Sunday, August 19, 2018

Battle of Britain - Scenario 13 - August 15th 1940 – Luftflotte 5 attacks The North

This is the thirteenth scenario in a Battle of Britain campaign that follows the exploits of the fictitious Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play, together with our own set of campaign rules. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

The Background

All three German Air Fleets were to lauch attacks on Britain when the fine weather they had been waiting for arrived on August 15th.

Luftflotte 5 based in Scandinavia launched attacks with He 111 bombers escorted by Me 110 fighters from Stavanger and Ju 88s from Aaborg. Because of the distance involved, the Me 110s left their rear-gunners behind to allow for extra fuel, however this was not expected to be a problem as the Luftwaffe believed that all of Fighter Command was tied up fighting in The South.

The armada consisted of 115 bombers and 35 fighters which approached Britain in two prongs. The incoming bandits were tracked by RDF and RAF fighters were sent to intercept. When the RAF formation leader spotted the bandits, he continued to head out into the sea in order to attack out of the sun. This caused one of his wingmen to ask, “Haven’t you seen them?” In a reply that was to become famous throughout fighter command, the leader said “Of course I’ve seen the b-b-b-bastards, I’m trying to w-w-w-work out what to do!”.

Of the 150 planes sent on the raid, 22 were destroyed, as a result of which Luftflotte 5 never attacked again in strength for the rest of the Battle of Britain.

The Action

Pilot Officer Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh returned to 369 Squadron after a few days recovering from his wound. Squadron Leader Foxy Moron, the Intelligence Officer could see that Featherstonehaugh was still not fully recovered; he seemed so introvert, just wandering around alone mumbling "Bang! It will work! Cuckoo clocks! Freezing! Bang! Got him!".

Pilot Officer Sir Price was going up to Scotland to visit with some friends from his Dartmouth days. He was going to fly up in the squadron's "Maggie", so Foxy persuaded him to take Featherstonehaugh along for the ride.

Sir Price landed at a RAF Acklington to fuel-up the “Maggie”. The chaps had just hopped out and were on their way to the Mess for a drink when a dozen pilots, rushed out, ran past them, jumped in their planes and scrambled! “What’s all the fuss about?” asked Sir Price.

RDF had detected a large raid of bandits heading in from over the North Sea. “Oh my”, said Cholmondeley, “We can’t do much good in the Maggie”. To which Sir Price replied, “That’s true, but I saw a couple of old Hurricanes parted on the taxiway when I flew over them for landing”. “Jolly good”, said Cholmondeley, “Off we go! Tally Ho!”.

Sir Price in the lead, spotted the Kraut formation. An Me 110 in the lead with a couple of Ju 88s behind. In his excitement, while manoeuvring towards the Germans, Cholmondeley managed to bump into Sir Price damaging both Hurricanes.

Seemingly unaware of the Me 110s frontal firepower, both Hurricanes headed straight towards it. The Me 110 gave Sir Price a nasty burst and then despite Sir Price’s manoeuvrability advantage, the Me 110 managed to get on his tail with an Immelmann.

The Me 110 did for Sir Price while Cholmondeley concentrated on the bombers. Soon smoke was pouring out from the bomber’s engine.

Cholmondeley stubbornly concentrated on the bomber in his sight, its smoking engine then caught fire! The Me 110 turned to try and catch up and protect the bombers.

However Cholmondeley’s luck ran out, and his borrowed Hurricane gave up under the hail of return fire from the bombers.

The fire on the Ju 88 could not be put out, the plane continued flying towards land and as soon as they reached the coast, the crew baled out and were taked prisoner by the local Home Guard. The second Ju 88 continued with its mission, bombed the Coastal Command airfield that was its target and then returned to its base over the North Sea.

Cholmondeley managed to nurse his Hurricane back to base and make a dead-stick landing, which was nearly perfect until he ran out of field and went straight into the hedgerow. Carried away on a strecher, he claimed a kill of the bomber which he had seen in flames.

Sir Price crash landed near the coatline and hit his head on landing. In the ambulance he had a miraculous recovery when he heard the nurses talking about the brave Pilot Officer Featherstonehaugh who'd shot down the Hun in flames. He jumped up, ripped of his bandages and rushed to the airfield where he pointed out that the Hun was his, he'd shot at it first, and Cholmondeley had just sneaked in and taken it from him.

Even the local Home Guard claimed a shot down Ju 88, they had opened fire with their shotguns when the flaming plane flew overhead.

Although the wreckage from only one Ju 88 was found, it was decided to award two kills: one to encourage the Home Guard and one to be shared between Cholmondeley and Sir Price.

Sir Price decided he didn't like Scotland any more, so early the next morning he stuffed the still bleeding Cholmondeley into the back of the "Maggie" and flew back south.


German Victory

  • Pilot Officer Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh: 1/2 Kill. Wounded by a hedgerow, miss one mission. 
  • Pilot Officer Sir Price: 1/2 Kill. 
  • Me 110: 1 Kill. 
  • Ju 88s: 1 Kill. 


As the Germans flew this mission from Scandinavia, we used no-name pilots for them.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Battle of Britain - Scenario 12 - August 13th 1940 – Crystal Trouble

This is the twelfth scenario in a Battle of Britain campaign that follows the exploits of the fictitious Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play, together with our own set of campaign rules. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

The Background

Adlertag; the great assault which it was hoped would bring Britain to its knees. The bombing force consisted of dozens of Dornier 17s led by Oberst Johannes Fink. His headquarters was in a bus on the cliffs of Cap Gris Nez where he could actually see through his binoculars the defenses of Dover. Today he deserted the bus for a pilot’s seat in the lead bomber.

The plan was that the Dornier 17s were to be accompanied by an equally large number of Bf 109s. However there was a communication problem, probably the wavelength had been altered and the bombers’ radios had not been fitted with the new crystals required. The accompanying fighters had radios which were fully functional.

The weather turned out to be poorer than expected. When Göring got this disappointing news, he postponed the operation, but by this time Fink’s planes were already airborne.

The cancellation was radioed to the airplanes and the fighters received the message and turned back. The bombers didn’t get the message and pressed on. This despite the fact that one fighter pilot, seeing what was happening, flew in front of Fink’s Dornier gesticulating wildly, trying to send the message that the operation had been postponed.

The Dorniers bombed their target in Kent, but as they turned for home they were intercepted by British fighters. Unsupported by friendly Bf 109s, the Dorniers lost heavily.

The Action

Having dropped their bombs on what they hoped was an armaments factory in the South of England, Leutnants Didi Schnell and Fritz von Spy und Spe where heading back to the continent. Their 109 escorts had disappeared when they crossed the French coast but the raid had gone well without them.

Pilot Officers Sir Price and Emmett Hollingberry were patrolling over Canterbury when the controller called them up and directed them towards a raid. Sir Price spotted the bandits and he and Hollingberry took their time working round to the bandits six.

Meanwhile Schnell and von Spy und Spe, with a cry of "Achtung Spitfire!", closed up their formation for better defensive fire.

With a shout of "Tally Ho", Sir Price opened fire damaging von Spy und Spe's Dornier but the return fire from both the Dorniers' rear-gunners caused black fumes to bellow out from Sir Price's engine.

When Oberleutnant Sepp Schlangenaugen and Leutnant Adolf Halland heard that the escort came back early, they jumped into their Bf 109s, determined to get the bombers home safely. When they spotted the bombers under attack over Kent, they raced towards the fight.

Before the Bf 109s could intervene, some lucky shooting caused Sir Price's engine to pack up. However with his parting shot, von Spy und Spe's Dornier caught fire.

Hollingberry took up the chase, picking on the already damaged Dornier.

Schlangenaugen and Halland were a little too eager to get into the fight, and quickly overshot Hollingberry's Spit.

This gave Hollingberry time for another burst, which did for von Spy und Spe.

The 109s turned on Hollingberry, but too slowly, so he managed to shoot down Didi Schnell as well.

Too late to save the bombers, the 109s caught up with Hollingberry and downed him over the Kent beaches.

Sir Price, with his dud engine, glided down over Kent and landed in a farmer's field. He received a cuddle from a dozen or so Land Girls before being taken to the farmhouse. The farmer, who had seen the fight above and the plummeting Dorniers, gave Sir Price a huge tot of his homemade Apple Brandy and then sent him off back to the airfield with a large parcel of bacon for the Officers' Mess.

Emmett Hollingberry ditched is plane in the channel, just a few dozen yards from Hastings Pier. Despite being injured in what could only be described as a crash, he managed to get out and swim ashore. He was immediately taken to the Novelty Rock Emporium by members of the home guard who gave him tea while waiting for the local ambulance to arrive. Hollingberry was now an Ace and while recovering from his injury went to The Palace to be awarded the DFC.

Fritz von Spy und Spe and his crew baled out over Kent, landed safely and before they could be discovered, made their way to the coast near Rye where they stole a fishing boat back to the continent.

Didi Schnell's Dornier crashed into the channel with no survivors.

Sepp Schlangenaugen and Adolf Halland flew back to France, where they celebrated Halland's kill with liberated Champagne. Halland was now a double Ace. He was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class and traveled to Karinhall to collect it from Göring himself.

Back at 369 Squadron's airfield, Foxy Moron the Intelligence Officer was in a flap, one of his paintings was missing, he was so busy searching for it that none of the pilots got debriefed. William ”Half Pint” Carruthers had been away on one day's leave, he returned late in the evening with a black eye, about which he would not talk. Sir Price smuggled a parcel into his quarters, but it went unnoticed, as the nosey Fitter Walker was away chauffeuring the wounded Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh.



  • Pilot Officer Emmett Hollingberry: 2 Kills. 
  • Leutnant Adolf Halland: 1 Kill. 
  • Leutnant Fritz von Spy und Spe: 1 Kill. 

Battle of Britain - Scenario 11 - August 12th 1940 – Destroy the Radar

This is the eleventh scenario in a Battle of Britain campaign that follows the exploits of the fictitious Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play, together with our own set of campaign rules. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

The Background

On the day before Adlertag, a first attempt was made to blind the RDF system, when German aircraft attacked four radar stations.

Operations targeted radar stations at Dunkirk, Dover, Rye and Pevensey. All were damaged and only Dunkirk remained on the air. In the afternoon Ventnor was seriously hit. However all stations were back on the air by the evening except Ventnor.

Back in Germany, the day’s raids were assessed as having been very successful. Wildly exaggerated estimates were made of the number of planes destroyed on the ground. A number of the airfields visited that day were duly crossed off as irreparably damaged. However, there was more realism concerning the radar stations. The Head of Signals reported that attacks had not put the radar stations out of action for long.

The Action

The Chief of Luftwaffe Signals, General von Vermouth, had identified the large towers on the coast of Britain as possible targets. These were to be knocked out before the offensive began in earnest. They made tricky targets, so it was decided to destroy them with precision dive-bombing. Oberleutnant Hans von und zu Missendorff was tasked with the mission which he decided to fly together with the newcomer to the squadron Leutnant Didi Schnell. Missendorff was unhappy flying the slow Stukas when opposition from Spitfires could be expected so he asked Oberleutnant Sepp Schlangenaugen and Leutnant Adolf Halland would fly close escort in their Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4s.

Pilot Officers Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh and Emmett Hollingberry were lounging in deck chairs near their Spitfire Mk IIs when they heard the ready room telephone ring. An incoming raid was detected by RDF and two of 369 Squadron's fighters were to intercept before they reached the coast.

The Huns crossed the French coast in tight formation and then the Bf 109s sped ahead of the Stukas in order to deter defending RAF fighters.

Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh and Emmett Hollingberry confused the Huns by splitting, in a manoeuvre which could be likened to the formation display teams in their Bulldogs ten years earlier. This trick allowed Featherstonehaugh and Hollingberry a first pass at the Stukas without the 109s interfering.

The 109s turned back to rescue the Stukas and started to dogfight with the Spits, but Featherstonehaugh stuck doggedly to the tail of "his" Stuka pouring burst after bust of .303 bullets into the Hun.

This left Hollingberry in an uneven fight with two 109s and he was soon on fire and going down.

Featherstonehaugh was in trouble, despite emptying all 2,800 of his .303 rounds into the Stuka it seemed to be flying on without problems. Then a lucky shot from Missendorf's rear-gunner caused Featherstonehaugh's engine to start making funny noises and loose power. To add injury to insult, the next burst from the Stuka wounded Featherstonehaugh who decided that discretion really was the better part of valour, at least with this Stuka which seemed unstoppable.

The Stukas arrived at the masts and dives so steeply that Featherstonehaugh lost contact. One Stuka as if by magic popped out of the dive just behind Featherstonehaugh and gave him a burst of fire to help him on his way home.

Back home, both Stukas claimed direct hits on the masts, but they were in fact only near misses and the station was still in operation.

Featherstonehaugh was patched up by the station doctor and sent on a few days leave to recover. He couldn't drive, so Leading Aircraftman Walker was shanghaied into acting as his driver. As they drove away, his squadron mates could hear Featherstonehaugh's morphine induced ramblings "What-ho the RAF! Bloody 303s! I'll kill that chappy Browning if I get my hands on him! Just not up to snuff! American's can't get anything right! I need bigger! Much bigger! Cannons! Right ho! Explosive! Bang! Bang! Bang ..."


German Victory

  • Leutnant Adolf Halland: 1 Kill. 

Battle of Britain - Scenario 10 - August 7th, 1940 – Leader of the Free French

This is the tenth scenario in a Battle of Britain campaign that follows the exploits of the fictitious Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play, together with our own set of campaign rules. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

The Background

Générale de Gaulle flew from France on 17th June and landed at Heston Airport. He visited Churchill at Number 10 Downing Street and discussed making a radio broadcast. The following day, De Gaulle broadcast an appeal which exhorted the French people not to be demoralized and to continue to resist the occupation of France.

The Vichy regime had already sentenced de Gaulle to four years imprisonment; on 2nd August he was condemned him to death by court martial in absentia.

De Gaulle and Churchill reached agreement on 7th August, that Britain would fund the Free French, with the bill to be settled after the war. A separate letter guaranteed the territorial integrity of the French Empire.

Having reached agreement, it could have been possible that Churchill invited de Gaulle and the American Ambassador "Joe" Kennedy to dine with him that evening at Chequers.

The Action

Information from a French spy in England had informed the Abwehr of the proposed meeting between Chirchill and de Gaulle. The Abwehr in turn informed the Luftwaffe who planned a raid on Chequers. It was to be a small raid, that could hopefully sneak through without being detected by RAF fighters. Because of the distance, it could not have fighter escort for the whole journey; fighters would escort the bombers to the limit of their endurance and new fighters would meet up with the bombers on their way out. Two Heinkel He 111 bombers would perform the raid escorted by two Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-4s. Oberleutnant Sepp Schlangenaugen and Leutnant Adolf Halland would fly the first escort.

The incoming raid was detected by RDF and a telephone call was put through to 369 Squadron. Two Hurricane Mk IIs were scrambled flown by Pilot Officers Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh and Sir Price.

Having been warned in good time, the Hurricanes met the raiders while they we still over the channel. The Hurricnes, led by Sir Price, attacked directly.

The 109s were slow in responding, and the Hurricanes made a head on pass through the Heinkels before the 109s could come to their defense.

A close range burst from Featherstonehaugh set an engine of one of the Heinkels on fire. Both Heinkels forged ahead as quickly as possible, while a dogfight between the 109s and the Hurricanes broke out behind them.

The dogfight gave the Heinkels enogh time to get clear. All the fighters took damage but a lucky deflection shot from Schlangenaugen caused Sir Price's Hurricane to catch fire and was last seen diving away in flames. A kill for Schlangenaugen.

The Germans were running low on fuel so they headed for France. Featherstonehaugh had lost sight of the bombers, so he nursed his damaged Hurricane back to base.

Sir Price managed to crash land his flaming Hurricane in a farmer's field. He decided that his previous crashes in the cold waters of the channel should have been appreciated more, compared to this hot escape.

When the controllers heard that the Heinkels had escaped they contacted 369 Squadron again, and scrambled another pair of Hurricanes. Flying Officer William ”Half Pint” Carruthers and Sous-lieutenant Napoleon Schickelgrüber took off in chase of the bombers. Napoleon Schickelgrüber, an Armée de l'Air fighter pilot, had recently arrived in England after fleeing occupied France.

They caught up with the Heinkels and picked one target each. Half Pint got on the tail of his Heinkel and shot it down just as it was lining up for its bomb run on Chequers.

Napoleon Schickelgrüber was slower and just as he was turning on his Heinkel he was damaged by defensive fire causing him engine trouble.

The remaining Heinkel, worried by the presence of the Hurricanes, made a quick bomb rum on Chequers.

Most of the bombload misses the target but one bomb lands on the terrace and bounces through the dining room window landing on the floor next to the dining room table. Churchill’s bodyguard, Detective Inspector Walter Henry Thompson, dives on top of the bomb to protect the Prime Minister from the blast. After a very very long 15 seconds – nothing has happened. Thompson gets up to the applause Winston and his guests, dusts himself down and throws the bomb back out the window. Where it of course explodes, destroying the dove cote, and providing the guard house with a good dinner.

Half Pint tenaciously chased the remaining Heinkel and shoots it down as it turned for home.

Napoleon Schickelgrüber heads for home nursing his stricken engine. Leading Aircraftman Walker, a fitter, looks over the Hurricane's engine but claims he could find nothing wrong with it. Shouts of "le roast bœuf incompétent" and "bloody frogs" could be heard coming from the hanger, although they did not disturb the partying in the Officers' Mess.

Half Pint returns to base to be feted in the Officers' Mess. Squadron Leader Foxy Moron, the Intelligence Officer, rewards Half Pint with a glass of Pastis while being debriefed. With his attention elsewhere, Foxy’s troublesome dog relieves himself in Half Pint's flying boots.


British Victory

  • Flying Officer William ”Half Pint” Carruthers: 2 Kills. 
  • Oberleutnant Sepp Schlangenaugen: 1 Kill. 


The chateaux we used to represent Chequers came from Irregular Miniatures 2mm range.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Battle for Malta - Scenario 6 - Bomb the Grand Harbour

This is the sixth scenario in a Battle for Malta campaign after which we will take a break for summer holidays. The campaign follows the exploits of the Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force fighting against the Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila - two fictitious squadrons. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

We use our own set of campaign rules "Wings Over Malta". These contain 6 basic missions which will be played with alternate sides as the attacker. They will be played first with "early war" planes and then repeated with "late war planes". This differs from our previous Battle of Britain campaign which was a ladder campaign that followed more exactly the historical battle.

The Background

Over Malta, the CR.42 encountered Hurricanes for the first time on 3 July 1940. That day, Flying Officer Waters shot down a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) bomber five miles off Kalafrana, but he was soon attacked in turn by the escorting Fiat CR.42 Falchi who badly shot up his aircraft. Waters crashed on landing and his Hurricane was written off. The Hurricane pilots soon discovered that the Italian biplanes could easily outmaneuver their aircraft.

Pilot Officer Jock Barber remembered: "On my first combat, the 9 of July, I attacked the leader of a Squadriglia of Falcos, while Flight Lieutenant George Burges attacked an SM.79 bomber. When I shot the CR.42 at a range of 100 yards, he did a flick-roll and went spinning down. I found myself engaged in dogfighting with the remaining CR.42s. This went down to about 10,000 feet; by then I had used up all my ammunition without much success, although I am convinced I got quite a few strikes on the leader in the initial combat. I realized pretty quickly that dogfighting with biplanes was just not on. They were so manoeuvrable that it was very difficult to get in a shot, and I had to keep diving and turning to keep myself from being shot down. George had by this time disappeared so I stuck my nose down and, with full throttle, was very thankful to get out of the way."

The Action

Pilot Officer Sir Price had escaped from his Italian captors and was smuggled through France and Spain to Gibraltar. On The Rock he boarded an aircraft carrier on its way to resupply Malta. On deck were a few old but precious Hawker Hurricane Mk.I's destined to be flown off at maximum range to reinforce the RAF on Malta. Sir Price was given one of these Hurricanes.

Sir Price had just landed at Luqa, his Hurricane was being refuelled when a telephone call announced that RDF had detected incoming bandits heading toward the Grand Harbour.

Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh ran and jumped into his waiting Gloster Gladiator and took off. Sir Price grabbed a bacon sandwich ran to his Hurricane and followed Cholmondeley into the air.

The bandits that had been detected on RDF were a four-plane formation from the Regia Aeronautica's squadriglia d'aquila led by Capitano Vitello Tonnato. It consisted of two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) bombers escorted by a pair of Fiat Cr.42 Falco (Falcon) fighters in close formation.

As the italians approached Malta, Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh was already out over the sea waiting for them. Sir Price was catching up fast, but he was still over the harbour.

Cholmondeley shouted "Tally Ho" and headed his Gladiator at the two CR.42 fighters in the hope od distracting them. Sir Price, still a fair distance away, headed for the bombers in the hope that his eight machine-guns would do good work.

Capitano Vitello Tonnato signalled his wingman Tenente Vittorio Gambetta to climb in order to avoid the risk of collision.

Cholmondeley turned in, taking the Falcons by surpise and got of a good burst into one of the. Sir Price and the bombers continued to close.

Primo Tenente Silvio Machette turned the bombers away from the attacking British fighters, perhaps in the hope that his rear gunners would get a good shot. This didn't worry Sir Price who continued to close the distance.

Tonnato and Gambetta turned their CR.42's tightly and managed to get a burst into Cholmondeley which wounded him.

Primo Tenente Silvio Machette climbed his Sparviero and ordered Sottotenente Modena Maserati to tighten the formation.

Cholmondeley performed a sharp turn and opened fire on Maserati's Sparviero, a lucky shot which caused flames to start pouring out from the bomber.

The bombers turned back again towards the hatbour. Cholmondeley continued his attack on Maserati's Sparviero and Sir Price headed in to help him despite the two Italian fighters which opened fire on him.

Sir Price continued his attack on Maserati's Sparviero. In a poorly judged turn, Tenente Vittorio Gambetta ended up in front of Cholmondeley's guns.

Sir Price continued his attack on Maserati's Sparviero, but the return fire from Maserati's rear gunner caused smoke to erupt from Sir Price's Hurricane. Cholmondeley mixes it up with the CR.42's.

The bomber continued towards their target followed by a gaggle of enemy and friendly fighters.

Both British fighters opened fire on Sottotenente Modena Maserati's already flaming Sparviero bomber which couldn't take the punishment any more. Primo Tenente Silvio Machette conitinued with the mission, pointing his Sparviero bomber at the target.

Silvio Machette conitinued with the mission heading towards the target. The fighters behind him tried to sort themselves out.

Silvio Machette lined up on the target ready to bomb. The dogfight behind him continued.

Bombs away!

Cholmondeley's Gladiator had taken a real beating, so he turned away out of the fight.

Cholmondeley had had enough. Having dropped his bombs on target, Silvio Machette turned his Sparviero bomber for home. Sir Price placed his Hurricane behind Vittorio Gambetta's CR.42 and opened fire with his eight machine guns.

Vittorio Gambetta's CR.42 disintergrated under the hail of fire from Sir Price's eight machine guns.

Sir Price was satisfied with his kills; his Hurricane was badly damaged, so he followed Cholmondeley homeward. Tonnato's slow CR.42 couldn't catch a Hurricane even if he'd wanted to, so he escorted the bomber home.


British Victory

  • Sottotenente Modena Maserati: KIA
  • Tenente Vittorio Gambetta: POW
  • Pilot Officer Sir Price: 1½ Kills
  • Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh: ½ Kill

Campaign Result so far...

2 Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force
4 Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila


ARES has no Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 Sparviero (Sparrowhawk) bombers so we used the ones from Armaments in Miniature (AIM).

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Battle for Malta - Scenario 5 - Sink the Italian shipping

This is the fifth scenario in a Battle for Malta campaign the follows the exploits of the Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force fighting against the Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila - two fictitious squadrons. We use the Wings of Glory WW2 rules, slightly modified to give faster play. We use the Wings of Glory planes where the right model is available, other manufactures are used to fill in the gaps.

We use our own set of campaign rules "Wings Over Malta". These contain 6 basic missions which will be played with alternate sides as the attacker. They will be played first with "early war" planes and then repeated with "late war planes". This differs from our previous Battle of Britain campaign which was a ladder campaign that followed more exactly the historical battle.

The Background

Malta was situated on the increasingly important sea supply route for the North African campaign. It would be a major help to the Allied war effort if the supplies from Italy to the Axis troops in North Africa could be reduced. Malta was the base for many Allied strikes against Italian shipping. The Fairey Swordfish was the Allied torpedo bomber in use at the start of the campaign.

The Fairey Swordfish was initially operated primarily as a fleet attack aircraft. It was already considered obsolescent in 1939. However the Swordfish remained in front-line service until V-E Day, having outlived multiple aircraft that had been intended to replace it in service.

The Swordfish holds the distinction of having caused the destruction of a greater tonnage of Axis shipping than any other Allied aircraft. While there were never more than a total of 27 Swordfish aircraft stationed on Malta at any one time, the type succeeded in sinking an average of 50,000 tons of enemy shipping per month across a nine-month period and during one record month, 98,000 tons of Axis shipping were reportedly lost to the island's Swordfish-equipped strike force.

The Action

Pilot Officer Emmett Hollingberry was drinking his traditional after lunch whisky with the new replacement Pilot Officer Lee N Perrin when the telephone rang. An Italian supply convoy had been spotted leaving port in Italy and heading for North Africa. The Fleet Air Arm were sending a strike of Fairy Swordfish torpedo bombers to sink the supply ships and they wanted an escort from 369 Squadron.

"What-ho!" said Hollingberry to Lee N Perrin, "now's your chance to show what you're made of!". Hollingberry grabbed the course and contact info for the Swordfish and then he and Lee N Perrin ran out to their Gloster Gladiators, jumped in and scrambled.

Knowing how important it was for the supply convoy to get through to North Africa, the Regia Marina had asked the Regia Aeronautica's squadriglia d'aquila to fly a combat air patrol over the convoy as long as possible. Capitano Vitello Tonnato flew his new Macchi C.200 fighter while Tenente Luigi Macaroni and Tenente Vittorio Gambetta flew their Fiat CR.42 biplanes.

The convoy was in a diamond formation heading towards Africa.

The British headed out over the Mediterranean in tight formation heading towards the expected position of the convoy.

The British spotted the convoy and its circling escort of fighters.

Both sides continued straight forward, except for Hollingberry who turned behind the Swordfish.

The planes continued to close, except for Hollingberry who dallied behind the Swordfish.

The two CR.42's opened fire on Lee N Perrin who returned fire.

The two CR.42's turned in towards the Swordfish which had themselves turned towards the Italians. Lee N Perrin's Gladiator got somehow caught in the middle. Hollingberry was still dallying behind the Swordfish.

Both CR.42's opened up on Lee N Perrin at close range.

Both CR.42's then turned sharply trying to tail the Swordfish, but instead ended up tailing Lee N Perrin's Gladiator. Even Capitano Vitello Tonnato in his Macchi C.200 fighter now closed in on the Swordfish. The dilly-dallying Hollingberry was too far behind to affect the combat.

A lucky shot from the Swordfish's rear gunner, and flames shot out from a CR.42 engine.

The two Swordfish headed towards the ships. Lee N Perrin performed an Immelmann which surprised the two Italian CR.42's. Tonnato misjudged his turn ad came in wide. The dilly-dallying Hollingberry was too far behind to affect the combat.

Lee N Perrin's Gladiator was a goner.

The rear gunners of both Swordfish opened up on the flaming CR.42 which didn't stand a chance!

Tonnato in his M.C.200 together with the remaining CR.42 joined forced to attack one Swordfish. The other Swordfish dropped its torpedo. The dilly-dallying Hollingberry was too far behind to affect the combat.

Having dropped its torpedo, the first Swordfish turned away. The second Swordfish turned so as to line up for its torpedo run; smoke started pouring from its engine. Both Italians saw this as a good omen and opened fire again; the Swordfish's rear gunner returned fire.

The swordfish didn't make it, and crashed into the sea with its torpedo still attached.

The remaining Swordfish banked away and headed home. The rear gunner could see the torpedo hit dead centre on the convoy's lead ship. The explosion was too much and the ship broke up and sunk.

The two Italians chased the remaining Swordfish. However Hollingberry was now behind them and opened fire.

Bravely ignoring Hollingberry, the two Italians concentrated on hunting down the remaining Swordfish.

But the Italians misjudged their turns as Hollingberry closed in from behind.

The CR.42 had taken plenty of damage from the Swordfish's rear gunners and now Hollingberry could finish it of with a lucky burst.

Tonnato took a snap shot at the Swordfish and then turned for home.

While Tonnato headed for home, Hollingberry escorted the remaining Swordfish back to Malta. When the landed, the Swordfish pilot asked Hollingberry "What took you so long?".

The ships of the convoy saw the planes crash. A launch was sent to pick up Tenente Luigi Macaroni and Tenente Vittorio Gambetta. Even Pilot Officer Lee N Perrin was picked up POW. The crew of the Swordfish didn't make it.


British Victory

  • Capitano Tonnato: 1 Kill, awarded Medaglia di bronzo al valore aeronautico.
  • Tenente Luigi Macaroni : 1 Kill
  • Pilot Officer Hollingberry: 1 Kill, awarded bar to DFC
  • Pilot Officer Lee N Perrin: POW
  • FAA red-nose Swordfish: 1 Kill, KIA
  • FAA black-nose Swordfish: 1 Ship Kill

Campaign Result so far...

1 Country of Dampshire 369 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force
4 Regia Aeronautica squadriglia d'aquila


ARES has no Macchi C.200 Saetta models so we used resin models Armaments in Miniature (AIM).

ARES has no Fairey Swordfish models so we used metal kits from the Skytrex Action 200 1:200 Scale WW2 range. When I added a peg to the underside of the plane to fit into a Wings of Glory stand, there was no room to add the torpedo which came with the kit; luckily I could use these spare torpedoes as dropped torpedo markers.

The ships are 1:1200 Hallmark models sold by Magister Militum.