Success and failure on IL-2’s Tactical Air War

In contrast to my recent F/A-18C flying on DCS’s Georgia-at-War server, my recent flights on the IL-2 Tactical Air War server have gone much better. Recent team-up with indie developer Jon Coughlin (check out his Roger Meatball flight sim project) on TAW netted us some great flying and one of my best dive-bomb attacks I’ve ever done.

Back out on the front lines

Crossing the Volga prior to our strike.

TAW’s constantly shifting front lines had us flying from our reserve base with few other options but to try and defend against overwhelming odds – spoiler: we may have won the tactical fight but the strategic situation was against us and red lost the match. Nonetheless, we were victorious (sort of) in our missions.

Flying a couple of IL-2 missions against one target we then switched to the Pe-2 for a strike against an enemy artillery position.

The position was located around an airbase north-west of Stalingrad and just across the Volga-river. Our approach took us to the north to evade enemy fighters and then south towards Stalingrad and our target zone.

Two Pe-2’s on the hunt for the target.

While my edge on the Hornet in DCS World may be lacking these days, I’m getting better at the Pe-2. My engine management was better on this sortie than ever before as I got my engine mix right, my oil and water radiator configurations right, and I was flying the Pe-2 with newfound confidence.

Spotting the target in the setting sun was initially difficult and we found ourselves searching at about 3500 meters above the clouds and above the target trying to make ourselves fast and difficult to intercept bombers while simultaneously trying to find the target and setup for a dive bomb run.

And then a little luck – between the clouds we spotted our target. A large artillery position with plenty of structures. This was our chance to attack!

Initial roll over and pull inverted for a nearly 90 degree dive.

Rolling both aircraft over we put our Pe-2’s in a dive on target. Dive brakes and speed management help make the Pe-2 an excellent dive bomber and with a little practice you can easily place bombs on a target such as this one.

And we did!

Eight SC250 bombs landed across the center section of the target zone.

This had an impressive effect on target – but a shocking lack of results when it came to the after action report at the end of our mission.

Bomb release and pull out complete with a high speed departure for home!

The reason? Well, we hit several structures but missed the artillery, trucks and armored vehicles on the outsides of the enemy position. Our aim was almost too precise with all eight bombs falling within the same zone.

Lots of fires but little destruction to the target area.

Nonetheless, this was a well executed mission with a good result at the end with both Pe-2’s returning to base and at least some damage being done to the enemy base.

Next time will aim for the outer edges of the target zone rather than the middle. Lessons learned!

Want to see our strike in action? Check out this video:

The battle may have been lost for Red team but our team tactics in the IL-2 and Pe-2 worked out extremely well. There’s always something to learn and that means that we’ll take the best parts of our mission and put them together with the areas that we need to improve on in the future.

Above all else… this was an immersive and fun mission on IL-2’s most challenging server!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Blue 5 says:

    Nice write-up!

    My group has been flying this as Red and I hope to be part from Thursday now I am back from the summer. My issue is a lack of familiarity with VVS engine management.

    Liked by 1 person

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