|Air Raid Measures|
|Brief||Strings up barrage balloons|
"You gotta be *STATIC* me!"
- - Allied Apollo pilot, on seeing his wingman brought down by a barrage balloon.
During World War II, the British were faced with air raids by the Russian air forces based in western Germany and the Low Countries. Despite the efforts of the RAF in defense of major British cities, Russian aircraft still managed to get through the defensive screens and strike at vulnerable targets. Often, Russian pilots would fly below the radar coverage provided by Britain's screens, striking at vulnerable targets. The British anti-aircraft systems were excellently made, but could do nothing if they couldn't hit the target.
It was a relatively simple solution that solved the problem, and one that already been around for some time surprisingly enough. In 1918, after facing bombing raids by German zeppelins for the first time, the British started looking into means to defend their island. One idea was the "barrage balloon", a simple miniature blimp tethered to the ground, designed to dissuade low-flying aircraft. When the concept was brought back to be used against the Soviet air force, numerous Yaks and MiG fighters fell screaming to the ground, and in time, the Soviet pilots learned, by process of elimination, to fly higher than the balloons could reach.
After World War II, the balloons would once again be forgotten--until 1969, as the Confederate rebellion was gathering steam. Around this time, the growing rebels soon found themselves in trouble with the Allied air force. Even with all their Lees and Quad guns and Shooting Stars and Red-Eyes, Allied aircraft were still managing to make their way past the net of defences and strike at Confederate targets. That was when several British sympathisers who had joined the rebellion recognized that the Allies were making the same errors as the Soviets; flying low. They brought the concept of a new barrage balloon force to the Confederate commanders, and after the theft of thousands of weather balloons and high-tensile tungsten wiring, the new Confederate barrage balloons were ready.
There is no complex method behind the barrage balloons; they are left to hang in the air with the tungsten trailing behind them. Pilots moving at speed will be hard pressed to identify the wires before slamming into them, and the strength of the tungsten means that even after a few good hits, the balloon will still provide adequate defense, and can be tethered anywhere a commander feels they needed to be. Allied pilots are starting to fear the balloons now, and will purposefully adjust their flight paths in they hear word of them, or until ground forces can disable the balloons by cutting the moorings.
|Bug Zapper||Target a small patch of ground; five barrage balloons will be tethered there.|
|Bird Net||Designate a medium patch of ground; ten barrage balloons will be tethered there.|
|60px||Slice n' Dice||Designate a large patch of ground; fifteen barrage balloons will be tethered there.|