Things are not going well! After a routine artillery spotting mission yesterday, we had another deadly run-in with Fokkers today. Reynold and his observer Weller are gone; shot down over our lines east of Bethune. Reynold was never a great pilot and the bloody sod barely tried to maneuver his Fee. Easy prey for one of the Fokkers.
The other Fokker and I had a very long circling fight, which I was describing to about six of our pilots in the mess after the fact. Warren Davis entered part way into my re-creation and was very keen to hear about it, interrupting a few times to ask about the abilities of the German 'wonder weapon' with its synchronized forward firing machine gun. I was quite pointed in telling him and all those present that the Eindekker is no wonder weapon ... my opponent appeared to be an experienced pilot yet I out-flew him with little difficulty. Davis seemed to get a bit excited at all this and asked if I could have shot down the Eindekker if I had had a synchronized gun at my disposal and I told him "Yes, easily."
After the retelling of the days encounter the group broke up and Davis took me aside. "I have something I would like to show you tomorrow afternoon if you have an hour or two. I think you will find it very interesting." He cocked his head out the window to the northeast, "Hanger 1".
I mentioned that the Major would have to approve this and he informed me that he had already cleared it with the Major yesterday after finding out I was a recent engineering graduate.
#4461762 - 02/17/1911:30 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
loftyc, condolences on the loss of Karl. It's a dangerous war out there. Here's hoping your next pilot lasts a bit longer and has a mount he can actually shoot back from.
77_Scout, sorry for your flight's losses as well. But oh the anticipation as to what may be waiting in "Hangar 1".
MFair, to say that Swany was taken aback by Jericho's latest revelation would be one of the great understatements. Not that the young Minnesotan hasn't known someone who committed a similar act, he has. He just wasn't expecting it of Jericho. But he has no doubt that his hut mate wasn't justified in his actions. Some people just need killing.
#4461769 - 02/17/1901:27 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Oooo, bad news Lofty! Sorry to hear of Karl's demise. But let me get this straight. You went looking for trouble in an unarmed bucket? Next time try to get a crate that goes pew, pew. Good luck!
no, no, I wasn't looking for a fight; it was recon at the lines. They came for me. I'm not at all surprised that I didn't even last one encounter; just pissed off that I kept getting sent out defenseless in 1916, in an area known to have armed enemies, while 3 "improved" C-class planes were sitting in reserve on the roster. Stupid Command! (there, I said it; let them try to court martial me now!)
Maeran, I've never liked the view from French planes, what with the upper wing and wide body of a Spad, and the wing and windscreen frame of a Nieuport. I tried the German this time to be different, but it looks like I'll just stay with the Brits (and get shot down in a BE this April?!)
#4461772 - 02/17/1902:11 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,822Fullofit
No flying for 2nd Lt. Swanson. His mount is still being repaired after the altercation with the Aviatik day before last, and since there are no back-up mounts available at the moment the young airman has the day free. He is pleased about this as he has a window to install in Jim's hut. Swany had worked a deal earlier in the week with a shopkeeper in Lozinghem for a stained glass panel she had that had been collecting dust in the corner of her establishment for quite some time. After a fair amount of bartering a deal was struck and the Lieutenant returned to camp with his purchase. He was now waiting for Jim to decide which wall to have the item installed in. It is a lovely piece, all blues and greens, depicting a standing peacock surrounded by reeds and lilies. Not too large at just under three feet tall and 20" across, it should fit nicely with the eclectic decor Collins has going in his digs. Swany has suggested the south wall so as to catch the most sunlight, which would allow for the fullest appreciation of the glasswork.
#4461892 - 02/18/1905:29 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Feb 14, 1916. Ended up in a Cow pasture after the Motor went U/S shortly after take off.
Feb 18, 1916. Deep AF bombardment mission to Betincourt. Our 2 machines dropped 8 bombs 1 hit close hard to see in heavy cloud layer above 3000 ft. The other hit in the woods short of target. There seem to be a lot of e/a in general area. My concern was a 1 e/a 2 seat Aviatik ? that came near, But no contact developed so nose down and kept the speed up to 110 mph heading home. No damage both a/c OK. Late Breakfast was Bully Beef , Bread , Jam and 1 tablespoon of Rum.
Last edited by carrick58; 02/18/1905:42 PM.
#4461894 - 02/18/1906:01 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,822Fullofit
Bad weather has grounded Willi and the boys till the 20th.
On another note, Willi has been asked to give the only CI to the new member, and has been assigned an old Pfalz AI that was still in the sheds. Willi protested but the Hauptmann made it plainly clear that Willi was to get used to the Pflaz, with possible afternoon jounts with the Fokkers at a later date. Seems that the N10's are becoming a bit vexatious as of late.
Last edited by lederhosen; 02/18/1906:09 PM.
make mistakes and learn from them
I5 4440 3.1Ghz, Asrock B85m Pro3, Gtx 1060 3GB
#4461899 - 02/18/1906:10 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,822Fullofit
Lou, will Swany be using Madam Foufou's advertisement pamphlets to shim the stained glass window in Conllins' shack?
18 February , 1916 Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux
A thick blanket of snow was covering Senard aerodrome. It was quiet and not much was happening on the base apart from the usual tasks and chores. Gaston, sitting in the mess with a half-empty bottle of red wine beside him, was darning one of his socks which developed a hole in the heel. He was surprised when the adjutant brought him a letter that was not from his wife. Unlike the French Air Force, the French Post was still working even in this weather. He put away his needlework and turned the unopened letter in his hands, held it against the light and examined the letters on the front. They were very curvy. He wondered if the woman who wrote these letters also was very curvy. He brought the letter close to his face and inhaled. It smelled of lilacs ... and paper. Mostly paper. His curiosity grew with each moment and finally exploded when he ripped the envelope open. A photograph fell out of the torn paper sleeve. He recognized it immediately. It was a small photo of Dr. Girard-Mangin. The woman doctor he had met at Le Bourget aerodrome. It was because of her that Gaston was able to complete his training and get his pilot’s license. He owed her. Voscadeaux pulled the letter from the sleeve and begun to read. In the letter, Nicole - the letter was signed as such, greeted Gaston and explained how she found out where he was stationed. She was now well established at the Verdun hospital and one of her patients mentioned that he knows Gaston. The patient, one Ernest Becquerel who was there as a result of a flight training accident mentioned Gaston had been transferred to Senard aerodrome. [- Good old Becquerel, so he took my advice and applied for pilot training. What has he got himself into now?] Gaston interrupted his reading to reminisce. The letter went on that she is disappointed that he has not visited her yet. They are located so close and he MUST visit. She would not take no for an answer. The letter concluded with the exact address of the hospital and as mentioned earlier, was signed: Your friend, Nicole. Gaston was ashamed of himself for not thinking of visiting his benefactor. He will correct this oversight and decided to see Dr. Nicole first chance he gets to visit the city. Voscadeaux took out a piece of paper and a pen. It took him a while to decide how to start. He placed the tip of the pen on the paper: Dear Nicole, ...
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."
#4461902 - 02/18/1907:25 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 3,962RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Carrick, one tablespoon of rum?! That's not only cruel, it's downright sadistic.
lederhosen, Willi has his work cut out for him if he is going to go up against the Nieups with a Pfalz AI. I wish him luck.
Fullofit, I do believe the comely Doctor has designs on Gaston. Your man best proceed with caution. But wait, he is French, so proceeding with caution when it comes to women is unlikely. Carry on. As for Swany using one of those pamphlets as a shim, why not? We know that idea works.
#4461910 - 02/18/1908:08 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: Nov 2014 Posts: 2,822Fullofit
Bad weather here too. Fullofit, I am worried for Gaston's virtue. But heck, he's French, so I guess he can go for it. MFair, now I'm starting to understand Jericho's "circumstances." 77_Scout, your hangar 1 is intriguing. I'm suspecting a dead alien...
Here is Collin's latest....
An Airman’s Odyssey – by James Arthur Collins
Part Nineteen: In which I become a teacher
The snow returned with a vengeance, ending all flying from the 16th on. We had a series of briefings and lectures that first day, and after a particularly arcane treatise on the characteristics of various types of ammunition given by the armaments officer, Major Harvey-Kelly asked me into his office.
“The Technical Sergeant-Major is asking for his blacksmith’s assistant back,” he began. I was to lose Cpl Wilson, it seemed. The Major went on to explain that, while I had flown mainly as escort to himself or Capt Mealing, the day would be soon upon us when I should need an observer trained to do more than fire a Lewis gun. “Our principle task as a squadron is artillery cooperation, after all,” he explained.
“Begging your pardon, sir, but who says that the Corporal can’t spot for the guns. Or at least learn.”
“I’m sorry, Collins, but you’ll need an officer observer, I’m afraid.”
I begged shamelessly, because I’d come to harbour a strange trust for the big Scot. And I’d hate to lose him as a batman and occasional secret drinking companion. It was true that I couldn’t understand a third of what came out of his mouth, yet I knew that he was committed to giving the Hun a good fight. In the end, I managed to secure a commitment that I could retain Cpl Wilson for two more weeks and was welcome to train him myself. After that time, if he could convince the commanding officer that he could handle Morse, operate a Stirling wireless set, conduct target indication and adjustment, and operate a conical box camera. At the end of month, the Major and Senior Observer Officer would examine him.
I went to find Wilson and give him the news. He went pale but nodded and agreed that he’d be up for the challenge. Because I thought artillery spotting would be the greatest challenge, that was where we began. I had to review my notes from Reading and consult with some of our observers to refresh my memory.
On the morning of 17 February, I drew a six-foot-wide coloured pencil sketch map of a typical section of Hunnish reserve trenches, as seen from 5000 feet. It ended as a real work of art, with lovely shaded hills and roads, rail lines, gun pits, crossroads, and villages. We set up a table on sawhorses in a spare hangar and there I began with the theory of target indication.
“Your task, Corporal Wilson, is to signal your artillery battery, located off the map in this direction…” I rapped a corner of the map, “…to bring its guns to bear on a Hun battery located here.” I rapped the map again, indicating a row of tiny gun symbols next to a wood.
I handed Wilson a smaller version of the map, which I’d gridded off.
“What map square is the target battery in?” I asked.
“Awa’ wi’ ye, sir. The big map on the table doesna ha’e a grid, sir,” said Wilson. And so we began…
It took about an hour before Cpl Wilson could quickly relate his small gridded map to the “ground” below. From there we began the task of spotting the fall of fire. I gave the corporal the simple code we used. Once our friendly battery had laid out a letter “L” on the ground to show us they were ready to begin, his first task was to give a personal code and the map reference for the target. Briefing would have given us the time of flight, so I would call “boom” and count off the seconds. I then placed a cotton ball on the map to show the location of the first round.
I explained the use of the clock face system, with twelve o’clock facing true north (a concept that took some explaining). Around the target, one had to imagine a series of concentric circles at 25, 50, 100, 200, 300, and 400 yards from the target, labelled Z, A, B, C, D, and E respectively. Thus, a round falling 350 yards off target at the four o’clock position (i.e. ESE) would result in the signal E4. And once the rounds were nearly on target, the final adjustments were indicated with Y (10 yards) or Z (25 yards). After the last adjustment, the observer had to signal OK and the battery would then fire for effect.
We practiced all day and before long, Cpl Wilson was averaging only four or five rounds to bring the guns onto the target. Now he had to do it on a wireless set. Our wireless NCO set up a learner’s telegraph set with a transmitter in the hangar beside the big map and a receiver in my little hut. I was able to recruit a trained observer to receive and call out the bearing and distance of each adjusted shot. Or that was the plan, at least. Cpl Wilson struggled to learn Morse. I drilled him mercilessly all day on the 18th and all he knew with confidence were the numerals and letters A through E. It was a start.
I was pleasantly surprised to receive a parcel from Canada. Mr. McCready (with whom I’d left control of the Collins Distilling Company) had sent a case of our new medicinal tonic, which was essentially Collins’ Yukon Gold Whiskey with a touch of cayenne pepper and cinnamon. He enclosed a letter from Mr. Carson, our comptroller, who thought we would not have to relocate from Ontario despite the looming threat of temperance laws. The tonic became a bit of a novelty in the mess. Smith from C Flight suggested that we make better tonic than whiskey.
#4461952 - 02/19/1905:24 AMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
My morning's work consisted of an uneventful mission to drop bombs on German trenches near Lens. Quite a long way to go and pretty sure we damaged nothing but mud.
Back at Abeele with lunch squared away I went off excitedly in search of Mr. Davis, knocking tepidly on the large sliding wooden door of Hanger 1. He seemed to have anticipated my arrival as the door immediately slid noisily open a few feet and he beckoned me inside. Both of the squadrons Bristol Scouts sat inside Buckminster's aircraft had been up this morning protecting our bombing mission and the motor was still making ticks and pings as it cooled in the near freezing temperatures. The machine normally flown by Captain Davis (no relation to Mr. Davis) was nosed into the rear of the hanger with the glow of electric lights around it's port-front side, casting a stark winged silhouette out into the hanger. "Come and see what we have been working on"; Davis motioned for me to follow him around the wing and into the lighted area.
I knew right away what I was looking at ... it was impossible to miss the new contraption mounted to the port side of the aircraft, ahead of the cockpit. A long rod was the most prominent feature, obviously connecting the engine to a very menacing looking Vickers machine gun above. A Vickers gun! And pointed straight ahead through the propeller! No more cock-eyed Vickers. "It's a gun synchronizer" I said, probably sounding a bit dumbfounded. Warren answered "Yes, it has been in the works for some time now. Designed by one of our top engineers, George Challenger. It is run off the oil pump; I am sure you see how it works?" I did ... quite obvious really. "This is one of the first production versions" he stated. "Production?" "Yes, this unit went into production in December but unfortunately a shortage of guns has delayed us in getting this to frontline units. I am here to test it under field conditions and try to head off any problems. The whole thing has been rather rushed; this business of Fokkers shooting down our aircraft has created a bit of a crisis in the parliament and the war office.
I asked if they had put the thing to use yet ... had they been sneaking this into the air without anyone noticing? "Not yet, but soon I hope. We need to test it in action but test firings on the range we have set up behind the hanger have been unimpressive. The temperature swings seem to cause havoc with the push rod, lengthening it and shortening it enough to throw off the operation. I need a sounding board to work out the problem, and you're the only person here with any engineering knowledge. I don't expect you to help me fix the problem, just listen and ask some questions ... might punt my brain out of this hole if you will."
I couldn't say yes fast enough and we proceeded to spend the next two hours going over the whole contraption, him explaining every little detail and me mostly saying 'I see", or "very clever" as I really had little to contribute. He obviously knew the thing inside and out. Surprisingly, as the conversation went along it became obvious that he already knew what the problem was too; the pushrod was just too long and awkwardly angled to work well. But how to fix it? "The motor is 'here' and the gun is 'there' so nothing can be changed." he lamented.
And in a weird flash, I had an idea. "What if the gun wasn't 'there' but you moved it closer to the engine ... mount the gun over on the side of the cowl in front of the lower wing?" He shook his head and seemed perturbed. "That might solve the reliability problem but as a pilot I would expect you, of all people, to realize that the gun has to be aimed, and it's already hard to cock you head over behind the gun where it is now. What use is a weapon that you can't aim?"
"But Warren" I blurted out. "You are missing the entire point! The pilot doesn't have to aim the gun, he just has to aim the aircraft." Davis' face took on a very confused look for just a few seconds and then his eyes widened and he put his hands either side of his head. "Bloody Hell! Of course, how could that not have occurred to me. I am thinking like a bloody infantryman. Aim the gun ... oh how stupid. I wonder if Challenger has thought of this? He must have. Or maybe not. I must telegraph him immediately ... or will I look a complete fool ... or perhaps brilliant. Oh my, oh my." He thanked me profusely for my assistance and rushed away to the Officers Mess in a state of apparent turmoil.
I just looked at the contraption and the Bristol with envy. No matter how much help I had been to Mr, Davis, a lowly 2nd-Lieutenant wasn't going to get his hands on a weapon like this any time soon.
Last edited by 77_Scout; 02/19/1905:26 AM.
#4461988 - 02/19/1903:45 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
Joined: May 2012 Posts: 3,962RAF_Louvert
BOC President; Pilot Extraordinaire; Humble Man
Scout and Raine, a pair of educational episodes. Good stuff!
It's interesting that the Brits had a patent for a synchronizer at the beginning of the war, but for whatever reason did not develop a working system for their planes until after everyone else had. Strange really.
Raine, there are numerous contemporary sources that outline the clock face system of gun ranging. Was there one in particular you referenced? Also, what does Jim think of the window Swany installed for him? I imagine it really spiffs up the hut.
#4462004 - 02/19/1904:58 PMRe: Deep Immersion DiD campaign -- Player Instructions (UPDATED 28 Nov 2018)
I really liked the book. It went beyond just talking about the AFC to get into some of the minutiae of life in the RFC / AFC, and I eat that stuff up!
By the way, have you got a copy of "Canada's Fighting Airmen" by LCol George A Drew? I recently saw a signed 1930 first edition. At about $105 Canadian (@$85 US) it wasn't worth it to me personally. The book's a bit of hero worship so it's historical rubbish, but it's a lovely book. If you're interested, I can see if it's still there in a used book store in Saint John, NB.