Friday, March 5, 2021

Another Dogfight over Dunkirk

This wargame was played using Wings Of Glory. The Luftwaffe fighters were controlled using my "autopilot rules" based on the Wings Of Glory Solo rules by Herkybird.

The Dunkirk evacuation, code-named Operation Dynamo, was in full swing. A flotilla of hundreds of merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft, yachts, and lifeboats was called into service from Britain and together with the Royal Navy they were evacuating thousands of allied soldiers off the beaches at the French town of Dunkerque.

The evacuation was being hindered by the Luftwaffe which continually strafed and bombed the ships, harbour and beaches. High in the sky, often unseen by the troops on the ground, the RAF flew many sorties to protect the evacuation.

Two intrepid RAF pilots, Pilot Officers John ”One Burst” Johnson and Emmett Hollingberry, took off from Little Bobbington aerodrome in their Supermarine Spitfire Mk I's and headed out across The Channel towards the French coast. 

One Burst was leading the sortie with Hollingberry flying as his wingman.

As the Spitfires approached the French coastline, they spotted two Messerschmitt Bf 109E fighters heading towards them. 

One Burst turned in towards the 109s and Hollingberry side-slipped towards them. Even the Me 109s turned in towards their enemy.

One Burst slowed down his Spitfire to nearly stall speed. Hollingberry turned left. Both Me 109s headed straight in to the dogfight.

One Burst exchanged fire with an Me 109 at long range. The 20mm cannon on the Me 109 did much more damage to the Spitfire, than the Spitfire's .303 inch machine-guns did to the Me 109. [Note that when using the autopilot rules, the planes ignore the rudder jammed special damage]

The second Me 109 opened fire on Hollingberry at close range.

Both Me 109s flew straight ahead. Even One Burst flew straight ahead, preparing for a half-loop. Hollingerry turned sharply right.

Having passed by the Germans, One Burst performed a half-loop hoping to get on the tail of one of them. Hollingberry turned right as did both Me 109s.

One Burst got in a long range shot at a Me 109, but his bullets were so widespread that they did little damage to the German plane.

Hollingberry turned sharply right and One Burst flew straight ahead. One Me 109 flew straight out of the dogfight, preparing to half-loop. The second continued turning right trying to out-turn the Spitfires.

Both Spitfires turned sharply right. One Me 109 turned tightly right hoping to get on the tail of a Spitfire, while the other performed a half-loop back into the dogfight.

One Burst Johnson turned right as Emmett Hollingberry came charging in to confront an Me 109 in a head-on duel.

At close range, Hollingberry's burst of fire from his eight .303 inch Browning machine-guns did more damage than the Me 109's cannon fire. [Note that when using the autopilot rules, the planes ignore the rudder jammed special damage]

After the head-on dual, Hollingberry's Spitfire flashed passed the Me 109 with only inches to spare. One Burst Johnson continued to turn tightly right.

Both Me 109s turned towards Hollingberry who was turning his Spitfire back towards them. One Burst Johnson continued to turn tightly right.

A long range burst of cannon fire damaged Hollingberry's Spitfire.

Deciding that Emmett Hollingberry's Spitfire was an easy prey, both Me 109s gave chase. One Burst Johnson was still following on behind.

Cannon shells from one Me 109 tore up Emmett Hollingberry's Spitfire, The other Me 109 missed the Spitfire.

Both Me 109s continued to chase Hollingberry.

Cannon shells from one Me 109 exploded within the Spitfire. The other Me 109 missed yet again.

Emmett Hollingberry bailed out as his Spitfire plummeted headlong into the sea.

The two Me 109s saw One Burst closing in on them. One Me 109 performed a half-loop while the other turned tightly to its right.

One Burst continued straight towards the nearest Me 109, they flashed past each other, neither getting off a good shot.

Both Me 109s turned inwards, hoping to catch One Burst in an aerial pincer movement.

As the Me 109s continued to turn, One Burst threw his Spitfire into an Immelmann turn which caught the Germans by surprise.

Although still at long range, the Spitfire's eight machine-guns caused serious damage to the Me 109.

One Burst flew straight ahead exiting his Immelmann as an Me109 made the mistake of flying straight in front of him.

At close range, the eight .303 inch Browning machine-guns of the Spitfire made a nasty mess of the Me 109. [Note that when using the autopilot rules, the planes ignore the engine special damage]

This was more than the 109's airframe could stand, and it rolled over and plummeted into the sea.

Having now evened the odds, "One Burst" threw his Spitfire into another Immelmann turn to face the remaining 109 which was turning sharply left in an attempt to get on the Spitfires tail.

It was One Burst's lucky day, and he managed to hit the 109 at long range.

The two planes flashed past each other without managing to get off a good shot.

Both planes performed a half-loop.

They exchanged fire at long range without doing any noticeable damage.

And then shot passed each other.

Both performed Immelmann turns, in an attempt to catch the other off guard.

One Burst's machine guns were more effective than the Me 109's cannon.

And then shot passed each other with inches to spare.

But they both managed to get off a quick shot. Even this time, One Burst's machine guns were more effective than the Me 109's cannon.

The Me 109 plunged into the sea.

Pilot Officer Emmett Hollingberry was picked up by a cross-channel ferry, now under RNVR command, in the process of evacuating British and French troops back to England.

Pilot Officer John ”One Burst” Johnson turned his battered Spitfire towards the English coast and headed towards Little Bobbington aerodrome. He landed safely. That night, there was a large party in The Drunken Duck, the squadron's local pub located just outside the aerodrome perimeter fence.

The next morning at breakfast in the squadron mess, the cooks made One Burst a huge bacon and egg sandwich to celebrate his victories. They used two real eggs!

Two days later, the aerodrome was visited by Lord Dampshire, who awarded Pilot Officer John ”One Burst” Johnson the Distinguished Flying Cross for his action over Dunkirk. During the award ceremony, Pilot Officer Emmett Hollingberry was dropped off outside the main gate by the number 134 bus.