Excellent writing there Combs and Kuroken. Replacing Fees with Quirks? Terrible.


"Look at Loewenstern," said Friedrich Kampe to Liedenbrock as they checked over 'number 3' before take-off. "He has his family crest everywhere. His notebook, his dressing gown. Even the case for his binoculars has a badge on it."
Axel looked at him. "Do you have a crest?"
"Not really." Kampe shrugged. "My family are only Niederer Adel. But, they were frequently Mayors in Gaggenau, and before that Vogts." He saw the lack of recognition on Liedenbrock's face. "That was a type of governor, before Baden started electing mayors. I might reasonably use Gaggenau's shield, I suppose."

"We could put it on the aeroplane," suggested Axel. "If we also paint on the arms of Hamburg."
"Oh?" Laughed Kampe. "And when did you rule Hamburg?"
"I never did," persisted Liedenbrock. "But we Liedenbrocks have a reputation for adventure that I want to live up to. And importantly, you do not build a reputation without being recognised. I want people to see this machine and know it is us. What do you think?" Axel leaned across conspiratorially. "Gaggenau could go first."
Axel could tell that Kampe was tempted.
"I'll think about it." He said.

Steinborn had instructed them to bomb an aerodrome at Izel-Les-Hameux. The Aviatiks would cross the lines in pairs and make their way to the enemy airfield to drop two 5 kilo bombs apiece. The observers were also to look to see what aircraft were there and anything else of military value.

Kampe wanted Liedenbrock to fly to Bethune first, and then follow the road south west of the town. This would take them over another known aerodrome at Hesdigneul and a nearby rail spur. Kamp considered that any activity on that rail line might be of interest.

It was over the town of Bethune that Liedenbrock first encountered Flak. He had heard about it, at the flying school mainly, but now little puffs of grey smoke punctuated the sky ahead of him and to his right. He found them curious. It seemed that the French were making little clouds. They certainly didn't seem threatening, being so far away.

Soon the Flak died away. The two Aviatiks passed over Hesdigneul unmolested. Kampe looked out with his binoculars and occasionally made notes. Leidenbrock turned south to their objective.

Swinging around to the west, the two German machines dropped their bombs on the aerodrome. The bombs all missed, although Leidenbrock's two drops did make craters in the landing field. As he peered over the side, Axel saw a structure with wings and a spindley frame. He did not know what it was. Henry Farman or FE2b. Perhaps Kampe could tell better.

There was more flak as they flew east over Savy, where there was another airfield and an army camp. Kampe's pencil was busy as they flew over the camp. Leidenbrock caught his eye and made a circling indication with his finger. Did he want to circle around? Kampe shook his head. No, he had got what information he needed.

Walter Ritter flying with his observer, Henke was in the other kette lead by Steinborn and succeeded in hitting one of the hangars with his bombs. Steinborn declared the entire mission a success as a result.

In the sitting room that evening, Kampe watched as Wilhelm von Loewenstern filled his pipe, with a crest on the bowl from a tobacco box which was also emblazoned with heraldry.
"Tell me, Liedenbrock. What colours are on the coat of arms of Hamburg?"
"It is a white castle on a red field."
Kampe smiled and poured himself a brandy. "That is most convenient. Gaggenau is also red and white."