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#4641498 - 01/23/24 12:31 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Ü

WOFF has taken over my life.....HELP!

#4641500 - 01/23/24 12:42 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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It can certainly seem that way! Fly for the Brits, they had much simpler paint schemes, for the most part!

Lovely work, though!


The older I get, the more I realize I don't need to be Han, Luke or Leia. I'm just happy to be rebel scum...
#4641608 - 01/25/24 01:44 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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128


Samstag, 22.Dezember 1917


We have our first Patrouillenflüg for several days this morning. The sky is overcast with a heavy ground haze.

The patrol is uneventful, other than a little Flak. No enemy aircraft are seen.




[Linked Image]





After the patrol, I’m called into Vater’s office. I’m not surprised when he tells me that he has received orders reassigning me to Jasta 54s after a leave in January.

I’ve been expecting it. If der Meister had still been in command, he might have been able to have the assignment canceled, but Vater has no such influence. No one does, except perhaps Richthofen.

“It is the Royal wish of der König von Sachsen Friedrich August II, and so it must be so. If I were not tied up here, he might wish to move me about like a chess piece as well.”

Vater says he’s sorry to lose me, and adds, “Es ist eine beschißene Sache”*then sighs, “Befehl ist Befehl.”**

As I leave the office, I hear him mutter to himself. Kruzifix!***

It’s unusual to hear such things from Vater’s lips. He who is always so correct in his tone. The perfect picture of an Aktiver Offizier.

But then, he’s losing two experienced pilots, as well as a number of his best Schwarzer Mann, a hard blow for any Staffel commander.

There are so many transfers. The Leutchen+ at headquarters must have stayed up all night typing the orders.

I would rather go with Paul, but this is out of the question. Fifty-Seven is a Prussian Staffel and the Saxons want me. Paul will be taking Viebig.

They’ll both start leave next week, as will I. I report to my new Staffel on 25 January.

At least I know my new Staffelführer. It’s Paul Erbguth, whom I met at Jasta 30 earlier in the week. He’s been a Ketteführer with his Staffel for quite some time and appears to be a reliable, level headed fellow. Cut from good wood, as the saying goes.

I must go over to Phalempin and speak to him as soon as I have the opportunity.

Kurt also has orders. He’s to report to one of the flight schools for evaluation. He’s quite excited.


*It’s a crappy thing.
** Orders are orders.
*** crucifix, a mild expletive, the Bavarian form is Zefix.
+ little people, usually used in reference to the lower rank HQ personnel.

Attached Files 22 DEZ OFFICE a.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 01:44 AM.
#4641609 - 01/25/24 01:48 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We make our second Frontflug (front flight) at 14:30 Uhr. There are eight of us.

Vater leads, with Beauli on his left and Seppl on his right hand. Paul takes his usual position as watch dog, above and behind all of us.

The sky continues to be overcast, with a ceiling of 2,500 meters. We fly just below this.

Over Quesnoy, we are surprised by five dirty-yellow birds* with English tricolors, SPADs, who must have been lurking in the clouds, firing as they come.



* This phrase, hässliche Vögel von schmutziggelbem Aussehen mit Trikoloren and hässlichen Vögel, ugly birds, are used by Obltn Freiherr v. Pechmann, an Observer in FAA 217 in a story written for “Flieger am Feind Einundsiebzig deutsche Luftfahrer erzählen,” Aviators on the enemy: Seventy-one German airmen tell their stories, by Werner von Langsdorff, Publisher: Bertelsmann, Germany, 1934.

Pechmann was awarded the Pour le Merite on 31 July 1917. This award came in recognition of more than 700 sorties against the enemy, many with outstanding results.







[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


CAPTION: According to Osprey’s “Jasta 18; the Red Noses,” Greg VanWyngarden, the SPADs belonged to No. 19 Squadron. This scenario is based on the group combat report made by the British pilots involved.
This SPAD is that of Cpt Alexander August Norman Dudley Pentland of 19 Squadron RFC. He was, at that time, credited with ten of his eventual twenty-three aerial victories. He was not with this unit at the time this story takes place, his SPAD having been hit by an Artillery shell in September.
This is a WOFF Skin Pack skin.

Attached Files 22 DEZ SPADS A.jpg22 DEZ SPADS B.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 01:48 AM.
#4641610 - 01/25/24 01:50 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Deberitz is targeted by one of the SPADs and puts his Pfalz into a steep dive.





[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]





Bauli’s Albatros is also hit by MG fire. He performs an Abtrudeln (spin) to escape.





[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Attached Files 22 DEZ DEBERITZ A.jpg22 DEZ DEBERITZ B.jpg22 DEZ BAULI A.jpg22 DEZ BAULI B.jpg22 DEZ BAULI C.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 01:54 AM.
#4641611 - 01/25/24 01:57 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Vater, at the front and in the lowest position, was chosen by the leading Tommy for his attack.





[Linked Image]




Sigi and I are immediately on the tail of the SPAD that attacked Vater. He’s going at a tremendous speed from the momentum of his dive, which he uses to climb above us and shake us off in a quick turn.




[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



CAPTION: This SPAD belongs to Cpt James Martin Child. He was not with No. 19 Squadron at this time, he had been transferred to 84 Squadron after a rest in June 1917. I used it here just to have something other than the plain Squadron default skin to look at and the British SPAD skins are thin on the ground.
Looks like that red/white/blue band could use some TLC. Something I can add to the Mods later.

Attached Files 22 DEZ VATER A.jpg22 DEZ EBER ATTACKS.jpg22 DEZ SPAD CLIMBING.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 01:58 AM.
#4641612 - 01/25/24 02:00 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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All the Häschen have orders not to engage the enemy and go home. Max Hitschler and Bauli, after he has recovered from his spin, obey this order






[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


CAPTION: The SPAD Sigi is targeting is that of Lt Richard Alexander ‘Bill’ Hewat of No. 19 Squadron. He also was not with the Squadron at this time, having received a head wound in October. I just hate showing nothing but Squadron Default skins in these shots.

Attached Files 22 DEZ BAULI D going home.jpg22 DEZ HITSCHLER A.jpg22 DEZ SEPPL.jpg22 DEZ PAUL.jpg22 DEZ SIGI.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 02:02 AM.
#4641614 - 01/25/24 02:04 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Villinger does not obey. Instead he attempts to fire at one of the SPADs as it streaks by, turning right into the path of the SPAD leader as he evades Sigi and myself.





[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]





He is only in the Englishman’s sights for a tenth of a second, but that is all the hunter needs.





[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Attached Files 22 DEZ VILLINGER AA.jpg22 DEZ VILLINGER AB.jpg22 DEZ VILLINGER B.jpg22 DEZ VILLINGER C.jpg22 DEZ VILLINGER D.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 02:06 AM.
#4641615 - 01/25/24 02:08 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Villinger’s Pfalz leaps like a stricken animal, begins to belch smoke and goes straight down, presumably crashing behind British lines as we are straight south of Armentieres.







[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Attached Files 22 DEZ VILLINGER E.jpg22 DEZ VILLINGER F.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 02:10 AM.
#4641616 - 01/25/24 02:12 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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As suddenly as they appeared, all the ugly enemy birds are gone, as if they had never been there. It is 1530 and we’re now near a place called Le Mesnil-en-Vespres.








[Linked Image]

Attached Files 22 DEZ SPAD LEAVING.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 02:12 AM.
#4641617 - 01/25/24 02:13 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Hans was with us only a little over a month, and had turned nineteen just a few weeks before he came to us





[Linked Image]

Attached Files 22 DEZ MAP.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 02:14 AM.
#4641618 - 01/25/24 02:16 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]





As I expected, Vater called me into his office after I had made my combat report.

After listening to my explanation and reading my report he said, “A most unfortunate incident, I felt he had great promise.”

“I hold you in no way responsible. We were all surprised by the SPADs. They are truly a dangerous enemy when they have an opportunity such as they had today.”

“I dislike making an object lesson of a young man’s death, but I must reiterate my orders to the new ones, that they are not to engage until such time as I judge they are ready. This must be strictly adhered to.”

“With Villinger, it was not, and this is the result.”

“With the Winter season, they have an excellent opportunity to hone their skills so that they can become ready. This should not be broken over the knee,* they must be patient.”

He asked me to send Bauli and Hitschler in when I was dismissed.


*a German idiom that means that something should not be rushed.




[Linked Image]






ENDE

Attached Files 22 DEZ OFFICE.jpg22 DEZ VILLINGER PHOTO.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/24 02:17 AM.
#4641709 - 01/27/24 11:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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129


Montag, 24. Dezember, 1917, Heiligabend


As is the custom, we put up our Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree) and decorate the Pilotenkasino this evening, Heiligabend.*

We decorate the tree with bits of ribbon, playing cards, anything we can find that is shiny, and of course, candles.

I have an extra Eisernes Kreuz zweiter Klaße, which I hang on the tree from its ribbon. I also have some of the colored ribbon used for the buttonholes for my other medals, which I tie into bows on some of the branches. The black and white of the Eisernes Kreuz, the yellow and light blue of the Friedrich August Medal and St. Henry Medal. Others added similar extra ribbon and a few spare medals. It adds an interesting, marshal heir to the decorations. Vater, I can tell, is a bit unsure about the propriety of this, but he shruggs and says nothing.

The cooks make Würstchen und Kartoffelsalat ** for the traditional evening meal.

I’m very fond of potatoes, in every form of preparation. They being rather new to my experience, having first gained widespread popularity about three-hundred years ago. This is a relatively short period for me.

We had, of course, the turnip before this, and I enjoy them as well. But nothing compares to the potato, in my opinion.


And after the meal, there are chestnuts to roast, and the Feuerzangenbowle*** is set aflame. We sing as we watch the dancing blue flame until it is put out and we can ladle it out into our waiting mugs.

Those who have Ehrenbecher use these.



*Holy evening, Christmas Eve.

**Small sausages and potato salad.

***The Feuerzangenbowle is an immensely potent German Christmas beverage that is as much a feast for the taste buds as for the eyes. Rum with a high alcohol level is added generously to mulled wine, and the concoction is set in flames.






[Linked Image]

Attached Files 24 DEZ PUNCH.jpg
#4641711 - 01/27/24 11:11 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Then, with a heavy snow falling, and therefore no chance whatever that we will be flying tomorrow, we get very, very drunk.

There is then, Bescherung, an exchange of gifts, everyone gets something, mostly alcoholic in nature. I receive, among other things, a set of Sanke Cards with girls dressed up in uniform. These are one of the sets called ‘Fraulein Feldgrau.’

They each depict a cute little Fraulein, kitted out in combat uniform. One, Fraulein Flieger, is an aviator. All very chaste, except for a few seductive looks and, shockingly, one smoking a cigarette. We pass these around.

A couple of these are of a German pilot and his sweetheart and are labeled Fliegers Liebe.

I put tape on one of these and pin it on Sigi by slapping him on the back. He’s too befuddled with drink to figure out why everyone is laughing at him.

I add a few of the Franlein Feldgrau cards to the Weihnachtsbaum display.

Most of the Catholics attend Christmette, as required by Army Regulations, but Vater doesn’t force any to do so.*


*Christmette is Midnight Mass. Army regulations required all Catholic troops to attend Mass, at least on Christmas and Easter. The level of enforcement of that regulation was up to the unit commander.










[Linked Image]

Attached Files sanke cards faulein flieger d.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger e.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger f.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger g.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger h.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger i.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger b.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger c.jpgsanke cards faulein flieger a.jpg
#4641712 - 01/27/24 11:17 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I’m put in mind, as I usually am this time of year, of this holiday period as it was celebrated as Saturnalia, the celebration of Winter Solstice, in my youth.

Saturnalia was celebrated for two days, the 17th and 18,th under the Emperor Augustus. But as time went on it eventually was extended to a seven day affair.

In the Army, especially on the frontier or on campaign, it was necessarily a bit more subdued than among the civilian population in Rome and in the more secure and settled provinces.

Discipline was relaxed, gambling was allowed out in the open. But it was not allowed to compromise our readiness. We exchanged gifts and the officers gave gifts to the lower ranks.

The practice of having slaves and masters switch roles was practiced in a limited way. The officers and men did not switch rolls, but there was an election for a, “King of the Saturnalia.” This only amounted to a parade around the camp for the chosen King and a bit of fun. As nice a feast as could be provided was served.

Drunkenness was permitted to those off duty, but Guard and patrol duties were expected to be done as always ,and you were expected to report sobered up. The officers only bent a little when off duty, serving at the feast and other small things, giving up none of their auctoritas and dignitas.

You were allowed to speak your mind to your officers, as slaves were permitted to do to their masters during Saturnalia. But this was wisely refrained from in most cases.

Even under these restrictions, it was still optimis diebus.*


*the best of days





“Io Saturnalia!”





[Linked Image]

Attached Files 24 DEZ Sat.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/24 11:17 PM.
#4641713 - 01/27/24 11:24 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Frohe Weihnachten! Dienstag, 25. Dezember 1917


Heavy clouds, no enemy aircraft reported in the sky by the front line observers.

Wieder Fliegerwetter! (again Flier’s weather)

Everyone sleeps late.

This evening there is another feast, with a scrumptious banquet of roast goose, Reisbrei (rice porridge) and many types of sausages. Christstollen which is a long loaf with raisins and nuts, Lebkuchen, marzipan, and the fabulous fruit-filled bread called Dresdener Stollen.

Vater gets up and speaks. “Dear, dear Comrades!”

“Lift your cups with me in celebration of this holy, beautiful Christmas together!”

“Let us toast to a swift victory in the next year. After our Russian enemies have destroyed themselves from within, we can now turn our full attention to the West.”

“Let the Amis come in their millions. The greater the numbers of the enemy, the greater the glory in crushing them!”

Cheers!

“Let us remember our fallen Comrades and those who have been put on the sidelines, like our dear Eiserne! May he soon be among us again!”

More cheers!


“This is the greatest, most honorable time, but also the saddest!”

“The Volksgeist (German spirit of the people) is being put to the test like never before. It has passed this test brilliantly so far, and we will persevere until the evil enemy realizes that the spirit of the people, rooted in fear of God, and efficiency, will never weaken as long as noble Germanic blood continues to flow through our one shared vein!”

“There is now a model family line, right in front of us, that has maintained and deepened the Germanic people’s spirit for centuries, and that is the Hohenzollerns!”

“Like no other ruling house, they deserve the thanks of their people. They cultivated the old German spirit in such a way that Germany can now face a world of enemies with confidence!”

“So, let us stand up and raise our cups to the role model of a German man!”

“LONG LIVE HIS MAJESTY! OUR MOST GRACIOUS EMPEROR AND WARLORD!”*



We drain our cups, cheer, stomp, raise our fists and punch at the air, slap each other and Vater on the back.

Then one of the pilots from the Württemberger Abteilung begins to beat on the piano and we sing.

Oh Deutchland hoch in Ehren, (Oh highly esteemed Germany. ) Followed by, the Hymn of Hate, Haßgesang gegen England, and Deutschland, Deutschland über alles.

Then, O Tannebaum, Stille Nacht, and others.

In three days I leave these men, to whom I have, against my better judgement, become much attached. I look around the room and wonder how many will I see again. Who will survive?

Much Glühwein, more chestnuts, Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and eventually bed, after a very drunken rendition of the drinking song, "Du, du liegst mir im Herzen".

I hear the last verse as I go upstairs;

"Du, du liegst mir im Herzen,"
Und, und wenn in der Ferne,
mir, mir dein Bild erscheint,
dann, dann wünscht ich so gerne
daß uns die Liebe vereint.
Ja, ja, ja, ja, daß uns die Liebe vereint.**



*Vater’s speech is an adaption of a letter Heinrich Gontermann wrote to his parents. It can be found on pages 113-114, “Memoirs of German Pilots in the First World War, Vol.1” from Aeronaut Books, translated and edited by Jason Crouthhamel

**And, and if in the distance,
it seems to me like your picture,
then, then I wish so much
that we were united in love.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, that we were united in love.




[Linked Image]





NOTE: The Christmas card is adapted from one that was posted by the team at Propellerblatt. The original was made at Flieger-Abteilung 43.






MERRY MUCH BELATED CHRISTMAS!



Attached Files 25 DEZ XMAX CARD.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/24 11:24 PM.
#4641714 - 01/27/24 11:29 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]




Freitag, 28.. Dezember 1917


This morning is the first clear day we have had since the Patrouillenflüg on Samstag, in which Villinger was killed.

Paul, Viebig and I sit in the Benz, with Kurt at the wheel, watching the patrol take off before we go to the train station in Phalempin.

We said our farewells last night, during a small party our Staffel-Kameraden had for us. Additionally it was a celebration for Sigi. His IK I Klaße has come through and Vater pinned it on his tunic that morning.

Antiope is shut up in her Ställe. I went to her last night to say goodbye and explain why she can’t come with me. I looked at all the caulked holes, patched fabric, scratches, gouges and scorch marks from incendiaries in her blue hide, much scarred like mine. [Linked Image]





Sigi is taking her for a second machine. He promised to take good care of her.

I slept in her last night. I will miss her, my war horse and faithful companion.

We watch our Comrades until they disappear into the haze, then I turn to Kurt and point in the general direction of the train station.



“Aus Gehts!”






[Linked Image]











ENDE

Attached Files 28 DEZ AVALIN.jpg28 DEZ watching takeoff.jpg28 DEZ EBER IN ANTIOPE.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/24 11:34 PM.
#4641715 - 01/27/24 11:31 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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This is the last episode for the time being. I have to write some more now

The story will continue when Carl joins Fifty-four Jagstaffel, Sächsisch, in Januar, after his leave.

I’ll try to have this done sometime in March.






[Linked Image]

Attached Files 28 DEZ EBER ENDE.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/24 11:36 PM.
#4642715 - 02/17/24 10:59 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Wonderful stories and pics, jerbear! I see I have a lot to catch up on!


“With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable.”
#4642718 - 02/18/24 02:09 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: BuckeyeBob]  
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Thanks BB., hope you enjoy the stories. Working on more.

Your skies have been very helpful in setting up the shots for the scenarios, when I know what the weather was that day.. Some beautiful sky boxes there, thanks for doing all that work.

Jerry H

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