From: Eagle River, Alaska
ORIGINAL: Howard Mitchell
Hello Nick, what elements of command and control do you think are over-done? I've played mostly as the Allies so far in BtR so haven't had chance to look at the game from the defending player's point of view, but from my knowledge of history I have not seen anything that seems too unlikely, other than the very detailed messages I get at message level 3.
In a nutshell the LW system was decentralized - no one control making all the decisions like we do in the game. OPs were controlled at the Fighter Division level, and they had trouble controlling 10-12 units. The fighter control system was constantly changing, with major changes at the end of 1943 and then again in early 1945. It has been said that the German day-fighter control system finally got to the level of the RAF during the BOB only in 1945 (capable of controlling up to 50 friendly units). It's amazing they were able to as much as they did. A lot of this had to do with equipment limitations - lack of proper radio, D/F and IFF equipment in the single seaters. So the bigger problem was knowing both ground command and the fighters flying not knowing exactly where they were specifically and in relation to incoming raids. Something we do not have to deal with.
(Note that the equipment problems were not because the Germans didn't know what they needed, but the equipment production type and allocation priority was to the nightfighters)
The rather small fighter division "sectors" also required manually exchanging them between divisions when either the units or raids passed boundaries. We as players don't have to deal with that, but in real life that often mean a few minutes of lost control. Coupled with the basic location problem (where am I, where are you?) meant a lot of botched intercepts.
As has been mentioned before, the radar coverage was nowhere near as complete because the radars didn't have 360 coverage. The fighters didn't have an equivalent to the RAF Pipsqueak, so when they were out of radar coverage ground control didn't know where they were. We do of course, with extreme accuracy. While the game does include altitude inaccuracies, there apparently is no range inaccuracies (range from radar to target) which would create actual location inaccuracies. Remember they didn't have the PPI radar scopes we all familiar with (round scope with rotating radar line).
Also, the radio intercept service was not controlled by the fighter command, so there were delays in getting that data disseminated. Ground observation was not a specific organization like the Observer Corps, but was done by local FlaK units using their chain of command (and there was constant fighting between the fighter and FlaK commands as to who was going be in control of air defense). Of course this slowed down the flow of information, not to mention that where there where no FlaK units there was no reporting. (Heer units would report but that was for the record, not for immediate use)
So we get real time, near 100% accurate information, with instantaneous compliance with orders without any of the delays caused by the organization or human interaction.
Here's an image of a fighter division control station. Looks like a portion of central Germany, but certainly not everything we look at.