MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

MiGMan’s Flight Sim Museum

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe

Spring 2002: MiGMan's first look

Flying the Fortress Europe campaign
At the start you are presented with one campaign - "Fortress Europe" ...
It is early 1943 and Germany controls the whole of Europe. The Allies stand poised on the island of Great Britain with over a million men, ready and determined to break the German stranglehold on the continent.
As an Allied player (American or British) you'll have to push the Germans back into their own territory and capture Berlin.
As a German player you will have to stop the Allied invasion of Europe, drive the enemy back into the sea, and capture London.

I selected:
Next it was into the campaign... I picked a likely squadron name...

... and allocated my 10 attribute points. I favoured G tolerance as I loathe blacking out in a dogfight. It always happens just before a great guns kill... or just before I run out of ammo! No fear of that this time as I selected "unlimited ammo" in the options menu.... (hey it's a game!)...
MY AIRCRAFT informed me that personal aircraft are only available to pilots who earn personal prestige points. Sounds like a good incentive to try and get through the missions successfully.

Squadron - Aircraft showed that the squadron standard a/c is the Typhoon IB , and they also flew the Spitfire IXC. The Roster shows about 40 pilots... and some of these guys are real aces with the top scorer Flying Officer Walter Pembroke having 22 kills chalked up!
Simply moving the mouse cursor over the map causes pop-up windows to display showing force disposition and strength... hey there's my squadron !

Clicking on map sectors along the front line (shown in RED) changed the list of available missions in the drop down menu. I chose a "destroy ships at.... " mission for my first sortie, reasoning that I'd brave the FLAK and AAA on the mainland when I was comfortable with the aircraft. Besides... ship strikes are generally fun.-

Mission 1: Anti ship

Seeing as the distance target is short I select 80 % fuel, to lighten the Typhoon up a little. There is variety of ordnance available and I take 2 x 1,000 bombs .... overkill perhaps but I want to sink those ships... not tickle them!
There are 16 Typhoons assigned to the strike... this should be interesting to see.

A nice simple flight plan
After flying for a while below a canopy of threatening black clouds and staring goggle-eyed at the spectacular lightning I found the convoy just a few miles into the channel. He he he .... they'd brought their own FLAK and were throwing up a formidable barrage.

I sent the squadron to attack the nearest ships with the "A" - attack command - pretty simple... and swung around to approach the ships astern. I wanted to maximise my chances of scoring a hit by flying along the length of the ships rather than beam them.
Screaming in full throttle at 1,000 feet I released the first bomb which feel away with a clunk and a whistle.
The blast radius of a 1,000 lb bomb is apparently greater than 1,000 feet...
Click the pictures for a bigger image
The blast radius of a 1,000 lb bomb is apparently greater than 1,000 feet...

There wasn't enough time to bail out.
Back at base the mission apparently was successful... but my campaign was over ... or was it?
Mission 1 Anti ship (Take 2)
Pressing 'F-7" at the debrief screen loads the last saved campaign position which the program has thoughtfully saved for me.

On my second attempt I stay over 2,000 feet for the bomb release then immediately pull back into a vertical climb. Sure enough I survive the blast.

I missed the ship too... but it was a near miss... I probably broke a few teacups. Inspired, I bank around for a strafing run. This is the life! Screaming in, I was at wave top level within seconds and laying down streams of lead before "hedge-hopping" or rather "mast-hopping",
At this altitude you only have to blink and...
What's the old saying... ? "... any landing you can walk away from is a good one... "
It took a few attempts, but finally I managed to sink the ships and land safely. I gained 93 experience points and 576 in prestige for being such a good bloke..
The entire mission ran from 0630 to 0701 - 31 minutes, a good length. Considering time to target (30 miles) was only 5 minutes, that left 20 minutes of strafing. Those ships take a pounding!
I was amazed to see not just one, but 2, 3, 4 and 5 fires buring on some vessels before they sank. Even the sinkng was a spectacle with some ships wallowing slowly and others tipping quickly to dive nose first.


Anti-Ship, Typhoon IB, Eastchurch, UK, 3/11/43, 0630
I had to refly this 3 times.
Anti-Ship Typhoon IB Eastchurch, UK 3/11/43 0745 I chose to keep at ship busting .. because it's fun !
Ship busting
Combat Air Patrol Typhoon IB Eastchurch, UK 3/11/43 0830
A change of pace - Messerschmidt BF-109's turned up to play.
Anti-Ship Typhoon IB Eastchurch, UK 3/11/43 0945
My right aileron control cable was damaged by a wingman as we both strafed a ship. It was my fault.... I flew through the path of his rocket attack. On the way back to base trim control was difficult and I nosed over on landing. Try again.
Anti-Ship Typhoon IB Eastchurch, UK 3/11/43 1033
Second attempt. This time - if the plane gets wobbly I'll bail out! Hmmm... famous last words. This time it wasn't my wingman or my erratic flying but the heavy FLAK which got me.

At least I survived the mission.
Mission ended at 1044.
Combat Air Patrol Typhoon IB Eastchurch, UK 3/16/43 1111
This CAP was over friendly territory - right over my home base in fact. A flock of Ju-88's were atacking - I shot down one and landed slightly damaged amongst smoking wreckage and a crumpled hangar.
Junkers Ju-88
Strike Typhoon IB Eastchurch, UK 3/21/43 1150
Strike Bridges on the French coast, 61 miles, just North of the proposed invasion zone at Calais.
Got the bridges... then went hunting for vehicles.
He he he .... I got a little too cocky after decimating a convoy of vehicles. I don't know exactly how low I was flying but it was below the tree tops and I was following the road. Must have clipped a wingtip and I crashed and burned.
On my second attempt we got the bridge, attacked a convoy - blowing a bridge first so half the convoy was trapped. Then on the way back to the coast I buzzed an enemy airfield, attempting to strafe the control tower (I missed). As we reached the French coast again I noticed coastal defences near our invasion zone... I'll go for them next time.
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