inherent dispersion in teh bullets themselves combined with the dispersion from recoil, against a fast moving target that has a very small frontal cross section...I just don't see how FB is justified in the current level of AI accuracy at the ranges they often hit at. It makes no sense to me really, but I'm not the expert, I've just extrapolated from own experience that is related, but not exact.

As for having a higher probability of hitting at 100 meters in real life, yes I definately think the probability is higher..but 5% might be still too high even and thats my gut instinct and good faith estimate. It's not like the plane is creeping up on the gunner, all the stories I've read they describe the attacks as the fighters flash by...doesn't sound like a slow steady approach.

Chuck and Horse, I hope this answers your questions as it seems they are being asked. Again, I'm NO expert and just flying by the seat of my pants but I strongly believe that its pure volume that makes the bombers dangerous, but the advantage lies with the attacker, not the bomber. In many ways the bomber is similar to a static target in the eyes of the fighter because his approach speed is so high...the fighters weapons are generally in a centralized firing area, have convergance set and the pilot is looking through a gunsight designed for range estimation...compared to the bomber gunner who is looking through an iron sight, firing a pretty inaccurate weapon against a small fast moving target. I've done enough gunnery to understand the difficulties involved. The thing about volume is that bullets don't stop if they miss and when you have 5-10 planes firing 20-40 guns or more at 3-4 rounds per second ALL OVER THE PLACE, you begin to see what a hail of fire is really all about.

I don't really have a personal issue with the AI gunners right now, as I said it's not killing the sim, it just feels as though attacking a single bomber is geared more towards what it's probably like attacking a formation of them.

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

Willthisnamedo
02-18-2004, 02:22 AM
Zen is 'on target' - no pun intended! I have no issues with the game (I actually think the gunners, for the reasons discussed, are unrealistic - but I just like the game)

For info for those interested:

I too have fired medium and heavy MGs. The reality is that unless they are on a stationary tripod mount, accuracy is appalling. As Zen says, this is in part not a problem, as they are regarded as an area, suppressive weapon. This has specific meaning in the military: such a weapon is not regarded as being aimed at a specific target, so much as creating a 'beaten zone' (as a result of the 'cone of fire' arising from round dispersion) This is turned to your advantage: With the water cooled vickers MMG, the British Army had range tables that allowed you to calculate the size and centre point of impact of the beaten zone, and it was used for things like harassing fire on enemy cross roads at up to 5 miles away, firing in an indirect arc over intervening hills and the like.. You had no intention of hitting a specific vehicle/person, but you knew that the area was not a nice place to be for anyone while the trigger was depressed...

I also had the amusing experience of taking part in a British army 'anti-aircraft training shoot'. We were using the 7.62 mm GPMG against a model aircraft drone. GPMGs were not on mounts, but at least we were standing still and not terrified of being killed. We were all officer cadets, and we decided to piss our instructor off, so we did not open fire at the recommended range, but waited until the drone was almost on top of us..

Result? 15000 rounds or so later, after a whole morning at about 100 feet range, against an essentially non-manoeuvering target, we had one hole in one wing.... The pilot flew it merrily round and round, with us blasting away (with up to 10 guns firing at any one time) until he ran out of fuel... As an aside, the most interesting aspect for me, as someone who normally targets against a ground background, was how hard it was to correct against a sky background: tracer was much less visible than 'normal'. Hence the use of flash rounds: but of course these only tell you you're on target once you're hitting.. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Clint: I'm also a little unsure about some of your comments about 50 cal going through anything at these closing speeds. I'm sure I've seen memoirs in which B17 gunners describe their tracers bouncing off the armoured cowls of incoming 190s: my memory is that this was common knowledge: I'll see if I can find a reference.. In similar vein, I've seen pictures of fighter armoured glass that saved pilots' lives after getting smacked by heavy cal rounds dead centre.

I also know that in the Lynx helicopter, with a 'normal' mount, air door gunners have described their accuracy to me as being 'good enough to hit a football field, but nothing smaller...' I have also tried firing sideways from a moving vehicle: couldn't hit a damned thing! (but then, I was an officer...)

I have also been shot at (including by MGs); you are not in calm analytical mode at this point!!

So, from my experience, I would say that it will require massive expenditure of time and ammo to train an air gunner to be accurate, and that he will then need to be an exceptional individual to cope with the required workload in real combat. This does not mean he is of no use.. Just like descriptions of their response to flak, a luftwaffe pilot will be less than happy flying into a cone of 50 cal tracers from a B17 formation. This, I suspect, was the reality. And, of course, sometimes they're gonna get lucky. It might be interesting to see if anyone has any stats on relative kills claimed from the different stations: I bet the tail gunner and the chin turret (and possibly mid-upper) would have the highest kills - and they'll be against 6 or 12 o'clock runs, where they had no deflection to worry about. The 2 mid-fuselage guns just don't look like a credible 'act of war' to me...

Look how hard it is /was to be a good gunner sat directly behind your heavy cannon in a responsive fighter: think how much harder it's gonna be swinging a puny (in relative terms!)50 cal around moving unpredictably in 3d while your pilot attempts to evade the incoming fighter. Its like trying to aim with guns that fire sideways out of your cockpit, while a random input generator (that out-ranks you!)connected to your joystick unpredictably yanks the plane around just as the target gets close...

Zayets
02-18-2004, 02:39 AM
Here are some tests I did :
2AI bombers set on Average & me on a FW190

Test 1:
me against 2 B17 10 times : 3 PK , 4 engine damage beeyond repair , 2 one bomber shoot down 1 run outta ammo

Test 2:
me against 2 Pe-8 10 times : 5 PK! , 3 engine damage , 2 run outta ammo

Test 3:
me against 2 IL2 : 1 PK, 6 times shoot them down both , 2 times onee bomber shoot , 1 time engine damage

Test 4:
me against 2 He111 : 5 times run outta ammo and they dropped the bombs , 3 times shoot down one , 1 PK , 1 engine damage

I have tried various angles of attack , never did a head on (I'm not that good).Observed that almost 80% of the PK I suffered were from 1st or 2nd burst.All engine damages were done almost exclusively from the 1st burst.Many times crew bailed out which means I have killed their pilot since the bomber looked pretty much flyable.
Now , I don't say these test means anything but I have learned that you should avoid bombers if you can. On the other side using rudder greatly drop the aim of the gunners.My 0.02 euro.
Should they change it? Dunno , I'm kinda used with it. and since I'm not quite a fighterjock I could care less.

Zayets out
http://server5.uploadit.org/files/Zayets-iar80pic.jpg

Friendly_flyer
02-18-2004, 03:54 AM
A note on MG-accuracy

I have fired bout heavy and light MGs. The heavy MG was a Browning M2 with 12,7x99 (the same round as in the guns on a B-17), the light was a MG3 with 7,62x51 (comparable to a German MG 17, but with faster rate of fire).

Like Zen, I too found the heavy MG to be rather inaccurate, mostly due to the recoil. The MG3 (really a re-barrelled MG42) was deadly accurate, though. Actually, I shot better with the light MG than I did with the standard issue AG3 (Heckler & **** G3, Norwegian version). The difference was all due to weapon design and recoil, the inherited accuracy of the rounds themselves did not come in to it.

The shooting your see in the film Memphis Bell would not really hit anything, except by chance. I imagine that a well dsciplined German airman with a MG could do really nasty things to the engine of a Hurricane, though.

As for hitting engine/pilot only: When manning a gun station in the game, the engin/pilot is the largest area of any oncoming fighter. That's where I aim when playing gunner, and that's where I'm hit when flying fighters.

Fly friendly!

Petter B√¬łckman
Norway

DaBallz
02-18-2004, 04:08 AM
The shooting your see in the film Memphis Bell would not really hit anything, except by chance. I imagine that a well dsciplined German airman with a MG could do really nasty things to the engine of a Hurricane, though.

_Fly friendly!_


The gunners aboard the Memphis Belle miss while
the German superman due to his superior discipline
hits the target.......
Can any thread on this board survive without
inplying the Germans were supermen?

Bomber defensive firepower was largly impotent
for all combatants. The USAF seems to think
that roughly half of all German day fighter losses
were caused by bomber gunners.
In an interview on the History Channel
Gunther Rahll described the attacks on B-17s as
nightmareish.
Hundreds of .50 calibre guns in a crossfire are
bound to get hits. They did get hits. german
fighters were shot down or crippled.
We all accept that the gunners overclaimed.
The point is that the reality of the situation
was that many German fighters were shot down
and pilots killed. The gunners were a real
concern not to be taken lightly.
The few surviving German aces never took those
bomber guns lightly.

Da...

HansKnappstick
02-18-2004, 05:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DaBallz:

The gunners aboard the Memphis Belle miss while
the German superman due to his superior discipline
hits the target.......
Can any thread on this board survive without
inplying the Germans were supermen?

Da...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
No DaBalls. Please read the Friendly's post before answering to it. He clearly stated, from his personal experience, that the German MG42 was more a precision weapon than the Browning 0.5 inch. Consequently, German gunners could enjoy a better success rate.

Waiting for some statistical evidence ;o)

MandMs
02-18-2004, 05:37 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by DaBallz:

Hundreds of .50 calibre guns in a crossfire are
bound to get hits. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Must have been quite a few friendly fire incidents. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

http://www.b17bomber.de/english/formation_08.jpg

I eat the red ones last.

Blutarski2004
02-18-2004, 09:19 AM
Flights sims, by their nature, are not good at representing the "pucker factor" which occurs when someone finds himself under fire. Virtal pilots are never at risk of their lives and can therefore never suffer such fear. I would wager that the unrealistically high lethality of FB bomber defensive fire is simply an attempt on the part of the game designer to induce "respect" in the player by other means.

BLUTARSKI

horseback
02-18-2004, 09:52 AM
Thankyou Zen, and others, for your real life observations. It is clear that gunners in aircraft had an unbelievably difficult job, and that the majority of damage done to attacking fighters was more a matter of statistical chance than marksmanship.

It is also clear that successful bomber killers ignored the 'fireworks' displays of individual bombers or isolated small formations to get a substantial portion of their multi-engine kills. As things are currently set up, the average air combat sim/game fails to reward this minor risk taking.

FB is not an average sim. It makes a great deal of its reputation on the basis of realism and historical accuracy. But this goes right out the window the moment you get within a kilometer of an AI gunner's cone of fire.

I think that 'scale' or 'pucker factor' are invalid arguements. If I use historically successful tactics, I should enjoy the historically proportionate rewards when I engage a bomber or heavy fighter with rear facing gunners. As it is, if I expose any vulnerable portion of myself or my aircraft, however briefly, to the AI gunner, I'm going to pull away smoking or dead.

So, why bother? I'm a competitive guy. I want to win by doing it right. But 1C ought to consider this: if their current AI gunnery standards persist, the Bolton-Paul Defiant will be the most dangerous aircraft in their BoB game. In a market that worships largely at the twin altars of the Spitfire and the Bf-109, who will part with $50 for that?

Cheers,

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

clint-ruin
02-18-2004, 09:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Willthisnamedo:
The reality is that unless they are on a stationary tripod mount, accuracy is appalling. As Zen says, this is in part not a problem, as they are regarded as an area, suppressive weapon.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I wouldn't be surprised at all to discover this same thing is true for the cheek or waist gunner positions in the B17, which are similar to a pintle mount on a tank or helicopter door in allowing the guns own recoil to move it around on its own.

I would be surprised to discover that powered turrets - where the gunner is not having to hold the gun steady himself - would be any less accurate than a wing mounted gun in a fighter plane, though.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Clint: I'm also a little unsure about some of your comments about 50 cal going through anything at these closing speeds. I'm sure I've seen memoirs in which B17 gunners describe their tracers bouncing off the armoured cowls of incoming 190s: my memory is that this was common knowledge: I'll see if I can find a reference.. In similar vein, I've seen pictures of fighter armoured glass that saved pilots' lives after getting smacked by heavy cal rounds dead centre.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The speeds I was quoting were combined speed of impact for a .50 cal round hitting a fighter attacking from the B-17s front quarter. This was in response to some "how can they get a PK on me when I attack from the front?" questions.

If we use 330mph rather than 330kph for the bombers speed it gets even uglier for the fighter [+70m/s for the figure I quoted earlier]

Even a mote of dust can slice through anything you'd put in front of it, with enough speed - much more than we're talking about here, but I am sure you get the basics behind these calculations.

At ordinary +0 velocity to the M2 - especially for rounds sucked into the slipstream, hitting armor at shallow angles, whatever - I have no problem at all in believing that deflection occurs, or even .50s plain old bouncing off, if they've lost enough velocity on the way.

From http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/8217/fgun/fgun-fi.html :
The optimal velocity to do maximal damage a metal plate is just below that required to penetrate it. Of course projectiles lose a lot of the muzzle energy before they hit the target, because of drag.

In frontal approach scenarios the addition of the interceptors speed does not affect the .50 cal round fired at it in an aerodynamic sense while it's in transit to the target. Since we're aiming for penetration through a metal plate and into an engine or soft, juicy human, the extra energy works in the gunners favour for this scenario.

From
http://physics.bu.edu/py105/notes/Momentum.html :

There are 4 really important things to know about momentum. The first is how momentum is defined, as the product of mass times velocity:

momentum : p = mv


If we increase velocity to account for a .50 cal round impacting into glass or an engine travelling towards it at 600kmh+ on its own, then we can reach quite amusing levels of momentum. Much more amusing for the gunner than the interceptor though.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

So, from my experience, I would say that it will require massive expenditure of time and ammo to train an air gunner to be accurate, and that he will then need to be an exceptional individual to cope with the required workload in real combat. This does not mean he is of no use.. Just like descriptions of their response to flak, a luftwaffe pilot will be less than happy flying into a cone of 50 cal tracers from a B17 formation. This, I suspect, was the reality. And, of course, sometimes they're gonna get lucky. It might be interesting to see if anyone has any stats on relative kills claimed from the different stations: I bet the tail gunner and the chin turret (and possibly mid-upper) would have the highest kills - and they'll be against 6 or 12 o'clock runs, where they had no deflection to worry about. The 2 mid-fuselage guns just don't look like a credible 'act of war' to me...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I totally agree that tail/dorsal/belly/chin turret kills would seem more likely, and that the cheek/waist positions were almost entirely useless. Cheek/waist guns are pretty funny to watch in FB, check them out from an external view on a bomber sometime - I can't ever recall one having hit a plane that did not literally fly into its bullet stream. Of all the gunner positions, the waist gunners seem to be the most likely to just start shooting at thin air - there doesn't even have to be an enemy in their general direction and they'll just start shooting for the hell of it :&gt;

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
Its like trying to aim with guns that fire sideways out of your cockpit, while a random input generator (that out-ranks you!)connected to your joystick unpredictably yanks the plane around just as the target gets close...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

One of my hopes for BOB is for 'air' to be simulated - turbulence behind aircraft, bullets and bombs being sucked off course, etc. But so far there is nothing mentioned in these threads that would affect a gunner and not a fighter pilot as well. If neither suffer from the effect in FB naturally, it seems silly to add it in just to affect the gunners accuracy.

Does anyone know of a one mission 5 x 4-engine bomber kill interceptor pilot example we could point to to support the current ease of dispatching bombers?

I must admit that after countless threads and posts on this subject - and having people bring up everything short of Zenos Paradox of Motion as a reason why a gunner could never, ever hit a target, much less kill one - I'm just a bit bored with the arguments by this point :&gt;

Either people accept that what we have in FB is a reasonable approximation of reality or they don't.

Oleg seems happy enough to leave things as they are, and, well, in his words.

"Not like you are loud here."

Not you, personally, but that's what he said :&gt;

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

[This message was edited by clint-ruin on Wed February 18 2004 at 09:59 AM.]

Zen--
02-18-2004, 10:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
I would be surprised to discover that powered turrets - where the gunner is not having to hold the gun steady himself - would be any less accurate than a wing mounted gun in a fighter plane, though.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Clint, I have to say that I like your posts on this subject. I don't agree with a lot of it because of my personal experiences, but it is clear that you are really thinking about the subject and using logical deduction. I commend you for that, &lt;S!&gt;


The type of gun mount for a machine gun is important, but unless the weapon is stablilized in some manner, they are all less than ideal for accuracy. I must keep beating the point that volume of fire is the key to air to air gunnery...a twin 50 cal turret that is powered will have a more stable mounting than what the waist gunners have certainly, but imho it will still not achieve the hit probability of wing mounted guns and that extra stability is not going to result in the weapon being effective...on it's own. We're talking a matter of degrees here, not an order of magnitude.

Not because the mount is still less accurate, but because the volume of fire is different and the turret guns have more variables playing on them. 8x 50 cals from a fighter pumps out almost 100 rounds per second and even with that extremely high ROF, most pilot accounts I know of felt that 10% hits was a very high percentage and this is when most things are in the fighters favor.

For a bomber, things are usually not in its favor...less ROF from individual stations, more dispersion due to the bomber's own movement, less effective gunsight, smaller target etc.

I do not in any way mean to imply that a bombers gunners are useless, but I am pretty darn sure that each individual station is almost effectively useless. Only when combined en masse and joined with other bombers in a support box to we begin to get some measure of deterent.



As I said, I have enjoyed your posts and give you the thumbs up for your arguments. I will not say you are wrong either, just that our experiences may have led us to different conclusions about certain parts of this thread.

Anyhoo, I think thats about all I know regarding weapon mounts etc...I think thats enough for me.

&lt;S!&gt;

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

owlwatcher
02-18-2004, 12:01 PM
I have never fired a automatic weapon in my lfe time.
So I have to look at this firing solution in a different way.
Use to work with a gentleman who was in Vietnam who operated Quad 50.'s. His story's of the fire power output put the fear of god in me.
Done alot of reading also in my life time.
The 50. cal machine gun is an anti-tank, anti-air weapon. Noted for it's accurcy so much so that some were used for sniping & ranging weapon for larger guns.
Now it is at the bottom of the list for anti -tank & anti-air use. But putting out enough fire power to keep you honest when dealing with it.
If you look at the develoment of AA weapons in the 2ndWW the USNavy at the end of the war found 20 & 40mm guns lacking in stopping power. These would have been replaced with 76mm guns had the war been longer.
Some where I read that if the 20mm have to fire it's to late.
ASfor the use of the 50.cal in aircraft by the US airforces.
Under the conditions & circumstances of it's use it it did what was asked .The US planes never faced modern bombers that were used in mass formations.
Had the US faced russian planes I think that the 20mm would have suppmented the 50cal in service on US planes.
Putting 20mm guns on a bomber like say B-17 the penaty for weight is to much. Also the amount of ammo would be limited.
Always wondered how many 20mmrounds were carried on the Pe-8.
Anyway the 50cal with 13 on a plane does have a chance of a hit in it's range.Mutiply by number of bombers you have a wall of steel in the air while it's aim maybe poor it's volume you want. It must have been effective enough that the prefered mount for attacking was the Fw190. The Me109 failing because of design to do well against the 4 engine bomber formations. It takes the right plane, with cannon20mm+ and pilot protection to saftly and pleasure to shoot a B-17 down. If the attack is sloppy in anyway and gets in the zone (50cal) there is a chance of a hit while attacking. Made alot of passes at B17,Pe-8. Sometimes you almost touch the bombers on the attack, getting that close makes the 50 all the more effective if they(50) score. It may not kill but will cause damage
Made missions with B-17's & the quick mission setup. With numbers of B17's up to 108 planes. 48 B17's seemed to make for a good game. Picking them off is really hard demanding work and should be.Throw acouple of escorting fighter around and the job really becomes a nightmare. The LW was trying all kinds of stand off weapons.Rockets,bombs,50mm cannon.
So the bomber gunners should be a valid concern

Blutarski2004
02-18-2004, 12:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by horseback:
I think that 'scale' or 'pucker factor' are invalid arguements. If I use historically successful tactics, I should enjoy the historically proportionate rewards when I engage a bomber or heavy fighter with rear facing gunners. As it is, if I expose any vulnerable portion of myself or my aircraft, however briefly, to the AI gunner, I'm going to pull away smoking or dead.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

..... I agree with just about everything you say. In fact, there is anecdotal evidence from game play experience which hints that certain aspects of bomber defensive fire may actually even be scripted (pk's, engine kills, for example).

Yet I think that it is a mistake to dismiss the "pucker" effect produced by defensive gunfire as a valid component in a sim. Without it, it becomes difficult to represent the major value of bomber defensive fire for example. Bomber designers included two or three tons (my estimate) of 50cal defensive armament in their original bomber designs; over the course of the war, additional guns were added, despite the fact that defensive fire was not terribly effective in actually shooting down enemy interceptors. The principal function of all those bomber mg's was to establish deterrence through fear - a scared pilot would not shoot so accurately, would not press home his attack so aggressively, and might refuse to attack at all. Data I have seen from the USN show an average reduction in accuracy of about 50 percent when the attacker is under effective defensive fire. Navies loaded up their ships with ever-increasing numbers of AAA weapons over the course of the war for the same reason - deterrence. When you look at rpb (rounds per bird) data for AAA fire, it is clear that such a huge investment was not made simply to achieve a two percent shootdown rate - (it took something like 3000 rounds of radar-controlled 40mm fire to down an a/c in the Korean War) - it was to degrade the efficiency of the attackers as a whole and thus preserve the ship. Same logic applies to bombers.

The problem is that no flight sim experience can produce a similar fear reaction in a virtual pilot. So how does one include this (IMO) very real facet of battle in a sim? Maybe by boosting the effectiveness of the defensive fire.

It's an interesting question/topic.

BLUTARSKI

MadMacgunner
02-18-2004, 01:18 PM
I think you‚¬īre not thinking in one detail.
In real life,you would try to attack a bomber from a great distance, trying to take adventage from your superior armament,and making attacks from possitions different to 6 o‚¬īclock to evade bombers best chance to hit your aircraft.This Would reduce your chance to hit the bomber too, but would increase your chance to fight other day.
I don‚¬īt think in real life a fighter attacks a good order bomber from less than 100 m as here happens.

Vista, suerte y al toro.

Garcia Morato, Spanish civil war.

ASH at S-MART
02-18-2004, 01:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
Yet I think that it is a mistake to dismiss the "pucker" effect produced by defensive gunfire as a valid component in a sim. Without it, it becomes difficult to represent the major value of bomber defensive fire for example. Bomber designers included two or three tons (my estimate) of 50cal defensive armament in their original bomber designs; over the course of the war, additional guns were added, despite the fact that defensive fire was not terribly effective in actually shooting down enemy interceptors. The principal function of all those bomber mg's was to establish deterrence through fear - a scared pilot would not shoot so accurately, would not press home his attack so aggressively, and might refuse to attack at all.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Exactally!

That simple FACT combined with the FACT that we only see 3 or 4, maybe 10 bombers at any one time in instead of 100+ is the reason why sim makers have traditinally SCALED UP the effectiveness of the AI gunners weapon and aim!

There is no way to simulate the fear of death for the user.. He just has to press restart.. Therefore they are very brave and will press on an attack that a real world pilot would have never done!

At this point I expect someone to post some once in a blue moon account of some guy ramming his fighter into a bomber.. but I hope they realise that is a once in a blue moon account! ie not the norm!

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg

Zen--
02-18-2004, 01:22 PM
One time out of the blue, a German fighter rammed his plane into a bomber.


http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

ASH at S-MART
02-18-2004, 01:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zen--:
One time out of the blue, a German fighter rammed his plane into a bomber. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Only one time? God I would have guessed it happened at least 3 or 4 times during the war? Intentional that is! I'm sure a lot of them Lw aircraft accidentally rammed them! But at least you agree with me.. that when and if it did happen it was a once in a blue moon account... relatively speaking that is! Now get ready for the noob that will tell us about how this was an I16's tatic! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg

Zen--
02-18-2004, 01:39 PM
Numerous times, out of the blue, I16 pilots rammed enemy bombers.


lol, sorry I couldn't resist

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

MandMs
02-18-2004, 01:53 PM
Anyone have that pic of the B-17 with the fuselage almost severed by a 109, that they can post?

I eat the red ones last.

ASH at S-MART
02-18-2004, 01:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zen--:
Numerous times, out of the blue, I16 pilots rammed enemy bombers.

lol, sorry I couldn't resist
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>No problem.. I understand, I had a dog like that once..

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg

xenomage2000
02-18-2004, 01:59 PM
those pics are somewhere around this board. Very amazing indeed...

I also remember reading a post/article about how the Luftwaffe pilots were getting so desperate to stop the strategic bombing raids that they were actually instructed to aim their fighters at the enemy bombers and then eject at the last moment, essentially using their entire craft as a torpedo in hopes of downing the enemy..

ASH at S-MART
02-18-2004, 02:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MandMs:
Anyone have that pic of the B-17 with the fuselage almost severed by a 109, that they can post?

I eat the red ones last.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>key words here is relative.. Which is not to be confused with never

ASH at S-MART
http://www.thecobrasnose.com/images4/brucecampbellSMart.jpg

BlitzPig_Ritter
02-18-2004, 02:28 PM
I heard a Luftwaffe vet once exclaim that "attacking a B-17 is like making love to a porcupine while on fire."

______________________________
Formerly Known as: Die_Ritterkreuz
http://ritterkreuz.freewebspace.com/images/sig2ubi.jpg (http://www.il2skins.com/?action=list&authoridfilter=Ritterkreuz&ts=1067024271&comefrom=credits)

DaBallz
02-18-2004, 04:56 PM
http://www.daveswarbirds.com/b-17/photos/body/torn-in2.gif

This photo is from "Daves Warbirds.com"

Bombers were tough targets, very dangerous to
attack.
It seems the fighter jocks got desperiate.

This plane landed, then broke in half.

Da...

horseback
02-18-2004, 08:49 PM
Pk or fatal engine damage almost every time is not a reasonable deterrent to anything except playing the game. I wouldn't be so bitter about it if it were even as low as 1/2 of the time, but it runs close to 90% at a minimum, and that is way too high, even for multiple a/c in level flight.

Getting waxed by a gunner in a plane that's in the middle of a split-S with that kind of consistancy goes well beyond unreasonable, and starts straying into "Screw this, I'm gonna go play MOH or FS2003 instead" territory. It borders on immorality to be safer in front of a fighter than twice as far behind a bomber with any kind of rear firing gunner.

I'll still play the game, but the next product in this genre that I buy had better be much superior in this regard if they don't want me bringing it back to the store and loudly proclaiming it a piece of crap, as I did with CFS3. Remember what I said about the Defiant.

Cheers

horseback

"Here's your new Mustangs, boys. You can learn to fly'em on the way to the target. Cheers!" -LTCOL Don Blakeslee, 4th FG CO, February 27th, 1944

clint-ruin
02-18-2004, 11:27 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by horseback:
Pk or fatal engine damage almost every time is not a reasonable deterrent to anything except playing the game. I wouldn't be so bitter about it if it were even as low as 1/2 of the time, but it runs close to 90% at a minimum, and that is way too high, even for multiple a/c in level flight.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I find it bizarre that people are claiming 90% for level flight.

I would have to go with mr Euro Troll a couple of pages back, here, it's something that happens to me maybe 10% of the time to me at most. Most common against the B17s for me by far is black engine smoke for the inline engined planes followed by getting a wing shot off if my ride slows down while it's still near the formation, or getting a wing clipped off as I race past the formation when I'm flying a radial engined plane. I would have to say that PKs only ever happen if I don't 'back off' after the first shots land. I would repeat what I said in ORR shortly ago - I think the turrets 'track' well in advance of taking a shot at you, and you are going to have to be Neo to dodge that burst if you only move when you see the tracers. Act like they're shooting at you all the time.

Bf110s, Stukas, Me210s, are meat. Meat for guns. Pe-3s and Il-2s are a bit tougher and tend to require very high deflection shooting to kill them quickly - T-boning them by diving from above, or catching them inside the turn works best. Gives you a nice shot at the pilot or directly down onto the engine from there too.

Oleg did actually ask for tracks of people being 'impossibly' PK'd back in that SimHQ thread, you know. If it's happening to you and you're sure it's not because you're total crap, probably best off sending it to the beta email address [il2beta@1c.com.ru? something like that].


edit: oh a big tougher i speaky ze oleg
http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

[This message was edited by clint-ruin on Wed February 18 2004 at 10:55 PM.]

Zen--
02-18-2004, 11:50 PM
I tend to be fine in an A5 against B17 singles or doubles, come from just barely high 6, make the shot and pull straight up, roll over and come back in again. I get obliterated if I make a low pass over the bomber without pulling up and I mean obliterated, like that 90% statement.

In the D9 I tend to get shot up considerably more on the approach because of the inline engine, but the same tactics apply...pull up as soon as you let go of the trigger and then roll back down on the plane. Not talking hammerhead, just zoom up and roll left or right in an arc to come back in on them.

For sure staying close to the bomber is disaster, but keeping fast and arcing seems to work best, like when using a steep pursuit curve to get back on high 6.

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

Zen--
02-18-2004, 11:52 PM
And I fire at the wingroots, engines and outer wing panels as a rule, the wings can't take as much damage as the fueselage.

Another sweet spot is attacking from low 6 and firing at the bomb bay area...seems a large number of PK's are scored there against online pilots, not really sure why just yet but a pattern seems to be there.

-Zen-
Formerly TX-Zen

clint-ruin
02-19-2004, 12:12 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Zen--:
In the D9 I tend to get shot up considerably more on the approach because of the inline engine, but the same tactics apply...pull up as soon as you let go of the trigger and then roll back down on the plane. Not talking hammerhead, just zoom up and roll left or right in an arc to come back in on them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Much the same here and I think this is the main reason I tend to lose wings - slowly rolling out of the attack with very very slight elevator defeats their tracking easily, but it presents a big fat plan view of your plane to a gunner if it's done too early, or if too much elevator is pulled during the roll.

I find fighting bombers much the same as anything else - if I screw it up I get shot down. No complaints with that.

http://home.iprimus.com.au/djgwen/fb/leninkoba.jpg

adlabs6
02-19-2004, 12:34 AM
I've done well in the D9 against B-17's a time or two. I remember not to long ago, I was on a server with Korolov, and another guy, and there was a flight of B-17's to intercept in our Doras. I came in from maybe 1500 meters above, and slashed in nearly vertical sawtooth motions, going back up near vertical to repeat. I killed a handful of the B-17's, can't remember how many, and I don't think I was hit for the longest time. I could see the fire, but my very steep angle maybe is what saved me.

I do notice frequent "one hit wonders" from gunners. Annoying for sure. Maybe BoB will have as much detail in the gunner AI as it's Hurricane has in its airframe. http://www.geocities.com/adlabs6/B/bin/1/wink.gif

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owlwatcher
02-19-2004, 05:05 AM
Prefered attack against B17 formation.
480 headon attack with FW190 with 108's on board.
Pick your group, get your speed , fire. Zoom threw ,past and clear zone of fire. Gain alitude & position for your next pass.
Breaks the formation up pretty good.
If there is no hesitation on my part 85% chance of kill with no damage on my plane.
I must admit I think this type of attack reguires the most skill .
When approaching from behind is when I get nailed the most.Seems I do not have the pataince to keep my distance. Like to close in on the kill.
B17's I still say are easy meat with cannon and right tactics.
Height ,speed ,fire power and some armour plate get's me threw.

MandMs
02-19-2004, 05:16 AM
What is the max speed of the B-17 with a full bomb load? Sometimes it seems like forever to get in front of the bombers after the first attack (from front).



I eat the red ones last.

Ankanor
02-19-2004, 06:57 AM
IIRC, bombers did not fly with max speed. They would waste their fuel. Cruise about 330 kmh is what I know. Max should be about 450 kmh(with bombs laden that is). I must add, I hope that one shot pk and engine gone will be toned down a bit. As our PCs gain power, do you think it will be nice to attack 16 B-17 in box formation with your 2*4 FW-190s and get half of them PKed on the first pass, the rest smoking after the second.

On a sidenote, I have to check to see about the raid and name of pilot, but the story goes like this: the pilot(Langer was his name) lead his Me109 between 2 bombers. He could see the scared faces of the side gunners of both bombers who did not fire because they would hit the other bomber too. Langer opened fire on the leader(the 3 bombers were in V formation) and the bomber exploded, one of the wings flew off and hit another bomber that also went down. Langer suffered damages but maneged to bring his plane to the airfield.

http://server4.uploadit.org/files2/101203-delphinche.jpg
Some things are worth fighting for.

MandMs
02-19-2004, 08:22 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by MandMs:
What is the max speed of the B-17 with a full bomb load? Sometimes it seems like forever to get in front of the bombers after the first attack (from front).
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Found this at a plce called Zenos.

http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Images/B-17/17TRC.gif

Answers me question somewhat.



I eat the red ones last.

Friendly_flyer
02-19-2004, 09:34 AM
First: Sorry DaBalls, I came across entierly wrong. The accuracy has something to do with the ammo and relativce recoil (or rather lack thereof). With a bit of discipline (controlling the effects of fear somewhat) I think a light MG like the German ones would have been a relatively accurate weapon in the air. The scene from Memphis Belle was just mentioned to give an example of what a combination of adrenaline and heavy recoil will do to accuracy. I am sure a Grman kid would be just as frightened.

Regarding accuracy of handheld arms in aerial combat: WWI pilots shot down enemy planes using Lewis .303 MGs aimed with one hand, while flying the plane with the other! In other words: It can be done, and that from a platform a lot less stable than a multi ton bomber.

The Pucker factor would have been nice to see in the game. This factor is not limited to bomber gunners, though...

Fly friendly!

Petter B√¬łckman
Norway

owlwatcher
02-19-2004, 11:28 AM
Prefered attack against B17 formation.
480 headon attack with FW190 with 108's on board.
Pick your group, get your speed , fire. Zoom threw ,past and clear zone of fire. Gain alitude & position for your next pass.
Breaks the formation up pretty good.
If there is no hesitation on my part 85% chance of kill with no damage on my plane.
I must admit I think this type of attack reguires the most skill .
When approaching from behind is when I get nailed the most.Seems I do not have the pataince to keep my distance. Like to close in on the kill.
B17's I still say are easy meat with cannon and right tactics.
Height ,speed ,fire power and some armour plate get's me threw.

DuxCorvan
02-19-2004, 02:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by BlitzPig_Ritter:
I heard a Luftwaffe vet once exclaim that "attacking a B-17 is like making love to a porcupine while on fire."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Yeah, but he survived to smoke a cigarrette... http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

That was just stuff to exalt his own merits. He wouldn't say "attacking a stranded B-17 is as easy as attacking a C-47, just waaay more harder to bring down due to its sturdiness..." because that would count against his own little legend. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Anyway a big 'box' of B-17s should form a barrier of gunfire to care of -almost as dangerous for the rest of bombers and escort fighters, as for bandits. But in Il-2/FB ANY gunner, even that poor guy in a Li-2 is a huge threat, and that is simply inacurate.

- Dux Corvan -
http://www.uploadit.org/DuxCorvan/Altamira2.jpg
Ten thousand years of Cantabrian skinning.

MandMs
02-19-2004, 03:37 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by owlwatcher:
Prefered attack against B17 formation.
480 headon attack with FW190 with 108's on board.
Pick your group, get your speed , fire. Zoom threw ,past and clear zone of fire. Gain alitude & position for your next pass.
Breaks the formation up pretty good.
If there is no hesitation on my part 85% chance of kill with no damage on my plane.
I must admit I think this type of attack reguires the most skill .
When approaching from behind is when I get nailed the most.Seems I do not have the pataince to keep my distance. Like to close in on the kill.
B17's I still say are easy meat with cannon and right tactics.
Height ,speed ,fire power and some armour plate get's me threw.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

These stats were post awhile ago

taken from: "Gunner" ISBN 1-55046-332-2

Attacks in reference to azimuth direction only.

B-17 - 3585 attacks, 441 hits (12.3%)

clock position - % of # of attacks - % hits

1 - 12.5 - 9.3
2 - 5.9 - 6.7
3 - 4.5 - 3.9
4 - 5.7 - 4.0
5 - 9.0 - 9.1
6 - 20.7 - 15.6
7 - 8.9 - 6.6
8 - 3.8 - 2.7
9 - 3.9 - 2.9
10 - 3.7 - 3.9
11 - 10.4 - 10.3
12 - 20.2 - 15.6


B-24 - 1042 attacks, 102 hits (9.8%)

clock position - % of # of attacks - % hits

1 - 12.7 - 8.7
2 - 3.9 - 5.2
3 - 2.9 - 5.4
4 - 3.0 - 3.6
5 - 7.8 - 7.7
6 - 19.6 - 20.6
7 - 11.0 - 6.9
8 - 3.1 - 2.0
9 - 2.8 - 3.9
10 - 6.9 - 3.4
11 - 11.9 - 7.8
12 - 21.6 - 17.6



I eat the red ones last.

DaBallz
02-19-2004, 06:34 PM
In an eariler post someone mentioned the crossfire
from bomber boxes hitting other friendly
bombers. It was common place, men were killed
and friendly bombers crippled or shot down.
Martin Caidins overly emotional book FLYING FORTRESS
makes mention of frequent .50 cal hits from friendlys.
While i don't feel Martin Caidins
works should be used as a reference there is some
fact in his books, and that is one that was not
embelleshed.
A childhoos friend of my fathers flew B-24s
over Europe, I can remember him telling of
taking dozens of friendly hits in raids where fighters
were encountered.

Believe it of not, at the hight of the CBO there
were many missions where few or no German fighters
made contact with the bombers. I am sure the
reasons are many.

Da

Capt._Tenneal
02-20-2004, 09:50 AM
Has someone suggested this simple test before : how about playing a mission or campaign entirely as a gunner (Il-2, He-111, Ju-87 etc.) and be "in their shoes", see how many times you get shot down or even if you actually shoot down a fighter ? If you're flying in a box do you sometimes hit other planes in your formation while "praying and spraying" ?

I realize a human gunner would not be the equivalent of an AI gunner, but playing as a gunner, will you then be complaining about the sniper AI fighter jocks ? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Showtime_100
02-20-2004, 02:04 PM
I only read the first posting and am not going to read all six pages, so maybe this was touched upon...

"Five B-17s went down over France..."
Only five went down after a complete hour of attacks? It sounds like the fighters weren't too effective either, or the bomber gunners are more feared/respected than you suspect forcing the fighters to take on a more cautious attack.

Gibbage1
02-20-2004, 02:32 PM
My point is this. Just think of the carnage if the B-17's and B-24's did NOT have gunners. The Luftwaffa would have shot down a LOT more bombers.

Also, how many bombers were downed becaus of Flak? More bombers went down due to flak then aircraft. So one can bring up the question of "whats the use of fighter intercepters".

Gib

MandMs
02-20-2004, 02:34 PM
Sounds like something the 'Fat One' said once, Gib.



I eat the red ones last.

Mitlov47
02-20-2004, 02:41 PM
I think people are missing the point here. Five bombers were lost; three attacking planes were lost. For each bomber that went down, there was a 60% chance that a fighter would die first. Of course, this conflict was less intense than those we have in IL-2, but the overall RATIO of bomber to fighter losses seems pretty true in the game.

Friendly_flyer
02-21-2004, 03:47 AM
I have to agree with EMitton, intensity is indeed a factor here. Contrary to us, the real WWII-pilots and airmen had their hides to worry about. I think I would hesitate a bit before going after a hedgehog like a B-17, despite 30mm's cannons and extra armour.

Then again, we play this for fun.

Fly friendly!

Petter B√¬łckman
Norway

IV_JG51_Prien
02-21-2004, 07:51 AM
Forgive me if I repeat anything from a previous reply (I didn't trudge through all 6 pages of this topic).

I too have fired a Browning M2 .50 cal from fixed position onboard my ship. I didn't find it to be very accurate at all, not to mention the sight that I used is just some cheesy ring/cross sight on the mount the .50 goes in. Just about as good as gunners in a B17 had (especially the guners in the waist positions).

(again sorry to repeat if I do)

Don't forget that the whole point of the bombers flying in a close formation, especially the box type was to subject the incoming fighters to the most amount of defensive fire as possible. Basically make him fly through a wall of lead. It was volume fire, not accuate fire by any scope of the word.

So, was the accuracy of a single gunner in a bomber any good? Not really. Just look at the tactics that German bomber pilots used when they got attacked.. They didn't stay in formation, they scattered like roaches in hopes to spread the fighters out. The result was a lack of concentration of fire, and thusly thier gunners became far less effective than they could/should have been. Had B17's done the same kind of silly thing when attacked there would have been many many more losses due to the lone bomber is the dead bomber.

Back to FB, I too find it frustrating that I get shown the black screen of doom 8/10 times, the other two being a nice oil slick on my windscreen. When I first started playing I attributed it to my silly mistakes of coming in from dead six etc... But after I changed my tactics to include high speed dives from above and to either side, and having nearly the same results.. I raised an eyebrow. IMO, in a 1 on 1 fight against a good piloted fighter using the PROPER tactics, a bomber should lose damn near every time.

Thats why when I'm flying on HL in my Stuka's or He111's I normally do the gunning myself to add in the element of "human error" that the AI obviously doesn't have. One, it's more fun and challenging for me as the bomber pilot.. Trying to fly and gun at the same time, and it makes it a little bit better for the attacking pilot to shoot me down. Against good pilots who use the proper tactics, i.e the ones that come in with high speed/deflection.. I usually end up hitting the silk.

The guys who make me wonder are the ones that come in real close, slow and at nearly no deflection... Those are the ones that take the burst into the cockpit or engine. Those are easy shots for me, and undoubtedly for the the Sgt. York AI gunners. I guess too many people see bombers as being "cake walks" and they drop thier guard, and forget that there will be someone shooting back.