All this sightseeing is wonderful, but completing your mission will undoubtedly involve some interaction with the enemy. Such is the nature of war. Your mission will determine exactly what type of interaction you have, but the basic idea is to lay them out for a dirt nap. Whether you fly and fight for the greater glory of the divine Emperor or for apple pie and the American way, your goal is to ruthlessly slaughter the enemy and destroy their machines. Surviving is also a good idea, preferably with your plane intact (or at least serviceable). Remember, this is not the gentlemanly air combat of the First World War; this is a down-and-dirty street fight. Take every advantage you can get and give no quarter. Sympathy for the enemy means probable death for you (and a court martial).
Identifying any aircraft you encounter is the first order of business. Modern aircraft are equipped with radar and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems. These longdistance detection systems are quite effective and useful. Unfortunately, you don’t have them. Unless the position or actions of the aircraft make their identity obvious (shooting at you, for example, or flying CAP over an enemy task group), you must close to visual identification range. If your mission calls for you to bomb or torpedo a ship, identification is a much easier and less hazardous process. You can safely assume that any ship or group of ships near the target coordinates is an enemy task group, and it is probably your target. (Note that, since enemy bases are never close enough to friendly bases for you to confuse the two, identifying base targets is not necessary.) When the target task group includes a carrier, the carrier must always be your primary target. Identifying the carrier is simple, since it’s the largest ship in any task group. If there is no carrier among the target ships, your goal is to sink as many craft as possible. Keep in mind that the enemy also do not have radar. Their information, like yours, is limited to what they can gain from visual inspection. If you are a skillful enough pilot, they may not know you are nearby until it’s too late.
“Dogfight” is the term commonly applied to any close-quarters battle between combat aircraft. Your objectives, as should be obvious, are to shoot down the enemy planes and avoid being shot down. When you get into a situation that requires this sort of fighting, speed, maneuverability, and toughness are essential. Most important, however, is the skill of the pilot. No amount of training can truly get you ready for real combat, but the more you know in advance, the better prepared you’ll be. The type of aircraft involved also has a lot to do with the outcome of the dogfight. Bulky, unwieldy bombers simply can’t compete against nimble fighters. On the other hand, bombers have an advantage when trying to escape; due to their excessive weight, they can gain speed quickly in a dive and leave any fighters with no options. Any fighter foolish enough to try to follow moves right into the tail gunner’s line of fire. If your bomber is attacked by fighters, dive and run. If you stay to fight, you are almost guaranteed to be shot down.