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Thread: AAR - BrisWingsofGlory WGS Campaign 1, Mission 7 - Polish Air Force 1939-45

  1. #1

    Default AAR - BrisWingsofGlory WGS Campaign 1, Mission 7 - Polish Air Force 1939-45

    France 1940 Mission 7 Defensive Patrol Luxeuil-les-Bains 10/05/1940

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    In the pre-dawn of 10 May 1940 Sous Lieutenants Władysław Gnyś and Tadeusz Nowak were up preparing for an early start. While Morane 'White 15' the usual mount if S-Lt. Gnyś was still in the hangar undergoing repairs, GC II/7 had received two new aircraft to replace 'White 7' and 'White 6' lost over Germany a few days earlier. They had actually arrived at Luxeuil-les-Bains on the evening of the 8 May, but the ground crew had insisted going over both aircraft with a fine tooth comb before declaring them ready for operations. "One fault in the Morane's complex pneumatic or hydraulic systems could be disastrous," explained Nowak's crew chief Sergent Tadeuz Szablewski, another Polish exile, "and we have learned not to trust the factory mechanics." During the checks it was discovered these 'new' machines were actually aircraft sent back to the Morane-Saulnier factory by other units for reconditioning due to wear and tear. By the end of 9 May however both aircraft were cleared for action and had been adorned with the numbers 'White 6' and 'White 7'.

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    So it was that Gnyś and Nowak wasted no time the following day in flight testing their machines. Their flight would be a 'Patrouille double' until Tadeusz Kowalewski recovered from his injuries sustained during the last mission.

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    The Polish airmen circled above as the first light of the sun illuminated their airfield, defended by a battery of 25mm Hotchkiss anti-aircraft guns, before turning away to put the Moranes though their paces.

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    Unknown to Gnyś and Nowak by the time they were airborne the Luftwaffe had already dispatched hundreds of aircraft to attack targets all along the front from the North Sea coast to the Swiss border as part of 'Case Yellow', the Wehrmacht's long anticipated offensive in the west. Even as the Poles were on the return leg of their flight a 'Kette' of Dornier Do 17Z-1 bombers of Kampfgeschwader 2 were making a low level approach to the airfield at Luxeuil-les-Bains. With no effective early warning system in place the first GC II/7 knew of the attack was the roaring of the Dornier's nine cylinder Bramo engines as they started their attack run.

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    By a stroke of luck however the Polish 'Patrouille double' flying at 4000 metres arrived on the scene just as the Dornier 'Kette' was closing on their airfield.

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    Leading the Luftwaffe formation, Oberleutnant Gerhard Keitel's Dornier U5+AP started taking ineffectual anti-aircraft fire from emplacements at the edge of the airfield. "Yellow Leader to all aircraft, I will suppress the flak," he advised over the radio. "Hans, you target their flight line and take out the main building," he ordered Ltn. Hans von Koppelow flying U5+CP to the left of the leader, "and Werner, crater the runway and smash their hangars," continued Oblt. Keitel, directing Ltn. Werner Klümper flying U5+BP to the leader's right. "We go in low, drop your eggs and get out fast."

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    As the Dorniers deployed for the attack Ltn. Hans von Koppelow spied the two Moranes coming in fast. "Watch out, two fighters eleven o'clock high!" he warned over the radio.

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    As more anti-aircraft fire burst in front of the lead Dornier Sous Lieutenants Władysław Gnyś and Tadeusz Nowak prepared to make a beam attack on the German bombers.

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    Even with their bombloads the light Dorniers were quick for a twin engine aircraft. Not for the first time Władysław Gnyś underestimated their speed and was only able to get away one burst before his target U5+CP flashed past him. The Dornier's dorsal gunner Uffz. Franz Schlund was ready as the Morane flew by. Leading the French aircraft well, Uffz. Schlund put an accurate burst into 'White 6', damaging the 12 cylinder Hispano-Suiza engine. S-Lt. Gnyś uttered a stream of Polish epithets that would have made a Danzig dock worker blush as his aircraft immediately lost power. S-Lt. Nowak had more success however, firing at two of the three Dorniers (U5+CP and U5+BP) as the lead bomber dived under his Morane, bombs doors open.

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    Ltn. Egon Hummel, the observer on Gerhard Keitel's U5+AP announced "Bombs gone." With the Dornier now flying under 2000 metres the first ten 50 kilogram bombs exploded on and around the first flak position, completely destroying the gun and killing the crew (direct hit, half load).

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    As S-Lt. Gnyś brought his damaged Morane about to make a stern attack on the Dorniers, Nowak continued his run putting a close range bust of cannon and machine gun fire into U5+BP.

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    Rod and Paul contemplate their next moves as they find their Moranes out of position with the Dorniers making the bombing runs on the airfield.

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    Keitel's Dornier U5+AP drops the remaining ten 50 kilogram bombs on the second flak emplacement (partial hit, half load). Von Koppelow's observer in U5+CP Feldwebel Erhard Lauer scores a direct hit (half load) on the GC II/7 flight line, while Klümper's U5+BP opens the bomb doors.

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    By the time Gnyś and Nowak have come about Dornier A5+AP has already turned for home, anti-aircraft fire directed at the bomber again missing the target. U5+CP drops the rest of its bombs just short of the administration building, the blast blowing out all the windows (miss, half load). Still flying at 3000 metres, Feldwebel Wilhelm Scheer of U5+BP drops half his bombs just long of the runway (miss, half load) ......

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    ...then releases the rest as Klümper banks towards the hangars.

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    Władysław Gnyś gets back in the fight trying to cut off Dornier U5+AP as it heads for home.

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    The aim of Fw. Scheer in U5+BP is good as a stick of bombs scores a direct hit on two of three hangars (direct hit, half load). S-Lt. Nowak has two targets to choose from .....

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    .... and decides to attack U5+BP as it banks away. Nowak's first burst goes wide of the Do 17, but the return fire from the German bomber's dorsal gunner Unteroffizier Herbert Rode is very accurate. 7.92mm rounds strike the Morane's cockpit hitting Tadeusz Nowak in the left arm and leg! Nowak looks down to see blood seeping out of his flight suit as initial numbness is replaced by a searing pain.

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    Attacking U5+AP Władysław Gnyś seems to be adopting desperate measures as his Morane collides with the Dornier Do 17. The impact tears away the starboard wingtip on the Morane but if the Dornier suffers any damage at all it is not evident.

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    Banking around to make another attack Gnyś is peppered by the dorsal gunner Uffz. Peter Krämer.

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    Despite the pain of his wounds S-Lt. Nowak presses on with his attack. The Polish pilot's persistence is rewarded as 20mm shells strike the Dornier's unprotected fuel tank, which erupts into flame!

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    Ltn. Werner Klümper knew his aircraft was in trouble, on fire at low altitude and 100 kilometres behind enemy lines. Uffz. Rode was doing his best to get rid of the French fighter that continued to fire away at the stricken Dornier, but each burst wrought more destruction even as the fire spread. "Prepare to bail out, I will hold her for as long as I can!" Klümper ordered his crew as he continued evasive manoeuvres. The gunners Uffz. Herbert Rode and Uffz. Karl Wasserbeck managed to get out before another burst of cannon fire finished the Dornier. "That's it, we are going in," screamed Klümper as he and his observer Fw. Scheer braced for impact.

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    The wounded Nowak watched as the Dornier fell in flames just south of Luxeuil-les-Bains. The blood was streaming from his wounds now, encouraged by the exertions of aerial battle. Nowak felt light-headed and he knew he could waste no further time but must get down immediately.

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    S-Lt. Władysław Gnyś also turned for home, his damaged Morane having no chance of catching the speedy Dorniers now they had dropped their bombs.

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    Oberleutnant Gerhard Keitel in U5+AP reformed with Leutnant Hans Koppelow in U5+CP for the return flight. The Kettenführer looked about for U5+BP. "Where is Werner?" he asked over the intercom. "I saw his ship go down in flames Herr Oberleutnant," responded Uffz. Kramer, "I only saw two parachutes."

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    The Luftwaffe raid on the airfield at Luxeuil-les-Bains inflicted heavy damage on GC II/7. Nine Morane MS.406 fighters were destroyed on the ground, including 'White 15' of the 'Patrouille Polonaise' which had been under repair in one of the bombed out hangars. Sous Lieutenant Tadeusz Nowak received immediate medical attention on landing and was soon stable enough to be transferred to hospital. "Typical," Nowak said to his comrade Władysław Gnyś as he was loaded into the ambulance, "I get my first German and I cannot even celebrate!" Nowak's wounds were serious enough to see him out of action for more than a month. Moranes 'White 6' and 'White 7' had both sustained considerable battle damage, but mechanic Sgt. Szablewski assessed they could be repaired. "With all this though," he complained as he gestured to the destroyed hangars, "it will take me at least a week."

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    For the crew of Dornier Do 17Z-1 U5+BP the war was over for now. Remarkably all four Luftwaffe airman has escaped death or even injury, with Ltn. Klümper and Fw. Scheer managing to get away from the crashed Dornier before it exploded. The other two Dorniers returned to base where the minor damage they had sustained was repaired overnight.
    Last edited by Carl_Brisgamer; 07-11-2017 at 20:44.

  2. #2

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    Like most of the missions played out in this campaign this one has some basis in historical fact. On the morning of 10 May 1940 the airfield at Luxeuil-les-Bains was actually attacked by a formation of Luftwaffe bombers (Heinkel He 111s instead of Dorner Do 17s) and nine Morane MS.406 fighters destroyed on the ground. Some pilots of GC II/7 managed to get airborne and did bring down a bomber.

  3. #3

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    Nicely done. I've enjoyed reading all 7 of your missions so far.
    Keep up the great work.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Setarius View Post
    Nicely done. I've enjoyed reading all 7 of your missions so far.
    Keep up the great work.
    Thanks Dale, I am writing up mission 8 from last weekend right now, should be posted today.

  5. #5

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    Very nicely done as always! Keep the AAR's coming!!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dwarflord22 View Post
    Very nicely done as always! Keep the AAR's coming!!
    Thanks Mike, I am posting mission 9 in the next day or so.

  7. #7

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    Catching up on these this morning.
    Great work, Carl, documenting all the action.


    I was surprised to see how small the map was when you gave us the widescreen shot.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumptonian View Post
    Catching up on these this morning.
    Great work, Carl, documenting all the action.


    I was surprised to see how small the map was when you gave us the widescreen shot.
    Thanks Pete. For most of these missions deploying 6-8 aircraft two maps is enough. For larger battles like mission 8 I use three or four maps.

  9. #9

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    Like the way you tie in the campaign battles to historical ones. By the way are the Dornier's AIM?
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skafloc View Post
    Like the way you tie in the campaign battles to historical ones. By the way are the Dornier's AIM?
    Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. Yes the Do 17Z miniatures are 1/200 AIM.



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