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View Full Version : Staying Alive vs. Mission Success



MisterMark
10-01-2008, 08:05 PM
I am playing an offline Normandy campaign with the DCG utility. I am flying for the allies as a Major in the P47d. I've set the campaign to give me a random mix of fighter and strike missions.

I am trying to play the campaign with the utmost concern for my 'virtual life' while trying to maintain a high degree of mission success. However, I am curious as to what a realistic and historical degree of success really is (for example for every 10 missions flown allied HQ might expect 7 missions to be successful?).

Obviously if I try for 100% mission success on every mission, I am probably not going to make it through the war. Conversely if I am just trying to stay alive I can chicken out without regard to how well my squads performs. What should I be aiming for?

Mark

MisterMark
10-01-2008, 08:05 PM
I am playing an offline Normandy campaign with the DCG utility. I am flying for the allies as a Major in the P47d. I've set the campaign to give me a random mix of fighter and strike missions.

I am trying to play the campaign with the utmost concern for my 'virtual life' while trying to maintain a high degree of mission success. However, I am curious as to what a realistic and historical degree of success really is (for example for every 10 missions flown allied HQ might expect 7 missions to be successful?).

Obviously if I try for 100% mission success on every mission, I am probably not going to make it through the war. Conversely if I am just trying to stay alive I can chicken out without regard to how well my squads performs. What should I be aiming for?

Mark

DKoor
10-01-2008, 08:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MisterMark:
Obviously if I try for 100% mission success on every mission, I am probably not going to make it through the war. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>You are right.
Of what good would it be to die now with little to no success when you can return later and attack with success?
I think I made my position clear.

You will got many missions where your goal is attacking enemy airfield.
Those are toughest possible missions in IL-2.
Flak does not forgive in this game, it was also deadly in WW2.
To survive in these missions, you make your pass drop your eggs and fly away.
I'd attack further if AA is suppressed enough.

All that is, if you play under "Dead is Dead" rule http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/typing.gif.

MisterMark
10-01-2008, 10:55 PM
Yes that makes perfect sense, however I suppose I am looking for some sort of historical reference point on what was expected by allied military planners in terms of sorties flown and actual successful missions. Also, I understand what was expected and what the reality was might have been two different things. Anyone have any idea of what the rough historical stat was in the ground pounding missions for p47's in Normandy?

WTE_Galway
10-01-2008, 11:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by MisterMark:
Yes that makes perfect sense, however I suppose I am looking for some sort of historical reference point on what was expected by allied military planners in terms of sorties flown and actual successful missions. Also, I understand what was expected and what the reality was might have been two different things. Anyone have any idea of what the rough historical stat was in the ground pounding missions for p47's in Normandy? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Historically you were expected to complete the mission even if most of you died. If you did not you or someone else would have to just go back and do it again.

I posted a quote from Joe Foss recently where he said you expected to lose about 50% of your fighters when strafing a larger warship and that surviving meant you were "not just good but lucky".

Very few of the original BoB pilots survived the war for example. Now these guys (despite the popular myth otherwise) were all pilots who had started training well before the war started. Some had as few as 10 hours on type but they were all seasoned pilots. It took 10 months minimum to train a new pilot so no refresh recruits flew in the BoB yet many of them died. But they still went ahead with their missions.

The problem in a game is that you want to simulate those rare fraction of pilots who survived the war. Surviving the war was as much luck as skill, it was a lottery. Look at the pilots of 263 Squadron and 46 Squadron who survived a difficult campaign in Norway with 50 odd kills between them in a few short months only to lose their lives on the way home when the carrier HMS Glorious was sunk by the Scharnhorst.

P.FunkAdelic
10-02-2008, 02:35 AM
Not directly related to air warfare but my grandfather was one of the few that served with the special forces created during WW2 and was directly commanded by Lord Lovat. So by design he was faced with the toughest tasks and was not expected to survive most of them.

He did manage to live. One of his superiors, Galbraith I think is what he calls him when he tells me about it, said one day after a raid during which he was wounded, "So how many times you been wounded?" and my grandpa answered some number that eludes me but is great enough to show tremendous luck. Galbraith's answer was "well then I guess its time to send you home". "Oh you mean Canada?!" my grandpa said enthusiastically. "No, your regiment". Basically my grandpa had dodged the odds more than his share of times and it was surmised by the higher ups that he'd done his share and that anymore time with the outfit would probably see him dead in no time. But while they were there the commandos sure did their share of both succeeding and dying.

So basically in any of the high risk assignments in wars the odds of survival in a sustained campaign aren't great. Needless to say that my grandpa ended commanding in tanks with the Canadian 2nd and survived being blown up twice in a Sherman.

Very lucky man. Has a big steel plate in his forehead. Shrapnel visible in his face and apparently bits keep falling out every now and then.

Survival in the air was luck and selective heroism. Like they say. Don't be a hero. They die.

How many posthumous VCs are there?

Another good example would probably be Hartmann.Was a determined coward in many of his enemy's books I'm sure. I believe he said he estimated that at least 80% of his kills were on those that never saw it coming. Survived by being smart about it. So many sorties it couldn't have been all luck. Probably knew when to bug out and when not to even bother.

Daiichidoku
10-02-2008, 07:51 AM
ask an expert....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/Daiichidoku/sa.jpg

dirkpit7
10-02-2008, 12:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
Very few of the original BoB pilots survived the war for example. Now these guys (despite the popular myth otherwise) were all pilots who had started training well before the war started. Some had as few as 10 hours on type but they were all seasoned pilots. It took 10 months minimum to train a new pilot so no refresh recruits flew in the BoB yet many of them died. But they still went ahead with their missions.

The problem in a game is that you want to simulate those rare fraction of pilots who survived the war. Surviving the war was as much luck as skill, it was a lottery. Look at the pilots of 263 Squadron and 46 Squadron who survived a difficult campaign in Norway with 50 odd kills between them in a few short months only to lose their lives on the way home when the carrier HMS Glorious was sunk by the Scharnhorst. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Good points but I think you are overestimating the loss percentage a little. Here is a quote from Battle of Britain website: (http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/roll.html)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> 'The Few' were <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">2353</span> young men from Great Britain and <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">574</span> from overseas, pilots and other aircrew, who are officially recognised as having taken part in the Battle of Britain. Each flew at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm during the period 10 July to 31 October 1940. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">544</span> lost their lives during the period of the Battle, and these are marked by an asterisk. A further <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">791</span> were killed in action or died in the course of their duties before the wars end, which is also noted. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So it can't be said that very few BoB pilots survived the war. It was the majority who did.

squareusr
10-02-2008, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by P.FunkAdelic:
Another good example would probably be Hartmann.Was a determined coward in many of his enemy's books I'm sure. I believe he said he estimated that at least 80% of his kills were on those that never saw it coming. Survived by being smart about it. So many sorties it couldn't have been all luck. Probably knew when to bug out and when not to even bother. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Once a certain level of fame is achieved, personal survival _is_ the main mission objective, for propaganda reasons.

Additionally, after the luftwaffe lost home air superiority there was little else to fight for than pure attrition. This happens to move survival much higher up on the list of desireable mission outcomes, compared to offensive missions or defensive ones with a realistic chance of absolute success.

WTE_Galway
10-02-2008, 05:32 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by dirkpit7:

Good points but I think you are overestimating the loss percentage a little. Here is a quote from Battle of Britain website: (http://www.raf.mod.uk/bob1940/roll.html)

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> 'The Few' were <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">2353</span> young men from Great Britain and <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">574</span> from overseas, pilots and other aircrew, who are officially recognised as having taken part in the Battle of Britain. Each flew at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the Royal Air Force or Fleet Air Arm during the period 10 July to 31 October 1940. <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">544</span> lost their lives during the period of the Battle, and these are marked by an asterisk. A further <span class="ev_code_YELLOW">791</span> were killed in action or died in the course of their duties before the wars end, which is also noted. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

So it can't be said that very few BoB pilots survived the war. It was the majority who did. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well just over 50% survived.

Still the point is despite the Hollywood style "one man saves the world through awesome elite skills" myth, in war it as much luck as anything else. Being dumb will get you killed but being canny and skillful doesn't guarantee you are safe.

Look at the experten, Erich Hartman survived the war unscathed but Hans-Joachim M@rseille died in a trivial accident.

Bomber crews recognised this and developed an entire mythos around lucky objects and behavior.

I suppose in game what that means is if you are going to simulate the luck of teh survivors as well you may want to permit yourself to refly if the death was just sheer misfortune, hit by random flak at long range for example.

coolinoz
10-02-2008, 11:13 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Look at the experten, Erich Hartman survived the war unscathed but Hans-Joachim M@rseille died in a trivial accident. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
so did molders

Jex_TE
10-03-2008, 03:56 AM
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots but there are no old, bold pilots.

Darth_Reagan
10-03-2008, 04:25 AM
I put survival first as I just feel more involved with the game that way. However, the game 'life' ends when you land, but in real life you would have to live with your actions. If you ran from an enemy and a friends life was lost you would feel terrible in real life but not so in the game. Anyway, in real life you might also get shot for cowardice and end up dead anyway so you'd be under a lot more pressure to get things right.

Damn, thinking about that makes me so glad I only have to play the game!

dirkpit7
10-03-2008, 01:40 PM
It also meant a lot if you were a fighter or ground attack/bomber pilot. Very skilled fighter pilots had a fairly good chances even when facing overwhelming odds. The top three LW aces (Hartmann, Barkhorn, Rall) all survived the war. Although the next two, Nowotny and Kittel, didn't, it still makes 3/5. Sakai (although heavily wounded), Juutilainen, Hans Wind (wounded also) also made it through, just to name a few. And many of these pilots were flying right from the start till the end.

On the other hand bombers had little to do to affect their chances and probably had suicidal missions more often (try to attack a large warships with a handful of Swordfish). Their missions demanded that they were exposed to flak and fighters. So if you can get through the war alive as an IL-2 pilot it's certainly an amazing achievment.

Rock_Kettler
10-03-2008, 02:28 PM
Another stat for you. In the Battle of France No 85 Sqn suffered a total of 19 pilots killed, wounded or missing in 10 days (10 - 19 May 1940). Withdrawing to UK with only 3 Hurricanes and one transport a/c (type unspecified.
Source: "Finest Hour" (by Tim Clayton & Phil Craig), the book of the BBC TV series of the same name.