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Posted on Oct 17, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

RAF Replay

By Terry Lee Coleman

Day 11 – August 21, 1940

We manage to drive a group of bombers off course, so that they hit a port instead of radar. Perhaps the heavy clouds in the immediate vicinity helped. Similarly, another raid on Poling is repulsed. The next port on the schedule is Sheerness – certainly Jerry is consistent, if naught else – but afterwards, it’s still open for business.

Day 12 – August 22, 1940

By mid-morning, the clouds have cleared. This helps our Observer Corps, but it also helps the enemy. This is nowhere more apparent than their pinpoint bombing on Foreness radar, which is out for the next 2 days.

Day 13 – August 23, 1940

The rain of last week seems now a dim memory, as the skies give clear passage to our foes. Of the many ports struck, only Weymouth is seriously hurt. On the plus side, our green pilots are gaining valuable experience.

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Day 14 – August 24, 1940

For the first time in several days, the Germans are focusing on airfields. An epic battle outside of London : 4 squadrons of He-111s, 3 Do-17s, 2 Ju-88s, plus 2 109s as escort.

Everything in range scrambles to meet the assault, fatigue notwithstanding. Perhaps affected by earlier losses, some of the German fighters fly close escort instead of hunting our planes. As a result, we are able to close with the bombers and shoot down several of them; the remainder are damaged enough to abort.

Even if I have few fighters left for patrols, at least morale is improved. It takes a bit of a hit when Northolt Field is mercilessly strafed by 7 squadrons of Me-110s.

Day 15 – August 25, 1940

Storms bring buckets of rain; twenty years younger, and I might have danced in it.

Day 16 – August 26, 1940

England ‘s fields of green are very much in evidence, after another wet day.

Day 17 – August 27, 1940

It doesn’t look like rain today. We expect a full assault, and right off the bat, Tangmere is torn asunder. So, I rest two of the squadrons stationed there; it’s unlikely more flights will take off from there for the rest of the day in any case. We do exact our revenge by downing a squad of Me-109 fighters, however.

The radio techs may be a bit odd, but they do a good job. Proof is their interception of enemy radio chatter, which gives us a superb idea of the makeup of the enemy force. Combined, the two forces comprise 13 squadrons, and while we don’t take out as many of the enemy as I might have hoped, both sides are sufficiently bloodied. The lads are starting to actually believe we might survive this campaign.

Day 18 – August 28, 1940

More clouds and some fog, but no rain to speak of. My breakfast tastes better after I hear that a single squad of Hurricanes chases off strafing Me-110s near Debden. Likewise, an attempt to dive-bomb Middle Wallop airfield results in heavy losses to enemy Ju-87 aircraft. St. Eval, however, is hit, and the ancient bunch of Gladiator aircraft trying to defend it are shot down.

Day 19 – August 29, 1940

More clouds today – rumour has it that the German High Command has changed the target priorities. If it means they leave my precious radar alone, I’m all for it.

What started out as a light day became rather hectic around mid-day. The Germans did get excruciatingly close to Military HQ, but our firepower was sufficient that the bombers weren’t able to hit the target. A simultaneous raid on nearby Biggin Hill was also defeated soundly. Then a solitary flight of Do-17s wandered into sector 2/11 looking as if they had lost their fighters. If this weren’t war, I would almost have felt sorry for them. Almost.

By early evening, I land my other patrols and put up a light force along the south UK perimeter, hoping we can get out of the day gracefully. Not a chance. Jerry hits Hornchurch airfield with a Major raid. Anticipation is one’s ally during difficult times, however, and most of my remaining patrols can cover this area. Thus, I give the order to intercept with 6 squadrons, a mix of “Spits, ‘Canes and Blennies” as the lads might say. Although 2 of the Huuricanes are mauled by the Me-109s, the remainder bring down sufficient bombers to preclude any harm to our airfield. Well done, I say!

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Day 20 – August 30, 1940

A light day, with the Germans trying to hit two airfields without success.

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2 Comments

  1. Nice review. Convinced me to try it, however, using search engines I cannot find where to buy it. Has the game been discontinued?

  2. David, It was out of print for some time. The fab news is that it has just been revamped and relaunched from WE Games – and now you can play solitaire RAF, or Luftwaffe or play 2P – it is called RAF:Summer 1940 and should be available imminently.
    And yes great review – brought me back to many a game of this my favourite ever solitaire game!

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