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Thread: OTT DYM Mission 7 - Dit Fromage! - 19th february 1916 by Mike

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    Default OTT DYM Mission 7 - Dit Fromage! - 19th february 1916 by Mike

    OTT DYM Mission 7 - Dit Fromage ! - 19th February 1916 – AAR by Mike
    Quite why the squadron was sending help to the French sector, at Verdun, wasn’t clear to most of the pilots attending the briefing; those who would be involved that is.

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    “There’s something big going on around Verdun and it appears the German top brass have beaten our boys to it”, said Uncle to the gathering before him.
    They were all aware that the Allies were supposed to be putting on a big show themselves in the near future and that it relied heavily on the cooperation between the French and the British in their respective sectors. But if the hun were going to interfere by putting on their own show, then things were likely to go horribly wrong.
    “So it has been decided that we need to know what is going on. Hence a couple of flights are being sent down to Verdun, ostensibly to aid our allies, but really because our own brass is wondering what the hell is going on!”
    There were a few rumbles from the group but mostly enthusiastic.
    “It’ll give me a chance to see something new” commented F/Sgt Charles Drake. “Charlie” was new to the squadron, a pilot replacement, but he’d been an observer on a sector further to the north until now. Going south, would be new for him at least.
    “Appropriate, then, that you’ll be flying one of their aircraft, Charlie” said Uncle. That was not so much to Drake’s liking – he wasn’t fond of the Moraine Saulnier Type N and he’d been looking forward to having a go in one of the squadron’s DH2s. Sadly, however, a few too many of those had recently been shot up badly and still needed some repairs.

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    “You and F/Sgt Lee will both be flying Moraines and I’m putting F/Sgt Roe in charge of the three of you – keep you lads together eh! And Henry has been doing particularly well – lots of experience now – eh Henry?”
    “Yes, sir” answered a none too certain F/Sgt Henry Edward Roe, who had only been out at the front himself, as a pilot, for the past six weeks or so. But, he was still alive, so that had to mean something. And he did feel a kind of pride at being given this opportunity.
    “The rest of you will fly DH2s! Thats Roe, leading B flight and Boots, and Fletcher with Lt Taker as flight leader in A flight. Any questions?”

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    So it was that the following morning, 24th February 1916, early, but not so bright, as the clouds and mist were rather low for comfortable flying, and after an uneventful flight south, to a temporary airfield near Verdun, they all found themselves listening to French being gabbled all around them.

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    Lt Mick Evan Taker understood French reasonably well, when spoken by the officers, but there were other ranks there, from Britanny and Normandy, who spoke a mixture of French, Breton and Gallo, and they could not be understood, even by their own officers half the time.

    “We ‘ave to go now” said one of the French officers to Lt Taker. “Orders, you understand!”
    “Of course, but what do you want us to do?”
    “You do nothink, understand? Not unless Mon Capitaine Rix Aster tells you. OK? C’est bon, non!”
    “Non, c’est ne pas bon, mais nous n'avons pas le choix . I suppose.” Said Taker rather ungraciously. He guessed his French hosts were being rather over protective. Either that or they were none too pleased at this group of “allies” poking their noses in, where they were not really appreciated.

    And off they all went, every one of the French escadron aircraft. Not a one left standing on the airfield. So the “Bulldogs” waited …… and waited ………… and got bored!

    Until, suddenly, as if from nowhere, Mon Capitaine Rix Aster appeared, waving and gesticulating in most Gallic fashion - “You ‘ave to go. Vite, vite – why are you still ‘ere?”
    “Go, go where?” asked Taker, the others being still too awestruck by the unfamiliar arm waving to notice what this powerful looking little frenchman had said.
    “You go to Douaument, vite, vite! Ils font les photos. Les Bosch. C’est mauvais, tres mauvais. Not good. You stop them. Mon Dieu tu es toujours là. Tu dois partir, go, go, go.”

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    “OK chaps, the heat is on*! Apparently the hun are over Fort Douaumont at this very moment, taking reconnaiscance photographs. Our host is most unhappy about that and wants us to deal with them. Just a couple of scouts and a two seater, by the sounds of it. But better safe than sorry. I’ll take A flight ahead; Henry, I want B flight to follow after 5 minutes or so and cover our backs. Understood?”
    “Understood, sir!”

    Fort Douaumont

    “Fort Douaumont was the largest and highest fort on the ring of 19 large defensive works which had protected the city of Verdun, France since the 1890s. By 1915, the French General Staff had concluded that even the best-protected forts of Verdun could not resist bombardments from the German 420mm (16.5 in) Gamma guns. These new super-heavy howitzers had easily taken several large Belgian forts out of action in August 1914. Fort Douaumont and other Verdun forts were judged ineffective and had been partly disarmed and left virtually undefended since 1915. “ Wikipedia.

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    The reports had been accurate, up to a point. True enough, a German two seater, an Albatros C1, had approached Fort Douaumont, under the early morning cloud cover, escorted by two Fokker Eindekkers. Their purpose was fairly obvious, the taking of reconnaisance photographs prior to some kind of planned assault. After all, the Germans had started their attack on Verdun just two days ago. The Fort of Douaumont, lying as it did on high ground, was an obvious target, but the Germans wanted to know if it would be a hard nut to crack, or easily taken!

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    Creeping in low, they had not been spotted or heard until they were almost over the fort, at which point the alarmed defenders sent up a warning flare. It was that which had attracted the attentions of our erstwhile ally, Mon Capitaine Rix Aster.

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    Just as soon as the enemy aircraft had been spotted, two anti aircraft guns had opened up, almost in a panic and they missed. Both of them missed. One cannot blame them, the German attack on Verdun had more or less caught everyone with their pants down, so the fort’s defenders can hardly have not had a case of the jitters. However, that was enough to remind the hun interloppers that they were not going to have an easy time of it; not that they had expected any such thing, and they veered to the south. The observer on the Albatros busily taking photos all the while.

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    A fatal error for the rather slow Albatros as it turned out. In flying south they presented first the defending machine gunners, then the rapidly reloaded AA guns, with a perfect target. One they duly dispatched with some alacrity!

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    First the fort’s machine guns opened up on the Albatros, seriously wounding the aircraft’s observer, Ltn Albert Mendel, who bravely continued taking his photographs none-the-less. Then Both AA guns, having fully reloaded, fired again and with an awfully loud crack and lots of black smoke, one of the shells exploded close enough to the Albatros to destroy its ability to fly further. The pilot, Obltn Hermann Lux, struggled valiantly to save the ailing beast, but to no avail. The bird plunged earthwards, screaming in protest all the while, until it landed with a crump on the hillside beside the fort. Whereupon some of the French defenders, rushed out and captured both of the wounded and now dazed, Germans. The war was over for Lux and Mendel!
    Meanwhile, one of the machine guns in the fort had also scored a telling hit against an Eindekker. A fire broke out on the latter aircraft – things were definitely not going according to plan for the Germans.

    At this point a few more enemy aircraft turned up. Seemingly, the Germans were as anxious to obtain information about the fort’s defenses as the defenders were to prevent them from doing so. This looked rather ominous for the French occupants of Fort Douaumont, as they were well aware of how weak those defenses were!
    A two seater, together with its’ escort, was spotted flying towards the southern part of the fort, again with photo reconnaisance obviously in mind.

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    What the defenders had not yet spotted, however, were two further aircraft approaching towards the northern sector around the fort, the heavy cloud cover working in favour of the aircraft crews and still hiding them.

    In any case, neither pair was of immediate concern, given that the vengeful escorts to the now destroyed Albatros, were determindely out to exact retribution. In they came, with guns blazing. And in the case of one of them, with the aircraft blazing too!

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    Ltn Josef Jacob was rather distracted by the flames that threatened to engulf both his aircraft and with it himself, if he did not carefully apply all of his experience to thwart that eventuality. So it comes as no surprise that he did not unjam his gun in time to fire shots on the French gun emplacement and therefore did no damage at all. It is perhaps rather more disappointing, from the German perspective, that the shots from Ltn Hans Leptien also failed to find a mark. And just to demonstrate how difficult it is to use machine guns under such circumstances, both of those fired by Frenchmen, at this point, failed to do anything other than minor damage, in addition to which, one of them jammed!
    And all the while, the other Central Powers combatants crept ever closer to their respective objectives.

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    For the Germans, the outcome of that brief tussle was reasonably successful. Leptien finally found the range and his second burst of fire skipped across the broken ground inside the fort before severely stitching the entire area around one of the gun emplacements and completely destroying it. One all, so to speak!

    But the unfortunate Jacob, was not so favoured. Although he was managing to keep the flames on his aircraft under reasonable control, another serious threat was looming large.

    Having been unfamiliar with the terrain features, Lt Mick Evan Taker had led his flight of DH2s slightly astray, resulting in his approach being from the south west, rather than the anticipated north east. No matter, as it turned out. Every cloud has a silver lining it is said, and there were plenty of those about right now!

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    So into the fray he and his flight tumbled, Taker opening up at long range, more to test his guns than any serious hope of hitting his prey, Ltn Josef Jacob. Needless to say, he missed.

    Ltn Hans Leptien was also fairly lucky at this stage, as the sole remaining machine gun in the fort did minimal damage to his rear end, despite the proximity of said empinage to the French gun.

    But the luck wouldn’t hold for long. Whilst an Aviatik CI and its Fokker escort continued undetected around the north side of the fort, suddenly all hell was let loose on the doomed Jacob and his Fokker Eindekker. Still distracted by the flames licking his shoulders, Jacob desperately tried to return fire effectively, having unjammed his gun under very difficult circumstances, but he was unsuccesful. Lt Taker and his port side wingman 2nd Lt Bo Fletcher, from “down under”, both opened up at close range and effectively detroyed the burning Eindekker on the spot.

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    Jacob and his machine fluttered, almost gracefully, to the earth, where the rather scorched pilot, Ltn Josef Jacob, was also captured by gleeful French defenders and dragged groggily to safety, whilst the remains of his once fearsome chariot burned ever brightly in the gloom under the clouds. In his half conscious mind he thought he could hear mention of Icarus and wondered why his French rescuers were laughing!

    Ltn Hans Leptien had had no choice but to scurry off to one side and out of harms way, temporarily, since his gun was jammed now too!

    Next the battle for photgraphs really started in earnest. Those already taken by Ltn Mendel were destroyed in the crash of the Albatros and would never inform German HQ. Enter Two more German two-seater aircraft. To the south of the fort an LVG, escorted by a Pfalz Eindekker; to the north, still creeping along undetected, the aforementioned Aviatik, together with its’ escort.

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    All four German aircraft took advantage of the confusion now apparent over the fort itself. The British attackers were intent on detroying the sole remaining green eindekker, flown by Ltn Hans Leptien, whilst the latter was still trying with all his ferocity, to unjam his gun. That gave the other German pilots and observers a few vital seconds to attempt to complete their objectives. So they flew on, ever closer and apparently still unnoticed. Click, click went the cameras.

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    First Ltn Karl Niederhoff was able to fly the LVG close enough for his observer, Ltn Alfred Osterroht, to get some good photographs of the area south of the fort. At the same time, he saw, with some concern, three more British or French aircraft flying into the attack from the west. Another DH2 and two Moraines by the looks of them! That was not good news at all.

    Then as the pairing of pilot, Fwbl Robert Janzen and observer, Ltn Johannes Mesch, finally approached the target area north of the fort, they were noticed!

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    The LVG by one of the original DH2 attackers and the Aviatik by the fort’s remaining gunners. The LVG was caught at short range and took quite a bit of damage, but fortunately, for them, not enough to seriously impede their progress. Their escort, immediately peeled off and counter attacked, doing his job to perfection. But it would cost him dearly because, as a result, his engine was badly damaged.

    Meanwhile, Hans leptien was also doing an important job trying to keep the British newcomers occupied, their opening shots going well wide of the mark.

    The AA inside the fort was also suffering from poor aim against the Aviatik, but by then the black puffs of smoke had attracted the attention of a couple of DH2s which promptly swung northwards, towards the Aviatik. Time for its escort, the EIII flown by Obltn Gisbert Habich, to start earning some pay!

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    Things hung in the balance, as Niederhoff made what was to be an important decision for his side. He left his escort behind and swinging well south, to try and avoid the mess that was the current conflict in the skies above Fort Douaumont, he would try to circle around and come at the objectives again, this time from the west. He just hoped that Janzen, in the Aviatik, could complete the job on the north side of the fort.

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    By the looks of things, his colleagues had already been close enough to do just that, but they both still had to survive the attentions of half a dozen enemy scouts!

    Janzen was of like mind. He had, in fact, succeeded in getting close enough for his observer to get some good shots of the northernmost target location. Now he would swing west and return from there, east towards his other objectives and home. Only, unfortunately for him, or fortunately for the Bulldogs, depending on your point of view, the Aviatik was in the sights of a couple of British scout pilots, that proceeded to give him a hard time, notwithstanding the effects of the return fire, given to them by his observer.

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    Meanwhile, Ltn Christian Koch, in the Pfalz, seemed to be taking on the other half of the British attackers, plus the remaining AAMG position in the fort, all on his own! How fortunate he was, that the AA gun missed and that at least one of his attackers was foiled in his attempted murder by a jammed gun! But how unfortunate he was when his aircraft caught fire never-the-less, just as Lt Phil Boots moved in for the coup de gras.

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    Ltn Mesch, in the Aviatik, trying hard to fend off the unwanted attentions of two aggressive DH2s, saw the Pfalz go down in flames and shuddered. Just as his aircraft was attacked and he had to think of nothing else but the need to clear away the offending articles, as quickly as possible! Gun jams helped as often as they hindered, of course, and in this case it was his British adversary who suffered the inconvenience! With one parting shot that missed, his pilot was able to detach them from pursuit, if only temporarily. A relief, yes, but then it allowed him a moment he didn’t want, to witness the demise of the Pfalz. Ltn Koch went down in a blaze of glory, or so he thought. And once more, the defenders of Fort Douaumont rushed forward eagerly and captured him before he could burn to death.

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    Why did these things always seem to happen so quickly? One second they were all there, contesting the right to control the heavens. Next thing you know, half of your support was gone and your friends were falling from the skies like so many flares.

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    Not a pretty sight. Not unless you happened to be Lt Phil U R Boots, that is. He, naturally enough, was both pleased with his success and relieved that he had not suffered a similar fate – yet. His comrades were having a bit of a field day it seemed. But the enemy still occupied contested air space and they were still taking those damned photographs. The job was far from successfully completed.

    And so, for a brief moment, we move to the sidelines, where F/Sgt Jo Lee was attempting to chase down an Eindekker; the green one mentioned earlier, and 2nd Lt Bo Fletcher went off on a jolly after another Eindekker, this one clear doped linen, before becoming disoriented and subsequently lost, for much of the remainder of this action – it happens!

    First the contest between Jo Lee and Christian Koch.

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    Clearly, neither pilot relished the outcome, although the greater discomfort was undoubtedly Lee’s. It will be seen, soon, that Koch then got the better of Lee by turning about in the fashion now referred to as Immel turning, or such like, before both pilots saw the sense in retiring. The one being wounded, the other having a failing engine.

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    We shall see neither again in this contest between knights of the sky.

    As for Bo Fletcher and his “petit voyage” to nowhere in particular – well be patient, please. You will see him again a little later.

    Thus we return to the exploits of the LVG and its crew of Karl Niederhoff, in the driving seat, and Alfred Osterroht, observing, shooting and taking photographs, not necessarily in that order. You will recall that the LVG was being taken south then west, in a circuitous route, in order to avoid the worst of the muddled exploits of the scouts in combat.

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    We catch up with it on its return journey eastwards, heading for Fort Douaumont once again and merrily involved in a photo shoot, on behalf of the imperial forces of Kaiser Wilhem II, all the while.

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    It is missed by Archie and then has the audacity to inflict a defeat on one of His Majesty King George Vs DH2 pilots, when Ltn Alfred Osterroht hits and wounds the illustrious leader of Bulldog A flight, Lt Mick E Taker.

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    An aerial view clearly shows this in progress, whilst a quick glance at the top of the same aerial shot will show, once more as promised, our friend Bo Fletcher on his wandering course! Poor Bo is in for some ribbing methinks. For his aid in preventing any photographs leaving the area is sorely needed.

    The RFC forces are in disarray as the LVG approaches its all important final run.

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    Not so the Eagles. Obltn Gisbert Habich, having avoided Fletcher, is now available to distract our merry band of RFC brothers. Just as the forts last machine gun chokes on its own ammunition, attempting to blow up the LVG on its approach, which incidentally does not prevent Alfred Osterroht taking some more excellent photographs of the western most target area, Habich opens up at long range on none other than F/Sgt Roe. Habich getting the better of the exchange, but more importantly wooing the RFC away from the LVG, now heading for the central fort target area!

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    And Bingo! The LVG makes it to the right place and its observer takes his final two photographs (which now makes six – two of the southern target area, two of the western target area and now two of the fort interior).

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    Two more of the eastern target area and he will have done the best job possible for his commanders. Fort Douaumont is not heavily defended and the German High Command needs to know. Will they manage the last two photographs and more importantly, will they escape east and back to their barn?

    I have to say, I hope not!!!!

    And throughout this latest act in the proceedings, Gisbert Habich had played an important role. Roe failed to take him down, following which “Charlie” Drake missed his opportunity too, although he did plant a few holes in the EIII. Habich had succeeded in distracting the RFC pilots from the real danger posed by the LVG. It was time for Habich to make his way eastwards, towards friendly territory.

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    The LVG made good use of the distraction and weaved its way gradually towards the east. Osterroht its observer, had time to look around now and he could see the Aviatik coming towards them from the west. Obviously it too had succeeded in evading the British and had crept west before turning back, with the intention of capturing more images of Fort Douaumont on the way home.

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    But it ran into serious trouble when it was pounced upon by a couple of RFC machines, one of which was the new boy “Charlie” Drake, This time, despite the fire from the LVG which thumped into his Moraine from behind, Charlie successfully hit his target and yet another German aircraft caught fire.

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    And once again, as if the fire were insufficient cruelty, F/Sgt Roe about turned and came at the burning Aviatik head on. A couple of quick bursts at close range and no matter the first missed. The second hit something vital, which when added to the flames, caused an explosion and down she went, just like the others. There was nothing Niederhoff or Osterroht or Habich could do about it. The two images of the northern target area were consumed in the fire and they were down to two surviving aircraft on this raid. The chase for them was on!

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    With yet another whoop of disbelieving joy, a few Frenchmen left the comparative safety of the fort and captured yet another german pilot. But there was no sign of the observer that must have been in the aircraft with him. Hiding in a ditch and sheltered by overhanging bushes, not thirty yards away, Ltn Johannes Mesch lay very, very still and prepared himself for a long wait until darkness came.


    Habich and Niederhoff flew their aircraft eastwards, weaving as they went, with Niederhoff straightening out only briefly, to allow Osterroht that last, successful, opportunity to take two more photographs of the eastern target area. Only one DH2 was close enough to them to give chase and that was the wounded Lt Taker.

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    Taker fired at the retreating two seater, at long range, in desperation and missed. His gun jammed and with it he lost his last hope of preventing any information from reaching the enemy.

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    The two German aircraft, together with their vital information, were last seen climbing into the clouds that had hung there solemnly all day.

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    They had completed their mission and they had escaped. But they left behind some good friends!
    As for our boys in the RFC. They aquitted themselves admirably. They shot down three enemy aircraft between them and had, as far as they were concerned, helped the French in this sector as much as they could have been expected to, without the loss of a single man or aircraft in the process. They were content and had some good reports to submit.

    They were not to know, or if they did, would not take responsibility, for what was to happen as a result of those images reaching German High Command. The subsequent loss of Fort Douaument, on the following day, was down to the French, who had already “partly disarmed” it themselves.


    “On 25 February 1916, Fort Douaumont was entered and occupied without a fight by a small German raiding party comprising only 19 officers and 79 men. The easy fall of Fort Douaumont, only three days after the beginning of the Battle of Verdun, shocked the French Army. It set the stage for the rest of a battle which lasted nine months, at enormous human cost. Douaumont was finally recaptured by three infantry divisions of the Second Army, during the First Offensive Battle of Verdun on 24 October 1916. This event brought closure to the battle in 1916. “ Wikipedia

    The end


    Butcher’s Bill

    Entente

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    Lt Mick Evan Taker (DH2) / RTB / WIA / 1 kill
    Roll 2D6 = 10 – 1 WIA + 1 RTB = 10 All well when you land well.
    Result – All good

    2nd Lt Phil Ulyses Robert Boots (DH2) / RTB / 1 kill
    Result – All good

    2nd Lt Bo Fletcher (DH2) / RTB / No kills
    Result – All good

    F/Sgt Henry Edward Roe (DH2) / RTB / 1 kill
    Result – All good

    F/Sgt Jo Lee (Moraine Saulnier type N) / RTB / WIA / No kills
    Roll 2D6 = 9 – 1 WIA + 1 RTB = 9 All well when you land well.
    Result – All good

    F/Sgt Charles Drake (Moraine Saulnier type N) / RTB / No kills
    Result – All good


    Central Powers

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    Two seater crews
    Obltn Hermann Lux PB (pilot Albatros CI) / SD EXP ET / No kills
    Roll 2D6 = 10 – 3 EXP = 7 Injured Skip 1D2 = 3 Skip 1 scenario.
    E&E
    Roll 2D6 = 4 – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 2 Captured! The war is over for this pilot
    Result - Captured

    Ltn Albert Mendel OB (Observer Albatros CI) / SD EXP ET / WIA / No kills (Took two photos which were destroyed in the explosion).
    Roll 2D6 = 9 – 3 EXP – 1 WIA = 5 Injured skip 1D3 = 6 skip 3 scenarios.
    E&E
    Roll 2D6 = 5 – 1 WIA – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 2 Captured! The war is over for this pilot
    Result - Captured

    Fwbl Robert Janzen (pilot Aviatik CI) / SD EXP FLM ET / No kills
    Roll 2D6 = 10 – 3 EXP = 7 Injured Skip 1D2 = 1 Skip 1 scenario.
    E&E
    Roll 2D6 = 5 – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 3 Captured and escaped! Skip 1D3 = 3 Skip 2 scenarios
    Result – Skip 2 scenarios

    Ltn Johannes Mesch (Observer Aviatik CI) / SD EXP FLM ET / No kills (Took two photos destroyed in fire)
    Roll 2D6 = 11 – 3 EXP = 8 Injured Skip 1D2 = 4 Skip 2 scenarios.
    E&E
    Roll 2D6 = 8 – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 6 In hiding! Skip 1D2 = 1 Skip 1 scenario.
    Result – Skip 2 scenarios

    Ltn Karl Niederhoff (Pilot LVG CII) / RTB / No kills
    Result – All good

    Ltn Alfred Osterroht (Observer LVG CII) / RTB / No kills (Took eight photos including two of Fort Duoaumont)
    Result – All good

    Scouts
    Obltn Gisbert Habich (Fokker EIII) / RTB / No kills
    Result – All good

    Ltn Joseph Jacob PB ( Fokker EIII) / SD FLM ET / No kills
    Roll 2D6 = 7 – 2 FLM = 5 Injured skip 1D3 = 5 skip 3 scenarios.
    E&E
    Roll 2D6 = 6 – 1 FLM – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 3 Captured and escaped! Skip 1D3 = 2 Skip 1 scenario.
    Result – Skip 3 scenarios.

    Ltn Christian Koch ( Pfalz EI) / SD FLM ET / No kills
    Roll 2D6 = 7 – 2 FLM = 5 Injured skip 1D3 = 2 skip 1 scenarios.
    E&E
    Roll 2D6 = 6 – 1 FLM – 1 WIC – 1 BEL = 3 Captured and escaped! Skip 1D3 = 6 Skip 3 scenarios.
    Result – Skip 3 scenarios.

    Ltn Hans Leptien EKII; PB (Fokker EIII) / RTB / No kills (Destroyed one AAMG position in Fort Duoaumont)
    Result – All good

    Victory points
    Entente
    Two seaters shot down - 4VP
    Scouts shot down – 2 VP

    Total: 6 VP

    Ce ntral Powers
    Compass Photos taken 6 VP
    Fort photos taken 4 VP

    Total: 10 VP

    A clear victory for the Central powers.

    Notes:
    I was permitted to fly two aircraft, so as a Bulldog, I chose two DH2s. However, to make more sense of things thereafter I decided that the movement of german escort scouts would mirror those of their wards until first contact was made on either the escort or its ward.

    I noted after a few photos had been taken that the LVG CII was a bit ahead of its actual introduction date. So I assumed it to be a trial aircraft and only armed it as for the other two 2 seaters i.e. with a single rear facing machine gun in the hands of the observer. Hope nobody finds that unacceptable.

    Re altitude: I sort of played it and sort of didn’t. Once the German aircraft had reached altitude 2, for more effective photography, I kept them there. I didn’t then give the RFC aircraft any height advantages when firing took place. I just assumed that either the FRC planes descended to get a better shot or that the German aircraft climbed to nullify the effects of height. It saved me the bother of constantly adjusting the number of pegs in any one peg column. With so many models on the table, quite frankly I couldn’t be a**ed – sorry.

    The mission took about four days to play out, which is entirely my own fault for taking the cloud cover literally and adding that complication to the 3D effects.. A real challenge to my temperament I have to say. But I’m glad I stuck it out. The mission was just great.

    I don’t think the pics are quite up to standard and if the story line seems rather hurried and not that well written, well, you are correct. Sorry, but things in our household have been a bit fraught recently, what with illness, operations and the need to spend copious hours grandchild minding (which I love actually ) And then, as I started this AAR, Yon and I found ourselves having to prepare a hasty trip to Holland following the demise of an aged uncle. Sad, but he had a really good innings.

    One last point. Reading it through myself, its noticeable that it seems to be mostly from the point of view of the Eagles Difficult not to do that given the objectives of the mission. It doesn’t matter to me. I hope it doesn’t to you.

    So, no more winging – I’ll post this in haste and hope for the best.

  2. #2

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    Default

    Superb set up. Clouds add atmosphere.... (pun intended).

    Tep inbound
    See you on the Dark Side......

  3. #3

    Default

    Clouds add atmosphere.... (pun intended).
    Hahaha Thanks neil.

  4. #4

    Default

    I don’t think the pics are quite up to standard and if the story line seems rather hurried and not that well written, well, you are correct.


    What a load of boll
    ocks!

    You had me hooked right from the start,
    Absolutely stunning photography, and your recreation of the fort was most impressive.

    I don't know how you kept track of everything on that table.
    Nevermind the actual planes moving in and out of your superb clouds, but when I saw all the movement cards .....
    I can't imagine sorting them all out again.


    I noticed a few other new embellishments (at least to me they were) in your pics.
    The flare was very effective, and some of the fire and smoke (notably the Turkish E.III) look like you must be a fly fisherman, most adept at making your own lures ?

    All that effort for a victory by my German allies.
    You certainly stuck it out and will be the recipient of well-deserved rep,sir.


    And here's a tip of the bottle (to go with that tip-of-the-hat) for those soon-to-be imprisoned crewmen to share with their French captors.

    Prost!


  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks a bundle Pete. Yep, the fire with smoke is the result of fly tying skills. A mixture of cotton wool, cats fur and hot orange marabou (turkey leg) feathers, all tied onto a piece of wire Thought I'd give it a try and see if it worked. A little less marabou next time I think and perhaps a touch of yellow mixed in
    The fort I cannot take the credit for as the pieces were painted by Jon Hall, a cartoonist mate of mine. I bought them from him years ago with a collection of 10mm Malburian armies. Just happened to fit the bill quite nicely. Glad you liked it

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Another superb AAR from you Mike!
    The photos, clouds & 3D scenery were just great.
    You really gave us a wonderful story of the action which seemed to be non stop.

    Rep so well deserved is on its way mate.

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  7. #7

    Default

    What an epic game.

    When I saw the opening shot of the game with all the cloud cover I thought that sets the scene pretty well, but he's going to have to remove them to play the game! I can see why it took 4 days to play out but I do worry about your sanity after having to move so much scenery each turn of the game, brilliant for your reader and viewer though

    I noticed the fly tying as well, the orange feathers have worked really well as did the flare.

    With so many planes on the table is always going to be confusing but you had a great descriptive story going, so well done, and even though you had a German victory the fighting was very one sided. Thats the way the cookie crumbles.
    Hope things calm down for you at home and Yon gets full mobility.
    Cheers

  8. #8

    Default

    Nice one mate, another epic tale even if it did seem to be from the view of the square heads ! Thoroughly enjoyed the ride, the scenery was superb, the fort fit the part, the pics looked fine to me and, most important, the Tally was on point.
    Clouds didn't do it for me - it's overcast and the action is below the cloud base so don't see the need, looks more like a 'London peculiar' - maybe that's why you felt the pics were a bit off. Who knows. Still looked the biz though.

    Uncle says:

    Who wrote this - Fritz Smith ?!
    Excellent report - Well done all. You chaps worked hard to help out our French allies. You couldn't quite get them all but it wasn't for lack of trying - at least you chaps all made it back even if not all in one piece and although the Frenchies seemed to throw in the towel it seems they did appreciate your efforts and have awarded a couple of selected pilots some gongs to further the entente cordiale so to speak.
    2Lt Phil Ulyses Robert Boots & F/Sgt Henry Edward Roe are each awarded the Croix de Guerre étoile de argent (CdGs) for their efforts so far in the campaign.
    Which means of course, that as far as HQ is concerned, the sun shines from our backsides - for today at least. Now that's worth a drink or two !
    Last edited by flash; 08-18-2019 at 04:01.

    "He is wise who watches"

  9. #9

    Default

    I do worry about your sanity
    No need to worry John - I've always been nuts so I really don't notice it

    Cheers everyone for the great feedback. Gongs and all eh! Well then, its down to the bar and drinks all round to celebrate

    Still around until Monday evening, then Yon and I shall be off to Holland until after the weekend - to say farewell to an aged uncle sad to say - but he had a goos innings chaps.

    And thanks from Yon for the good wishes - she's doing well and back driving again already. Great stuff modern medical practice - well done the NHS

  10. #10

    Default

    Fabulous scenery and effects! a minor quibble-some of the photos are duplicates, or close to duplicates; a bit confusing at first, but once I got used to them, definitely added to, rather than distracted from the story.

    And the write-up was quite well done, as well. Rep inbound.
    Last edited by zenlizard; 08-19-2019 at 07:08.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    No need to worry John - I've always been nuts so I really don't notice it
    I was about to respond to John to say that you had confirmed in a PM that this wasn't an issue since....well, you've done that here. Always best from the horse's mouth.

    You both have a safe and enjoyable trip.

  12. #12

  13. #13

    Default




    I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings
    Coming down is the hardest thing

  14. #14

  15. #15

    Default

    Hey, many thanks Daniel - glad you liked it

  16. #16

    Default

    And many thanks to you too Paul - As you so aptly show yourself "A picture is worth a thousand words"
    Thanks for the rep guys

  17. #17

    Default

    Well a great deal of work and thought put into this one Mike.
    I loved it.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  18. #18

    Default

    Thanks Rob - yes I enjoyed this one a great deal. Thanks for the rep

  19. #19

    Default

    Well done Mike. Your clouds added to the confusion and intensity of the fight. Your fort Douaumont was spot on. Love your flares too.

    Sadly again the Hun got away with enough photos to have the edge in this chapter of our campaign.



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