Ah, the modesty of Toby, as he continues to knock 'em down.
Wulfe, congrats to Fullard on # 10!
More super screenies, Lou, well done!
Feldwebel Lazlo Halász,
Jasta 1, Bertincourt, France September 4th-5th 1916
Lazlo was sitting in the canteen with his new chum Wintgens.
"Ho ho ho, it shoots like, well, how would you say... like an upside down banana!" Lazlo fell into another fit of laughter at the memory of firing his machine gun for the first time in his new machine. Kurt looked up at him from over the top of his small round spectacles.
"Indeed it does, Herr Halasz. It certainly requires some adjustments to one's aim."
"Ah, yes", smiled Lazlo in agreement. "and I will make those adjustments in time. What's for sure is, it's a lovely craft to fly, especially compared to those awful miniature monoplanes. I am very grateful to have seen the last of those." The whole unit had recently been upgraded to Halberstadt DIIs and DIIIs. Lazlo had watched them roll in to their camp at Bertincourt over the past week, while he convalesced. Yesterday he had gone up in one for the first time. It was decidedly easier for him to exit and enter and it felt extremely stable in flight. It was only the awkward position of the machine gun and its associated bullet trajectory that was causing Laslo any concerns. Today they had been up again early, before dawn. An enemy balloon just to the southwest of Albert had been their target and Lazlo's roommate had been the one to get the credit for its demise.
The following day it was once again an early start. Foul weather had settled in and they took off in a heavy downpour, to escort a couple of Wahlfisch over the lines. Lazlo soon had another opportunity to work on his gun mastery. They had only just linked up with the 2-seaters when Wintgens had gestured down and to his right. Lazlo turned and saw what had caught his flight leader's attention. Three BE2Cs were meandering back to the lines. Laslo's flight descended upon them in an instant. Soon he had picked one out for himself. Unfortunately he was just as confounded by the machine gun as he had been the last time. It simply wouldn't fire straight! That, combined with the fact that there was a 10 knot wind blowing them all over the skies, meant that the lucky British craft was able to make its escape under the cover of clouds. Lazlo couldn't help but laugh out loud once again. "Ho ho ho! What a dreadful mess I've made of that", he grinned. This wasn't going to be easy.
Back on the ground, Wintgens teased him afresh.
"Perhaps we should replace your weapon with an actual banana", he joked. "You might find it more lethal, especially if you can get a 2 seater to slip on it".
Later that afternoon they went up again, only this time Lazlo's engine almost seized shortly after takeoff. Spewing oil, he broke the rules and turned back toward their airfield, but luckily he was able to bring his machine down safely.