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More Soviet aircraft?


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I'm curious if there were other Soviet aircraft that may have been available in the game timeframe. It's a little surprising there's only two. No Yaks or SUs ? I tried to look it up on Wikipedia but the info there was limited as far as exact timeframes for the ground attack variants. 

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Additionally, CAS is largely abstracted in RT. Its affect can be "god-like" or virtually nil. But as a tool for designing battles it's inclusion is sufficient for the purpose it serves - IMHO.

If AAA yielded more feedback relative its defensive effect, CAS might be used more. If only by being more immersive.



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Russian air power in the summer of 1944 was large and well organized and effective.  Most of its missions hit targets farther from the front lines than CM depicts, but significant portions of that air power could impact the front line fighting.  The types that would be seen doing that, though, were the IL-2s and fighters acting as fighter bombers.

The other major types the Russians were still using in strength were medium bombers conducting night missions against towns, railyards, depots and the like, including by then aging DB-3s which were too slow to use as day bombers in 1944, if there was any chance of interception which generally there was.  Those generally carried about 6 250 lb bombs apiece, occasionally some 500 lb types in the mix, and normally in group strength or more.  Night bombing had navigation errors large enough that anything smaller than a town was a poor target.  They made up for it by dropping hundreds of bombs at a time at large general areas where they expected there to be objects of value to the Germans.  Think roughly of a US B-25 (though not as well armed for MG defense) or a German He-111.

Then large numbers of Pe-2 medium bombers, used either as dive bombers or "glide" bombing after diving from altitude, fast enough to avoid many intercepts and used on road columns, trains, military units in know positions, plus the same sort of larger targets the night bombers went after - but normally not in close contact with friendly troops.  They dropped 4-6 250 lb bombs apiece while attacking in squadron strength or higher, meaning anything from 50 to 200 sizable bombs impacting a pretty large area, even with dive bombing accuracy from each plane (since they wouldn't all push over at the same point target etc).  A very large 8 inch artillery mission is about the size of it, and not something you wanted to send in within 400 yards of friendlies.  Think faster Ju-88s roughly.

Then the IL-2s were the other main type delivering large volumes of ordnance, both light bombs and rockets, plus cannon strafing.  They were daylight, low level attackers.  Their main mission was "armed recce", meaning rove over the countryside on the German side of the lines and attack any target of opportunity, especially vehicles, road columns, and the like.  Relatively rarely they would hit something in actual contact with Russian ground forces, though there were enough of them that would happen some of the time.  These were the canonical Russian ground attack bomber, with no real equivalent in the other air forces of the day.

The fighters normal mission was air superiority to protect all of the above, and the suppress German airfields if they were in range.  They would frequently be without any bomb load, and if they engaged ground targets it would be by strafing and in the armed recce, target of opportunity manner.  Some went out with bombs to supplement the other ground attack stuff when little German fighter opposition was expected, just to make use of the planes when their main job was accomplished in that theater, for the moment.  They were more valuable for air superiority, though, and their tonnage carried was modest compared to the previous types, which collectively outnumbered them as well.  So their overall contribution to ground attack was marginal.  Still, in small numbers and mostly strafing, they could and did attack German forces close to friendlies, so depicting them in CM makes sense.  In capabilities. they were pretty much all close to a German Me-109.

It really isn't necessary to show every type of fighter, because they were all similar in their air to ground load out and such.  Some types had a few more 20mm cannons than others, some had a bit more MG ammo, but only minor differences on  that score.

Edited by JasonC
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Kevin - yes on P-47s, their standard mission was armed recce as dive bombers.  British Typhoons the same.  Those had large bomb loads for single engine fighters and were rugged vs ground fire.  In a way, those straddled the roles the Russians split between their large, heavy, slow single engine ground attack IL-2s and their smaller, lighter true fighters, and mostly had the best of both.  The cannon firepower of the IL-2 was superior, but it was also a lot less survivable vs aircraft and was lost much more rapidly than the faster western types.

As for P-38s, they initially tried to use them as long range bomber escorts, but they could not  hold their own vs German single engine fighters.  Outclassed in maneuverability.  They were even more outclasses in that department by light Japanese fighters, but worked fine in the Pacific anyway because they were vastly superior "energy", speed and vertical move, fighters, and tactics were developed to exploit that.  But over the fast German types they didn't have that asymmetric edge, so they weren't successful as air superiority fighters in Europe.

Instead they did do some armed recce, escorted mediums over shorter ranged targets e.g. in France, where German fighter intercept was less common.  Also used some for airfield attack in fighter sweeps.  But they really just weren't a successful type in Europe, nothing like the major role they had in the Pacific theater.  When P-51s arrived, most of the P-38 formations switchec over to them (a couple to P-47s).  A few did photo recon missions to the end of the war, something their range, speed, ceiling, etc made them well suited for, but not many of those were needed.

Edited by JasonC
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