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Pict

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  1. Here is my current (most likely final) assessment of all of the above. Should detailed historical documentation of significance surface I might review it. Wiki info regarding RAF 98 Sqn turned out to be taken from the Squadrons diaries, which have been collated into an interesting read here http://www.rafjever.org/98squadhistory3.htm Mud/dust blocking the periscope view port This one I can readily accept as a reason to remove the turret as it would render it useless, but only when mud/dust are persistent problem as was the case from jungle strips in the PTO. This can be proven not to be the case for the RAF Mitchell Squadrons in the ETO as they are documented to have operated from paved runways. Cracked periscope view port glass Chances of this happening on the runway are small and like all other accidental equipment damage can be put down to such. After T/O should the glass be found to be cracked in such a way that rendered the turret useless, RTB. If this was a persistent problem affecting many aircraft it would have been investigated and if no solution found, it would have been the end of the turret as it would be deemed totally dysfunctional. As the turret soldiered on till wars end in the ETO, we know this was not a problem. Why haul 2500 lbs of uselessness into combat for years? Vertigo This is a not so common medical condition, plenty of info available about it. Affects a small percentage of the population, more women than men and more in the old than in the young. As the aircrew were all medically fit young men, who trained on the equipment, the chances of having a gunner rendered useless in combat by looking through the turret gun-sight would be tiny. It affects the crewman not the turret. If anything was to get rated novice by me it would be the person allowing a gunner suffering vertigo to go on combat ops. In the worst case scenario if you had the bad luck to have a gunner affected by vertigo in the combat area, you would just swap out the gunners. Gunners were selected for their ability, some were good on some equipment, others not so hot for one reason or another. This is not the fault of the equipment. The lower turrets were said to be unpopular No surprise, I know what I would prefer given the choice. That has no bearing on the effectiveness of the equipment, but is just a reflection on aircrew preference when faced with an option. Turret raise/lower mechanism prone to jamming On reflection I find that this was actually quite serious and I think more serious than any of the above. As, if the turret jammed in the raised position it would be rendered useless. If it jammed in the lowered position it would slow the aircraft to the point of dropping it out of formation, or slowing the whole formation down. Add to that the info on hard landings when it was stuck in the lowered position. This is what I think the RAF modifications were about, working out the bugs in the turret raise / lower mechanism. Situational awareness Bomber crews were a team connected to each other via an intercom. The situational awareness of each crewman was shared the with the team to create an overall picture of what was going on around the bomber, this is well documented. An attempt to separate out different gunners situational awareness is to misunderstand how that gunner functioned in the defense of the aircraft as a whole. To argue that the lower turret gunner had less situational awareness than the top turret gunner and therefore conclude that he was less effective is easy to prove wrong. Lets say on our bomber that one turret is rendered out of action for some reason, say an electrical/hydraulic fault or even just a simple ammunition jam. Our bomber is down one turret. But has our bomber suffered a reduction in situational awareness? No it has not. Therefore we are dealing with two different items, situational awareness of the crew and effectiveness of any given turret. Should we persist with that flawed argument and treat each gunners individual situational awareness as the measure of how effective he is, then we must apply that to all bombers and their individual gunners. Upshot of that is that we can see with ease that the upper gunner in an He-111 for example, has a much better individual view than the lower gunner, or waist gunner. Should we then reduce the effectiveness of 4 of the He-111's gunners? Absolutely not, and for exactly the same reasons that we should not reduce the effectiveness of the B-25D lower turret gunner. That about covers it for me. It's been fun, interesting and somewhat educational. Thanks
  2. I'm having so much fun I almost missed this little gem... so are we talking metric or imperial tons here? Thanks for that info, that's means that the RAF 98 Sqn Mitchell II's mentioned above in that configuration are indeed B-25D-2 production models. So the modifications that were made to the Mitchell's defensive gun turrets according to the Wiki page referenced above are more likely to have been to the standard B-25D versions of the Mitchell II's that had the dustbin and most likely that it was the dustbin installation itself that was modified. Unless anything better than that comes up, I'm happy to conclude that the RAF after taking a beating with the dusbin on an early sortie, addressed the problem sufficiently to keep it operational for the rest of the war. Therefore no need to do anything drastic, other than have a party
  3. That wouldn't be the same turrets that shot Thor down in his head on pass in the OP would it? He seems to think so ================================================= Like a paratrooper that forgot his static line Do you have any figures or info on the periscope field of view angle? I've been looking for that but so far turned up nothing. The turret gunner was on the intercom like the rest of the crew, see image below from B-25 manual.
  4. Ok, Kemp that all rings true from personal experience. I'm certain you'll get rid of it when you get around to dropping the nuke It's really worth the effort, a literal game changer, for the better.
  5. Lots of images available out there, but happily I found exactly what I was looking for in a 2 birds with one stone fashion; RAF 98 Sqn Mitchell II's at Melsbroek wearing full invasion stripes. The dreaded dustbin (lower turret) is clearly present. So from this we know that they were used in this configuration well after any question was raised about gun turrets requiring modification as per the Wiki info above, which was dated 22 January 1943. So, if the Wiki info is correct, can we assume that modifications were undertaken to make them satisfactory? Of course not ========================= I turned up another photo of an RAF 98 Sqn Mitchell ? like the one in the video, with the waist & tail guns, this time the call sign is Y-VO as opposed to D-VO in the film clip. Can't see the serial no's, so it's not sure if it's a different aircraft or not as coded can change. Semi invasion stripes on the fuselage put the date a bit after D-Day. Anyone know more about these? They appear to be neither D's nor J's, at least not production versions, but something part way in between.
  6. The following info proves very little either one way or the other and is from Wikipedia, soooo....anyhow it could be a point from where to start looking further. I highlighted the interesting part in red https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._98_Squadron_RAF ============================================== A 98 Sqn Mitchell returning from France, 19 April 1944. No. 98 Squadron reformed on 12 September 1942 at RAF West Raynham as a bomber squadron of 2 Group, flying the North American Mitchell II.[3][6] Relocating to Foulsham in mid-October, the Squadron continued training on the Mitchell, being declared operational on 8 December 1942, at first flying Air Sea Rescue (ASR) missions.[6] On 22 January 1943 the Squadron made its first attack on the enemy, when six Mitchells from 98 Squadron and six from No. 180 Squadron (also flying its first combat mission[7]), with an escort of Mustang fighters from 169 Squadron, attacked oil installations at Terneuzen, Belgium. One 98 Squadron Mitchell was shot down by German anti-aircraft fire while two of 180 Squadron's aircraft together with two 169 Squadron Mustangs were shot down by Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighters. Following this inauspicious debut, 98 Squadron returned to ASR missions while modifications were made to the Mitchell's defensive gun turrets, the Squadron returning to combat on 13 May when six aircraft attacked railway marshalling yardsat Boulogne.[6] In August 1943 the Squadron moved to Dunsfold to take part in pre-invasion attacks on Northern France and on V1 flying bomb launching sites in the Pas-de-Calais. After the Normandy landings the Squadron operated in close support of the advancing Allied armies,[3] and from October 1944 was based at Melsbroek near Brussels, Belgium, moving to Achmer, near Osnabrück, Germany, just days prior to VE Day.[2] ============================================================= What is meant by "modifications were made to the Mitchell's defensive gun turrets" is unclear and simply throws up more questions Were some removed and replaced? Were others added? Were some found to be ineffective and modified to be more effective? Or any combination of the above. However it puts RAF 98 Sqn in the cross-hairs for a more in depth look ==================================== Update: The video I posted yesterday from the AWM (Australian War Memorial) was of "180 & 98 Mitchell Squadrons in England", and the bomber with the modified turrets was according to the AWM text "Mitchell bomber of No. 98 Squadron RAF taxiing returning into dispersal bay" *AWM is a very solid reference point. So this was when they were still based in England and with the lack of invasion stripes, prior to D-Day. More questions come to mind. Was this an experimental ship? There are still plenty of Mitchell II's with the dreaded dustbin present in that film, so were they modified in some way? Funny thought my Australian jest may well have had some truth in it after all Still looking....mostly for verifiable photos of Mitchell II's on bases in Belgium, especially RAF 98 Sqn at Melsbroek or actually come to think of it, any Mitchell II with invasion stripes will work too
  7. Ok thanks, I must have misunderstood you earlier. No problem is good news anyhow.
  8. I don't think so, as I think what you are referring to is a built in feature and one that I'm happy with, that I already mentioned this earlier up this thread... "There is an element of sinking that happens when you pull some g's and of course the opposite when pushing the stick forward, but it's minimal as you would expect when supposedly strapped tightly into your seat. This I am happy with and see it as a plus point for immersion as it is subtle in a way that you never totally lose your gun-sight and as the g bleeds of your slowly return to your start point." So to be clear, I see that as entirely different and unrelated to what we have been dealing with here. ==================================== Back to the problem & it's solution; Good news is I can happily say that I'm still running clean since the nuke & rebuild. The rebuild has continued along with more & more testing with different aircraft, in missions, in campaigns, all good, no head banging the gun-site or anything remotely similar. While I have yet to test it online, I see no reason for that to be any different. I'd be happy to hear from all those who indicated that they were suffering from our little problem, to see how they are getting on? All good? Still testing? Still have the problem? Haven't tried to sort it yet? Largely so that I can update the OP and thread title (if possible) to indicate that this one has an effective solution. ===================================== So, starting in order of appearance I'm going to page you all, if I missed you, it's just because I missed you and I'll apologize in advance, this list will not include those offing a solution only, just for those with the problem. @Voidhunger @SAG @pfrances @Swing @HagarTheHorrible @spartan85 @=SqSq=Sulaco @J3Hetzer @II./JG77_Kemp @=[TIA]=Stoopy @Esco
  9. Did North American, the people who built the aircraft not already test it? Was it not tested and approved by the USAAF? Did the British Air Ministry not test & approve it? Did the RAF not test it in combat and continue to use it? Could be that if any of the above found any evidence to suggest that said turret was ineffective in any way that they would have documented that clearly. Why not look for that kind of documentation? ===================== Like I said before and will say again, you might be right. I just have yet to see any solid compelling evidence that proves that you are right. It's not a fight as far as I'm concerned, and I don't intend to let comments like that go unanswered without stating that clearly. I don't see this as a fight nor intend it to be one. I would like to see clear proof of this theory, which as I have said already more than once may well be correct. I've already looked into that and the information regarding the bases that RAF Mitchell II's operated from in the ETO is readily available. I stated that they operated from paved runways in the ETO At no point did I put forward the idea that there was only one type of airfield in the ETO.
  10. In most if not all of the WWII fighter pilot biography's that I've read, the same thing happened to them. Even top aces had their off days like everyone else. Not something I would be overly concerned about. On the other hand if everything went right all of the time, it would freak me pretty quickly
  11. Ah, so you can lip read 1940's strine after all Joking aside, you are quick to cherry-pick the odd bomber out to fit it into your narrative, but don't forget the RAF also used Mitchell III's aka B-25J model, which had no bottom turret. None of that alters the fact that the RAF used B-25C & D models aka Mitchell II's right through to the end in the ETO. What you didn't spot in that film was the big difference between USAAF B-25D operation in the PTO & RAF B-25D operation in the ETO. The dust & mud you mention very often, while certainly a factor on rough jungle strips in the PTO, dust in the dry season / mud in the wet, was not a factor for the RAF in the ETO as their B-25's operated from paved runways in a temperate climate. This dirt & mud was the the main factor for removing the dustbin attributed by your B-25 pilot in his diary and in fact the only one he mentioned. RAF Mitchell II's operating in the ETO did not have that problem. If they had, they would have been quick to ditch that turret not just for the weight saved, but for the trained air gunner now available for duty elsewhere. ============================= That said, all your left with is an assumption that one turret is less effective than the other. That might be hard to prove. Personal anecdotal comments about playing the violin being just that, anecdotal. Both turrets were operated by the same drive mechanism, Bendix, from what I've read. So the speeds for traverse & elevation should be the same. Both gunners were on the intercom as was the whole crew, and trained to use it for spotting & tracking bandits, thereby sharing situational awareness. Both turrets had the same armament, 2x .50"cal Browning's. Where is this big discrepancy between the two that you seek? And most importantly, how can you prove it?
  12. Who knows, it's beyond my viewing range Either way the new "option" is one I don't use offline, nor will fly on a server with it enabled.
  13. Try the random AI setting, that's what I always use and they give you a good scrap without much drama. Try going against the Macchi's, I tried as hard as I could to get one to lawn dart but he just stayed with me.
  14. Super smashin' great, oh what a lovely couple, come and look at what you could have won
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