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Thread: Action on the Adriatic coast (Part 1)

  1. #1

    Default Action on the Adriatic coast (Part 1)

    Inspired by Spoonfrog’s research into the war around Albania and a recent painting spree on Lohner L.1’s I decided I would undertake a major action on the Adriatic coast. Purely fictitious but drawing on the research I looked at involving 16 aircraft and would use the Morale rules from the OTT campaign (thanks to Flash(Dave)) which would mean planes leaving the battle where necessary (due to damage, wounds and engine issues) and also Flash’s D8 AI solo charts (Thanks again) for all of the aircraft, intervening with Dives and Climbs where necessary as I also intended on using Altitude. Once decided on the planes I also thought it would be fun (or maybe lazy) to pilot them with the known pilots (where possible) from the database. The starting altitude and chits were randomly drawn based on the maximum altitude and climb rates.

    Scenario
    December 1916
    Flying from Durazzo Aerodrome in Albania, the Austrian-Hungarian force set off to undertake damage to the Otranto airbase in Italy who were disrupting u-boat and shipping. The intention was to follow the coast and then head off across the sea at the shortest point.
    Simultaneously, the Italians were sending a force north from Valona (occupied Greece) to bomb the Durazzo Aerodrome as they were severely disrupting patrols over the lines.
    Capitaine Pierre Dupon and his wingman Sous Lieutenant Charles Nungesser had left their base in Vrbeni (southern Greece) to fly to Salonica and return with wine and food to celebrate the New Year with their Escadrille. Unbelievably, having taken the goods on board their planes, the pair had lost their way in the snow-covered landscape and ended up at the Italian base at Valona. Having refuelled, they had joined the raiding party going North with the intention of heading East halfway through to return to their base on known landmarks. It is this scenario with the French flyers in front of the Italian squadrilliga that they encounter the Austro-Hungarian force.

    Planes and participants

    Austro-Hungarian force
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    Lohner L.1 (Red/white body) - Linienschiffsleutnant Gottfried Freiherr von Banfield (pilot) and Seakadett Heribert Strobl Edler von Ravensberg (observer/gunner)
    Lohner L.1 (Brown body) - Fregattenleutnant Friedrich Lang (pilot) and Stabsmachinenwarter Franz Kohlhauser (observer/gunner)
    Albatros D.III (tan with red stripes) - Oberleutnant Ludwig Hautzmeyer
    Albatros D.III (Red) - Hauptmann Godwin von Brumkowski
    Albatros D.III (Green) - Offizierstellvertreter Kurt Gruber
    Phonix D.1 (Brown wings) - Stabsfeldwebel Karl Urban
    Phonix D.1 (Austrian wing markings) - Oberleutnant Frank Linke-Crawford
    Aviatik D.1 (yellow/brown circle pattern) - Flieger Feldwebel Karl Turek

    Italian/French force
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    Macchi L.1 (Red roundels) - Tenente Guiseppe Miraglia (pilot) and Tenente Ernesto Pacchiarotti (observer/gunner)
    Macchi L.1 (Green roundels) - Capitano Guido Jannello and Tenente Gabriele D’Annunzio (observer/gunner)
    Hanriot HD.1 (Nr. 1) - Tenente Mario Fucini
    Hanriot HD.1 (Nr. 2) - Tenente Silvio Scaroni
    Nieuport 17 (Silver) - Capitaine Pierre Dupon
    Nieuport 17 (Green/brown camo) - Sous Lieutenant Charles Nungesser
    Spad XIII (Linen) - Sottotenente Giovanni Ancillotto
    Spad XIII (Camo) - Maggiore Francesca Baracca

    (Please note that I have tried to keep the planes and names relevant to the times but please forgive any errors. For example, I have not used Macchi M.5 or UFAG’s which were not introduced until 1918+)

    The opposing forces face each other, the Italians coming from the sea and the Austro-Hungarians from the land in loose formation
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    ….and a birds-eye view showing the altitude of each side.
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    After the first moves, the older Lohner’s tuck in behind the formation, although one Phonix (Linke-Crawford) seems to be having engine issues at the back.
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    The French Nieuports find themselves at the vanguard of an engagement they didn’t want, and the faster Spad’s surge forward, diving as they come
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    …although there is still some distance to close.
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    The formations are getting ready for the battle with Gruber pushing ahead, eager to commence the fight, with the Lohnr’s splitting to either side.
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    Gruber gets his wish as he closes to long range with Dupon, who suffers rudder damage. Dupon’s shot is off target.
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    Banfield/Ravensberg gets a telling shot off against Nungesser at long range, but the return is ineffective.Click image for larger version. 

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    Brumkowski fires on Baracca, with both taking minor damage and Baracca having a hit on his rudder control. Gruber carries past Ancillotto and gets a shot at Miraglia/Pacchiarotti who returns fire, both taking minor damage. The rest are out of altitude range to fire.
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    Inevitably, a number of planes overlap, with Brumkowski (0 damage) and Baracca (2 damage) colliding. Lang/Kohlhauser exchange fire with Scaroni again for minor hits but Kohlhauser jams his gun. Ancillotto gets in a big hit (4) against Urban who misses on his return fire and finally Miraglia/Pacchiarotti get their second consecutive shot thanks to their wide angle of fire against Gruber for minor damage, who is out of arc to respond.
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    Next turn there are many overlaps but no collisions as all are at differing altitudes or climb chits.
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    Pacchiarotti gets a shot off at the higher flying Lang but is unable to hit his target. Kohlhauser cannot reply as his guns are jammed.
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    Again, many overlaps in the constricted airspace.
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    Fucini gets a telling shot (4) at long range against the diving Linke-Crawford, and Pacchiarotti again misses the target against Lang at long range due to the altitude difference.
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    Turek gets a minor long range shot (1) against Fucini and Gruber gets a telling shot (2) against Miraglia, setting the Macchi on fire.
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    The fire takes hold immediately causing major damage as the wood and linen burn.
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    Gruber sees the Macchi in trouble and fires another shot into the rear, the hit is too much and the plane spirals to the ground, first kill to Gruber , the battle is over for MiraGlia/Pacchiarotti. Turek follows up against Fucini with another minor hit.
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    Brumkowski and Baracca exchange shots again with little effect.
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    Urban gets into a great position for a long range shot and sprays the cabin of Ancillotto with bullets. Ancillotto falls back in his seat, seriously injured, and must leave the battle to return to base, but does inflict minor damage, jamming his guns in the process.
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    With planes starting to fall everyone else is jockeying for position.
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    ….resulting in no shots in the next phase.
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    With various dives, climbs and Immelmanns, there is little shooting next round. Urban and Jannello/D’Annunzio exchange ineffectual shots, but the Maachi’s gun jams.
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    Scaroni gets a shot at Lang/Kohlhauser and the Lohner breaks up in the air, kill to Scaroni.
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    A vicious short range exchange between Linke-Crawford (5, 5+pw) and Baracca (3,0) ends with Linke-Crawford having to leave the battle with major wounds.
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    Brumkowski gets on the six of Jannello and hits for 4 damage.
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    Nungesser fires at long range on Banfield and only succeeds in jamming his guns.
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    The planes are spread out, with amazingly no firing opportunities.
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    Gruber has a shot on Nungesser but doesn’t take advantage and Linke-Crawford fires on Fucini for damage and a gun jam, while Ancillotto leaves the map due to his wounds.
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    The planes manoeuvre for position again (ignore the 0 damage card as his gun was jammed).
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    (To be continued)
    Last edited by Baz; 09-23-2022 at 15:57.

  2. #2

    Default

    Nice! A most impressive action with lots of aircraft! I am very pleased to have helped to inspire it. I don't know how you keep track of so many aircraft...

    The action is sort of plausible, although I don't think SPAD XIIIs ever saw action in Albania. Also, Hanriot HD1s were not around until 1918. I'd like to see the French handicapped in some way because of their wine and food cargo!

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonfrog View Post
    Nice! A most impressive action with lots of aircraft! I am very pleased to have helped to inspire it. I don't know how you keep track of so many aircraft...

    The action is sort of plausible, although I don't think SPAD XIIIs ever saw action in Albania. Also, Hanriot HD1s were not around until 1918. I'd like to see the French handicapped in some way because of their wine and food cargo!
    I am sure you are right which is why I stated early on that this was a fictitious meeting. I used linen.miraheze.org website which showed Italy using the Hanriots and SPADs from 1917, but as you say, probably not on this front. I used Italian and Austro-Hungarian pilots not sure if they ever saw action either.

  4. #4

    Default

    Awesome action - can't wait for the next episode

  5. #5

    Default

    You did well on keeping track of so many aircraft, especially with different altitudes.
    I liked the map. It gave a good feel to the coastal encounter.



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