The ebb and flow of battle is in full swing. We change our tactics almost daily. So does the enemy. Commanders, in their desperation to parry the next jab, try to find the most faint pattern in the enemy's behavior. As of lately, the German escorts are showing a tendency to stick to their bombers.
The scramble, with all the rushing, running and cursing has lost any form of genuine exhilaration. We are so tired that the only thing that raises our adrenaline is shooting ... Or being shot at, whatever comes first. Not even the sight of mechanics rushing to the Spitfires lining up behind, a clear indication that we will take off below strength, moves us to any emotion.
Our mission is to engage the German fighter escorts while the Hurricanes engage the enemy bombers. We are to keep the Hurricanes clear of fighters so they can do their jobs.
|A flight of 4 Hurricane Is, on their way to the fight.|
|BF109s, of the E3 variant. Seen here flying off the coast of France.|
|The German bombers, He-111s.|
|The enemy escorts (far background) as seen from the bombers.|
|My aircraft, trimmed for maximum speed. Full throttle ahead ...|
|The enemy flights showed up just after a few minutes of flying over the channel. It was imperative to get my 3 Spitifire IIs early into the fight to peel the escorts from the bombers.|
|The escorts, in an impressive show of discipline, let my Spitfires fly around them. We even manage to position ourselves on their rear quarter. In the background, the English coast is getting closer.|
|The bombers, some kilometer or so from the escorts, keep flying unmolested towards the English coast.|
|But our job is the fighters, and we break their formation and force them into a dogfight. The odds are against us: 8 German BF109s against 3 Spitfires.|
|The Hurricanes get then a chance to attack the German bombers.|
|We certainly distracted the German escorts long enough, but we are just so few that the enemy is not taking us seriously. They reform and head back towards the bombers. This is my aircraft, saddling again on the BF-109s.|
|The Hurricanes are having troubles not flying through the German gunners' fire. Just a few minutes into the fight and two British parachutes already.|
|With no visible damage, but unable to drop their bombs the German bombers head back to Europe. The target appeared to have been the airfield in the mid background.|
|They finally desist and head south, low and fast. They overfly this English coastal city while I try to spot a straggler, a creeper ... Anything that can provide a landmark to anchor my attack.|
|Finally, at the distance I notice a lone German fighter trying to rejoin his flight. I force him back into the island and attack him until my ammo runs out. The German pilot dies trying to crash land his plane.|
|The return to the airfield. The Spitfire shrieks when I slow it down, like an old cavalry horse resenting the end of a charge.|
|The approach to the airfield (green open area on my left), with my flight following at prudent distance.|