Pillboxes, along with their lighter variant, will appear in most maps. They will only attack ground forces, but often have anti-aircraft guns connected to them by trenches for defence from air attack.
While destroying pillboxes isn't typically part of the objective, their destruction will allow the opposing team's ground forces to reach the capture point(s) faster, or allow them to focus fire on the critical vehicles; both of which will hasten victory for that team.
Destroying a pillbox
Pillboxes and their lighter variant can be destroyed by various means, mostly bombs and rockets. Light pillboxes can be destroyed by cannon fire, with no need to aim in any particular area, but hitting the top will destroy it faster.
One can use the AP 12.7mm rounds to destroy light pillboxes, in one medium duration burst, while shooting through the roof, most effectively than any other round, making the US planes the most effective in that role.
Tips on destroying Pillboxes
.50's / 12.7's: THIS TYPE OF AMMO WILL ONLY WORK ON THE LIGHT PILLBOXES Using ground ammunition and/or armor penetration ammunition will give the best results.
Target your desired target and set up a strafing route, this route will be your path that you follow for your first run. (It would help greatly to fly from one end of pillboxes and emplacements such as artillery /AAA /light AA/ machine guns. To the other side of the open pillbox line.) Seeing how much ammo you have verses the amount of emplacements will give you a good idea of how much ammo to spend on the attack.
Before actually strafing a target, look around your surroundings and see if there are any other enemy fighters and/or attackers that are going to be able to help you and harm you. Attacking a location with a few teammates near by will give a great chance to be saved while you are attacked by much quicker and more agile opponents.
After searching for all advantages and disadvantages you are going to get on route to your strafing line. A strafing line is the route that you will most likely change mid strafe to accommodate for getting a few extra shots in there. Try not to change your route in the midst of your strafe because on the return you will be guessing which way to go and then start wasting time and ammunition through small strafes and large sprays to get the points for an awkward angle.
Now to begin your attack you must change your altitude to a comfortable angle of attack. (My personal preference is to attack at a 20-45 degree angle of attack.) Most likely if you are in a new vehicle and are uncomfortable in it in the beginning (The Duck), try to attack by a high angle and then pull back up to make sure you do not crash into the ground. Once in a slight dive you must aim a bit over your target to ensure a comfortable speed increase and time to even out your attack. Once at a slower speed and a correct angle prepare for the attack. If your dive was bad do not be afraid to go back and try again.
You have your angle and you have your speed and you damn well comfortable in your seat. When approaching an lighter emplacement it is wise to strike the AAA first to make your attack easier on the fly back to destroy the other more important ground targets. Do short bursts of your weapons due to the high ammo consumption in your somewhat large reservoir of ammo. Just because you have 1800 rounds doesn't mean you are going to be able to clear a map in one run. Conserve your ammunition early on and get as much ground targets destroyed as you can with using minimal ammo. There's no need to waste if it can get you to that next ranking plane even quicker by destroying an extra 5 every match.
Pepper the open emplacements with your mg's from about .8 km away to get a great start and an accurate one to allow you to get that invisible line in your head that tells you how far to shoot from. ( Vertical aiming will help with closer range attacks upon the actual pillboxes. I keep mine at 400m.)
After destroying the Anti-Air, it's time to hit the pillboxes. Don't waste most of your ammo on these AAA's but just burst and pepper until they are on fire and then one last couple of shots should kill it. After one strafe of destroying all or most of the AAA, it should be safe to attack the pillboxes now and contribute more onto actually aiming in a small area. Use your gained speed to turn around your plane in a long and wide turn to get back onto your return path of your route.
You will want a slower approach to these pillboxes considering this is what's going to eat up most of your ammo. When firing at the pillboxes, you must aim evenly into the view port of the box itself. During certain times of the day ingame, this can be hard to spot if there is a shadow or night time is happening. Take the lighting as part of your pre-attack planning before hand. Use the flaps on your plane to slow down to a speed that wont ruin your speed but will keep you flying and keep you from staling. Doing that same as before, you are going to spray small bursts into the openings of the light pillboxes. If you see no small +35 lions or % exp sort of notifications (if you are playing on realistic) then your attacks are not successful and you need to move on to the next pillbox in your route. If the attack is awkward, it will turn out worse and wasteful to keep attacking until it does die. Spending as little ammo as you can on each ground target will help you extremely on the way back to base and on destroying as much as you can with a bit of ammo left over.
Table of effective ordinance
NOTE: Smaller bombs have a smaller blast radius, so getting a successful destruction requires a more accuracy; with the smallest bomb loads requiring a direct hit on the target.
|Machine Guns||Cannon||Rockets||Bombs (250lb/113kg)||Bombs (500lb/226kg +)|
|Light Pillbox||12.7mm (.50) calibre AP only||YES||YES†||YES||YES|
Items labelled "YES" will be destroyed by 1 or more direct hits, conversely, "NO" denotes that no damage is inflicted.
(The light pillboxes are easily destroyed at most angle's in one shell if you are in a plane with a 75mm cannon.)
(Most rockets above 90 mm will penetrate into the regular pillboxes while most ordnance will penetrate into the light pillboxes.)
(No cannon can penetrate into the regular pillboxes, not even the 75 mm on any aircraft.)
(Testing needs to be done for the different variants of the Japanese bombs, which have different effects. Please post findings here)