CHASING SQUIRTS, 14 January 1945

Briefing: 610 Squadron's Flight Lieutenant Tony Gaze and his wingman were on patrol in the Nijmegen area when two Arado 234s and a trio of Me262s plunged out the overcast and attacked the town's bridges.

Map: Ground Terrain (OTR)
Aircraft: Allied:Two Spitfire XIVc
Axis:Two Arado 234B
Three Me262A-2a

Aircraft Set Up: Prior to the start of play, each side secretly records a start hex and altitude for the leader of their formations. For the Germans, the lead Arado is the formation leader, and the Messerschmitts set up as a separate subordinate flight. Their wingmen (and subordinate formations) may set up in any manner that meets formation parameters. The Spitfires may start anywhere on the board at any altitude up to 9.5, with any facing, any upright bank, and at speed 6.0. The Germans may start in any hex with a row co-ordinate of 30 (XX30) or greater (e.g. 1030, 4535, 2940), at any speed up to their maximum allowed level speed, with any upright bank and with any facing, at altitude 10.0.
Once both sides have set up, the Allied player rolls the die and doubles the result; this is the maximum number of hexes he may adjust the set up hex for the leader of the bombers (and adjusting ther entire formation identically).

Allied Ground Unit Set Up: Set up four Quad 50s in 3213, 3216, 3516, and 3815. Set up two Bofors in 3316 and 3513. All are entrenched.

Game Length: 20 turns

Rules of Engagement:
1. Weather: There is an unbroken cloud deck from level 11.0 to 12.0.
2. Gunsight: The Spitfires have the K-14 gyro gunsight.
3. Bombload/Armament: Each Arado carries a single SC1000 bomb. Roll to see if the Arados have rear armament, as per their ADC. The Me262s each carry two SD500 bombs. Their targets are the bridges (Hard targets, Def Str 15, Hit Capacity 15/hex). No other ground targets are worth any points.
3. Pilot Quality: Gaze is a Veteran-Ace, his wingman is a Veteran. The Arado pilots are also Veterans, and the Me 262 pilots are Recruits for Initiative and air-to-air firing purposes; however, they are Veterans for all other purposes.


Debriefing:After pursuing the Arados and taking some damaging but not fatal shots at them, Gaze followed a hunch and climbed above the overcast. He emerged behind a formation of three Me262s and, selecting the nearest, fired and brought it down.


Designer's Notes: My main source was Six Aces by Lex McAuley, but various other books have recounted this action, and all differ even though Gaze is quoted in each! According to MacAuley, 'Arados with Me262 escorts' attacked the bridges. Other accounts of the encounter say only Arados attacked the bridges. If McAuley meant the Me262s above the clouds were escorts, this is not borne out by the fact he identifies the lost Me262 as belonging to KG51 - a bomber unit. I thus assume either they attacked the bridge as well, or were co-incidently in transit to or from another target.
Taken all the above into account, I made the decision to include the Me262s as bombers in the attack. Their different air and ground Pilot ratings are based on the experience of another 262 unit, KG(J)54, who were experienced bomber pilots converted to the day-fighter role. Although competent and well-trained pilots, they suffered disproportional losses compared to other 262 units in air combat, due to their lack of fighter combat experience.
Although Gaze wasn't able to do more than damage the Arados on this occasion, two months later he again encountered this fast bomber. In fact, he saw one on three successive days in April. The first two times the jet sped away, but on the third Gaze and his wingman managed to catch and shoot down their quarry, giving Gaze the rare double of having downed both of Germany's premier jet aircraft.


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Two for Onel
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First Jet Clash

Version History:
1.0 Initial Version