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Coming soon: iconic events in PWCG


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In the course of a war there are iconic events.  Maybe whole battles, maybe just a small part that has become well known.  Soon PWCG will model these iconic events.  PWCGs modeling will have two important results.  First, activity will be drawn to the location of the event.  Second, the air activity will more closely match what was happening during the event.  The PWCG events will not be accurate to the minute detail.  Instead, they will try to capture the feel while still being quite heavily varied.

 

At the moment I have 3 iconic events modeled:

Arnhem: Focusing on the paratroop and cargo drops of the operation, with additional focus on ground attack and low altitude CAPs.

Ardennes: Focus on ground and anti transport attacks with cargo drops for Bastogne.

Bodenplatte: Make all of the German units fly airfield attacks.  Make allied air units sometimes fly scrambles and sometimes carry on with usual activity.

 

I want to do some things for Stalingrad and Kuban as well.  Will probably have something ready to release before the end of May.

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16 minutes ago, DD_Crash said:

Thanks, will these be suitable for coops?

Yes.  They are going to be PWCG missions with mission type forced in a certain direction. All of the other aspects of PWCG like configurations for ground and air activity will be in play. 

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And Operation PLUNDER which was the amphibious crossing of the Rhine that accompanied VARSITY. https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/battlehonours/northwesteurope/rhine.htm PLUNDER included many iconic events itself, including the capture of the LUDENDORFF BRIDGE made famous by the book/film: The Bridge at Remagen.

 

And when you list Arnhem, I assume you refer to Operation MARKET GARDEN which is an obvious one and not the Liberation of Arnhem in April 45 following VARSITY/PLUNDER which would also seem a natural event to include so close to the end of hostilities and right in the middle of the map.

 

Other Iconic Events that I can think of would be the battle of the SCHELDT which was previously mentioned by someone in another thread.  It began after the failure of MARKET GARDEN and began with the clearing of the North shore of the RIVER SCHELDT with the goal of securing the SCHELDT ESTUARY allowing access to ANTWERP by allied shipping on 2 OCT 44

https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/campaigns/northwesteurope/scheldt.htm

 

Following the Battle of the SCHELDT, the next major Allied offensive would be The Battle of the Rhineland Feb - Mar 45 that would include Op VARSITY and PLUNDER as well as VERITABLE and BLOCKBUSTER before them. https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/campaigns/northwesteurope/rhineland.htm.

 

All of these were dependent on Allied air superiority.  If the Allies had not been able to secure air superiority, Luftwaffe interference may have delayed or imperiled operations, particularly crossings of canals like the LEOPOLD CANAL at the beginning of OP SWITCHBACK near the beginning of the BATTLE OF THE SCHELDT and crossing the Rhine during PLUNDER.  Allied air superiority was also vital in being able to provide CAS to advancing allied troops when and where needed.  2 TAF and 9th AF had perfected CAS by the time of the BATTLE OF THE RHINE  and without it, allied casualties would have been much higher clearing well sited and thought out German defensive positions, making all of these excellent candidates for inclusion in PWCG as Iconic Events.

 

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No promises for the first cut.  If I try to get everything in at once this won't be out for a year.  However, once the composition elements are in place making another one can be done in a few hours.  

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12 minutes ago, JG1_Jaus said:

Any iconic events for FC?

 

Only one, as this does not lend itself as well to WWI.  There are no parachute drops, amphibious invasions, great encirclements, etc.  The only thing that comes to mind within the current framework is to force more ground attacks for Allied fighters during 1918.  Beyond that the designations  would force the action to a hot spot along the front but the missions would not really be any different, and that sort of thing is already modeled.

 

The iconic air activities of WWI tend to be around dogfights, usually the ones where a top ace got killed or somehow overcame a bad situation.  These very specific events are better modeled in individual, hand crafted missions.  As stated above, the "iconic missions" in PWCG will not be exact recreations by any means. 

 

Having thrown a wet blanket on the request, I am willing to take ideas.  Just be aware that they cannot be "recreate this specific event as it happened".  PWCG just can't do that.

 

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Hello Pat,

first of all thanks for PWCG, I'm using it since ROF times. Really really appreciate your work.

 

Maybe the "Operation Brunhild" would be a good fit for the Kuban krescendo? I've never made to the Kuban final stage (ironman campaign, bad pilot...) but it seems to be what you are looking for. A general setup:  frantic german small boats naval activity around Kerch Strait with persistent VVS bomber attacks to shipping and german fighter response. 

Quoting a bit from the Robert Forczyk, Steve Noon, Nikolai Bogdanovic - The Kuban 1943 _ The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand in the Caucasus (2018, Osprey):
"Operation Brunhild, 15 September–9 October
The Kriegsmarine’s ability to evacuate over 227,000 Axis troops and all their equipment from the Kuban in a little over three weeks – despite intense enemy air and naval attacks – was a remarkable achievement. In anticipation of Brunhild, the Germans were able to assemble almost 30 MFPs and a number of other small craft from Pionier-LandungsBataillon 86 in the Kerch area to conduct the evacuation and could begin as soon as authorization was provided. The MFPs, which were heavily armed with 2cm and 3.7cm Flak guns, usually moved across the Kerch Strait in small groups of two to three barges; it took five hours to reach the port of Anapa but just over an hour to reach Taman. This is where the German investment in amphibious technology for the proposed invasion of England in 1940 – Operation Sea Lion – really paid off, since the MFPs could operate from very rudimentary facilities and could load troops and vehicles directly off beaches. A single small convoy could move the bulk of a German battalion across the Kerch Strait.
...
General-major Vasily V. Ermachenkov’s VVS-ChF had three primary antishipping units: the Pe-2s of 40 Bomber Aviation Regiment-VMF, the Il-4s of 5th Guards Mine-Torpedo Aviation Regiment and the Bostons of 36th MineTorpedo Aviation Regiment, along with two regiments of Il-2 Sturmoviks. If Ermachenkov had massed his available aircraft against German shipping, he might have inflicted considerable damage. Instead, he spread his aircraft across a variety of missions and targets...
"


Take care!

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Making progress.  I have three iconic battles for Arnhem, three for Ardennes, Bodenplatte, and four for Stalingrad.  Working Kuban now.  This work has required more than just adding some data.  it is a whole intercept framework on the mission generation process - should PWCG do an iconic mission - yes, do it, no proceed as usual.  This has impact throughout many thousands of lines of code used to generate missions.  That framework is in place although new iconic missions require new capabilities.

 

One example is Bodenplatte.  How do I make EVERY German fighter unit carry out a airfield attack mission?  On the Allied side, AI scramble mission didn't even exist.  So I coded a way to force some or all flights into a certain mission type.  Then I coded a runway start scramble mission with a variable takeoff delay so you may or may not catch them on the ground.  Flew this one a few times and after getting the bugs out you end up with one heck of a fur ball over Allied airfields.

 

Now that I had that scramble mission I also applied it to any airfield attack, so those will be more interesting. 

 

I am currently working on amphibious assaults for Kuban.  Put landing craft a couple of KM off shore.  Then they start moving towards shore.  A few destroyers are with them.  Once they reach shore they will disgorge a few machine guns and a few tanks, which will try to move inland.  On land there will be some machine guns, AT guns, and artillery to oppose them.  That's the plan, anyway.  

 

I would like to release an Alpha to let people test the missions that I already have.  

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1 hour ago, PatrickAWlson said:

Flew this one a few times and after getting the bugs out you end up with one heck of a fur ball over Allied airfields.

 

1 hour ago, PatrickAWlson said:

I am currently working on amphibious assaults for Kuban.  Put landing craft a couple of KM off shore.  Then they start moving towards shore.  A few destroyers are with them.  Once they reach shore they will disgorge a few machine guns and a few tanks, which will try to move inland.  On land there will be some machine guns, AT guns, and artillery to oppose them.

 

This all sounds absolutely amazing, THANK YOU!!

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On 4/9/2021 at 1:19 PM, JG1_Jaus said:

Any iconic events for FC?

On 4/9/2021 at 1:39 PM, PatrickAWlson said:

 

Only one, as this does not lend itself as well to WWI.  There are no parachute drops, amphibious invasions, great encirclements, etc.  The only thing that comes to mind within the current framework is to force more ground attacks for Allied fighters during 1918.  Beyond that the designations  would force the action to a hot spot along the front but the missions would not really be any different, and that sort of thing is already modeled.

 

The iconic air activities of WWI tend to be around dogfights, usually the ones where a top ace got killed or somehow overcame a bad situation.  These very specific events are better modeled in individual, hand crafted missions.  As stated above, the "iconic missions" in PWCG will not be exact recreations by any means. 

 

Having thrown a wet blanket on the request, I am willing to take ideas.  Just be aware that they cannot be "recreate this specific event as it happened".  PWCG just can't do that.

 

 

Given:

  1. We have a Summer Map and no other seasons;
  2. The limited geographic extent of the map;
  3. The plane set is 1917 to the end of the war;
  4. The hard coded front lines of the map; and
  5. The German Army had withdrawn to the Hindenburg Line in Spring 1917.

There are limited events that happened on this geography, during this time period.  So lest say from the time that snow would substantially be gone from the ground to the end of the war, maybe March 1918 to the end of the war?

 

This leaves us with only two major operations for now, both of which were iconic events:

 

  1.  The Kaiserschlacht and
  2. The Hundred Days

Kaiserschlacht

 

The Kaiserschlacht was the last offensive launched by the Central Powers during the war.  It's purpose was to try to break the Entente Cordiale and get them to agree to peace terms that the German government had been trying to negotiate through third parties for some months. 

 

The Kaiserschlacht began on 21 March with Operation Michael in the British Sector.  It is no surprise that the map we have is effectively the British Army sector as it appeared in 1918.  The Northern Boundary with the Belgian Army is a Km or so from the top of the map and the Southern boundary with the French Army would be a few Km below the bottom of the map.  There were several battles fought during Operation Michael, most on the map that we have:

 

  1. Battle of St. Quentin, 21–23 March
  2. Somme crossings, 24–25 March
  3. First Battle of Bapaume, 24–25 March
  4. Battle of Rosières, 26–27 March
  5. Third Battle of Arras, 28–29 March
  6. First Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, 30 March – 5 April
  7. Battle of the Avre, 4 April 1918
  8. Battle of the Ancre, 5 April
  9. Second Battle of Villers-Bretonneux

The Kaiserschlacht  continued in other areas of the front but the area covered by our map saw mostly consolidation and minor battles after Operation Michael while the offensive continued in Flanders to the North and to the south in the French and American sector.   All of this would have required Photo Reconnaissance flights to map objectives prior to the offensive and once battles began Artillery Spotting flights, Contact Patrols, bombing of rail and road bridges and possible assembly areas to prevent reinforcements from reaching the front and for fighters to escort flights and to wrest and maintain local air superiority from the RFC/RAF.  This would have been a challenge for the Luftstreitkrafte who were outnumbered in the sector 3:1.  To achieve this they needed to concentrate Jasta's close to the fighting, moving them by convoy and train, setting up tents in fields to operate from, like traveling circuses of the time.  The German Army advanced ~ 30 miles from St. Quentin to Villers-Bretonneaux in about 5 days, this was dynamic war. 

 

The Entente Cordial needed to cover the entire sector, deny the Central Powers the freedom to fly recce patrols over their defensive positions and lines of communication prior to the battle, maintain air superiority, shoot down Artillery spotters, bombers nascent CAS sorties and support their own Photo Recce flights over German lines of communication, logistic bases, advancing German troops, maintain contact patrols with withdrawing British troops, Artillery spotting missions to destroy German lines of communication, advancing troops, and deny air superiority to the Luftstreitkrafte.  All while falling back in good order, possibly taking off from one aerodrome at the beginning of the day and landing at another further to the West at the end, hopefully your possessions made it with the ground crew.

 

The Hundred Days Offensive

 

During the Hundred Days the boot was on the other foot.  The Hundred Days was the final offensive launched by the Entente Cordial.  It began with the Battle of Amiens on 8 Aug 1918, "The Black Day of the German Army" according to Ludendorf, and ended in Mons on 11 Nov 1918.  There was much action in the area depicted by our map, most notably:

 

  1.  Battle of Amiens (8 - 11 August 1918)
  2.  Battle of Montdidier (8 - 15 August 1918)
  3. Battle of Noyon (17 - 29 August 1918)
  4. Battle of Albert 1918 (21 - 22 August 1918)
  5.  Second Battle of Bapaume (21 August - 3 September 1918)
  6.  Second Battle of Arras (26 August to 3 September 1918)
  7.  Battle of the Scarpe (26 August 1918)
  8.  Battle of Mont-St. Quentin (31 August - 3 September 1918)
  9.  Battle of the Drocourt-Quéant Line (2 - 3 September 1918)
  10. Battle of Havrincourt (12 September 1918)
  11. Battle of Epéhy (18 September 1918)
  12. Battle of Canal du Nord (27 September - 1 October 1918)
  13. Battle of the St. Quentin Canal (29 September - 2 October 1918)
  14. Battle of the Beaurevoir Line (3 - 5 October 1918)
  15. Second Battle of Cambrai (8 October - 10 October 1918)
  16. Battle of Valenciennes (1 November 1918)

This was not the static warfare that most people associate with WWI but was dynamic and led to the Blitzkrieg tactics that the German Heer used nearly 22 years latter over the same ground.  Combined Arms tactics were in their infancy but were vital to the success of the Entente Cordial.  Lessons learned were refined and applied by 2 TAF over some of the same terrain in 1944. 

 

The ground battles gave shape and purpose to the employment of Air Power by both sides.  Pilots no longer flew patrols over static trenches on the front lines like Dawn Patrol, squadrons were sent when and where needed according to the tactical plan.  These iconic events would breathe life into a campaign.

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