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Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:40 pm
Very interesting item, enjoyed the video clips. As to the point about German/Italian escort fighter tactics, as is mentioned in the films, the radio links between the two air forces was poor, different wave lengths etc. Therefore, any Italian fighter escorts would have had to stay within visual range or loose contact with the bombers.
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:19 pm
Italian fighters stuck with Italian bombers also (there are many examples of this) - using the same radio equipment. The only time visual contact would be an issue was during rendezvous and having radio contact mattered little since fighter and bomber groups were too far to contact each other. Examples of this are in the Battle of Midway, where the rendezvous of fighter and torpedo/dive bomber groups was a problem despite using the same radio equipment. A similar case happened when CR.42/G.50s and BR.20s missed each other during a bombing run in the BoB (lead aircraft were equipped with radios). Radios mattered mostly to coordinate attacks or in defense. Can you imagine a whole squadron losing site of another squadron and vice versa, once visual contact was made - highly unlikely.
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:39 pm
Just to point that early RA fighters were equipped (when ever) with the AR1 radio, that was only a receiver. This, and a general poor quality of the device, made communications very difficult. All CR.32s and CR.42s of 412 Squadriglia in East Africa had those radios in December 1940 (that was a luxury at that time!), and we know that, when they were in flight and called to alarm, pilots had to wave their wings to show they understood the radio message. The same Visintini crashed in the mist against Mount Bizen when searching his lost wingmen (Ten. Buzzi and Serg. Baron), while Asmara was desperately trying to call him they had safely landed at Sabarguma.
So, communications between pilots happened mainly by hand gestures, and this compelled the fighters to stay nearby the bombers. Doing so, they were exposed to "hit and run" attacks by faster fighters. This, at least until the MC.202s arrived...
Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:12 pm
Remaining near to the bombers had little to do with the radio equipment, and I should point out that US FGs also remained close to their bombers and that the RA practiced this tactic through-out the war even when newer types and better equipment were available. Hit and run tactics only mattered in the event of a surprise attack, however we're talking about attacks that were allowed to develop. The A.R.C.1 radio set was "initially" a receiver (but nonetheless a radio set) and was introduced in 1940 and as far as I know only but the first few batches had issues (like any new technology). Aircraft without radios tipped their wings and by 1942 during Pedestal (in reference to the video), few aircraft were without them. The aircraft involved in Pedestal were primarily S.79s, S.84s, C.202s, RA Ju.87s and Re.2001s. Some CANTs were also involved and a few CR.42AS with underwing bombs and a small flight of G.50s. There's a good book on Operation Pedestal by Peter C. Smith worth reading and a reference to the attack on Indomitable by the Ju87s of 1/Stg. 3 (video reference).
Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:28 pm
Great Documentaries Vince, glad to see factual / historical information and positive representation of the AXIS pilots / Air Crews for a change. Seems that they get too demonized these days by historical shows (History Channel, ect., ect.) and the movie industry. Italy, Germany and Japan had some outstanding & brave pilots / aces during WW-2. True Warriors of the Air!