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Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses

 
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Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/9/2016 4:03:01 PM   
Ralzakark


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Several people have commented on the heavy losses Allied night fighters (NF) suffer, especially under the beta patch, so I thought I would dig out some historical information on both NF and German Nachtjagd (NJ) to compare with the game. The table below summarises the information available to me for the end of the war, when the strategic bombers returned to Germany after concentrating on supporting D-Day.

Looking at the data it seems to me that in WitW:
• German NJ losses to Allied NF are much heavier than they should be.
• Allied NF losses to German NJ are much, much heavier than they should be.

I think the current beta patch seriously over-estimates the ease with which night fighters could find each other.




Notes:
A – Losses to all causes. In 1943 the Luftwaffe believed that the cause of losses was split evenly between aerial combat, flak, technical faults and fuel shortages.
B – included in the total claims.
C – The RAF rarely knew what had caused a loss as the aircraft would simply fail to return. RAF losses are therefore to all causes – air combat, flak, mechanical failure, pilot error, etc.
D – Not all intruder claims were for night fighters; about 20% were aircraft such as Ju 34s, Ju 52s and He 177s. A portion of the Ju 88s claimed may have been bomber versions.
E – Sorties by Mosquito bombers in Bomber Command only.
F – Including Mosquitos bombers and 100 Group aircraft.
G – Estimated by Bomber Command operational research.

Sources:
1 – From Gebhard Aders, History of the German Night Fighter Force
2 – From Martin Streetly, Confound and Destroy
3 – From Confounding the Reich, Martin Bowman & Tom Cushing
4 – From Mosquito by Sharp and Bowyer
5 – From The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany Vol. IV by Webster and Frankland

In addition to the 100 Group operations, between March 1943 and February 1945 RAF Fighter Command flew 7,177 Intruder sorties against airfields, knows Luftwaffe training areas and transport targets, claiming 200 aircraft destroyed for the loss of 93 aircraft. They did not specifically target night fighter bases but some of the claims will have been for night fighters.

Some of the German operational losses were an indirect result of the NF offensive as airfield lights had to be turned off, navigation beacons were jammed, and NJ resorted to low level flight across a blacked-out country to avoid being found.

The remarkably low Mosquito NF loss rate is due to the technical superiority of the Mosquito and its centimetric radar, the initative being held by the RAF as to when to fly (weather could be good over the UK bases but poor over the Luftwaffe’s landing grounds), and also I suspect the main mission of NJ pilots, which was to shot down bombers rather than to engage their escorts.



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< Message edited by Ralzakark -- 4/9/2016 4:04:58 PM >
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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/9/2016 4:09:35 PM   
Helpless


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Thanks for the data.

There were changes in the latest patch to reduce NF losses. I don't see anything suspicious in the save and tests available. Basically it is very close to the historical data if used historically.



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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/10/2016 5:44:55 PM   
Ralzakark


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Sorry Helpless I'm simply not seeing anything like historical losses. Here is a typical bomber mission - 24 Mosquitos on escort, 20 shot down. This is with the beta patch, normal settings, no fog of war.

I have a save game if you want to look at it.








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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/10/2016 7:52:49 PM   
Helpless


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quote:

Sorry Helpless I'm simply not seeing anything like historical losses. Here is a typical bomber mission - 24 Mosquitos on escort, 20 shot down. This is with the beta patch, normal settings, no fog of war.


It would be good to see combat details (save), but there is no such thing as escorts at night. In the example below you are using them as bombers. I usually don't see such losses if they are used on NI missions.




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Pavel Zagzin
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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/10/2016 8:35:17 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Helpless, what do you mean by "there is no such thing as escorts at night". When I set up a Strategic Bombing Mission to take place at night the program allows me to add "escorts". Are you saying that they are not flying as escorts and are actually bombing the target? If there is no such thing as escorts at night than why does the program allow you to add aircraft as "escorts" to night bombing missions?







Just to be clear, I am not saying that if in fact you can't escort night bombing missions that is a bad thing. Historically I do not believe night bombing missions were escorted in the conventional sense. But I have always assumed that escorting night bombing missions was allowed in the game for the simple reason that you can attach escorts to such missions. In any event, i would like an answer to my question.

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< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 4/11/2016 6:44:07 PM >

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/12/2016 5:55:24 AM   
Ralzakark


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1. Night fighters could and did escort bombers, usually flying about eight miles to the side of the course of the bomber stream to catch NJ trying to join it from the sides, or patrolling above it. I've just about given up with this pig of a game but will provide a scan of some information from Streetly's Confound and Destroy on tactics if I get the time.

2.What Harrybannana said. Why on earth does the game then allow you to assign as escorts aircraft (with no bomb loads) and then treat them as bombers?

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/12/2016 7:25:04 AM   
Helpless


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quote:

1. Night fighters could and did escort bombers, usually flying about eight miles to the side of the course of the bomber stream to catch NJ trying to join it from the sides, or patrolling above it.


That's what it does.

quote:

2.What Harrybannana said. Why on earth does the game then allow you to assign as escorts aircraft (with no bomb loads) and then treat them as bombers?


They are "treated" as bombers by night intercepts.

quote:

I've just about given up with this pig of a game but will provide a scan of some information from Streetly's Confound and Destroy on tactics if I get the time.


No need. Your promised saved would be much better.

I'm usually getting results like this:





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< Message edited by Helpless -- 4/12/2016 8:56:01 AM >


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Pavel Zagzin
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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/12/2016 4:10:52 PM   
Joel Billings


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You can either email the save to 2by3@2by3games.com, or zip it up and attach it to the post. The best save is one before the action where all we have to do is end the phase and we can see the execution and the results. It's useful if you tell us where to look to see the results you're questioning. Of course, there can be a lot of randomness in results, so it can be useful to run a test several times and give us an idea of what the spread of results are like.

My assumption on the way the escorting works is that night fighters included in the mission are treated more as if they are part of the bomber stream. This gives them a chance to be intercepted by the night fighters, in which case they have a much better chance of surviving and causing damage to the interceptor than a bomber would. The Night Intruder missions are the more aggressive way to go after enemy fighters using the tactics developed during the war (following night fighters to/from their bases, etc.).

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/12/2016 4:39:59 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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Okay, now that it has been explained to me I think the way that the game handles night bombing/escorts is pretty good. But it doesn't explain why Razalkark's losses and kill ratio is so different from Helpless' example. Hopefully he can provide a save so it can be figured out.

In my game with Liquid Sky what I noticed is that throughout 43 my NF losses and his were about equal, But than starting in 44 I began losing way more than him.

Oh yeah on some turns recently it has shown LS as losing something like 50 to 70 NFs in a single turn when I know I have not shot any where near that many down. I assumed this was him disbanding some NFs so he could use the pilots in his day fighters. But should they than show as losses?

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/12/2016 4:53:31 PM   
Helpless


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Pilot training?

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/13/2016 12:25:46 AM   
Q-Ball


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Harrybanana

Oh yeah on some turns recently it has shown LS as losing something like 50 to 70 NFs in a single turn when I know I have not shot any where near that many down. I assumed this was him disbanding some NFs so he could use the pilots in his day fighters. But should they than show as losses?


He said he was sending untrained pilots into the NF units to train...it's probably the very high ops losses that are an inevitable result of that

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/13/2016 4:54:50 PM   
Harrybanana

 

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I have now received my turn from QBall and I am trying to locate and compile the data. I have found data on how many vehicles I have built. But does it tell me anywhere how many vehicles (not AFVs) I have lost? I have found data on trucks lost moving units, but not total vehicles lost.



Edit: Oops, realize now I posted this to the wrong thread.

< Message edited by Harrybanana -- 4/16/2016 4:51:42 PM >

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RE: Issues with the Air War - NF and NJ Losses - 4/16/2016 3:50:12 PM   
Ralzakark


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Sorry for the delay in responding - new job and heavy load teaching in the evenings as well.

I have uploaded a save game in the tech support forum, missions planned and ready for the phase to be ended. The missions are plotted according to the aircraft numbers and types as given in Middlebrooke’s Bomber Command War Diaries for the second week in September 1944, or as close as the game will allow me to, so that they can be compared with historical results. Middlebrooke gives total NF sorties per day, but no split by mission, so I have allocated NF to both escort and night air superiority with the sortie rate set to match the historical weekly totals.

The area to look at is the losses of the escorting fighters for any and all of the bomber missions. I had already conducted multiple runs of saved games before posting here, but doing so ten times just now and looking at the escort losses on the Darmsdadt raid I get one example of 93% casualties and nine of 100%.

In the period in question (September 1944 onwards) Mosquito NF were equipped with Monica IV or Monica VI tail warning radar. If intercepted by a German night fighter they would try to lure it in to around 5-6,000 feet at which point they would make a rapid circle to come behind the interceptor and convert the tail warning radar into a forward radar contact. This was a standard tactic and was referred to as a ‘Whiting’ manoeuver. The aircraft and radar performance differences between RAF and German aircraft at this point in the war were such that the risks to escorting fighters was slight – as borne out by their loss rates.

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