Col Renard had a problem. Not only were the Germans doing very well in their attack against his country but his third Squadron de chasse stunk. They had been poor since the war started last year. They were flying the best plane France had and had 4 kills compaired to 6 losses. They could not intercept bombers. Their first CO, Capt Durand had been killed early on. Lt Leroy had taken over and had done so poor Renard had sacked him 2 months ago. The acting CO Lt Martin showed some promise but it was too early to tell. Squadron elan was in the toilet as was maintenance. It is a matter of leadership thought Renard. Today I will lead these men and show them how it is done!
[ the above is a summary of the first 4 missions for the squadron using squadron forward. As you can see, a lot has happened and these guys stink with -2 cool points.]
Mission: Strafe newly acquired Luftwaffe airfield.
1 Patrole ( top cover)
Col Renard ( Group Commander) Unsupportive Jr Ace St Cyr grad
SLt Challe Pragmatic/ religion green St Cyr grad
Sgt Lisle Foolhardy/ position flying demon 1 kill
2 Patrole ( strafers )
SLt Brun Pessimistic/ wealth 1 kill Veteran
Cpl Chief Prideux idealistic/ revenge green 2 trucks KIA
Cpl Chief Sharone cheery/ wealth green
Col Renard came over early and talked to the whole squadron. Told them now was Frances most dangerous hour ... blah blah blah. He realized he wasn't a great speaker but knew he was a great pilot. These people needed to believe in themselves and needed to start taking out some Germans.
Three ME 109Es try to bounce Col Renard's hawks.
Col Renard saw 3 bandits moving in! His radio was working ( 40% chance) and he ordered 2nd Patrolle to continue to the target. His Patrolle would delay the bandits. ( He hoped he was showing his young officers that mission came first. They must strafe the field.)
Renard turned his patrolle around and came at the Germans. His wingmen held on as he was decisive in his actions and that allowed him a shot. ( his modifiers for being a junior ace helped as well!)
The Patrolle lines up their shots!
With a flurry of bullets they tore through the German formation. His victim rolled over and headed to earth. Sgt Lisle's target actually burst into flames! [ Will admit it was incredibly lucky die rolls but way cool!]
Now to catch the last Kraut he orders a climbing half loop. SLt Challe doesn't have the skill to follow and Sgt Lisle pretends not to so he is free to maneuver. [ he is foolhardy remember?]
Instead of facing a Patrolle of aircraft Jerry now faces three individual ones including one flown by a novice.
Bullets riddle SLt Challe's plane smashing cables and instruments but amazingly the hawk continues to fly. The German, with an experienced frenchman above and behind him dives away to fight another day.
Meanwhile, as the Germans are setting up a forward airstrip an alarm sounds.
2nd Patrolle beating up the field!
SLt Brun gets one!
2nd pass as they head for home! Cpl Sharone takes out a 20mm AA gun.
[ air to ground rules taken from my Brag the Hun Article in one of the specials]
Final event to play out is SLT Challe landing his damaged hawk. It is badly damaged and he is a green pilot but the hawk is relatively easy to land. The ground crews hold their breath as SLt Challe nails the landing! A complete success for the squadron and their group commander. Airfield operations disrupted, 3 planes destroyed for one damaged. Truly a question of leadership!
Post game Sgt Lisle ( now with 2 kills) advances to veteran status. SLt Challe advances to average status. The squadron cool goes up 1 to -1.
Great game and the squadron needed a big win. For those of you that want to see if you can duplicate their success the Germans had 3 ME 109Es with 2 Veterans and 1 average pilot. The airfield only had 2 lt AA guns as they were still setting up. How will the squadron fair with Lt Martin leading them? The Col knows what can be accomplished and will not tolerate fools for long. Stay tuned...