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goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have deserted you

 
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goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have des... - 7/26/2010 12:03:49 AM   
aprezto


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Gentlemen of knowledge. A little help deciphering what I am seeing here


Afternoon Air attack on Auckland , at 115,185
Weather in hex: Overcast

Raid spotted at 39 NM, estimated altitude 19,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 16 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 58
B5N1 Kate x 30
B5N2 Kate x 100

Allied aircraft
P-40E Warhawk x 16

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 2 destroyed
B5N1 Kate: 2 damaged
B5N2 Kate: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
P-40E Warhawk: 3 destroyed
P-40E Warhawk: 1 destroyed on ground
B-17E Fortress: 15 destroyed on ground
Hudson III (LR): 1 destroyed on ground
B-17D Fortress: 3 destroyed on ground
Vincent I: 2 destroyed on ground
SBD-3 Dauntless: 6 destroyed on ground
LB-30 Liberator: 1 destroyed on ground
Vildebeest IV: 2 destroyed on ground

Allied ground losses:
11 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled

Airbase hits 31
Airbase supply hits 5
Runway hits 131

Aircraft Attacking:
17 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 5000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
17 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 2000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
15 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 3000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
13 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 4000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N1 Kate bombing from 2000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x A6M2 Zero sweeping at 14000 feet *
9 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 4000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
4 x A6M2 Zero sweeping at 14000 feet *
5 x B5N1 Kate bombing from 4000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N1 Kate bombing from 4000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 3000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 3000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
4 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 2000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N1 Kate bombing from 3000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 2000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N1 Kate bombing from 5000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N1 Kate bombing from 3000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 4000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
5 x B5N2 Kate bombing from 5000 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb

CAP engaged:
49th PG/7th PS with P-40E Warhawk (1 airborne, 2 on standby, 13 scrambling)
1 plane(s) intercepting now.
Group patrol altitude is 25000 , scrambling fighters to 25000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 40 minutes

Obivously I have been caught with my pants down and just had my heavy bomber force pulverised.
However, as you'll note, the date is early in the war and I've basically got nothing else to defend NZ with, so I felt obliged to use the tools I had.

I no longer have that arrow in the quiver unfortunately.

So, Noting I have very little in the way of fighters to defend Auckland, I had put some faith in AAA. There is over 200 pieces of AAA located here. As you can see in the combat report the raid is not seen until about 16 minutes out, does this affect AAA accuracy?
What you'll also note, is that the kates drop to 3-5k feet to drop their bombs, which is why they are so ruthlessly efficient. But at this height even the smallest calibre AAA should be banging away like crazy. Why then do I only damage a couple of the kates?

Why do the kates drop so low?



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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:22:12 AM   
jetjockey


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Glide bombing. It seems you were the victim of a little bad luck; though your P-40s would normally do little to damage the raid, they should have broken it up a little minimizing the damage (ouch),

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:23:17 AM   
aprezto


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Does glidebombing sidestep AAA?

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:26:05 AM   
wdolson

 

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Was the base over stacked?  If a base is over stacked, there are not enough dispersal areas for planes and bombing raids will destroy a lot of aircraft.

There are a lot of factors in AA effectiveness.  The skill level of the AA units is going to count.  Length of warning is another.  I would expect a little better result from 200 AA pieces, but there is also the luck of the roll.

Bill


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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:31:44 AM   
Andy Mac

 

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What was th breakdown of AA types

You are relying on your 20 - 40mm AA guns at 3 - 5000 feet.


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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:44:22 AM   
aprezto


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skill level of the AAA varies from exp 40 to about exp 60 - so not fantastic.

Yes radar warning was basically non-existant. I didn't know this was that important - thought it more for CAP take-off response.

Not sure if base was overstacked. There are more groups there than there size airfield (7), but there is a air HQ, and not all groups had orders. However, I am not that purturbed with the fact I lost alot of aircraft (well actually I am, of course, but that's not my point here) I am more worried that the AAA seemed so utterly ineffective.

Andy - not sure of the break down. There are to US coastal AAA units, Auckland CD unit and the rest are native AAA components to base units or assault units (kiwi brigades). I would say (warning assumption) that this would be majority small calibre.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:57:06 AM   
Mistmatz

 

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Were your AA units in combat mode or were they eventually enjoying a day at the beach?

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 1:15:34 AM   
JohnDillworth


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I believe AA is not very effective against single engine aircraft. I have ben trying to figure it out, but have not had much success. It think the algorithm may count engines first. anything with more than one gets hit hard. after that maneuverability comes into play. Therefore fighters almost never get hit by flack. Single engine bombers somewhat, but not much. You have run into a bit of bad luck too.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 1:26:58 AM   
jetjockey


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I believe it does minimize AAA. Dito wdolson's thought. If the base was over-stacked...

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 1:28:34 AM   
jetjockey


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Tell that to my Vals and Kates, esp. my Kates!

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 1:55:29 AM   
aprezto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jetjockey

I believe it does minimize AAA. Dito wdolson's thought. If the base was over-stacked...


Not sure I am following the thinking:

Because the base was overstacked the AAA didn't fire?

The combat mode might be an issue. Definately the assault units were resting. So the lead time might count them out. All units with decent engineering components are in combat mode.

JohnDillworth: if your hypothesis has legs then I am basically defenceless against KB strikes against my airfields. That doesn't seem the way things have gone in the past.



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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 2:21:48 AM   
jetjockey


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Sorry, I was unclear.

Two thoughts: 1) glide bombing reduces the effectiveness of AAA.

2) Over-stacking may have lead to high casualties.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 2:40:09 AM   
aprezto


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Jetjockey.

I certainly concur with the second thought - difficult not to do this with heavy bombers when you want a decent fleet, when there are only 8 in a flight. However, I suppose there's the rub. If you want a decent strike force you have to chance your arm they'll be hit on the ground.

Which comes back around to the 1st point. If glidebombing makes AAA this ineffective this basically means you cannot base heavy bombers (or other rare aircraft) in any single location reachable by KB's kates in 42. The Japanese player would definately trade 1 or 2 lost kates for 30 heavy bombers.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 3:04:38 AM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: aprezto
Not sure I am following the thinking:

Because the base was overstacked the AAA didn't fire?

The combat mode might be an issue. Definately the assault units were resting. So the lead time might count them out. All units with decent engineering components are in combat mode.

JohnDillworth: if your hypothesis has legs then I am basically defenceless against KB strikes against my airfields. That doesn't seem the way things have gone in the past.


AA will only fire if the unit is in combat mode. If most were at rest then they didn't fire.

Bill

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 3:08:25 AM   
jetjockey


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aprezto:

I would not say ineffective, just less effective (at least WRT large caliber AAA).

I would agree though that it is unwise to concentrate bombers near KB without a VERY strong fighter cover. I've taken advantage of this reality several times in my PBEM.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 3:20:32 AM   
aprezto


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ha ha! strong allied fighter coverage in April '42. Now there's an oxymoron!

Point taken though. At least move them around. However, I don't have many options in NZ. Wellington is fighting for dear life and only managed to hang on against a 2-1 shock attack result last turn. So it's Christchurch or Auckland - I'll give PzB enough dues that he can whittle down the options...

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 4:00:24 AM   
jetjockey


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Don't be so dismissive of allied fighters. In May '42 I made the mistake of striking Suva without suppressing the Allied fighters with sweeps first. My Zeros handled the CAP roughly, but a number P-39s got through and just tore into my Vals (I think they were low on ammo by the time they reached the Kates). I easily replaced the aircraft, the pilots though…

I will not be making that mistake again anytime soon.

Keep the long game in mind: you can't afford massive losses, but if you fight a good "Rearguard action," your losses will be replace, his won't.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 5:07:43 AM   
aprezto


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Hi Jetjockey;

This is true, and in fact the Warhawks that were on CAP managed to knock down a few zeros, but they never got to the bombers. Unfortunately, with no radar, and more importantly, only one other fighter squadron available, a more numerous fighter CAP was unavailable.

There-in lies another problem with being the defender - you don't necessarily know where the enemy is going to strike. With the very short legs on allied fighters, being able to fly reinforcements in as difficult, if not quite impossible.

So I don't think I was necessarily being dismissive of allied fighters, more the numerousy. You can't be everywhere in numbers, and I wasn't in NZ.

To give you more of the situation, he did very well at faking an attack on Oz. Had he done so there would have been far higher defensive fighter numbers to resist him with.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 5:50:36 AM   
FatR

 

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These are not the results I typically see from Allied AAA. In my experience, planes releasing from low altitude (diving divebombers and glidebombing torpedo bombers) take casualties and lose accuracy even if just one AA unit is present. Even when I sent KB Kates at 9k (the altitude at which they do levelbombing, yet go above most of small-calibre flak) to bomb Colombo in my ongoing Japanese PBEM (in January 1942 at that moment), 6 planes were lost in a single raid. Considering that the chance of pilot loss when a plane is destroyed by flak is practically 100%, such losses exclude a sustained bombing campaign.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 7:12:48 AM   
PzB


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As the perpetrator I must admit that the results were surprisingly good.
After being at the receiving end of 60 4Es I got bit desperate and tried all the tools I had to get at them.
- The KB's long range Kate's seemed the best option (can stay out of range for a LBA counterattack - 9 hexes).

Ordered the Kates to bomb from 10k feet, seems like the dropped to 3-5k feet before releasing their load.

Personally I've still not made up my mind about AA guns efficacy in AE.
I know that even the most well organized flak party (Germany 43-45) needed a lot of guns, radar and coordination to bring down
bombers. Low flying attack ac were more vulnerable, even at PH when obtaining suprise quite a few were shot up.

Stacking xx LBA units in a single field would make dispersal difficult and increase vulnerability to this kind of attack.
Mind you that I sent 4-5 battleships to bombard Auckland (detection levels were something like 9/10) and I didn't knock over a single ac.
- Sending in 9 Zero's to strafe the fields cost me 2 fighters. It was when a formation of Betties was allowed to bomb rather undisturbed from 10k feet that I decided it was worth the risk of sending in my elite naval bombers to suppress the 4E threat.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 10:27:47 AM   
castor troy


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Flak is totally pathetic in AE, Iīve got bases in Burma stacked with 200+ 3.7 inch flak guns and the attacking Japanese bombers at 11.000ft suffer 1.5 out of 50-70 bombers lost to flak on average. None of the smaller calibre guns can reach that alt but you could think that 200+ heavy flak guns would have some effect. Not much difference between stacking a base with flak guns and not having them, because you could also rely on die rolls for op losses...

of course, Japanese flak isnīt existing at all. As it is now, itīs the same as with artillery, I donīt care about it at all anymore, only takes up space on ships. Perhaps itīs worth it to use flak units in mid 44 again because the 90mm will change to DP so it would work against ships but by that time I doubt that I will face lots of Japanese counter invasions. Standard alt for bombing in my PBEM is 11000ft for the Japanese and 10000ft for the Allied. I (Allied) only use 10000ft because you could run into balloons going in at 6000ft but flak surely isnīt the reason why I donīt attack at 6000ft. 10 or 110000ft works perfectly anyway. I would really love to see 200+ 3.7 inch flak guns open fire at 70 IJAAF medium bombers at 11000ft.

< Message edited by castor troy -- 7/26/2010 10:28:31 AM >


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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 11:28:44 AM   
PzB


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But it's not like 200 flak guns in one hex got the range to fire accross the hex and reach all attacking bombers either.
If there is a port, 6 airfields and a city to protect the guns need to cover all these locations.

I have no idea if the AA routines have been set up to take this into conisderation.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 11:32:45 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

But it's not like 200 flak guns in one hex got the range to fire accross the hex and reach all attacking bombers either.
If there is a port, 6 airfields and a city to protect the guns need to cover all these locations.

I have no idea if the AA routines have been set up to take this into conisderation.


The bombers pretty much have to go where the guns are to hit anything other than the lilies of the fields.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 11:39:44 AM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PzB

But it's not like 200 flak guns in one hex got the range to fire accross the hex and reach all attacking bombers either.
If there is a port, 6 airfields and a city to protect the guns need to cover all these locations.

I have no idea if the AA routines have been set up to take this into conisderation.



probably not, if the only thing in the hex is a level 1 airfield and you put the 200 heavy flak guns there you wonīt see a difference to a base with 9 port 9 airfield.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 11:45:34 AM   
PzB


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That's true, but attacking the port would enable the ac to avoid the guns defending the airfields on the other side of the city or engaging the
ack ack guns defending the city centre itself.

As with most other aspects of AE I guess AA routines is an "abstraction" of reality

I think there should be a pre and a post phase for AA guns;
- In the pre phase all heavy-medium AA guns will fire at the approaching enemy ac
Then the strike will attack their target and engage the close range AA guns
- In the post phase the heavy-medium AA guns would fire a departing salute against the strike ac as they withdraw

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 12:23:29 PM   
John Lansford

 

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I've had nearly a dozen dedicated AAA units at Chittagong, both heavy and light units, and the AI is sending hundreds of planes overhead with fewer than 10% a turn damaged.  Fortunately for me the bulk of them are fighters, but it's hard to accept all these guns available for so little return.

When I attack an enemy base, the same thing happens.  I'm losing more planes to hitting barrage balloons than I am to AAA fire.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 1:54:52 PM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John Lansford

I've had nearly a dozen dedicated AAA units at Chittagong, both heavy and light units, and the AI is sending hundreds of planes overhead with fewer than 10% a turn damaged.  Fortunately for me the bulk of them are fighters, but it's hard to accept all these guns available for so little return.

When I attack an enemy base, the same thing happens.  I'm losing more planes to hitting barrage balloons than I am to AAA fire.



thatīs why I said Iīm flying my bombers at 10000ft standard attack alt. Thatīs above the balloons and the only time I care about flak is when attacking ships at 1000ft. Land based flak is non existent in my version of AE.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 3:52:34 PM   
Rainer79

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy
thatīs why I said Iīm flying my bombers at 10000ft standard attack alt. Thatīs above the balloons and the only time I care about flak is when attacking ships at 1000ft. Land based flak is non existent in my version of AE.


That I can confirm. Out of ~4000 allied planes destroyed so far only about 100 have been lost due to flak.

And I guess a pretty significant share of those losses has been caused by naval guns. Not that those are much better. castor's favorite 1k feet naval attack altitude should - theoretically at least - be a good height for the many, many 25mm mounts to engage. Sadly practically they do fire only rarely (2-3 out of 36 ammo if I'm really lucky) if at all. Once in a while a 5" gun will get lucky though and even a 4E bomber can't ignore those.

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 4:11:58 PM   
Puhis

 

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I just had carrier battle in my PBEM game. Japanese CV TF of 4 carriers, 2 battleships etc. met allied strike of 54 fighters, 118 dive bombers and 63 torpedo bombers. Japanese flak shot down one lousy TB. CAP of 82 zeros shot down zero bombers (yes, 0). That day I just didn't lose all the carriers, I lost every ship in that TF. Well not every ship, one DD is only moderately damaged. One Kongo class BB is still floating, but I think it's beoyd any hope... 

What a day, and it's only May 1942...

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RE: goodbye heavy bomber force, your AAA defenders have... - 7/26/2010 4:41:01 PM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rainer79

quote:

ORIGINAL: castor troy
thatīs why I said Iīm flying my bombers at 10000ft standard attack alt. Thatīs above the balloons and the only time I care about flak is when attacking ships at 1000ft. Land based flak is non existent in my version of AE.


That I can confirm. Out of ~4000 allied planes destroyed so far only about 100 have been lost due to flak.

And I guess a pretty significant share of those losses has been caused by naval guns. Not that those are much better. castor's favorite 1k feet naval attack altitude should - theoretically at least - be a good height for the many, many 25mm mounts to engage. Sadly practically they do fire only rarely (2-3 out of 36 ammo if I'm really lucky) if at all. Once in a while a 5" gun will get lucky though and even a 4E bomber can't ignore those.





compared to land based flak, your ship based flak is a "killer"

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