Monday, May 6, 2013
2nd Day of the Attack
The wind had shifted for a minute and the Bofors could see their targets. The machine guns did not have much effect on the IL10 Beast but the 40mm Bofors did and the three that were free from the smoke took down 4 of the squadron in quick order. On the next pass the smoke was behaving much better and revenge was in order. Ah, the never ending cycle of revenge. You killed my brother in arms and now I will kill yours or you. An eye for an eye and a horrid death for an excruciating one. The Beasts in this squadron were caring the pods that spewed flame. Dropping their external fuel tanks after they got an extra 200 miles range from them they were free of that burden and after they scorched the earth in V shaped formations spewing flame and death. They came back and waited for the smoke to clear to finish any survivors off and to catch any RAF planes foolish enough to try and land while they were still making their circle of death runs. The circle of death was a technique use on the Eastern Front with Beast after Beast following each other looking for targets of opportunity and then taking a wide turn and doing it again. It was similar to a flock of vultures but with a human brain and a little choreographing at work.
In the "Circle of Death" attack, a Sturmovik group would flank around the enemy and then peel off successively, each Il-2 making a shallow diving attack, then pulling up and around for another pass. The beauty of the Circle of Death was that it kept the enemy under continuous fire for as long as the aircraft had fuel and ammunition. Even when the smoke clear for a short period, of time the attacks were continuous, with no respite for the AA gunners and loaders.
The 280 2.5kg PTAP bomblets contained internally had been very effective as well and destroyed quite a wide path of soft targets. Targets made out of things like flesh and bone. Thank or curse Mr. Shrapnel depending on if you were giving or receiving for his contribution to the art of war. The current PTAP could penetrate 70mm of armor so the tin and wood coverings placed over installations and control rooms and targeting radar are no match for them.
The four 23mm cannons took care of many of the rest of the targets at the airfield. Not much can hide from that kind of fire power. The RAF or any of the NATO forces had never experienced their own creation...napalm. The Soviet version was very similar and just as deadly killing with excruciating pain if death does not occur instantly. The arms race continues with more and more deadly and horrible ways to kill each other. It appears to be a never ending cycle for human beings. At least the males of the species.
How many of those pilots, gunners and ground personnel being killed that day had children or even infants. Some might have newborns. They would die and were dieing for those children yet they were wiling to kill other fathers and mothers as well as other children in the belief that they were protecting their own.
What an absurd way of thinking. What an absurd way to live. What an absurd way to continue a species thought Yuri. I'm told by my leaders that if I don't kill them... the enemies men, women and even children, that my women and children will perish. This is just plain crazy. Yet here I am following orders and spewing death on men just like me who have children and who honestly believe that by killing me they are saving something near and dear to their hearts. Would I kill them if they were not trying to kill me. Of course not. I rather liked the Americans and Limeys I met near the end of the war. Yet here I am burning possibly one of those men to death and all because he is trying to kill me and because someone down there killed Ari. When does it stop? When are the scales balanced...not today!