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"Finnish Brewsters vs lendlease Tomahawks and Pe2s" Topic

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Microbiggie15 Sep 2016 6:57 a.m. PST

On our regular Thursday night Check Your 6 we've been running games that feature Curtiss P40s in various forms in honor of a local event coming to Atlanta which will have an incredible collection of P40s on display.
One of the first games had lendlease Tomahawks going against Finns
This game was based on the following: Eino Ilmari Juutilainen and his schwarm was alarmed on the 23rd of November 1942 to assist fellow pilots fighting the Soviets above the Gulf of Finland, between the Tolli lighthouse and Lavansaari island. When arriving the area Juutilainen noticed two P-40 Tomahawks and attacked. The Soviet soon got hits from Juutilainen's four heavy MGs and dropped. . This was Juutilainen's first dogfight against the Tomahawks and the last victory he claimed with his BW-364. During the mission the Finns claimed four Pe-2s, a Yak-7, a I-16 and a P-40 without any own planes lost. . Some details: The Finnish Brewsters were armed with three heavy MGs and one light. Juutilainen's Brewster was just modified by changing the light to heavy. His last flight with Brewsters on the 24th of January 1943 was also his 300th during the war.

lend lease Tomahawk game by Mark Luther, on Flickr

Pe2 getting in line by Mark Luther, on Flickr

058 by Mark Luther, on Flickr

Last pair of bombers jinx left by Mark Luther, on Flickr


Fatman15 Sep 2016 9:58 a.m. PST

Nice AAR gotta love the "Sky Pearl". The P-40 meet sounds great will you be attending? I have an a worrying amount of P-40s in 1/300th and 1/600th.


Microbiggie15 Sep 2016 10:08 a.m. PST

Everyone should have a nice collection of P40s! I plan on attending the event. They are suppose to have half a dozen P40s there.

boy wundyr x15 Sep 2016 10:51 a.m. PST

Counting all marques, I'm pretty sure that after 109s and Spitfires, P-40s are the largest single type in my 1/600 collection.

And for the record, I root for the Finns when they're up against the Soviets!

Fatman15 Sep 2016 11:23 a.m. PST

Actually in 1/300th P-40s and Hurricanes are my most common planes. In 1/600th 109's andP-47's, both because of our Schwienfurt game,followed by Spitfires and I-16's.


Mark 115 Sep 2016 1:45 p.m. PST

Beautiful models and a fascinating scenario. Gotta love it!

The Finns' experience with the Brewster 239s was quite remarkable. When you ask the question "What fighter had the highest kill-to-loss ratio in WW2?" very few will venture to say it was the Brewster Buffalo … but in fairness the Finns' 239s were not quite the same as the USN's F2As, so maybe they should not be called Buffaloes…

That said, it must have been a very skilled pilot to take on Pe-2s in a Brewster. In USN configuration of the Brewster, the Pe-2 would have been the faster plane. The Model 239 that the Finns received didn't have much of the naval kit that the USN required (life raft, tail hook, etc.), and also as a version of the baseline F2A-1 didn't have self-sealing fuel tanks or pilot armor. This made them lighter, and perhaps more nimble. But they also had reduced engine power vs. the USN F2A-2 or F2A-3, and so in net were slower than USN Buffaloes.

Of course loading, condition of the airframes, levels of maintenance and starting altitude etc. etc. all play in to top speed, but it's hard enough to intercept a bomber when it can fly at anything better than 80% of the fighter's speed, much less when it can fly at 100% of the fighter's speed or more! In the case of a Pe-2 vs. a Brewster 239 we are talking about a bomber that may have had as much as 110% or more of the rated top speed of the intercepting fighter!

So tell us, Mark, how did the Check Your 6! rules play out on that question? Was this a match-up where energy management was of critical concern for the Finnish pilots?

(aka: Mk 1)

boy wundyr x15 Sep 2016 1:48 p.m. PST

Hurricanes, P-51s, and P-47s would follow for me, though my Graf Zeppelin ideas have lead to a stupid number of Ju-87s too.

Microbiggie15 Sep 2016 2:06 p.m. PST

Hi Mark,
The Pe2s were considered loaded so in CY6 terms that meant that their top side was a hex less per turn than the Brewster's. CY6 is a fun simulation and not nearly as complicated as some sets out there.

Mark 115 Sep 2016 3:02 p.m. PST

The Pe2s were considered loaded so in CY6 terms that meant that their top side was a hex less per turn than the Brewster's.

As I recall, the concept in CY6 is a speed in the range of maybe 4, 5, or 6 hexes per turn. So by that standard, with a ~30mph difference the Brewsters and the Pe-2s would have been the same speed (in hexes) if both unladen. Seems entirely reasonable. And then, laden with bombs, the Pe-2s would have been 1 hex slower. Again seems entirely reasonable.

But as I also recall, when climbing you might loose a hex per turn of speed, and when diving you might gain a hex per turn, with some planes retaining their diving speed (their zoom) for a turn or two, up to some limits or within some ranges (like your min sustained climb or your max controlled dive).

Do I remember that all correctly? (Or at least kinda correctly?)

So with only 1 hex of speed advantage in straight line flight to start with, any maneuvering in the horizontal by the Brewsters would have brought them back to about parity with the Pe-2s, unless they were diving. Meaning unless you manage the zoom carefully, you wind up in a direct-line-behind to catch up and get into a firing position. I would expect that the Pe-2 was a fairly dangerous plane to approach in that style, with that nice big Berezin 12.7mm HMG waiting to greet you. Not to mention a P-40 or two buzzing about.

I do appreciate that CY6 gives an advantage to better rated pilots. But based on the characteristics of the planes, I'm just trying to get a feel for the challenges the players faced in their fight…

As it was the Finns did well.

(aka: Mk 1)

Fish16 Sep 2016 11:09 a.m. PST

Juutilainen downed 28 enemy planes with BW-364.

All in all he had 94 confirmed kills. Apparently no enemy aeroplane ever managed to score a hit on planes he flew (AAA did score some hits). I'd be willing to say that most of the time enemy was using superior planes to what us Finns had available back then (beggars & choosers). Luckily the training and tactics were top notch.

Also one of the four people who were awarded Mannerheim cross twice (roughly the Finnish equivalent of Medal of Honor/Victoria Cross).

His older brother Aarne "Terror of Morocco" Juutilainen was a famous character from Winter War's Kollaa (world's top sniper Simo Häyhä was bunking in his CP, BTW).

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