Carrick: it wasn't Konrad's lot smile Be careful with those DH-2s! Glad you escaped in one piece.


Konrad Berthold von Blumenthal
June 22, 1916. Sivry-sur-Meuse, Verdun.
KEK Sivry

Just as Konrad began to feel he was taming this beast of a plane, it would rear up like a wild stallion and give him a scare. The extra engine power certainly helped him to keep up with Boelcke and the others, but he still needed to develop a finer touch in dealing with it. As for the extra power of the twin Spandau MGs, Konrad was intent on saving them for 2-seaters.

The morning patrol was uneventful. In the afternoon they headed out over the lines. They'd been aloft for 30 minutes and were at 2500 metres or so when Bolecke made a sudden and fairly steep turn to the left. Clearly he'd seen something below. Konrad and von Zastrow followed him down. Nieuports! Konrad counted three. An evenly matched fight, except that Konrad didn't want any part of it. He retained his altitude as the other two dove into the fray. He saw one of the Nieuport climbing toward him, but now he had the engine power to be able to preserve his height advantage. The Nieuport flashed past about 70 metres below him, with Boelcke right onhis tail, firing. Konrad circled for a while, watching the action play out, then decided to get himself back across the lines. He caught sight of his flight mates just south of Spincourt and landed with them.

"Any luck, sir?", he called out to his Hauptmann.

"Put a few rounds into them but they all ran for it. Where were you von Blumenthal?". Konrad smiled uncomfortably.

"Oh, I was there, sir, but I was having a little trouble with my right alieron. Thought it best to keep my distance on this occasion".

"Hmm. Well you'd better have the mechanics take a look". Konrad sighed inwardly. He'd managed to get away with it.

……to be continued.

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