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Thread: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Lord Wukits's Avatar
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    ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    A thread to "debrief" what worked, what did not, lessons learned, and input from those involved.

    The intent here is to identify issues, and ways to improve.



    ATAG_Ezzie
    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Ezzie
    A big thanks to all who took part in today's event and as always big thanks to DRock for the initiative.

    Here's a summary of the event as i saw it from the bomber leader's perspective

    Our primary target was Willmington airfield with the secondary being Hasting Railyards. Our planned route was Liegerscort-St Omer-Manston-Ashford (IP) and then either Willimington or Hastings depending on situation (I would decide at the IP which tgt to go after depending on the tactical situation at the time). Mission was to be at high altitude (5-6K) with fighter support providing barrier CAP along the french coast, offensive fighter sweep out to England and then along our route and close escort at all times. DRock was our fighter liaison officer and coordinated the fighter escort via TS and chat). I didnt get a final count but we ended up with about 10 -111s in the main formation at take off.

    As usual the plan didnt survive very long. I collided with an AAA gun placed near the runway during my take off roll - i suspect Col Klink was responsible for AAA at this base - and had to redo my take off. DRock and Wukits took control of the formation and lead them towards St Omer while i tried to catch up. First encounter with fighters occurred prior to St Omer but our fighter escort - who did an awesome job - took care of them. We may have lost 1 - 3 of our formation due to damage and aircraft 'malfunction' prior to going feet wet near Calais.

    Some more red fighters tried to attack the formation as we crossed the coast and i think 1 Beaufighter (intel says flown by RAF Ace Zeb) managed to get thru the screen and did one pass before being shotdown. The 'Zeb is dead' call went out over the bomber comms with much cheering (respectful cheering of course - S! Zeb).

    As i was trying to catch up i was attacked by a lone Hurricane as i was mid way between Calais and Manston. Knuckles took some shots at him from our turret however he took out my elevators and i had to ride the aircraft down into the water - S! Dazza 9 (I think). I then joined Pattle's aircraft as the top gunner and mission commander.

    Wukits continued to lead the formation and turned at Manston towards the IP (Ashford). Red fighters were near us pretty much the whole time from Manston to Willmington and our fighter escort did an awesome job dealing with them. Most damage was caused by single Beaufighters who managed to blow thru the escorts but they typically only got 1 pass before being dealt with.

    Wukits changed the flight path to extend away from the intense fighter activity - it was awesome sitting in the -111 top turret watching the contrails and 109s diving on red fighters trying to come up to our level, which by this stage was over 6+K (I think we got as high as 7K at one stage) - and came down the coast towards Hastings.

    As we had about 5 - 6 -111s remaining in various states of damage the decision was made to proceed to our primary target and we managed to get it to about 84% destroyed via Pattle and Wukits using their bombsights from around 5500K ish and the rest dropping when they released their bombs. A couple of -111s didnt quite make it and had to detach from the formation and were unable to bomb any of the tgts.

    After bomb release we turned from home and i think we still had 3 - 4 -111s still airborne when the server went kaput. Our goal was to get bombs on target and at least 1 bomber home despite the large number (maybe 40+) red fighters opposing us. So think we were well on our way to achieving our goal.

    Big thanks to DRock and Wukits for leading our formation and to the fighter leaders and squads who did a fantastic job of escorting us. I hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did in the bomber group. Meyer told us they did scored pretty well but will let him post the details if he wishes to share them

    And a big thanks to the Red fighters for providing a determined opposition - reaching our primary target in the face of such quality opposition was very satisfying/rewarding for the -111 flyers.

    Just goes to show how much fun this sim can provide with a bit of coordination and planning and a strong community of players.

    Looking fwd to the next one and remember - the bomber will always get thru!!!!

    Ezzie

    9./JG52 gr00ve
    Quote Originally Posted by 9./JG52 gr00ve
    bombers didn't form up properly and there was quite a spread between them. Looking forward to next one!

    Rostic
    Quote Originally Posted by Rostic
    But now I want to express a bit of criticism.

    1) Yesterday I tried to establish contact with the commander of the bomber to use the whisper function, but I did not succeed in it. Either my English is too bad, or it’s necessary to work a little bit better on organizing communication between groups in different channels (I know that communication was established with fighter groups). But I had to sit in the general channel and through the whisper to communicate with my two wingmans and several close escort fighters.

    2) The flight speed and maneuvers of the leader were somewhat higher than comfortable for non-professional pilots of bombers. Personally, I managed to hold on to the lead group, but my wingmans constantly lagged behind.
    a) Firstly, it would be useful for the leader to fly a littlebit slowly (it was some speed reserve, but very small), then it would be easier for some pilots to return to the formation, if they lose some speed or done bad move. For He111, I recommend for leader ATA to be maintained at 0.15 less than the maximum for the current flight altitude (but no less than ATA 0.85), and the engine speed is 2150-2200 rpm.
    b) Secondly, there was too fast turns. It is much easier to turn the group if the speed of the turn does not exceed 2 degrees per second. This is easy to do using autopilot. And better turn in mode "course" because altitude will not change so dramatically, when using mode 22.
    c) When flying in mode 22, the leader of the group must lower down the flaps slightly (1-2 degrees) to fly littlebit slower, if his wingmans should follow him and stay in tight formation to throw bombs by leader command. Since it is not recommended for wingmans to use autopilot to safely hold a position in tight formation they has to do some maneuvers, because of what they lose speed littlebit.

    I am very aware of the turn from Liege, and the one at manston which were relatively quick. I was hoping with the turn at manston, it would allow the bombers to group up faster, as I had killed a lot of speed from my mode 22 while turning. I have taken note of this and the speed issues. I was ~80% most of the flight, but some of my binds are on my throttle, and I did creep up to 90% on occasion. Again, I'll correct for this as well in the future.
    Speaking of, were there any issues that prevented the group from forming[other than my speed]? The distance from Liege to St. Omar should have been enough to close that gap. DRock and myself did notice that when I circled over the field there were still 4 bombers taking off, I talk about a potential solution below. Has anyone identified the issues that occured with some of the bombers? I know one was a flaps issue, and another an engine issue.



    Perhaps the "one large flight" can be broken down to smaller elements of 3-4 bombers each with the lead in each group focusing on staying within the larger formation. [https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...ber+formation]

    At the moment I feel as though these large events have everyone focusing in on the lead for formation, and are way too spread out for an accurate drop from the lead to the last in formation.[see figure 1]
    Capture1.PNG
    FIGURE 1


    If we can break the group down to smaller elements the lead of the element can maintain the formation easier without confusion[see figure 2]. They can sinc the drop within their flight maintaining accuracy, and if need be can fall into a column behind the lead flight to hit a smaller targets[see figure 3]. AND/OR They can break away and become a tactical unit striking targets of opportunity once the main force has infiltrated enemy airspace[see figure 4]. This will require the leads having a basic understanding of the bomb sight. I'd be more than willing to assist with this before any future event.
    Capture2.PNG
    FIGURE 2

    Capture3.png
    FIGURE 3

    Capture4.png
    FIGURE 4



    I loved having Ezzie lead the group as a commander, as it removed any guessing, and the target was clear. Will the commander know of the maps, or at least the targets before hand? This way they can plan the event such as Ezzie had. I also enjoyed his briefing at the beginning.
    Last edited by ATAG_Lord Wukits; Jul-29-2019 at 01:11.

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Three of that bombers on the ground - that was I with my 2 wingmans. We were blocked by 4-th bomber and waited for him to move.

    When I watched the track file I noticed that after take of it was only one circle around there airfield. In such situations, when some bombers not take of, it is better to make few circles and wait until all takeof. But that was my fail, because at that monent I still was on the TS channel with my wingmans, when I had to be in general TS channel and had ask wait us (or at least set up whisper to general channel).

    The route was selected just perfect, and distances for forming up was long enough.

    I think the best wing size is 3 planes or 4 (diamond formation) . 5 it is for PRO.

    Never separate group. If you separate bombers, then you had to separate escort fighters - that is not safe for group.
    If many targets should be destroyed, then create single route through all targets. And above single target only one wing can drop their bombs. Additionally: first target on the route must be attacked by bombers in the tail of whole formation - because bombers that dropped their bombs will be much faster than others.
    Last edited by Rostic; Jul-29-2019 at 03:52.
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Good thoughts Wukits and Rostic. Here's some from me.

    Planning. I think its a good idea to nominate a bombing leader ( if the event is a bombing focussed event) a few days out so that some initial planning can be done. Its really hectic at spawn in and everyone is keen to get going, so there's no time to plan then. And having a plan is important so that everyone knows what is happening so they can things like fighter escort etc.

    The leader may be able to get some intel on what map might be going to used, or they could have a set of preplanned missions for several maps and then use one from the map that is used. I have done several sorties on mae west previously when the server was quiet so had some mission plans already developed and used one of those as the basis for what we did on the weekend

    I got a real buzz from seeing the plan work more or less. Getting a bunch of slow lumbering bomb trucks to the tgt in a contested environment and seeing the fighters do their thing was very satisfying from a planning perspective. So i'd highyly recommend others putting their hand up to have a crack at coming up with the master plan.

    Also what worked was that everyone in the bomber force bought into the plan and didnt try to modify it to suit them. Having 1 plan the was followed by most players was another key factor.


    Comms - comms didnt work as well as it should with some confusion as to which channel to use. I gave the mission brief twice on 2 different channels which prob caused some confusion. We prob need to specify up front what the comms plan is so everyone knows how to communicate and not get left out.

    For the future - i think we have to balance a few things to keep these successful and keep people turning up. First they must be fun - if we try and make them to technical or complicated we might lose players who dont enjoy some of the intracacies of formation flying etc. But at the same time the reason these seem to be successful so far is that they are not just a big low level furball type event so do require a degree of planning, preparation and technical know how re flying the aircraft etc. tricky to maintain that balance but we should keep it in mind.

    And inclusion is important. It was great to see some players fly the -111 having not flown them much at all. And it was great to see Pattle use the bombsight to hit the tgt after only a few hours of training during the week based on the info that Rostic and other bomber experten had shared in a recent thread on high alt bombing. So hopefully others will try their hand at bombers and experience the fun and satisfaction that comes with flying them. So we should encourage all experience levels esp for the bombers and not set the bar too high re profiency.

    And thats about it from me for now.

    Ezzie

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Lord Wukits's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Rostic View Post
    I think the best wing size is 3 planes or 4 (diamond formation) . 5 it is for PRO.

    Never separate group. If you separate bombers, then you had to separate escort fighters - that is not safe for group.
    If many targets should be destroyed, then create single route through all targets. And above single target only one wing can drop their bombs. Additionally: first target on the route must be attacked by bombers in the tail of whole formation - because bombers that dropped their bombs will be much faster than others.
    I was thinking 3 bombers myself. As for the takeoff, I was wondering if I should have gone around again.


    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Ezzie
    tricky to maintain that balance but we should keep it in mind.
    I couldn't agree with you more, and that balance is definitely key. I was going to post your;
    For the potential -111 flyers in prep for the milk factory milk run (MFMR) here's some things to do to save time on the day

    (a) If you have 5 mins log onto ATAG#1 beforehand and set up you bomb load out - recommend 8 x 250s and high altitude fuze (the >1 km one from memory) - and save it for use on Sat/Sunday

    (b) We'll reduce fuel load to max AUW allowed on the day

    (c) Load up all your guns with your preferred ammo loadout - i think i use 1 tracer, 1 hart and 1 something else and repeat. Want lots of tracer to scare away the feeble reds and make them do #2s in their flying suits....

    (ca) If really keen ensure you know how to go to the various aircraft positions and take control of the gun in each - i have it set up using alt-1, alt-2, alt-3 etc (not sure if this is the default - cant remember) and set up the mouse to control the gun etc. To go back to the pilot and return control of the gun to the AI use Alt-F2 (but be very careful - if you do this in the pilot seat you will be outside the aircraft before you kn ow it and the aircraft will then crash).

    (d) Ensure you have a key set for undercarriage toggle - there's no lever to use in the cockpit as far as i can tell so have to have a key assigned

    (e) Ensure you have a key set for arms bombs

    (f) Ensure you have a key set for toggle bomb bay doors

    (g) Ensure you have a key set for toggle autopilot (or something like that) so you can step thru course mode and mode 22 - most of the time when flying the -111 i'm in either course mode or mode 22

    (h) Ensure you know what key drops you bombs - I'm planning on using my bombsight and others can manually drop when my bombs go. But if there are others who know how to use the bombsight we could have several kettes each with a bomb aimer in the lead

    (i) Write down these numbers to use on the day: oil/water radiators (100% open), take off speed 140-150 km/hr (no flaps required), climb speed 240 km/hr @2300rpm /1.3 ata (just - i drop it down to 1.2 and then nudge it up until it ticks over to 1.3). Keeps oil / water temps below 95 degrees. Landing speed ~ 140 km/hr - watch floating (aircraft floats a lot and doesnt want to land).

    (j) Ensure flying suit leathers and riding boots are oiled, shiny and clean. Cheroots (what are these anyway?) in cigarette case if required.

    (k) And know how to jump into someone else's aircraft in the highly unlikely event a red fighter shoots you down

    And if you have the time do some sorties beforehand to get the feel for the aircraft - its really easy to fly using the numbers above and while the bombsight takes a bit of practice if we do the bomb aimer lead thing you wont need to know how to use it (it is very satisfying though when the bombs hit what you were aiming at more or less).

    Happy to take questions on the above etc. See you on the weekend!

    Ezzie
    As not only being spot on, but helped quite a bit with those who have not really flown the Blue bombers.

    Something that I often forget, is that I have TrackIR and as such it's easy for me to look at the lead and keep formation. There are a lot of players who don't have it or the equivalent and as such formation flying can be quite difficult.

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Lord Wukits's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    One thing I kept noticing was that some people try to match the lead bombers settings thinking they will fly the same speed in formation. Perhaps it would be wise for me[or lead] to clarify that if you are following your settings should be higher than what the lead is following. As a wing-man, ah... wing-person, it is expected to constantly be adjusting the throttles. Let them know that this is a normal thing.

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    I'll try to tell something from my expirience in organizing bombers sorties.

    1) Planing. Making a simple and understandeble plan is work for 5-10 minutes. The only thing you need is just use this tool: http://aljarasoft.webcindario.com/mapndb/ and publish link to the plan, like this: http://bit.ly/30WqRRo (the link is genereted internally in this tool) or publish screenshot of the plan https://prnt.sc/oll06e (for example Lightshot).

    If you know the map and target, the plan can be much better, but need to spend more time. (example of the more complicated plan).

    Who need to read and remember all details of the plan?
    • Leader of each bombers wing.
    • Skilled bomber pilots that can find and destroy target by themself.

    The others only have to do one look on the route.


    2) Communication. We have a great multilangual community, but not everyone speak English. Thats why we have multiple channels in TeamSpeak for different languages. But in every group we always have some one who can communicate to the leaders of bombers groups and leaders of escort fighters.
    So how to deal with this problem? Very easy, just before briefing, all who need "whisper" to their language channel have to come and ask for "whisper". The leader of the bombers (and better all other squad leaders) need at least ONE "whisper" button setuped for all escort fighters leaders (or channels) and for all bomber groups leaders (or channels). I recommend to set "whisper" to the whole channel for reason that everybody have to hear that some one is whispering and they have to shutup and listen!

    3) Simplicity and fun. Everyone else, who are not a wing leader or squad leader, need to know the route and do what leaders tell to them. This is simple. The fun will come itself


    P.S. The next theme for the event could be:
    1) Ju-87 dive bombers against ship convoys or RDF (easy).
    2) Hurricane assault strikes against ports, railway stations, etc (easy).
    3) Ju-88 dive bombers against factories, ports, railway stations, etc (more difficult).
    4) Italian aviation BR20 and G50 against airfields, railway stations, etc (hardcore).
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Lord Wukits View Post
    Something that I often forget, is that I have TrackIR and as such it's easy for me to look at the lead and keep formation. There are a lot of players who don't have it or the equivalent and as such formation flying can be quite difficult.
    Most of the time I'm using a mouse for observing. At the sorties where I fly as a wingman it is no problem to set view on the leader. On He111 you only need to fly litlebit higher (2-5m) than the plane ahead of you.
    By the thay without trackir it is even easier, because you only need to set view to single point (your leader) and forget about changing direction of your view, while when you with trackir you have to freeze your head in single direction (actually sometimes you have to check instruments).
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Lord Wukits View Post
    I was ~80% most of the flight, but some of my binds are on my throttle, and I did creep up to 90% on occasion.
    Since 4.5 Blitz and the new powermodel, the boost is some kind of "fixed".
    Means, the manifold sits on a fixed ata where the throttle is set at.
    But once you are high enough (or lower rpm), your manifold may drop below you throttle position and the throttle will have an increasingly deadzone.
    Means 2200 rpm and 80% throttle has no effect at altitudes of about 4km.
    Means you fly at maximum ata available at set rpm, even when you throttle down from the top % positions, one of a few other things wich bugs me in since 4.5.

    So a reminder, watch your ata at your altitude, and you may drop some ata, lower than "deadzone" at continous rpm power.
    Another thing, the He111 H-2 will have a big supercharger hole at 1.5 to 2.5 km, so unexperienced should be told to use the P-2 model or you fly H-2 in first place.
    Last edited by Tibsun; Jul-29-2019 at 13:30.

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Some basic pics about planes formations:

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg


    As for me, I think that the easiest formation for bombers is wings of 3 (or 4) planes fly in column of wings: 6_.JPG 20190526233848_1.jpg
    Last edited by Rostic; Jul-29-2019 at 15:14.
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    From what I have seen on quite a lot of different bomber events I conclude that it is basically impossible to fight of a coordinated attack of bombers and fighters (ca. 11 bombers and about 40 fighters in this case if I am not mistaken) with an uncoordinated defense.

    Thus, blue attacks are usually more successful because they can rely on the support of JG4 and 9/JG52, well disciplined 'all ace' squadrons who show up in numbers.
    While there are many great pilots on the red side, I never saw a similar level of coordination, neither in attack nor in defense.

    I think Groove wrote that he regretted that reds did attack only uncoordinated and in small numbers and Ezzie stated that the severest damage was done by single Beaufighters who usually managed to do only one (suicidal) attack before being shot down.

    Now, all you red pilots: shouldn't we try to build up a 'big wing' for the next blue attack of a handful of Beaufighters plus at least twice the number of Spitfires? The Beaus exclusively for coordinated attack on bombers, the Spits doing nothing else but defending the a ... backsides of the Beaus?
    This still would need luck in spotting the raid as well as skill, practice and discipline (I admit to be very bad at least two of those ...), but we don't want to make it too easy for them, don't we?


    S!

    DerDa

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Rostic View Post
    Some basic pics about bombers formations:

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg


    As for me, I think that the easiest formation for bombers is wings of 3 (or 4) planes fly in column of wings: 6_.JPG 20190526233848_1.jpg
    Great info, Rostic.

    Are you willing to organize and lead an event?


    Let’s remember the intent of these raids.

    This is an ATAG event, meant to be a monthly get together for friends within ATAG to spend some time with each other.

    We’ve decided to announce to the public of our ‘Assault’, so that others can prepare if they wish to join us or try and stop us.
    Anyone is welcome to join us, but it isn’t up to ATAGers to tell you how to fly, where to fly, or what comms they should be on.

    No plan will will have a 100% success rate, so don’t expect it to. Adapt.

    Newbs are welcome, too, but these events require some skillfull flying. Especially, if you wish to stay in a bomber formation. Even the best pilots can make mistakes that will remove them from the formation. Shit happens.


    +1 Derda

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by DerDa View Post

    Now, all you red pilots: shouldn't we try to build up a 'big wing' for the next blue attack of a handful of Beaufighters plus at least twice the number of Spitfires? The Beaus exclusively for coordinated attack on bombers, the Spits doing nothing else but defending the a ... backsides of the Beaus?
    This still would need luck in spotting the raid as well as skill, practice and discipline (I admit to be very bad at least two of those ...), but we don't want to make it too easy for them, don't we?

    DerDa
    Nope! Very very bad idea!
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Just a brief note as I get the impression that you bomber guys do not grant yourselves the credit you deserve.

    From my point of view - confirmed by watching Groove's video - you did a great job! Right until the end there was a big formation to escort and even under constant fire by the RAF's finest you tanked your way through Blitz's most dangerous air space and managed to hit the target from high altitude precisely. Not only for such a thrown together group of pilots an amazing performance!

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Well I planned for 111 but due to being delayed I picked red and a beufighter.
    After 20 minutes warming up engines I could finally take off and climbing inlland of the airfield for 10 minutes. I got shot down by a spit.
    I did not bother to warm up another one

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Well, while attacking my first enemy in Manston area, a mislead bullet of a Heinkel's gunner perforated my radiator. Gliding back home, taking off in a new 109 and heading for Wilmington at full speed, right when I spotted the first returning Heinkel south of Wilmington point, the server crashed.
    Not my day either, but still a great event!

    About Rostic's proposals, I would sign them even with two eyes closed. There is hardly any more experienced and battle-hardened bomber leader than Rostic.

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by DUI View Post
    Just a brief note as I get the impression that you bomber guys do not grant yourselves the credit you deserve.

    From my point of view - confirmed by watching Groove's video - you did a great job! Right until the end there was a big formation to escort and even under constant fire by the RAF's finest you tanked your way through Blitz's most dangerous air space and managed to hit the target from high altitude precisely. Not only for such a thrown together group of pilots an amazing performance!


    Wuckits kindly caught my bomb strikes on camera at Wilmington. Stoked to get them on target from 5k+ as I only learned how to use the bomb sight site in the two days leading up to the event. Hearing Ezzie (in top gunner position) calling 'bombs out!' at the time I dropped was awesome from an immersion perspective.

    Pattle bomb drop ATAG Assault No. 2 July 2019.jpg

    I had issues keeping up with the leaders from the French coast (later to work out it was a trimming issue). Ezzie informed me that we had 2 fighters covering us much of the time. Not sure who, but thanks. Ended up being lead bomber into target and flying home. Didn't get a scratch. Fortune favours the lucky - and well covered!

    Pattle
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by ATAG_Pattle; Jul-29-2019 at 17:13.

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    Supporting Member Dazza's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    From my experiences with Blenheim formations I'd suggest vics of 3 aircraft would be the 'easiest' and most practical for pilots to manage. Especially given not all flyers are equally adept or familiar with Bomber types, or are simply out of their comfort zone formating. By flying a vic each wingman can maintain full attention focused on the leader, with the opposing wingman seen in peripheral view. This gives a safety margin for inevitable 'jostling about' without fear of colliding with another aircraft in a blind spot, behind, above or below. I know how much my attention gets divided jumping from seat to seat checking on other aircraft proximity, and then in an instant I'm way out of position. The simpler the task of formating, the better the chance for result.

    It'd be quite easy for that matter to add a 4th in diamond formation as the other 3 immediate aircraft are kept always in sight. Likewise they're not concerned with his relative position and stay focused on the lead.

    I reckon it was this way in real life for similar reasons.

    Dazza
    Last edited by Dazza; Jul-30-2019 at 00:26.

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    No, I am not going to lead an event (in the near future). You guys are great in organizing this events.
    Right now I prefer to lead my wingmans and take orders from event leaders

    I just want to share some information with the hope that this could help in future.

    And now a bit more of information. Perhaps the most difficult thing is to organize the players into groups, as it is required to interview all the participants - who flies on the strike planes and what kind of groups already exists, and after that also distribute the singles. I saw this at every event organized by squad SG2 in IL-2 BOS / M / K. It is realy hard, but results are great.
    Last edited by Rostic; Jul-30-2019 at 00:22.
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    ATAG Member ATAG_Lord Wukits's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Pattle View Post
    Wuckits kindly caught my bomb strikes on camera at Wilmington. Stoked to get them on target from 5k+ as I only learned how to use the bomb sight site in the two days leading up to the event. Hearing Ezzie (in top gunner position) calling 'bombs out!' at the time I dropped was awesome from an immersion perspective.

    Pattle bomb drop ATAG Assault No. 2 July 2019.jpg

    I had issues keeping up with the leaders from the French coast (later to work out it was a trimming issue). Ezzie informed me that we had 2 fighters covering us much of the time. Not sure who, but thanks. Ended up being lead bomber into target and flying home. Didn't get a scratch. Fortune favours the lucky - and well covered!

    Pattle
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUePD0U7yW0
    @51:30 is where we disengage from Hastings, and you can see how I pull up a map to help locate Wilmington. Shortly after trying to help Pattle locate the airfield.
    @57:00 is just before Pattle drops, and you can watch through my bomb sight as he nails the field dead center!

    Pattle, High Alt bombing is like crack. Once you start, you are hooked for life. Welcome to the club! DRock has me hooked in trying to bomb small tactical targets at great heights. Noofy and I have made a few runs on small targets. Though I didn't expect the HE 111 to easily climb above 6k, I'm going to start playing with it more and attempt some 8-9Km drops.[the benifit of the German sight is that you can use automate and adjust settings till the cross hairs stop moving, and then you know you have the drop nailed.
    Last edited by ATAG_Lord Wukits; Jul-30-2019 at 11:54.

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    Novice Pilot Gingerbread's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    I missed this event as I was on holiday but I hope I can participate in the next one.
    It is thrilling even just to read all the stories here and see the pics and vids... WOW!
    I love seeing how things get more and more serious (and thus more and more fun)!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rostic View Post
    4) Italian aviation BR20 and G50 against airfields, railway stations, etc (hardcore).[/I]
    This! May be not the next one, but I hope there will be an event like this in the not far future!

  24. #21
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Top stuff as always! Great to be in the air with a good group of lads, was it just me or was it annoyingly hard trying to spot the blooming bombers?
    I did manage to grab a screenshot or two as usual.
    20190728082805_1.jpg20190728083345_1.jpg20190728070129_1.jpg20190728083554_1.jpg20190728083707_1.jpg20190728084018_1.jpg20190728090705_1.jpg20190728090737_1.jpg20190728074609_1.jpg20190728075318_1.jpg20190728095144_1.jpg20190728091952_1.jpg

    Had some intense 109 encounters even if we couldn't quite hone in on the main bomber formation

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    I had written a letter to ATAG_Ezzie about his/the planning, and he gave the OK to post. So here it is.

    It's occurred to me that you often take a round about approach to your targets. With the events and when bombing during normal missions. What I mean is that you seem to often cover 1/2 the map before heading to target[Liege Court to Wilmington just to bomb Littlestone etc]. I'm trying to broaden my horizons and get an understanding on why certain people make the plans or routes they do.
    What are your typical thoughts for planning a route, and what has led you to plan them they way you do?

    I've posted here if there are things that you would rather opponents not know. If you are ok with answering publicly, go ahead and post this message, with the reply on the after action post, so we can all get an understanding.

    Best regards,

    Wukits

    Here is the reply;

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Ezzie
    Re: Method of thinking.
    Hi Wukits,

    Thanks for the PM. I'll answer here but have no probs if you post both the public area - your call and I'm happy either way.

    Why the roundabout way?

    Basically to get some surprise. Surprise is a key military concept and most successful military things involve surprise of one sort or another. So rather than take the direct most obvious route i like to take a route that is not the most obvious one (although once you start thinking about surprise the roundabout route become more obvious). I have a fair degree of patience and thus dont need instant action - i'm happy to fly for 1 - 2 hours and only have 1 major combat if it means i achieve my goal and i have the satisfaction of having achieved some surprise in the process. Not everyone has patience which you can use to your advantage by flying an indirect route (ie few players will bother to come look for me if i'm way over 'there' and not in the usual furball area).

    Other considerations are - relatively easy to identify landmarks for turn points (towns, distinct geographic features like points, river mouths etc), where possible have a primary and secondary tgt planned just in case someone takes out the primary before you get there or you get damaged and cant make the primary, and i like to be heading in the general direction of home when i do my bomb run as this means a relatively quick egress out of the danger area (ie you dont have to do a 180 degree turn after bomb release). This last one isnt always possible but you can usually figure out a way to make it close to the turn for home point.

    I'm also a big fan of high altitude for several reasons - 109 pilots like to fly high so by the bombers flying high we are closer to them, altitude means that red fighters have to figure out their intercept in 3d which some people struggle with spatially, and it means that if a red pilot is shot down on his/her first pass it will take him longer to get back to the bombers if they are at high altitude as he/she has to climb to altitude. I like to be at or near max altitude (5-6 k) before going feet dry in England. For some tgts in heavily defended maps i might even make sure I'm at this altitude before leaving France so to make it harder to be intercepted.

    For most maps i now have several tgts and routes as standard (using the above 'rules') so just pull out the relevant tgt/route depending on which map come up and which type of tgt I'm keen to hit (ie airfield tgts or harder to hit tgts like railyards or factories).

    Hope this helps give you some thoughts. I'd be confident that more experienced bomber pilots like Rostic and Oskar etc have some more ideas so it would be a good idea to post this and see what they think.

    Ezzie

    PS About to watch your movie - thanks for putting that together


    Which leads me to another thing, do not feel like this is just about the blue bombers. Reds can post here too!

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Ezzie
    Re: Method of thinking.
    I'm absolutely agree with Ezzie
    He described all aspects of bombers tactics (that I can imagine).

    Thanks for sharing this. I could not describe all this aspects in such a clear and understandable way even in my native language.

    I can add only one thing.
    Not so far, I with some other bombers had tested very high altitude bombing, above 7300m (this tactic was offered to us by =UAi=Shkrab). At such altitude, the formation of the bombers leaves a clearly visible contrails. This is very helpful for the escort fighter to find the group, if for some reason he lost it. Also, the contrails helps to detect the approach of enemy fighters in time.

    The only problem, it is much harder to hit small targets (like railway station, factories, RDF, etc.) from this altitude. For He111 I created a tool to calculate bomb drop angle. Earlier I had publishied it here: He111 navigation and bombing tool. Also I know a guy that did asort of pairs of TAS and ALTITUDE for bombsight automation for He111 for different altitudes from 7000m to 8500m.

    Time to climb to 7500m is aproximatly 35 minutes for single He111P2 with 25% fuel load (more then 2 hours of flight), or 45 minutes for group of He111P2. He111P2 has great climb ability. You should use WEP up to 4000m, ATA full throttle and MAX possible RPMS while water temperature of left engine is below 94. On most altitudes it is safe to use 2320RPM, below 2000m I use up to 2450RPM. When fly with wingmans, leader can not use WEP, only wingmans can use WEP, if they need some speed bost to catch up leader. Also leader should take more fuel (40%).

    You can watch this from the fighter view in this part of video(bobmers in view in interval 18:26 - 20:30):


    And you can watch this from the bombers view in this video (attack of target at 11:13):




    Some pictures from our high altitude bombing event on ATAG: https://theairtacticalassaultgroup.c...l=1#post327017
    Last edited by Rostic; Jul-31-2019 at 12:15.
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Lord Wukits View Post
    I had written a letter to ATAG_Ezzie about his/the planning, and he gave the OK to post. So here it is.




    Here is the reply;





    Which leads me to another thing, do not feel like this is just about the blue bombers. Reds can post here too!
    Don't worry, Reds are reading this very, very carefully

    A key aspect with tactics is patience and discipline. And we all, who fell prey to Ezzies 110 tactics over and over again, know how masterfully he can combine both.

    But with all this thinking about how to make bomber raids more effective I a still missig suggestions about how to defend betteragainst them (no matter for which side, blue or red).

    What would be necessary? Good reconnaisance with relieable spotters.
    Time enough for fighters to get to altitude.
    Reasonable use of available ac for different purposes.
    Team tactics. Certainly, but which ones?

  28. #25
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    I was discussing defence tactics from our raid with Marlow last night.

    Nearly all attack on us last weekend were single aircraft that were smashed before or just after the one attack they got in.

    Whilst it's hard to know what our target was, in hindsight, but assume radar was picking us up? At least groups of 6 flyeing and attacking together, one pass firing early and firing everything with speed then diving away would have been hard to defend. Vast majority of attackers tried to get in a second time to their demise.

    Lot harder to defend a multi flight attack.

    But height and speed advantage would be critical before engaging.

    Our fighter defence may have stopped this from happening as they were brilliant, but those are my thoughts.

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  30. #26
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by DerDa View Post
    Don't worry, Reds are reading this very, very carefully

    A key aspect with tactics is patience and discipline. And we all, who fell prey to Ezzies 110 tactics over and over again, know how masterfully he can combine both.

    But with all this thinking about how to make bomber raids more effective I a still missig suggestions about how to defend betteragainst them (no matter for which side, blue or red).

    What would be necessary? Good reconnaisance with relieable spotters.
    Time enough for fighters to get to altitude.
    Reasonable use of available ac for different purposes.
    Team tactics. Certainly, but which ones?
    All of above plus concentrate fire on bomber engines, fuselage is mostly empty space and it takes a lot of 303 rounds to down a He 111
    coordinated attacks with spitty escorting Hurris and beaufighter.
    as Pattle said single attacks one way ticket

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    Manual Creation Group DerDa's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by JackMaXX View Post
    All of above plus concentrate fire on bomber engines, fuselage is mostly empty space and it takes a lot of 303 rounds to down a He 111
    coordinated attacks with spitty escorting Hurris and beaufighter.
    as Pattle said single attacks one way ticket
    Abolutely agree about the single attacks.

    During the first long TWC campaign it became pretty clear (at least to me) that attacking bombersin close formation with 303s is mostly a waste of time and effort.
    Given the vulnarability of single engine fighters and the abilities of AI and human defense gunners attack from 6 usually end in pk or damaged oil radiator even before getting in reasonable distance.
    Slashing attacks from the side are a waste of the precious little ammo Spits and Hurris carry. Even if they manage to do some damage it rarely is decisive and after three or four attacks (if they survive) they are out of ammo, useless and easy prey for 109s that can dive much faster.

    Because of this I had the idea previously posted about a striking force of Beaus plus (at least) the double number of Spitfires.
    The Beaufighter is deadly against bombers (listen to the comments in the video as soon as one shows up) but cannot protect itself against fighters (zero visibility behind, a useless 'observer' and comparatively bad maneuverability). But they have four 20mm canons and it doesn't matter much where they hit a bomber.
    The Spits should do absolutely nothing else than to protect the Beaufighters and make sure they get a chance to come close to the bombers.
    One attack from high six, diving away and if (anybody survives) gaining height again in the distance for a second run.

    With, as it was, eleven bombers protected by about 40 expertly flown 109s the survival rate will still be very small, but in my opinion the only chance to inflict some serious damage.

    The problem I see is, that I don't think there are Red squads with enough numbers and discipline to carry this out.
    Why do I have to think about this old Asterix comic now?
    You know, the one with the text: 'On one side Rome rules. On the other exuberance.'

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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Bomber discipline is relatively simple, most are from same sqdn ATAG and are familiar with each other, all take off at same time in same place, fly same course to same place and drop bombs at same place at same time also everyone is on comms. ATAG bombers also have some good leaders. As importantly in CLOD they have the element of surprise. in real life Fighter Groups were directed to incoming raids often with enough time to scramble, form up and gain altitude before battle.

    Fighter discipline and organisation in this instance is much tougher mainly because RED sqdns are looser groups and don't have the cohesion of the better Blue sqdns as was demonstrated in the first ATAG assault when the bombers were caught and decimated just off Manston by JG4 and JG52.

    Solutions, I realize that what follows is much easier to write than put into effect and it is asking a lot of any individual to take it on. for my part I am willing to help in anyway I can, i don't harbor any delusions regarding my ability as a leader though.

    The ideas below are a distillation of what I have read on this forum, If you find one of your ideas plagiarized and repackaged please do not be offended. My suggestions for what they are worth

    prep before ATAG assault 3 If defenders RED,

    nominate group leaders and seconds (spitty, hurri, beau and recon groups) decide who is OC nominate a staff officer to assist in planning and coordination also to analyse mission and debrief group leaders.

    organise comms between groups, comms officers whisper groups etc

    nominate Radar controllers (this function was used in big campagain on TWC server, does it work on ATAG server?)

    Practice forming groups , comms and flying tactics

    Liaise with attackers, agree in mission preptime and start/takeoff time with attackers for different waves or phases of attack




    For battle

    Organise willing players into one of the groups, assign groups to airfields

    every one on comms on group TS channel

    check comms/radar

    Get recon in the air to locate and shadow bombers and report location alt and heading

    get groups airborne, formed up and to alt.

    Radar officers to direct groups to target if functional, if not recon group leader provides target information

    group leaders to communicate with each other and their groups to ensure coordinated attack


    TALLY HO BANDITS at 12 OC

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  35. #29
    Supporting Member DRock's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    The map is not known ahead of ‘Assault’, so no one has an advantage.

    Teams must come up with a strategy and execute them, with no foreknowledge.


    Now, that doesn’t mean pilots can’t organize themselves ahead of the battle. You can even use the ATAG ASSAULT thread to do so.


    Rally your squadrons next time you see the ASSAULT announcement. We do let pilots know which side ATAG will be flying, and that we are forming up bombers.


    Last weekend’s raid was quite impressive. The bombers were a little strung out from the pressure of getting away from Ligescourt in a hurry. Our late start meant that enemies were approaching, so we didn’t have time to circle airfield to assemble. Also, losing our lead to a flak gun hurt a bit, but Commander Ezzie kept everyone on track. I was also impressed with the leading skills of Wukits. A lot is going through the mind of the lead bomber, including the stress of messing things up with 40+ pilots depending on your every move. Kudos to both of them.


    We can all have opinions on the way things should have gone, but leading the perfect attack or defence is extremely difficult. Don’t let high expectations take away from your enjoyment. Not every mission will go well for you, but when it does, WoW!

    Overall, the goal is to have fun, hang out with good people, and have great memories of the assault.


    We will see you all very soon.


  36. #30
    Manual Creation Group ATAG_Vampire's Avatar
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    Re: ATAG ASSAULT No.2 After Action Report

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_DRock View Post
    .Overall, the goal is to have fun, hang out with good people, and have great memories of the assault.
    +1

    This is what it should all be about.

    07
    "A nation that forgets its past has no future." - Winston Churchill

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    Video Card:ASUS ROG STRIX RTX2080ti 11GB OS: Windows 10 Pro

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