From: Bristol, UK
Edit: Took so long to do I crossed with the posts above.
Carpet bombing is not an exact science. It cannot be done 'on demand'. In order for it proceed it must be planned in advance.
The front line has to be shifted back. The minimal safe distance for friendly units is supposed to be one mile. So before bombing, you have to disengage from the enemy and back up. These units are also out in the open...waiting for an attack to be launched and not dug in...
Only if the attack is in 'close support' of a front line attack. If the aim, as here, is mostly to cause combat strength reduction and casualties, all you need is some recon. Most of a front line hex is more than the safety distamce away, and Pelton is not exactly holding the line with a thin crust.
The area being bombed has to be marked somehow. The bombers are flying at over 20k feet.
Not necessarily in either case. Heavies (especially BC) do not need to be, or cannot be this high, and 8AF dont usually mark. I dont think we have been told the bombing alt, but I would bomb from 15-18kft.
They are not dive bombers. They will not see units on the ground to bomb. The most common way of marking the are to be bombed is to follow geographical features...which means you may not even be able to bomb where the enemy really is. Other methods were tried...using coloured smoke from artillery for example, but they were not effective. (did I mention they bomb from over 20k feet?)
While being bombed, there is a huge psychological effect. The closest I can imagine is it would be like going to my in-laws for dinner. *shudder*. While there will be casualties, it will not be in proportion to the effort. Panzer Lehr which was supposedly 'wiped out' was still a viable division. The bombing covered a lot of their tanks with dirt, so they had to be dug out. That's not destroyed, that's disabled.
Only so many bombers can actually fly over the area.
Per time. A box of B17s is only a few hundred meters long (even when narrowed to bomb), that is a couple of seconds flying time. Box spacing is a few miles, so you can put entire 8AF over a target in well less than a day. BC was compressing 500 bombers across a city in the dark without coordination in less than an hour IIRC.
And after the bombs hit, there will be so much dirt, debris, smoke etc...concealing the battlefield. This will hinder other air operations.
The ground is chewed up. Since the bombs are falling indiscriminately rubble, bridges, roads...they will all be pockmarked, shellholed. It did make an advance difficult.
The B-17 was built with a purpose in mind. Nobody could wave a magic wand and turn it into a dive bomber. Or a tactical bomber. The use of fuel, crew, bombs...the time to prepare it for missions...the lack of any communication whatsoever with the army. (they only communicate general to general). Really...if they thought that it would be better to bomb random bits of ground in the hopes they can hit a German, they would have built a different airplane.
Not relevant to this discussion, which is given the bomber fleets existed as they did, could they be used to bomb units.
Sooooo...this leads me to the game. In game you can fly as many sorties as you want. With as many planes as you want. They drop their bombs like they are tactical aircraft that can see the target. You can fly at absurd altitudes (tree top bombing with b-17s) You can kill imaginary citizens of France. They never miss the target or hit friendly near by troops. The Strat bomber is just too effective at bombing units.
Need to ask for your in game evidence please. Controlled raids, repeated significant number of times, etc.
I am not against flying the mission...go crazy. The game already has a balance for that...you lose vps. Which should limit the number of times you fly the mission. What I am against is the amount of damage it causes. The kind of damage. The lack of any ground delay or effect on the allies.
The game just looks at the bombs. It says x number of bombs will do y amount of damage. And then multiply it by the number of bombs....it doesn't regulate the number of planes that should physically fly over the area. It assumes that no bombs ever hit an adjacent friendly unit. It pretends that the hex, despite any amount of bombing, would be as easy to walk through as a trip in a park.
In game you are bombing 7 days a week. When exactly do the troops have time to attack the hex? The battle would be like this: Overnight....friendly troops back away from front line to safe distance (about a mile) Carpet bombing hits early morning. After bombing finished, troops move up to front line. Launch attack at noon. Fight until night. Back up to safe distance maybe getting a couple hours sleep. Next morning...Bomb..move up...attack....retreat....maybe sleep.
If you say hey...I don't have to attack at all..well..whats to stop the Germans from hugging the front lines. A common tactic in places like Stalingrad when the enemy doesn't want to be shelled/bombed.
I think people are being naïve. Don't let Pelton's bad example justify what is a misuse of airpower. His argument is flawed in many ways, but deep down, there is a problem with how B-17's Lancasters etc...can be used exactly the same way as Mitchell's.
Earlier I had suggested that perhaps the strat bombers should leave enemy interdiction in the hex. Somebody countered with adding delay. Every day that a carpet bombing hits a hex, it should be somehow taking up time. Adding 3 delay per day could work, I liked the idea of enemy interdiction since that would cause the friendly fire associated with highly inaccurate bombing..but perhaps wouldn't add enough delay. Or maybe just have a house rule that you can only carpet bomb on one day of the week.
This appears to be different to the case here. The questions you raise here are valid, but a different case to the dicussion in this thread which doesnt have follow up attacks in the main.
I am not saying the game is correct on carpet bombing (I have pointed out months ago that BC was not trained for mass day bombing), but the case has not been made.
Until someone shows that using heavies against units actually helps them win, I am not sure this is worth worrying about. If I were fighting Pelton, I would be planning the follow up invasion to cut off his giant Kursk style front line. Where has he nicked all the troops from?
< Message edited by HMSWarspite -- 1/2/2016 10:17:09 PM >
I have a cunning plan, My Lord