Thank you all for doing your outmost to follow the plans as set up by German command. The plan was pretty much followed to the point, and we probably moved the frontline slightly further east in our favour. The Führer is of course furious that our German army still hasn't been able to break through the defensive lines of the inferior Russians, but the enemy is well prepared with dug in positions and this might be a more hard fought battle than our leaders in Berlin seem to believe. Yet we are confident that Operation Citadel will succeed, step by step if necessary!
--= AAR =--
Early morning the Axis fighters put a CAP over the frontline near Kursk with small skirmishes resulting between our Luftwaffe and the VVS. The Bf 110G's got in to target unintercepted and were able to dive bomb. The Russian defensive positions took damage but not enough for our ground forces to break through. On egress the Bf 110's got separated from our fighter force and 4-5 Zerstörers were hunted down by the fast La-5FN's. Two Russian Lavochkins were destroyed in return though by Bf 110's deciding to take the fight near F50. The heavy guns of the Bf 110 proved very effective and our twin engine fighters showed that, while slower and less agile, they can turn with the Russian fighters if necessary.
Ju-88's launched and followed route to the 2.10x. Once at altitude they proceeded to target. The bomber formation was satisfactory with few stragglers. Meanwhile the Bf 109's of the 4th Jagdgeschwader made a forward sweep over the frontline in order to somewhat disrupt the VVS airforce operations there. A few Bf 109's were lost as our fighters came in at 8000 m (27 000 ft) and the Russian fighters were waiting above 9000 m (30 000 ft), much higher than expected. Nevertheless the better speed of the German fighters above 6500 m (22 000 ft) allowed our fighters to disengage and proceed to RV with the bombers at the 3.10x and form up as escort. The bombing mission was successful with heavy damage being dealt to dug in Russian positions, losing only a single bomber while the Bf 109's downed several Russian fighters as the VVS planes were busy trying to catch up with the fast Ju-88's. A Russian air raid forced our German groundpersonel to abandon airfield F74 down south due to heavy bombardment and Russian paratroops taking control of the field.
The end of this weeks operations saw heavy fighting above the frontline with positions being lost and reclaimed. An organised Ju-87 Stuka raid was launched to reclaim the airfield F74 down south. This mission was a success and with the Russian defenses bombed and strafed to rubble, our German Fallschirmjägers could reclaim control of the field. The Russians launched a ferocious attack to the northern part of the frontline near the end of operations, but our forces held them back and our tank forces even took control of a few key positions.
--= END AAR =--
• Our fighters have the speed advantage over the La-5FN at high altitude, but always come in above 9000 m (30 000 ft) for forward sweeps. While not at their best up high, the La-5FN's still have a service ceiling of 10 700 m (35 000 ft). The 352nd was waiting for us near this altitude during our second mission forward sweep, resulting in the loss of several Bf 109's since we came in to low.
• Ju-87D Stukas are great for field closing as long as they have escort or are attacking a field the VVS aren't protecting. They were very easy to dive bomb with and their Ai wingmen did half the job when sent in prior to our pilots diving in. It was also really fun to do this type of Stuka mission. Climb at 220 kmh (135 mph) at Bst1 if using the heaviest bomb loadouts in order to gain altitude at best pace.
• Ju-88 bomb high altitude raids seemed quite effective when clouds are light enough. The Axis fighters have higher speed at high altitude and get a great opportunity to kill off the La-5FN's while they are trying to intercept our bombers. The 4th were able to dispatch several enemy fighters during the bombing mission.
• The La-5's have a big blind spot at their low six. I've killed many of them when sneaking up low behind them without them being able to spot me.
• Scissors with 2nd stage of flaps works great in the Bf 109 against the Russian planes. I had 5-6 Lav's/Yak's on my six at end of frame at the river, managing to make them overshoot me repeatedly and surviving for around four minutes until I got help. Unfortunately I later crashed into a hill at the river bank as I looked back and accidentally let go of my nose for a fatal split of a second while climbing that steep hill.
<S> and thank you all for great teamwork and a fun frame