ORIGINAL: Mike Dubost
ORIGINAL: John 3rd
full stop. the complaint was that 4EB were not operationally used to bomb ground troops. John said he was fine with 2EB, but 4 EB should not be allowed. I called BS. 4EB can, and were, and should be, allowed to bomb troops. There track record is short...but it certainly happened to great effect.
Allied generals were concerned with the inaccuracy of the 4 engine bombers as close support bombers, not the effectiveness of 4 EBs on ground troops. Everyone acknowledged that they were very effective against ground troops.
That 4 EB were not used frequently against ground troops in WWII has more to do with allied strategic decisions than the aircraft capabiities. The allies chose to use them against airbases, railheads, and industry. There is no reason that an allied player in WiTP should be bound by this strategic decision, just as the Japanese player should not be forced to send 4 of his carriers half way across the Pacific blind in support of an invasion of an insignificant atoll.
In my opinion, the game engine handles all aspects of the airwar very well. That is just my opinion. If I did not think so, I would not enjoy the game.
Everyone points to the single big example of Cobra for 4EB. How about the massive 'friendly fire' casualties that happened in several the Bocage attacks there. Didn't the army lose a 3-Star General who went to watch and got killed when they bombed short?
Simple reality, as alluded to earlier, is that the game engine simply cannot handle it.
EX: June 5th Turn just run in Dan and I's game. A 32 plane Liberator attack at Batangas against troops in Sz-4 Forts, not moving, two AA units present, and CAP. Result: 1 Liberator shot down, 11 Damaged to AA/Fighters, and 404 Japanese Cas on the ground.
Well, at the risk of beating a dead horse, I would like to point out a fact that no one has mentioned yet. While it is true that Leslie McNair (the highest ranking American casualty of the ETO) was killed, this was partly due to the approach.
In his memoirs, General Bradley spoke about the friendly fire issue. His statement (note, I have not seen this in detail elsewhere, so be advised it is one credible source only) was that he had planned to have the bombers approach along the front. The Army Air Corps over-ruled him and insisted that it had to be perpendicular to the front. My recollection is that he stated that he never wanted to have another carpet bombing mission that came in perpendicular to the front, not necessarily no carpet bombing at all.
Please consider that when objecting to the example of Cobra. Could the planners of other missions have agreed to a perpendicular approach? Yes, possibly. Would it have made the bombing as effective as you see in game? I don't have enough knowledge of the technology of the time to say.
That was Bradley whitewashing. Army (meaning Bradley) was pushing for extremely close safety distances, a mile or so. Air Force wanted 5, ended up compromising on 2 or 3. Perpendicular probably would have been worse because it made navigation much more difficult.
In practice CAS FB's etc. did try to fly perpendicular, but usual problems of accurate air navigation, target identification etc. meant even they caused FF.
In the end the got it right with QUEEN, but that was with much bigger safety distances and again, marginal results for considering the resources invested.