Basic Fighters in Making History II
This article on some fighter aircraft featured in the game Making History II was provided to Armchair General by the game’s publisher, Muzzy Lane.
Basic fighters in Making History II represent the light, offensive aircraft that succeeded early monoplanes. The myriad design choices reflect rapidly changing technology and specialized air combat doctrines. Some of these designs were quite successful, blending with unique tactics and conditions, and continued to be manufactured and upgraded throughout the entire war. Others were short-lived due to ineffectiveness or, in some cases, the manufacturing nation being conquered.
In MHII, a number of nations will have their basic fighter unit represented by these unique models. Produced in cities and stationed in your region’s airbases, these units serve to patrol the skies and keep your ground units safe or join squadrons with bombers or transport planes to protect them from enemy patrols.
Manufacturing Nation: United Kingdom
The "Tiffy" – as it was called by many RAF pilots – was one of the most successful ground attack aircrafts of WWII. The Typhoon’s broad wings and powerful engine allow it to carry a massive load of bombs and rockets that give it a ground attack advantage over other fighters. The Typhoon proved to be effective at precision strikes against enemy targets marked by smoke shells fired by allied artillery. The Typhoon also served as a carrier-based fighter and as long-range recon. Over 3,300 were built.
Manufacturing Nation: United States
Taking down two of the Japanese fighters involved in the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Hawk gave the US its first aerial victories of WWII. The Hawk’s light construction and trade of armor for maneuverability made it an excellent aircraft to train new pilots, but less equipped for real combat. The increased control during takeoff and landing and handling at high speeds attracted orders from allied nations.
Heinkel He 100
Manufacturing Nation: Germany
While one of the fastest aircraft in the world before WWII, the He 100 never went into full-scale production. Developed as a successor to the BF 109, only 12 of the aircraft flew with German air forces. The rest were sold to Russia and Japan to be studied so various design features could be adopted.
Macchi C.200 / MC.200 Saetta
Manufacturing Nation: Italy
Developed by Mario Castoldi, a designer of trophy-winning seaplane racers, the Saetta (Italian for "lightning") was a quick and agile fighter that provided excellent support as an escort for bombers during Italian air raids. The sturdy metal construction compensated for it’s relatively light armament. The MC.200 flew over Greece, North Africa, Yugoslavia and Russia with about 150 in service by 1940.
Manufacturing Nation: Japan
The Ki-43 Hayabusa (Called "Oscar" by allied forces) was the primary opponent for Allies over Malaya, New Guinea and Burma. The Ki-43 outclassed allied fighters at the time and shot down more Allied aircraft than any other Japanese fighter. As newer Allied aircraft were introduced, the light armor and weak armament of the Ki-43 became more pronounced and towards the end of the war, the many of the Ki-43s were expended in kamikaze attacks.
Manufacturing Nation: France
The M.S. 406 was vital in France during the opening months of WWII but was soon out-performed by the Luftwaffe fighters in the Battle of France. Germans took possession of the majority of the French 406s after the armistice, selling many and using the rest for training. The M.S. 406s were far more effective in the hands of Finnish and Swiss air forces that developed new models based on its design.
Manufacturing Nation: USSR
After the 2100th Mikoyan-Gurevitch MiG-1 had been produced, it was redesignated MiG-3 and outfitted with an auxiliary fuel tank and a fully enclosed cockpit. These improvements increased the range and made the MiG-3 suitable for long-range recon. The MiG-3 suffered from a lack of trained pilots and under express orders from Joseph Stalin, it was bypassed in favor of the easier-to-fly IL-2.
Manufacturing Nation: Poland
The Jastrzab was designed pre-WWII to replace the P.11 and serve as a multi-purpose fighter and escort. The Jastrzab’s first production run of 30 fighters was interrupted by the Invasion of Poland by the Germans.
Manufacturing Nation: Czechoslovakia
Another prototype that wasn’t able to see production due to the German invasion was the B-135. Designed to replace the B.534 biplane fighter, the B-135 had a clean design and a high top speed. Only 12 were produced for the Bulgarian Air Force. The Bulgarians scored only one victory with the model in 1944 against an American B-24 Liberator.
Manufacturing Nation: Netherlands
Contracted by France, the Dutch F.K.58’s were designed to supplement the Armée de l’Air after it became apparent that domestic manufacturers wouldn’t have the capacity to supply their own forces. While slightly better than the French M.S.406, it was inferior to most German fighters. Only 17 of the French order of 50 were completed due to a lack of French-supplied equipment.
Manufacturing Nation: Yugoslavia
The IK-3 was developed in secret by the Yugoslavian military when designers realized a low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear would be far more effective than the current generation of high-wing monoplanes. An initial order of 12 were delivered by July of 1940 and, with only half operational, were responsible for destroying 11 enemy aircraft during the German invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941.
FFVS J 22
Manufacturing Nation: Sweden
Facing embargos and outdated equipment, Sweden had to turn to domestic solutions to produce a modern fighter. While never seeing combat due to Sweden’s neutrality, nearly 200 of the J 22 were built by the Department of Defense’s procurement organization. The J 22 was light and maneuverable with simple systems that were easy to maintain.
Manufacturing Nation: Australia
Combining the Australian Wirraway and designs from Fred David, Austrian Jewish refugee, the Boomerang went from planning to production in about three months. The weapons and armor were heavy compared to other fighters of the era, reducing maneuverability but adding value as a close support aircraft. Flying in pairs of two, the Boomerang was widely used as an artillery-spotter and close infantry support.