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Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Dietrich) » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:08 pm

TL;DR

  • The Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) on the DCS Normandie map imply a dateline of at least 24-Jul-1944.
  • There is only a single airfield (Évreux) on the DCS map that was in used by the Luftwaffe post-D-Day.
  • The last LW unit to use Évreux was Stab./JG3, which left on 06-Jul-1944.
  • All other operational Luftwaffe airfields are missing.


Disclaimer

Note that this post is about historical accuracy. It is aimed at those interested in re-creating historically correct scenarios with consistent dates and locations. I fully understand that all fields on the Normandie map (or indeed any DCS map) can be used to simulator arbitrary conflicts between Allied and Luftwaffe units.


Introduction

I have been doing some research on possible German airfields on the DCS Normandie map. The first thing to do is to determine the date that the Normandie map represents. This can be determined from the presence of newly-built Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs). The first was Saint-Pierre-du-Mont (operational 08-Jun-1944) with the others following thereafter up to Meautis (construction started 24-Jul; operational 17-Aug-1944). Other ALGs existed historically, but these are not on the DCS map. But, based on those that are present, the dateline of the Normandie map must be no earlier than 17-Aug-1944 (if they are all servicable) or 24-Jul-1944 (if the late arrivals are somehow obstructed with construction material and vehicles to show they are still being built).

The following chart shows all the ALGs on the DCS map. The light grey is the construction period and the dark grey is when they were operational. There are conflicting reports in places, in which case a sloped line is used.

PDF link: http://www.stormofwar.org/downloads/alg_dates_v01.pdf

Once you exclude the post-invasion-built ALGs and any airfields in the UK, there are four remaining airfields on the DCS map. These were all used by the Luftwaffe at some time during the war, but by mid July 1944, only one was in use. These four airfields are:

Cherbourg-Maupetus -- effectively bombed to destruction by the Allies on 22-May-1944. The last Luftwaffe unit prior to its destruction was a reconnaissance unit. It was captured then rebuilt by the Allies between 26-Jun and 04-Jul-1944 and then used as ALG A-15.

Caen-Carpiquet -- runway demolished by the LW on 06-Jun-1944 and infrastructure by 17-Jun-1944. It was captured by Anglo-Canadian Forces on 09-Jul-1944 and was operational again by 08-Aug-1944 as ALG B-17.

Lessay -- was permanently obstructed by the LW on 27-Apr-1944. US Forces captured the field on 16-Jul-1944. It was re-built between 01-Aug-1944 and 25-Aug-1944 after which it was used for B-26 bombers as ALG A-20.

Évreux -- used during June and July by LW units. Even then it was damaged multiple times during June. The base itself was evacuated in early August, but its last operational unit (JG3) moved out on 05-Jul-1944.


Summary so far -- When is the DCS map?

The presence of the ALGs makes the dateline of the DCS Normandie map at least late July.
Évreux ceased to be used operationally in early July. It was evacuated completely in early August.
Apart from Évreux, there are no other LW airfields on the DCS map in operation during this time.
Thus, to have the LW on the map, the only time period for which the map could be valid is approx. 1-2 weeks (late July to early August 1944).
During this time all other airfields (without exception) are Allied-held.
All of the Allied-held fields are operational with the exception of: Meautis (under construction), Caen-Carpiquet (under-reconstruction) and Lessay (either still obstructed or under re-construction from 01-Aug-1944).


Analysis

In other words, if you want the Luftwaffe based on the map, then the DCS Normandy map portrays the situation at the time of Operation Cobra, Operation Bluecoat, Operation Spring, Operation Totalise and Unternehmen Lüttich.

It is too late for Operation Epsom or Operation Charnwood (although this could be fixed by removing Meautis ALG).

It is too early for Operation Tractable (Falais), unless the LW are given an alternative airfield or removed from the map altogether.

+- Operation Epsom 26-30 June
+- Operation Martlet 25 June - 1 July
+- Unternehmen Lüttich 7-13 July
+- Operation Charnwood 8-9 July
+- Operation Jupiter 10-11 July
+- Operation Goodwood 18-20 July
+- Operation Atlantic 18-21 July
+- Operation Spring 25-27 July
+- Operation Cobra 25-31 July


Other Luftwaffe fields?

Okay, so given a dateline of 24-Jul-1944 to 08-Aug-1944, as suggested by the ALGs, where were the Luftwaffe? The short answer to that is... on the move.

Firstly, they are not at the coast. In August 1943, the LW withdrew nearly all their forces at least 100 km from the coast. This was in response to Allied bombing and the extension of the Allied air supremacy over the French shoreline. Larger units were even further back. Closer bases, such as Caen, continued to be used, but only as a refuel point, and not for the storage of aircraft.

From this time, every known airfield was being scheduled for bombing. The central fields of the bases such as Évreux were generally hit, although some of the satellite fields continued to operate. During this time, the LW photographs are showing aircraft camouflaged and parked under trees. As fields were destroyed by bombing, they would often be abandonned.

Units were generally moving to avoid being hit on the ground, and to have usable bases as the front line moved towards them. JG3, for example, moved to Évreux on 07-Jun-1944 in reaction to the invasion. They then relocated on 06-Jul-1944 to St.André-de-l'Eura and again on 12-Jul-1944 to Dreux.

I have carefully gone through the information that I have an have produced a map showing the known bases. These range from unprepared forward landing strips or landing grounds used for liaison (e.g. Dieppe #17) through to larger bases with operational units (marked in black). These larger fields are generally way outside the D-Day beach area.

The operating German field is marked with Blue. Former German fields, which are either distroyed or obstructed, are marked in red.

Also marked on the map is Paris city-centre ("+"). It was invaded by the US 4th Inf.Div. on 25-Aug-1944, the same day that Lessay ALG became operational.

The blue dotted line shows the extent of terrain on the DCS map (this is accurate ground elevation and coastlines, although towns/road/rail are still generally missing).


Map

PDF Link: http://www.stormofwar.org/downloads/dcs ... ap_v01.pdf

EDIT : Updated map... marking the Normandie province with a
black dotted line and the terrain-textured area with the green dotted line.
PDF Link: http://www.stormofwar.org/downloads/dcs ... ap_v03.pdf



Key

Here is the index for the map. The numbering scheme I used is from West to East.

Code: Select all
 1.  48 04 15 N – 01 44 05 W  Rennes - St-Jacques
 2.  49 12 10 N – 01 30 10 W  Lessay
 3.  49 39 00 N – 01 28 15 W  Cherbourg-Maupertus
 4.  48 01 50 N – 00 44 26 W  Laval
 5.  49 10 40 N – 00 27 15 W  Caen-Carpiquet
 6.  48 48 45 N – 00 09 10 W  Rônai
 7.  48 45 50 N – 00 02 16 W  Argentan
 8.  48 40 20 N – 00 00 50 W  Vrigny
 9.  48 28 06 N – 00 01 59 E  Lonrai
10.  48 28 15 N – 00 08 00 E  Semallé
11.  49 08 55 N – 00 10 40 E  Lisieux - Saint-Désir
12.  48 30 00 N – 00 12 00 E  Hauterive
13.  48 31 00 N – 00 15 00 E  Essay
14.  48 29 00 N – 00 19 00 E  Barville
15.  49 06 10 N – 00 35 50 E  Bernay – St.-Martin
16.  48 56 10 N – 00 57 15 E  Conches
17.  49 54 00 N – 01 05 00 E  Dieppe Rouxmesnil-Bouteilles
18.  48 52 10 N – 01 07 15 E  Damville-Créton
19.  49 01 30 N – 01 13 20 E  Évreux-Fauville
20.  48 50 30 N – 01 13 40 E  Marcilly-la-Campagne
21.  48 48 00 N – 01 14 00 E  Nonancourt
22.  48 53 30 N – 01 15 50 E  Saint-André-de-l’Eure
23.  48 42 20 N – 01 21 50 E  Dreux
24.  48 03 25 N – 01 22 35 E  Châteaudun
25.  48 37 35 N – 01 30 40 E  Nogent-le-Roi
26.  48 27 35 N – 01 30 45 E  Chartres
27.  47 59 25 N – 01 45 45 E  Orléans-Bricy
28.  49 17 00 N – 01 46 00 E  Gisors
29.  48 45 00 N – 01 50 00 E  Les Mesnuls
30.  48 24 04 N – 01 56 57 E  Oysonville
31.  49 48 40 N – 01 58 20 E  Poix-Nord
32.  49 05 55 N – 02 02 00 E  Cormeilles-en-Vexin
33.  48 22 50 N – 02 04 30 E  Étampes-Mondésir
34.  49 27 00 N – 02 06 30 E  Beauvais-Tillé
35.  48 45 10 N – 02 06 45 E  Toussus-le-Noble
36.  48 45 55 N – 02 07 22 E  Paris - Buc
37.  49 28 00 N – 02 10 25 E  Beauvais-Nivillers
38.  48 46 40 N – 02 12 00 E  Villacoublay
39.  49 09 55 N – 02 19 15 E  Beaumont-sur-Oise
40.  48 43 50 N – 02 23 00 E  Paris - Orly
41.  48 57 00 N – 02 25 50 E  Paris - Le Bourget
42.  49 15 25 N – 02 30 50 E  Creil
43.  49 40 25 N – 02 34 00 E  Montdidier
44.  49 44 00 N – 02 35 00 E  Moreuil-Hangest
45.  49 02 45 N – 02 39 20 E  Dammartin-Longperrier
46.  48 36 30 N – 02 39 50 E  Melun-Villaroche
47.  49 02 35 N – 02 43 50 E  Dammartin-en-Goële
48.  49 48 30 N – 02 45 10 E  Rosières
49.  49 26 05 N – 02 48 15 E  Compiègne
50.  50 20 30 N – 02 58 30 E  Vitry-en-Artois


Note that Paris is marked with a "+" on the map. It was invaded by the US 4th Inf.Div. on 25-Aug-1944, the same day that Lessay ALG became operational.


Notes on some specific bases

A few bases are worth commenting on. The numbers refer to the locations on the map.

Renne (#1) is off the map, but it was a major LW base, depot and distribution point. JG 11 was based there until late June.

Laval (#4) is also off-map, but was an operational base for 3./NAGr13 and III./SG4 until 20-Jun-1944.

Makeshift forward landing strips #6,#7,#8,#9,#10,#12,#13,#14 were used during the heavy fighting at the time of Caen through to Falais. There were no permanently based aircraf their, but these strips were used as forward support points to allow aicraft to get back into the offensive quickly.

Lisieux (#11) was a liaison airstrip (probably limited to Fi-156 or similar)

Satellite fields #16,#18,#20-#22 of Évreux were all in use during this time. If "static airfield objects" (like FARPs) were available in the Mission Editor, these would be perfect for these areas. Some of these fields were larger, but were mostly reduced by bombing.

Saint-André-de-l’Eure (#22), located near Évreux. A major field in early 1944, still in use during the Normandy campaign. Units included 4./KG6, 4./KG66, 4./FAufklGr123, Stab.JG3, etc.

Dieppe (#17) was a liaison airstrip (probably limited to Fi-156 or similar). The main airfields at Dieppe had been obliterated by that stage of the war.

Dreux (#23) was a significant field, used by numerous units during this time.

Châteaudun (#24) is well off the map, but I indicate it as this is the only field that was operating Me 262 ground attack jets anywhere near this area from 20-Jul-1944 to 12-Aug-1944.

Chartres (#26) was a major base and the home of the II.Fliegerkorps. A large nuymber of units were based here throughout the entire period Jun-Aug 1944.

Orléans-Bricy (#27) is also off map, but was a bomber airfield (KG40 and KG54) for Ju 88, Ju 188, He 177 and FW 200.

Cormeilles-en-Vexin (#32) was home to I./JG2 at the time of the invasion and then FAufKGr.123.

Villacoublay (#38) was a major site and home to Stab 2./ and 3./ Gruppe West as well as III./JG26 and III./JG54.

Creil (#42) had numerous units based there, notably I./JG2, I/KG51 and Einsatzkdo Schenck. It was also a FREYA radar site (c.f Kammhuber Line).

I have details on other sites too - ask if you want something specific. However, the above seem to be the most significant, given the area covered by the map and the time period that we have.


Chart of LW fields

To supplement the above, I've also compiled a list of all the attacks on LW bases that were operational between 01-Jun and 31-Aug-1944.

PDF Link: http://www.stormofwar.org/downloads/lw_dates_v01.pdf


Other research

There have been some other research and discussion on this. Bunyap Sims posted a video regarding his own studies. He uses a similar approach to me. There were a few places where we disagree on interpretation, but these are minor and we are largely in agreement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJixMzWUbqY -- Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdt3iL8K_RQ -- Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bejXnMuPEEI -- Part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyEDlYh0vI4 -- Part 4

There have been two relevant discussions on the ED forums.

Previous discussion about German Airfields
https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=188394

Previous discussion about map inaccuracies
https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=189672


Recommendations

@ED : Remove Meautis (A17). This airstrip is at odds with the Charnwood/Epsom campaigns.

@ED : Update the description on the Normandy Map store page to "late July", instead of "late June".

@ED : Please add some more relevant Luftwaffe airfields, or, please provide a static-object-airfield, so we can place satellite fields and dispersals for ourselves.

@Mission Builders : Make Caen "under re-construction", Lessay "obstructed" and Brucheville (and Meautis) "under construction"

@Mission Builders : Until additional fields are availble. Évreux is the ONLY possible German airfield (and even then, it is a bit contentious).

@Mission Builders : Évreux should be in poor condition. Add wreckage and craters where possible.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Landing_Ground
http://www.ww2.dk/lwairfields.html and, specifically, ...
http://www.ww2.dk/Airfields%20-%20France.pdf
http://www.ixengineercommand.com/airfields/physical.php
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_ ... y_Campaign
http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/raf-air ... -45.html/2
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/ and, specifically...
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Kas ... etzt-R.htm
http://www.anciens-aerodromes.com/
http://www.forgottenairfields.com/franc ... s1093.html
https://www.dday-overlord.com/bataille- ... aerodromes
http://skylighters.org/225thmemorial/me ... ister.html

Articles

Christian-Jacque Ehrengardt "Operation Overlord"
Xavier Me'al, from Jean-Bernard Frappe' "La Luftwaffe face au debarquement", parts 1 & 2, l'Aviacion
Last edited by Admin (Dietrich) on Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Updated map to v03 -- read the post later in this thread for details
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Philstyle) » Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:29 pm

I hope this was posted on the ED forums, in the BUGS section for the maps.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Dietrich) » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:00 am

Admin (Philstyle) wrote:I hope this was posted on the ED forums, in the BUGS section for the maps.


I am not an expert, so I will present my research first and get called out for mistakes before complaining about anything being a bug.



It is also not clear exactly what the dateline was intended to be. Depending on that decision, it would affect whether the presences of certain ALGs in incorrect, or whether the lack of German fields is the problem. My best guess is based on the three official products:

- - - - -

DCS: Normandy 1944 Map (STORE PAGE)
The DCS: Normandy 1944 Map is centered on the World War II battlefield of Normandy, France and is specifically created to depict the period after the D-Day landings and the establishment of several allied airfields in Normandy to support the beachhead breakout in late June 1944.




P-51D Charnwood Campaign (STORE PAGE)
Created by the same team behind the Spitfire LF Mk.IX: Epsom Campaign, the Charnwood Campaign is a historically-based campaign for the P-51D Mustang over Normandy in July 1944.
The historical dates of Operation Charnwood 8-9 July.




Spitfire LF Mk. IX Operation Epsom Campaign (STORE PAGE)
Fly the legendary Spitfire LF Mk. IX over Normandy in June 1944 as the allies attempt to break out of the D-Day landing beachheads
The historical dates of Operation Epsom 26-30 June.

- - - - -

This suggests the map is designed for Epsom, or Charnwood at the latest. Given that, then ALGs Biniville, Brucheville and Meautis should not be there and those three could be considered historical inaccuracy.

That said, additional German fields would be nice, although I think I would prefer "static object" airfields that would let us place a field *anywhere*... that would be the best option. We could then have exactly the dispersals we need for the time-period at hand.

From the perspective of the SoW DCS campaign, it will depend on whether we want to use the historical locations or not.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Dietrich) » Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:04 pm

Admin (Philstyle) wrote:I hope this was posted on the ED forums, in the BUGS section for the maps.


So, I posted a note on ED forums... https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php? ... ost3580985

The user rel4y replied stating that he had posted that information already. Not quite. Although I some of it I agree with, I disagree with some of his dates and strongly disagree with most of his LW airfields. Also, does not explain his research and gave no references whatsoever.

However, he also criticised the credibility, which then spiralled out of control and led to the thread being locked. :(

I actually think the Normandy map is very credible, but it would better match the dates by removing ALGs Biniville, Brucheville and Meautis. But even if they were not, it is no big deal.

What is far more important from both an historical perspective and also an online-campaign perspective, is the addition of a dirt fighter-strip, which can be placed with the mission editor. That then allows the campaign builders the flexibility to do what they want. They can add new ALGs, or they can put in the landing fields for the German support of Falais, or they can put in dispersal strips for the main LW field at Evreux, or whatever.

The editor-placed-fighter-strip is by far the most critical change needed for the SoW DCS campaign, in my opinion.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Philstyle) » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:33 am

The storm over Normandy map continues in other threads:
https://forums.eagle.ru/showpost.php?p= ... stcount=80
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby EAF79_OD_ » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:39 am

It's concerning that they think development is pretty much finished. It's nowhere near finished. It's still at a starting point, it seems there is a long way to go with that map. Very disappointing.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Dietrich) » Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:56 pm

I have updated the map (and have updated the initial post to include it).

One of the things I wanted to do was work out exactly where is "Normandy"... by which I mean the province of Normandy. I have marked this with a black dotted line on the map. The extent of the terrain of the DCS map is the blue dotted line.

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Link to full hi-res PDF version: http://www.stormofwar.org/downloads/dcs ... ap_v02.pdf

Actually, the DCS map does cover the Normandy province rather well. There is only a very small area off the southern edge which is missing.

Nevertheless, there is a dearth of LW airstrips - especially the satellite/dispersal fields around Evreux. In my opinion, the best option for these would be very simple dirt strips which could be placed using the mission editor. Most of the hard strips were bombed out prior to the invasion landings.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby EAF79_OD_ » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:07 pm

Worth posting on the DCS Forum? I'm surprised just how few airfields there are really. I would've thought that they'd have had more dispersion than that.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Dietrich) » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:19 pm

EAF79_OD_ wrote:Worth posting on the DCS Forum?

I did. The thread got locked.


EAF79_OD_ wrote:I'm surprised just how few airfields there are really. I would've thought that they'd have had more dispersion than that.

I've not included everything outside the blue-dotted-line (which I feel we've got no chance of getting). I've only marked a few of the significant ones; e.g. Châteaudun (#24), which had Me 262s from 20-Jul to 12-Aug-1944. There are certainly more just south of the blue-dotted line. I'll produce a more comprehensive map of that area later.

Also, a given site (e.g. Evreux) did have some dispersals for that general field. But, they are basically still sharing a runway.

Then, there is a complication in that there are not very good records for the LW for this period and the front line was evolving rapidly following the Battles of Caen and then Falais.
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Re: Luftwaffe Airfields on the DCS Normandy Map

Postby Admin (Reddog) » Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:43 pm

I've said from the very beginning the Normandy map as delivered was essentially pointless. Your dates etc look right to me.

I'm intrigued by the statement that Shitspawn came out with along the lines of "historical accuracy comes second to the game" and yet when someone wants a compromise on an aircraft etc for "game balance" it's the opposite stance taken that accuracy is all.

The whole WW2 situation in DCS is comical. I know people prefer DCS because of graphics or clickable cockpits or supposed superior modelling of flight or systems but it's completely unsuitable IMO for any sort of organised MP. Until they have a coherent planeset, AI which play by the same rules as players and damage modelling worth a damn it's a pipe dream.
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