After the failure of Operation Market Garden, the Western Front stabilized for several months stretching from the fall of 1944 through to the spring of 1945. Heavy fighting continued, however, the rapid advance of the previous months was nowhere to be found for the Western Allies.
In an effort to cripple Allied air support, the Luftwaffe hatched a scheme to attack 16 Allied airbases across the front all at once in one combined operation. The operation’s codename was “Baseplate.” Though surprise was achieved, Allied forces recovered from the attacks quickly and the Luftwaffe lost many of its remaining experienced pilots.
Spitfire Mark IXe (LF and HF)
The early Spitfire IX was a modified Spitfire V designed as an interim stopgap model that could handle the increased power of the Merlin 60 series engines. The Spitfire IX transcended its stopgap intention by going on to be one of the most produced and successful models of the Spitfire. By mid 1944 Spitfire IXe models, E indicating a revised twin Hispano Mark II 20mm and Browning .50cal armament. Various refinements to the design and the retuned Merlin 66 engine combined to make a fearsome opponent.
- An ideal combination of speed, firepower, and agility
- Outstanding turn rate and elevator effectiveness
- Optional Mark IIGGS gyro gunsight allows for precision gunnery
- Non-clipped wing variants have reduced roll rate
- Aircraft is highly vulnerable to ground fire
- Though speed is good, the Spitfire IX is slower than some of its opponents in 1944/45
The G-14 variant of the Bf109 was meant to standardize the Bf109 production line as dozens of different variations to the basic Bf109G-6 emerged. Numerous refinements to the design aimed at increasing power and performance helped boost the earlier G-6s capabilities though the G-14 still lagged behind in some aspects. Optionally armed with MK108 30mm cannon and 21cm rockets, the Bf109 was a fearsome bomber hunter.
The FW190A-8 boasts increased engine power over its preceding versions, however, its also a much heavier aircraft that continued to add firepower making it a powerful bomber hunter and fighter. Retaining its characteristic roll rate, the FW190 is an ideal boom and zoom fighter. It’s also a flexible ground attacker as the F-8 and G-8 variants remove the outer MG151/20 cannons and the nose mounted MG131 machine guns (in the G-8) to make way for increased loadouts and armor plate aimed at protecting the pilot and engine from AAA fire. The G-8 can even carry the massive SC1000 bomb.