A few days ago I was flying online with IL-2: Great Battles Twitch streamer Rhyn0 on Combat Box while they were testing out their new D-Day scenario. Taking to the skies together with Requiem (Air Combat Tutorial Library) and another pilot, we flew two flights of two using flexible lead/wingman tactics that roughly approximated the ‘loose deuce’ or ‘Thatch Weave’ techniques of WWII. Although our flying wasn’t perfect, we did have a great flight with some exciting moments… that I forgot to record. Fortunately, Rhyn0 was graciously able to offer up some cool recordings including it in his new ‘Tactical Debrief’ segment. Let’s have a look!
Over the ‘invasion beaches’
Combat Box is trialing a new scenario on their server that features a D-Day-like invasion using an area near Kerch on the Kuban map to simulate Normandy. No doubt this is a trial run for later when the Normandy map is ready to go.
Far from static, the scenario features ships moving ashore before they turn into ground troops and start capturing forward airfields. It’s a very cool scenario and one that features some intense ground and air combat over the invasion beaches. It was a lot of fun and we flew both Fw190’s and Bf109’s in this scenario although the mission with the Bf109’s was perhaps most memorable.
At the end of the night I had walked away with 8 kills and no deaths so I was on a bit of a roll!
Though we flew a bunch of flights that evening, I wanted to focus briefly on two sorties that I flew in the Bf109G-14 and then go to the second sortie.
The first sortie was saw plenty of combat but I am particularly proud of a moment where Rhyn0 and I were able to close in on a Tempest that, while maneuvering, didn’t seem to be aware of the two of us doing our best to stay low and in his six o’clock blindspot. Check out the clip graciously provided by Rhyn0!
Now on to the ‘loose deuce’ engagement. Again flying two Bf109’s we found ourselves approaching the invasion beaches with Rhyn0 spotting a bandit early and engaging successfully. First Mustang down.
Unknown to everyone, an unaware another Mustang was high and on our six as we made our turn back towards the beaches. Rhyn0 spotted the Mustang and we broke evasive into each other make it impossible for the Mustang to get on one of our sixes without the other then moving into a firing position. We were able to shake him effectively.
Now low and fast Rhyn0 chasing a Mustang we descended into a furball with aircraft fly in all directions. A P-38 made a head on pass narrowly missing us while Rhyn0 pulled up onto the six of another Mustang. This is where having a wingman helps and I was in trail and ready to pounce on a Spitfire that then engaged Rhyn0. But not before Rhyn0 was damaged by the attacking fighter. So… maybe half points for my wingman skills here.
As we looped and spiraled I was able to get a lead on the Spitfire and unleashed a barrage of MK108 shells. It only took a brief moment and it became clear that the Spitfire was out of the fight. Crippled by the attack it spun slowly to the ground
Meanwhile Rhyn0 had just finished off the Mustang ahead of him and we decided it was time to turn for home.
This is where we got a little separated in the chaos and where a Mustang managed to get the drop on me firing several shots into my aircraft before I was able to get clear of the attacking aircraft.
Ultimately we were able to return to base with two damaged but still intact Bf109’s. Given the furball that we left behind, I’d say that was a success!
Breaking down the tactics
Rhyn0 has done a great debriefing on our sortie showing each moment of the battle and walking through the good and bad things that we did. Every time you get the chance to review it can make you better and there were things that I learned from this battle even if we did ultimately succeed in our flight.
There are a few takeaways for me. Sometimes we were too loose with our ‘loose deuce’ pairing and that allowed the enemy to occasionally break through the gap. I always need to work on my in-flight comms making sure that I let others know the vital details in the shortest amount of time. And as always, there were a few lapses in situational awareness that nearly worked out badly for us but we were able to prevail. Of course, while team tactics are important, a little luck in a complex engagement also can pay off and in this case it did!
Check out Tactical Debrief 1: The Pair by Rhyn0. Or check him out on twitch!