It’ll Take Longer to Finish the Game Than the Actual War…
A word or two on the Egyptians. For those that think the idea of ‘regime change’ is a new concept developed by the present American Presidential administration, one of the primary goals of the Allies was to neutralize the Egyptian head of state, Gamel Abdul Nasser. His support of Algerian rebels and his determination to reduce the stature of the British Empire in the Middle East both served to make him a primary target of the Anglo/French campaign.
The Egyptian forces in this campaign are equipped with (and will primarily use) the Gloster F.8 Meteor and the DeHavilland Vampire. One of the big reasons for going after Nasser was in the months previous to his nationalization of the Canal Zone, he’d concluded a major arms deal with the Soviets for MiG-15 fighters and Il-28 bombers. You’ll see both of these, but very seldom.
As a matter of fact, any air-to-air activity you see in this campaign is about ten times what the Allies saw in the actual conflict. Most of the Egyptian Air Force was destroyed on the ground, very few got in the air. Nasser had approximately 110 MiG-15s and about three-dozen Ilyushins, but most of these were flown to the relative safety of the south of Egypt by their Soviet ‘trainers’. Many feared that the Soviets themselves would be flying the aircraft against the Allies, but this support never materialized. It also didn’t help that the majority of Nasser’s air force pilots were training in the Soviet Union.
Vamp Over Giza
I’ve heard of some users of the campaign complaining that there seems to be no air activity to oppose them when on a strike, leaving them to deal only with the anti-aircraft gun emplacements in the vicinity of your hapless target. This is more accurate than you think. One other thing to keep in mind, the Israeli Air Force was also equipped with the F.8 Meteor. Try to keep the blue-on-blue accidents down to a minimum.
While it would have been impossible to accurately show the timetable of events surrounding the ground war, it’s close. You won’t be able to watch the heliborne landing of the Royal Marines, unfortunately, and one of the things Johan would like to see would be a working FAC so that Close Air Support missions would be more realistic. Considering that the Anglo / French landing was constantly covered by ‘cab rank’ CAS air cover, this would have been pretty darned cool to see.
Up to this point, the only Third Wire titles based on actual events are First Eagles, and Wings Over Vietnam, the other two titles are based on ‘what-ifs’. Attempting to make historically accurate campaigns is a time-consuming process, and Johan readily admits this was the hardest part of the whole process, assembling the pieces of the campaign. “…it’s easy once you know how,” he told me, “but I had to learn from scratch.”
For an initial effort (Johan still mods games, but not just sims these days), this campaign is very worthwhile for the simulation fan who likes their history shown properly. Within the constraints of the sim’s architecture, this is on a par with official releases and with minor adjustments is some of the best simming I’ve done in the Strike Fighters environment.
- Historically accurate combat aircraft in their native habitat
- Props and jets, living together… mass hysteria
- Some of the best ‘one-pass, haul @#$’ combat I’ve seen in a while
- Some of the briefings and target names are in German, but you get used to it fairly quickly
You can download the Middle East Wars v1.0 Campaign Pack here at CombatAce. Registration required.
About The Author
Johan “Johan217” Beyers currently resides in Ghent, Belgium where his mostly “ungrudging” wife puts up with his hobby. In addition to modding the Strike Fighters series of games, he also makes mods for Silent Hunter III, Medieval 2: Total War, and Imperial Glory. He also has done some skins for the Il-2 series of sims which can be found here.
Look for more releases from Johan in the future when Gepard finishes his latest version of the Israel Terrain, including what he hopes will be completely finished and fully functional campaign based on the 6-Day War. His current version has it cut down to about three days.
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