Friday, April 20, 2012 - 22:00hrs Central US. (11:00pm Eastern US; 3:00am GMT)
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*THIS IS BOMBER NIGHT*
This week's Bomber Night mission is called "Bodenplatte". It is set on the new Western Front (winter) map. We had run this mission last summer, but I have made some changes for this re-run. For instance, in order to make it easier for the defenders, there are fewer target airbases, in a smaller area, and Red has radar available. The defenders have available to them very good aircraft: Spitfire MkIX 25lb and P-51D-20NT.
This Bomber Night mission tries to recreate part of the action from Operation Bodenplatte. On January 1, 1945, the Luftwaffe launched attacks against Allied airbases throughout France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The operation had been initially scheduled a week or two beforehand (to assist Wehrmacht in the Battle of the Bulge), but was delayed by weather. Great secrecy was in place for Operation Bodenplatte (indeed, many German planes were shot down by friendly AAA), and great surprise was achieved. However, although over 500 Allied aircraft were destroyed or damaged, those losses were replaced within a week. The Luftwaffe's losses were heavy, especially in terms of experienced pilots. Operation Bodenplatte constituted a tactical and strategic failure for the Axis.
In real life, the Luftwaffe used almost all available aircraft in Operation Bodenplatte. Here, the focus is on the Me-262 fighter-bombers of Kampfgeschwader 51. Yes, the Me-262 is the chosen bomber for this mission. There are no escorts (as in real life). Each Me-262 must select a bomb load-out.
Targets consist of static aircraft at numerous airbases (spawn and non-spawn). Of course, unlikely human-pilot Red aircraft might be attacked as well.
The match-up will be more interesting than some might suspect. The Me-262s will need to take account of realistic bomb fusing, and will be slower and lower while on the attack. They will be vulnerable to AAA as well as attacks by defending aircraft. Of course, the Me-262 is a very temperamental beast, and the engine will flame or flame out easily.
Please fly and enjoy, and let me know any comments you might have.