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#4618269 - 01/05/23 09:16 PM DEAD IS NOT DEAD  
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DEAD IS NOT DEAD


There being so little going on in the Forum these days, I thought I’d try something new.

This story is something of an experiment. It is a departure from the usual tales presented in this forum, which are in the DID style.

The main character represents the way I usually play a campaign as opposed to the DID ideal. I sometimes create a short term pilot who dies after a few missions, but I prefer to stay around awhile. So, call me a FARB, but I tend to use most of the options that are available in WOFF which make a pilot immortal, as is the protagonist of this story. All of this will be explained as the tale unfolds.

I hope you will find the story engaging. I have a certain amount completed and will expand it between other projects. I’ll be monitoring the number of hits this thread gets so that I know if the story is being read or not. If it has no following I will discontinue it.

No living person or any fictional character created by another is represented here, the historical persons are fictionalized to one degree or another.

I receive no compensation of any kind for this story.




Last edited by jerbear; 01/05/23 10:10 PM.
#4618270 - 01/05/23 09:23 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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He is, as usual, smoking when he opens the door.

In German, he says, “I take it that you have decided to accept, as here you stand.”

“I have.”

“How about breakfast first.”

“No…I would like to get it over if that is acceptable to you.”

“Just so. Sit in the arm chair there and we will begin.”

In answer to my unasked question, he laughs and says, “Jünger, time is not as linear as is generally believed. What did Shakespeare say? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy?”

I knew now that I couldn’t leave no matter how much my rational mind screamed at me to run.

Next to the chair are the boxes, the treasure chests for which I was trading…trading what? I really don’t exactly know. As I sit down, I ask, “What will happen?”

“I will give you the doorway picture.” He takes it from an end table and puts it into my hand.




[Linked Image]





This is the picture that had so fascinated me during my first interview with Herr Eber.

“I will sit next to you, so.” He takes the chair from the desk and sits in it.

“We pass through the doorway together to the moment this picture was taken. From that moment until the end of the Weltkrieg (World War) we will merge into one personality. On the moment the Armistice is signed we will once again be in this room as two separate persons.”

“You do not remember now, but I do. This merger is why I am able to guess what you are thinking and know what you will do.”

It sounds so ridiculous that I almost laugh, but I do as he requests, take the picture. As a trained psychoanalyst I feel compassion for Herr Eber, but I still don’t quite know what I will do when this delusional man realizes that this ability to travel to his past is all in his mind and that he’s not what he thinks he is.

I remember what he said during our previous interview when he opened the door to his room. I was shocked to find fifteen boxes there. “Come…have a look.”

I opened the first box, it contained his flight logs, the flight logs and diaries of other pilots, the war diaries, or copies of them, of several different Jagdstaffeln as well as that of Jastas 15 and 18. In another were carbon copies of combat reports, Kommandeur der Flieger reports that show the Staffelkennungen (Staffel markings) for each Staffel in their sector.

Each of the boxes were filled with unbelievable treasure. Every item was exactly the sort of thing I would have collected had I been where he had been during the Weltkrieg. What was more, there was nothing that did not appear perfectly authentic.

In yet another of the boxes was his erhrenbecker, medals, uniform and other personal items. In other boxes were things from Berthold and the other pilots. There were fabric samples, catalogued as to what aircraft they were from.

If authentic, the collection was beyond price.

I turned to him, “Herr Eber…this is an archive! Who made this!”

He laughed, “You!”

I became angry: ”Das ist verrückt! (That is insane!) What is this? These cannot be real! What are you up to?”

“I assure you. All of this is real and it is yours, but to have it there is a price.”

“So that is your game! Surely you know I do not have any money. Are you planning to sell this to someone?”

“I don’t want money, surely you can see that I don’t need it.”

I looked around at this room in the Hotel Bayerischer Hof on Promenadeplatz. ( a five-star hotel in the heart of Munich, built in 1841, destroyed in 1944 and rebuilt in stages between 1949 and 1951.) No, from all indications he had all the money he needed.

“And what is this proposition….my soul or some such thing?”

“Something like that.”

He did not approach me and did not appear to mean me harm, there was no agitation or aggression in his demeanor. So, I stood my ground.

“I will leave you for about an hour. I ask you to look further into these boxes. See what is there. Think about what I have just said. When I return, we will talk about the value you place on these things and about the proposition I have for you.”

“And what is this proposition, exactly?”

“You might call it a Schnäppchen des Teufels (Devil’s bargain).”

Many relics of the war have been created by con artists over the decades. But this? And on such a massive scale? This was improbable. As improbable as his explanation of how this collection had come to be. How could I have done this when I was not even thought of at the time.

The final item that convinced me of the collection’s authenticity was an envelope containing photographs of which I had been told by one of my old gentlemen during our interview. Hans Holthusen took photos of every pilot of Jasta 30 and his plane before he transfered to Jasta 29 but they were lost in the Hamburg fire storm. In this envelope were copies of them. Eber left a note on the envelope, “copies of Jasta 30 photos from Hans Holthusen.”

I’m brought back to the present when he locks those cold eyes on mine again and I feel the full force of his will. “Auf geht’s!” (Here we go).

I look at the photograph. I feel nothing, no electric shock or dizziness, any of the things you might expect from such an experience, nothing. But suddenly I’m there, walking on the grass toward the line of machines. I am not a rider in Carl Eber’s body as it had been in the dreams I’ve been having since I first met this man, there is no other personality with which I shared this body. It is just me, one person. I’m not even surprised or amazed, everything is as it should be.

I am Carl Eber* and today is August 16th 1917.


* The surname Eber has its origin in Old German and Old English. It is from the given name ‘Eber’ meaning strong and brave boar.

This man has used the name a number of times as both a surname and given name.

It was chosen because of its association with the Roman Legio XVII, the first military command in which he served. This will be explained further as the story unfolds.










Attached Files Line up, sepia.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/05/23 09:44 PM.
#4618271 - 01/05/23 09:47 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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AUGUST 1917








[Linked Image]



1

I am Carl Eber and today is August 16th 1917.

I’m walking toward the flight line at Harlebecke after quickly using my little American camera* to snap a shot of our aircraft in line, all now in the brilliant Berthold colors.

The camera I bought before the war, but the film now has to be acquired by back stair methods. But I have plenty of connections for what I want and need.



[Linked Image]






Before I snapped the shutter, I made certain that none of the pilots about to take off were in or around their machines. They wouldn’t have been pleased to have their photograph taken before a flight, a very superstitious lot, pilots, well…soldiers of any type or nation really.

On the airfield and among the tents and hangar sheds, there’s still some evidence of the damage done by the British bombers on the 14th and everything is damp with the drizzle that is falling and the rain last night.

I turn to see who’s beside me and I’m looking into the agreeable face of twenty-four-year-old Leutnant d R Paul Strähle, whom I have just met two days ago. He’s already in his Fliegerkombination ( the bulky flying suit issued standard in late 1917 and early 1918). I slap him on the shoulder as we part to go to our respective machines “Hals un beinbruch” Felix** he says. I return, “Und Sie Paul.”

It is 0805. This is the Staffel’s first combat flight to be led by der Eiserne.*** There are seven of us, the gangly Seppl (Veltjens) standing there, a head taller than almost everyone else, in his prized coat, lined with tiger fur, myself, Albrecht Weinschenck, the solemn Offz Klein, who has only been here a few days longer than those of us that came with der Eiserne, Otto Schober, Paul (Strähle) and ‘Vater’ Turck.****

We gathered in the Kasino earlier this morning as der Eiserne briefed us.

“Early this morning the Tommies launched a heavy attack at Langemarck and apparently all is not well in the Ypres salient. The boys***** are out in force.”

“Takeoff is at 0820, I will lead. We will fly in V formation at 3,000 meters to Warneton. From there we will fly toward Wieltje and Langemarck, the focal point of the British offensive.”

“If we are separated, we will rendezvous over Langemarck.”


* An American Brownie Vest Pocket Camera. When it went on the market in 1900 it sold for $1.

** Break your neck and legs, used as English and American actors wish their colleagues to ‘break a leg.’

*** Rudolf Berthold, at this time an Oberleutnant was known throughout the air service as der Eiserne der deutschen Jagdflieger; the Iron Man of the German fighter pilots. His pilots referred to and often addressed his as der Eiserne or simply Eiserne.

**** Oberleutnant Ernst Wilhelm ’Father’ Turck, the senior Regular Army officer in the Staffel

***** Berhold often called the enemy pilots, ‘the boys’ whether British or French.





Attached Files line up color.jpga kodak vpk 2.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/05/23 10:19 PM.
#4618272 - 01/05/23 10:02 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]



“The Wetterfrosch* tells us that the wind is from the north. The low cloud cover and the mist are expected to hang on all morning.”

When he had finished, along with a certain amount of his ususal cursing, he left us with his three golden rules: “If we engage the enemy, I will accept nothing less than restlos auskämpfen ,(fighting to the very end); I will not have any abbiegen (turning away}; I will not have any Motordefekte (engine trouble} and I will not have any Munition ausgegangen (ammunition running dry) in this Staffel!”

He added, “If your guns jam you will not streak for home, the enemy will not know and will be more afraid of someone who doesn’t waste their ammunition at long range.”'

“You are dismissed…Gott mit Uns!

This was new to the others, but those of us that had come to 18** with der Meister had heard these words and others like them a thousand times.

After we had landed our birds at Harlebecke on the 12th, Berthold, Veltjens, Gerbig, Margot*** and I, Eiserne called the whole Staffel to a formation. He walked up and down, shouting like a drill sergeant. Primarily addressing the pilots he said; “I will train you to perfection, even if this is ruthlessly strict and I myself know no mercy as regards to duty. Practice takes place in all kinds of weather, and we do banking, attacking, defending and…top priority…shooting. I am mercilessly strict, but you will see results and be thankful for it.”

There had been little opportunity for any of this training yet, as we are in a very active sector and then there is the damage to clear up after the bombing, along with all the details der Meister has to deal with in taking over a new command. We have gone to the firing range with machine guns once, however.

* weather frog – weatherman

** A Jagdstaffel was sometimes referred to simply by its number.

*** Vfw Hermann Margot was a pilot in FA23 with Berthold. He also served with Berthold in Jastas 4 and 14 as well as Jasta 18 and later in Jasta 15. In Jasta 15 he was communications officer and later an assistant to the Technical Officer of Jagdgeschwader II. He’s never listed as being in any of the combat flights for Jasta 18 or 15 and had no confirmed air victories, so I believe he may have been employed in a technical capacity much of the time. He probably flew missions occasionally but I haven’t found any indication of it. I have made him Werkmeister -Technical Officer, a position which can be filled by an NCO, in this story.

Attached Files A 1st mission aaa a.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/05/23 10:08 PM.
#4618325 - 01/06/23 04:12 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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2



I place my camera on a workbench in the hangar shed. No one is likely to try to take it as my reputation has preceded me and my riggers will keep an eye on it. I speak to Georg and Heinrich* while I take off my uniform jacket and tie a red silk scarf around my neck in the manner of the Focale** just as I did as a Legionarius. I do many things of this sort; it gives me a sense of identity. The Legio was where I grew to manhood and it was during those early years that my personality was formed. Somewhere in the back of my mind, no matter how many centuries I have lived, no matter how many places I have lived, no matter how many armies I have served with, the Legio is always home to me.

Now Georg helps me on with my Fliegerkombination. I wear only light clothes under my flying suit, it’s expected to be around 20 degrees (Celsius). During this warm weather it won’t be particularly cold, execpt at the very highest altitudes and then there’s the heat from the engine.

A Buntspect (great spotted woodpecker) lands on the fuselage, just behind the cockpit. Heinrich hurries over to shoe it away. I tell him, “Leave it alone.”

“He is going to peck holes in the wood.”

“No he will not. Leave him in peace.”

“You are crazy. If he makes holes you can patch them yourself.”

“Just so.”

I have no superstitious rituals to perform before a flight. I pull the leather flying cap over my head, slip the goggles over it. I put my foot in the sprung door footstep to place my broom handle*** under the seat cushion. That is what I rely on, leave nothing to chance. Heinrich places the step ladder, then Georg helps me clamber into my Haifisch**** with the horse-shoe and clover symbol, then helps me with the straps. The Buntspect stays and watches.


* My two riggers. They have come to Jasta 18 with the other ground staff Berthold brought along to his new command from Jasta 14. Riggers are primarily responsible for the airframe while fitters are responsible for the engine and most of the working parts of an aircraft. There is usually one fitter and two riggers assigned to each machine.

** The Focale, also known as a Sudarium (Sweat Cloth) was a woolen or linen scarf used to prevent chafing from the armor.

*** Eber always carries a Mauser automatic pistol, which was nicknamed the broom handle. The number 9 is engraved on the handle in red, indicating that it was 9mm to avoid confusion as it its ammunition.

***** Shark, nickname for the Albatros DIII



[Linked Image]


Attached Files great spotted woodpecker.jpgMauser pistol.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/06/23 04:54 PM.
#4618327 - 01/06/23 04:29 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Berthold, in that ludicrous little swimming cap and the rest of his oil-soaked kit, is now in his machine and several others are warming up. He is shouting something to Bart, who looks dirtier than usual today.*

Eiserne looks angry and is cursing at everyone about him. He’s always angry when going into combat.



* Berthold had a superstitious pre-flight ritual, dressing in exactly the same manner each time he flew.

First, he would put on his old, worn-out regimental jacket. Over that he wore a coat, sometimes fur, at other times an oily cloth overcoat, then a scarf, horn-rimmed spectacles and a large pair of flying googles. Next came a heavy wool balaclava. The final, and most important item was an oily leather beach hat which was too small for his head. Bart, his Bursche, had washed it once in hot water and it had shrunk. Be that as it may, he had to have it.

“Bart was also part of the ritual and had to be there to help him put on his flying gear and be present when he took off.”

A Bursche, literally boy, refers to an orderly.

I don’t know of any pre-war connections between these two men but Bart went to war with Berthold and soon demonstrated that he was completely unsuitable as an orderly. He is said to have been filthy at all times, but he was considered essential by Berthold.

Also, Berthold believed strongly in Der Gott der Deutschen, God of the Germans. The belief, promoted by the Kaiser and religious, military and civilian authorities that God was on the side of the German people and had a special affinity for the Kaiser as reflected in the motto on all Prussian military belt buckles, “Gott mit Uns!”;



This photo shows Berthold in his flight clothes, receiving a victory wreath. Veltjens, when still a Vfw, is on the left, Hptm Palmer, commander of FA23 is next to an enlisted man whom I believe to be Bart on right, but I have nothing to back this up, just a hunch.

[Linked Image]

Attached Files Berts flight clothes.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/06/23 04:59 PM.
#4618328 - 01/06/23 04:39 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I sit in the cushioned seat, I find the stirrups on the rudder bar with my feet, push it right and left, then rotate the joystick to check the controls. I use the hand pump to pressurize the fuel tank as the engine driven pump is not yet engaged. Turning to the Buntspect I say, “You should be off, there will be a lot of noise now.” He makes a loud squawk and is gone.

I know this Albatros well…her name is Beomia*…she came with me from Jasta 14.

“Off!” yells Heinrich.

I pull my goggles down and put my gloves on, then reach for the ignition switch. “Off!”

My Motorschlasser**, Dieter has filled the cylinder petcocks with a mixture of oil and benzene, and now pulls the propeller through several revolutions to draw the priming fuel into the cylinders. “Clear!” he shouts and steps back. I put the magneto switch key to M1 and crank the handle on the starting magneto like a coffee grinder. The motor says “phew” and belches a puff of black smoke.

Again, “Off!”…..”Clear!” Flame and more smoke shoot from the exhaust on my right. The shiny blades of the propeller slowly start to cut through the air. Now it becomes a blur. The valves and lifters tick in even time. I love the sounds and the breath of the motor warming up, the smell of metal, oil vapors and exhaust fumes. I listen to the grinding gears and the guzzling of the carburetor. This all creates an atmosphere of aliveness.

* Beomia – Saxon name meaning battle maiden. The name of one of Eber’s many past wives.

** Engine mechanic, equivalent to the fitter in British service, responsible for the motor and other working parts of the machine.



[Linked Image]





I listen and sniff and touch everything, check the gauges, move the control surfaces again. I signal that I want to race the engine then slowly push the throttle lever forwards. The propeller becomes a glassy disc of light and the puffing of the explosions in the motor blend into a single tone, swelling into a wild drone. The machine trembles. The stream of wind from the propeller whips around my head.

I push the throttle back again and the roar dies down, popping and sputtering as the motor calms down.

The wheels are freed from the chocks and George and Heinrich hold onto the wings.

I look to my left, Berthold’s hand goes up and he takes off down the field, followed closely by the rest of us.




[Linked Image]




I push the throttle once again and the riggers release the wings. The grass runs away beneath me into a rushing blur. Mud flung up by the rotating tires drums against the tight fabric of the lower wing. The bumps caused by the unevenness of the ground become milder, and then suddenly I’m softly swaying as though on a swing.

How amazing that I have lived to see man evolve from fleas crawling on the surface of the earth into this Wundertier,* I and Beomia as one being, both man and machine, like a god, flying in the heavens over the battlefield.



* Wonderful or magical beast. From Adolf Ritter von Tutschek’s autobiography, translated and edited by Jason Crouthhamel for “Memoirs of German Pilots in the First World War, Vol.1” from Aeronaut Books.

The description of racing the engine and taking off down the landing field is adapted from Otto Fuch's book Wir Flieger, translated into English as "Flying Fox" by Adam M. Wait. In his narrative, Fuchs is describing his first takeoff in a Roland CII Walfisch.



CAPTION TO THE SCREENSHOT ABOVE

This skin was made by the WOFF team for Walter Kleffel. The problem is, Kleffel is not featured by the Sim. as an ace. So, this skin has never, ever been out for a walk in campaign mode.

The personal marking itself can be found on the Wingnut Wings website and any number of publications. The pilot who used this marking is not known. So the design was used for Kleffel by the skinner, but historically it has nothing to do with him, as far as we now know.

This being the case, I commandeered this skin for my personal use.

The only change I made was to make the clover a pale green, which was suggested as a possibility by the Wingnut Wings folks.

I made a personal skin with this marking for every aircraft used by Berthold’s boys, both as Jasta 15 and 18, as well as the haifisch for Jasta 14. They can be found in my Alternate Skins Mod along with many other personal skins for this Staffel.

The airfield at Harlebecke is from Rob Wiggins’ Consolidated Custom Facilities Mod.

The weather depicted in all these screenshots is from BuckeyeBob’s Optional Clouds Mod. This particular sky is titled, BB Mist and Clouds, Low, in the Mod.









Attached Files A 1st mission aaab screenshot of cockpit.jpgA 1st mission aaaa take off Harlebeke Airfileds mod.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/07/23 03:25 PM.
#4618337 - 01/06/23 06:40 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Really enjoying reading your story..cheers Jerbear.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
#4618388 - 01/07/23 03:17 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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HELLO ADGER - Glad your enjoying.


3

We form up on der Meister* at the head of the V, circle to altitude, tighten our formation and away toward Ypres.

The Staffel is breathtaking in its new red and blue livery. Vater Turck, with his Eisernes Kreuz ribbon flies in the number two position on Berthold’s left while Seppl, crazy for American Indians, with his winged arrows, takes the right. I, as Berthold’s wingman, fly in the number four position behind and above Oblt Turck.

Seppl and I are used to the extremely, and unnecessarily, tight formation flying Berthold requires, but the others are obviously disturbed by it and have problems maintaining their positions. Several times I have to break formation to evade ‘Vater’ who wabbls entirely too close. Squeezing back in is very tricky. der feuerspeinde Berg, (fire spewing mountain/volcano) won’t be pleased when we come home.


* Another reference to Berthold. The Staffelführer was sometimes referred to as der Meister in most air units.



[Linked Image]




As we approach Warneton, first we see some new shell holes near villages and cross roads, gradually the number of shell holes increase and the zig zag outlines of the reserve and communication trenches appear. Finally, the last vestige of green vanishes from the soil, which is now dull gray or yellowish brown, torn by thousands of watery shell holes reflecting the sky.

The sky over Ypres is full of flying dots darting here and there. The Flak is very heavy and we zig zag to avoid it but this is barely necessary as the shooting is very poor. Below, in the milky pea soup, we can see the fires and explosions of the battle.

Over Wieltje Berthold makes a diving attack on a flight of REs. I’m close behind him. Veltjens, Strähle and Klein follow. Weinschenck and Schober stay above with Oblt Turck as there are three triplanes above us.

[Linked Image]





















Attached Files A 1st mission ab  tight formation.jpgA 1st mission ac Berthold attacking REs.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/07/23 04:07 PM.
#4618390 - 01/07/23 03:31 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Suddenly, a lone SPAD comes from nowhere to dive on Klein and I see Strähle go to his aid.

A number of Nieuports can be seen coming on the scene from the west.

Glancing above, I see the triplanes have produced offspring and now there are six of them.

[Linked Image]
















Attached Files A 1st mission ad tripes overhead.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/07/23 03:36 PM.
#4618391 - 01/07/23 03:36 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]

Attached Files A 1st mission ae lone spad vs Klein Bill Hewat RFC 19.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/07/23 03:37 PM.
#4618392 - 01/07/23 03:38 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]



CAPTIONS FOR THE ABOVE THREE SCREENSHOTS

Berthold attacking the REs: This skin for Rudolf Berthold in a new addition to the Alternatives Skin Mod - Off_Alb_DIII_OAW_ace_t_Jasta 18 1917_Rudolf_Berthold – This is a REPLACEMENT for the skin done by James Romano for the WOFF Skin Pack. The basic skin is James’. I have just altered the wings and personal markings.
A new photograph of Berthold’s crashed DIII OAW that has not previously been seen is on page 31 of Lance Bronnenkant’s “The Blue Max Airmen” Volume 4. It shows this variation on Berthold’s winged sword and another variation on his Albatros DIII, which, unfortunately is not used in BHH2.

‘Father’ Turck with the 6 triplanes above

The lone SPAD attacking Klein – the WOFF skin used here is that of Bill Hewat of RFC 19. This Squadron was stationed in the area during the Third Battle of Ypres.









Attached Files A 1st mission af RFC 1 Nieuport23 Cpt Fullard to join in attacked Strahl.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/07/23 03:43 PM.
#4618393 - 01/07/23 03:45 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I remain above der Eiserne as the little silver Nieuports dive in to join the dance. While he continues his attack on one of the REs, I entertain two of these newcomers.

I can see four of the Napoleons (slang for Nieuports) go after Strähle but I can’t assist him, I’m busy with my own two. I’ve lost track of Berthold and his RE.


[Linked Image]


CAPTION: OvStachel’s skin for Paul Strähle’s DIII OAW being attacked by four of the RFC-1 Nieuports.




Attached Files A 1st mission ag Strahl attacked by Napoleon.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/07/23 03:47 PM.
#4618394 - 01/07/23 03:48 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]

Attached Files A 1st mission ah Eber attacked by two N23.jpg
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#4618395 - 01/07/23 03:51 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I drop down into the clouds and manage to shake my silver friends lose. As I climb out of hiding, an RE looms up in front of me. They do not see me.

The usual thrill of excitement runs through me as the crate fills my view. I’m in the moment and think of nothing, everything is done automatically. At this very close range, I press both buttons and my MGs spit at the REs brown underside.

I turn over and dive away as the machine begins to stink (burn). It goes straight down so I believe I’ve killed both Emil and Franz as I intended. This is best. I don’t have any second thoughts about killing them but prefer not to see them burn.



[Linked Image]

Attached Files A 1st mission ai RE8 going down.jpg
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#4618396 - 01/07/23 03:56 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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After the excitement, I feel limp, as if spent in another way.

I fly to Langemarck, where we reform on der Meister. Klein and Strähle do not appear but we’re low on fuel now and over enemy territory so we turn for home. Opportunities present themselves but we cannot oblige them.

I feel quite relaxed on the flight home, all I need to do is watch the interval between myself and the other machines and, of course keep my head turning to scan the air around us. I'm grateful for the silk scarf, as it prevents my neck from chafing with all this turning and twisting about. From long practice, flying itself has now become so much a part of my nature that I fly as automatically as I walk and swim.

Beomia sings to me as me as we make our way back to Harlebecke. You can hear her song, just below the engine noise. An old love song from long, long ago, before there was a Germany or an England or a France, when all roads led to Rome.



[Linked Image]



Attached Files A 1st mission aj going home after RE shot down PR Blanket clouds low.jpg
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#4618437 - 01/08/23 03:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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4


It’s nearly 0930 when Beomia and I touch the ground again. I can see as I come in that the last of the bomb holes have been filled. Strähle and Klein come in a few minutes after the rest of us. They’ve both taken a number of hits on their machines. Berthold too has holes in his wings courtesy of an English Franz.

After everyone has landed, we taxi our machines over to our respective wooden hangar sheds and die Schwarzer Mann* come and grab onto our wings to guide us in..

Seppl’s bursch comes running up as he gets out of his machine, pulled by Bella, Veltjen’s Alsatian, beside herself with joy. [Linked Image]





As we gather around after the flight, der Eiserne informs us that we will take off again as soon as the machines can be serviced and repaired. The men on the ground need us.

He says he saw a machine go down in flames near the rendezvous area at about 1,000 meters and wants to know if anyone else had seen it. Of those who saw it, none can tell whose it was. I make no mention of the RE.

I tell the armorer I don’t want more ammunition; I’m only down one-hundred rounds and I’ve filled my belts carefully. I do not wish it tampered with.

I know from experience that we’ll probably have about three hours before we’re in the air again. So, out of the monkey suit, and then light a cigarette, a quick visit to the Donnerbalken (latrine), a splash of water on the face, a glass of tea with a spot of rum, a brötchen and a rindswurst (a hard roll and a beef sausage). The casing is very strong and gives a satisfying snap as I break it with my teeth. Wonderful. One of the cooks, who is Jewish, makes them. One more cigarette, the last of my Ecksteins, before going back to the flight line with its fuel vapors.

Heinrich is up on a ladder filling the radiator from a water can. Two of the other Schwarzer Mann have just dipped the siphon of a red Allweiler pump into a barrel of fuel that’s been rolled over. The benzine gurgles as it shoots into the tank. I use this time to inspect the most important parts of my bird with Georg.

Paul comes over and tells me that he had a Sopwith lined up over Langemarck but the levers were broken on his guns so that he couldn’t fire. A great pity.

One hole was found on the port side of my fuselage but no other damage. Heinrich and Georg have things well in hand. I leave them to pump benzine and oil. I’ll take a short nap and return to check everything over again.

I’m back on the flight line by twelve, Dieter and I start the motor, listen, sniff, all seems well. George asks, “Do you want to put the monkey suit back on Vize?”**

Berthold calls all the pilots together in front of the machines at 1230. He is particularly elated, not as angry as he usually is before a combat mission. I wonder why?

We will take off at 1300, same route, 3000 meters. The wind has changed and now comes from the west. So much the better for us. The misty conditions below have cleared and there are some large cumulus clouds.

Berthold will lead again, we will be eight: Seppl, Strähle, Weinschenk, Schober, Klein, myself and now Otto (Gerbig), the Alt Adler*** is added. This time we will all take off together in the V formation in which we will fly.

Vater Turck will lead a lower patrol of three machines which will take off after we’re airborne.

Berthold now mentions, in an offhand way, the news that he has been offered command of Jagdgruppe 7, to which we belong. This was the reason for his high spirits. He’s wanted to be Kommandeur of a Gruppe or Geschwader since before Richthofen was given command of his circus. Now he has it and will be coordinating Jastas 24, 31 and the Jasta 36 Blue Noses, as well as ours.

He raises his voice, “Now to your machines you B*&@!#.

Heil und Sieg!”* (Good fortune and victory.}

Paul looks as though he had seen a ghost. Privately he says to me, “HerrGott!****To take off in this way is madness.”

I laugh, “Welcome to Berthold’s Tollhaus (madhouse). This is what he considers to be training. It is useful for saving the time it usually takes to form up, so it does serve a purpose. You are last, hang back a little if you need to. He will not like it but there are worse things than his disfavor…I think.

As with most dogs, the bite is seldom as bad as the bark, even with Eiserne, though he can bite quite hard.”


* Black men – the ground crew personnel, so called because their canvas work clothing was died black.

** Vize – short for Vizefeldwebel, this is like calling a sergeant in the British or American Army Sarge.

*** Old Eagle Otto Gerbig was a pre-war flier.

**** Swabian expression, something like Good God!

Attached Files veltjens and bella.jpg
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#4618476 - 01/09/23 03:14 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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5

The whole airfield is in motion, clattering, roaring, shouting, cursing. On some of the machines the propellers are turning slowly like windmills. On others they’re whipping the air while dust flies and caps swirl through the air.

I adjust myself in the seat, Georg bends over me and fastens the shoulder and body harness. A quick check of the controls. Goggles down…gloves on….ready. The engine starts on the first try.

Berthold raises his hand and leaps onto the field. ‘Vater’ Turck and Seppl begin moving as soon as his tail has cleared the line of planes.

“Clear!”

The answer comes from behind me, “Clear.!”

Now, vollgas! (full throttle) Beomia rushes forward with a loud roar, I see Klein taxiing out to my right. Ahead of me, I see Berthold’s bird detach itself from its shadow. Beomia rocks, hops, then floats. The eight of us are climbing together like a flock of geese, a beautiful site, but so very dangerous, and needlessly so.

We reach the lines at Warneton. Pillars of smoke and dust rise from the Massenkempf (mass struggle) below.

Over the lines there is still much activity in the air. It’s impossible to tell whether they’re friend or foe from any distance. All the formations are circus flying* and we can’t get into a good position to attack.

At the north end of our patrol area, over Westrozebeke we’re attacked by six SPADs. They dive down on us, then use their great speed to climb away before we can react. This is very effective and the clouds hamper our counter maneuvers making it difficult for us to keep track of our opponents.

Eiserne tries furiously to gain enough altitude to take the fight to the SPADs but only makes himself a more conspicuous target. He takes a number of hits on his machine from these diving attacks but is not put out of action. He pulls his Kiste (crate) up like a fish gulping for air and opens fire. Wasting ammunition. Poor tactics for an experienced Kanone.

* maneuvering for advantage with enemy squadron for position and altitude.


[Linked Image]







Attached Files b 2nd mission ab Bert attacked by SPAD.jpg
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#4618478 - 01/09/23 03:21 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Beomia receives several hits to the fuselage and wings as well, I feel every one of them as if they were striking my heart. I can do nothing except stand by to escort der Eiserne home if he’s wounded or his machine seriously damaged, while I try to stay out of the SPADs way myself.

One of the Cockades* latches onto Berthold’s tail and I fire short bursts at him, using tracers, so he can see them, and let him know he won’t be allowed to finish his meal. The range is too great for any real chance of hitting the ‘me Lord’** but he put himself into a spin to get away from it. Good enough.


* A slang name for Entente aircraft and pilots.

** Another slang term for British aircraft and pilots.


[Linked Image]




Attached Files B 2nd mission aba.jpg
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#4618479 - 01/09/23 03:28 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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The ‘Joffre wind’* blows the fight toward Moorslede, where Klein damages a SPAD** who has been too daring so that he was not able to climb out of our reach, forcing him down. The Engländer appears to have been able to land safely enough. That one will live, if the Feldgrau*** are in a good mood.

* wind blowing from France.

*5Greg VanWynegarden believes this was a Lt. Shipwright of No. 19 Squadron.

* Field Gray – slang for the German ground forces, like Americans referring to themselves as G.I.s.


[Linked Image]








Attached Files B 2nd mission ac Klein and Spad.jpg
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[Linked Image]

Attached Files B 2nd mission ad Klein SPAD landing.jpg
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#4618492 - 01/09/23 07:33 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Jerbear,

Some gripping action here and absolutely splendid screenshots! Please keep the action coming.

#4618493 - 01/09/23 08:13 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: Raine]  
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Originally Posted by Raine
Jerbear,

Some gripping action here and absolutely splendid screenshots! Please keep the action coming.



+1 really excellent Jerbear


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
#4618514 - 01/10/23 11:47 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Thanks Raine Man and Adger - I'll keep it comin' as long as people keep lookin', or until something plays out, matter of time you know. I'm not an immortal but I play one in BHHII. This boil had been festering in my head a long time and it was time to lance it an let all the puss out, hopefully a laudable puss though.

6

We’re on the ground again by 1430. Berthold is as elated over Jan Klein’s first success as if it had been his own. Everyone has taken some damage from the fight with the SPADs and two machines are having mechanical problems. Paul complains that his kiste isn’t climbing well enough for him to keep formation. His motor needs to be replaced but there’s no time for that now.

Dieter asks “anything to report Vize?” But Beomia is working splendidly, thanks to his and the rigger’s attentions. “Only a few holes, I don’t think anything vital.” I ask him to have the Sattler* look at the left stirrup on my rudder bar, it may be coming loose.

I had leather stirrups attached for each foot on the rudder bar so I can steer with one leg if wounded, an idea I picked up from Julius Buckler when we were at Jagdstaffelschule together.

I go over Beomia, looking to see where the holes are and pointing them out to Heinrich and Georg to patch. Three in the upper wing, two in the lower, four in the upper fuselage. I pat Beomia’s fuselage “Good girl…our friends will fix you up.”

We don’t put patches painted like cockades on our repaired bullet holes in this Staffel as many do. Berthold doesn’t like the way it looks. So these will be patched with caulk now, then painted over this evening.

The Schwarzer Mann will be busy for some time, readying our birds, so we have an early Abdendbrot** at 1730.

The cooks set out a cold collation, bread, butter, ham, cheese, sausages, pickles. A little wine and beer and some of us drink milk from the little farm the Staffel maintains nearby, so as to remain sharp when there’s a lot of action. Certainly, no heavy drinking is countenanced.

Eiserne, as is his habit after a fight, questions everyone relentlessly. He wants to know where everyone was during the actions of today.

He inquires again about the burning aircraft from the morning, specifically asking me, since I had rejoined the formation from that general direction. I simply replied that I had seen something burning but couldn’t tell what or whose it was.

“Then what were you firing at, the Armorer says you used nearly 200 rounds, were you just wasting ammunition…again?”

Offhandedly I reply, “Jawoll Herr Hauptmann, it is a waste, firing at all the Lords who were trying to climb onto the back of a Kugelfanger*** such as yourself.” I smile, knowing that it looks like an evil leer with this scar.

In his present good humor, he agreed and laughed, then went on to question someone else. But I know he still suspects that I had something to do with the RE.

Jan (Johannes Klein) is much celebrated for his first Luftsieg and he beams, especially when der Meister toasts him, praising his fighting spirit. Even though Klein is a seasoned Jagdfllieger who has been flying at the front since early this year, Eiserne calls him mein Jungtier(my cub) therefore placing some of Klein's glory onto his own person.

Klein is an Offizier-Stellvertreter, Offz, a Deputy Officer, a rank used to provide platoon level leadership without admitting a man into the commissioned ranks. They’re treated as officers in the field but are not entitled to all the privileges of a commissioned officer.

He only arrived at this Staffel from Jasta 29 on the 7th of August.

We’ll go up again this evening with as many machines as are serviceable. In the meantime, I enjoy a pipe in a big arm chair in the Kasino.


*Saddle and harness maker, two of which were assigned to all air units in 1915, this may have been reduced to one at this time.
** Evening meal, usually light. Normally served between 6 and 7 pm.
*** bullet catcher


Last edited by jerbear; 01/10/23 11:58 AM.
#4618515 - 01/10/23 11:48 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]

Paul, in the next chair asks me, “What are you smokeing? Horse Manure?”

Kriegs-Tabak mischung,**It is not that bad.”

Paul is reading in an English newspaper and suddenly gets very excited. There’s an aticle about how to recover from a spin. It’s the perceived wisdom that one cannot recover from a spin with an in-line engine aircraft. But this English pilot is saying that it can be done.
The trick is, that instead of pulling back on the stick, counterintuitively, you push it forward. He can’t wait to try it.

I wish him luck but have no intention of trying it myself until I see it done.

* War tobacco blend, ration pipe tobacco

Attached Files B Kriegs-Tabak.jpg
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#4618548 - 01/11/23 11:56 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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7

We’re in our bluebirds again by 2000 (1900 English time).*1 Eiserne leads. There are seven of us, myself, Seppl, Otto (Gerbig), Weinschenk, Schober and Paul, despite his problems keeping up.

We’ll take the same general route as before. Northwest wind, stratus at about 2500 meters. We will fly high, 5,000 meters, so I have bundled myself up and put on beauty cream.** Though it’s still a nice 20 degrees it will be well below zero at that height.

We take off all together again. I take number three position on Berthold’s right, Seppl is on his left. The wind shifts and a cross wind pushes hard. I come very close to der Eiserne as we lift off the ground. I wish he would tire of this foolishness.

Paul struggles to keep up.

As we fly over the flooded areas, the Flak is very heavy and we’re followed from below by a discharge of ammunition that could have been put to a worthier cause. Berthold leads us through, watching the flashes of the shots, then immediately making an unexpected turn or change in elevation. Very nerve-wracking in this close formation.

He always says “You can get through the heaviest anti-aircraft fire without getting hit. You just have to pay attention and think like the artillery crews who are shooting at you from below.”*** I see at least two pieces of shrapnel rip through Beomia’s wings.

Finally, over Wieltje we see four FEs and approach them. They change formation to their typical defensive circle. A formation of ten to a dozen single seaters are now seen above them and we retire. There will be no attack. Even der Eiserne isn’t rash enough for such a roll of the dice. The only action here is long range observer fire from the Gitterschwanz**** directed at poor struggling Strähle .


[Linked Image]



* German time is one hour ahead of the time used by the Entente forces at this time, so 10 pm. The times used will be the same from 18 Sep to 5 Oct 1917, then back to an hour ahead on 6 October 1917. This is due to a different system for daylight savings time which was introduced in 1916 by Germany to limit conserve energy and provide more daylight hours. The Allied countries followed adopting the same policy shortly thereafter.

**anti-frost ointment, “Memoirs of German Pilots in the First World War, Volume 1,” Adolf Ritter von Tutschek, translated by Jason Crouthamel. Any grease would work just as well.

***Adapted from description written by Adolf Ritter von Tutschek in his memoir. “Memoirs of German Pilots in the First World War, Volume 1,” translated by Jason Crouthamel.

**** Lattice tail; term used for the pusher type aircraft. Gitterrumpf was also used, meaning lattice hull.





Attached Files C 3rd mission ab Strahl and FEs.jpg
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We fly home as the sun sets. Beomia sings to me again. Ancient, half remembered songs and chants. I reach out and pat her side, as one would a horse, and sing with her.


[Linked Image]







Attached Files C 3rd mission ac casca sunset.jpg
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8

It’s 2130 when we land, then while we wait for Paul to make it back on his last drop of fuel, der Eiserne tersely orders “you B@$t@&ds” to be ready to take off by 0700 and stalks off. The elation of the earlier part of the day is gone. It’s obvious that he’s exhausted and in pain, and then when we weren’t able to sink our teeth into the FEs It must have put his nose severely out of joint.

I change into an old set of Drillichanzug* and go out to the hangars. Gerbig and I are often mistaken for mechanics by new arrivals.

We pilots all spend much of rest of the evening refilling our ammunition belts. Most of my ammunition use was from my right gun, which is my aiming gun. I put incendiaries only in this gun, every fourth round. I also partially break down my MGs to clean and oil them as much as possible myself, as is always my custom, leaving them in place so as not to change their sighting. The left MG is set to converge with the aiming gun at 50 meters.

Seppl, obsessed with engines, is pestering poor Gefr. Johann Rief, his fitter and the Hermann Magot who is acting as Werkmeister** about some point of fine tuning. Otto (Gerbig) joins in the discussion, wearing his greasy white work coveralls.

Eiserne comes in to refill his ammunition as well, despite the paperwork war he still has to fight for our Staffel and now the other three Staffels of the Gruppe as well. He expects a great deal of his pilots but nothing that he doesn’t do himself.

He’s very critical of Paul (Strähle) for his straggling and for the broken levers of his MGs, not taking any excuses and takes a bite out of me for trying to “ram” him during our takeoff. “If you want to get rid of me you will have to find a better method you Scherge.”***

He even manages to dampen the spirits of his favorite, our usually good-humored Rheinlander. Still Seppl worships the man.

Thankfully he doesn’t stay long. I help Heinrich and Georg until about 2300 before collapsing on my bed with my clothing still on. I’m tired, but I always dread the night.

*Technical or Engineering officer which can be filled by either an officer on an NCO.
** Drill suit, a prewar work uniform used for drill and working gear made of white canvas.
*** Thug

Attached Files strahle landing late.jpg
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#4618611 - 01/12/23 12:20 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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9

The sirens go off sometime during the night and some bombs evidently fall nearby. I don’t bother to get out of bed.

I often dream of dead comrades, lovers, faithful animals and of the blood and pain and fear I’ve experienced, with the associated guilt, all through these centuries. Waking up in a sweat, to pace about the room for a while, have a little of my remaining Martell (cognac). which helps me manage to eventually achieve a light sleep again, if I’m lucky.

Tonight is different. I dream of the future. I dream of Paul Strähle, but not the one I saw and spoke to today. This is Paul as an old man and I am interviewing him to record his memories, including a detailed description of the personality of many of the members of the Jagdstaffeln in which he served.

He is sitting in his den with the rudder of a French Nieuport 17 behind him, the one which now hangs in the Kasino. He speaks a great deal about Rudolf Berhold, whom he called his old boss and der Eiserne der deutschen Jagdflieger.

“He flew from the beginning of the war, almost to the end, won the Blauer Max, brought down forty-four of the enemy, crashed and was shot down many times and still flew, even with a paralyzed arm.”

Then this old Herr Strähle says, “You know, Felix has returned to Germany.”

“Felix?” I ask.

“Yes…Felix…Carl Eber, Berthold’s Scherge…der Gangster.



[Linked Image]



Attached Files Strahl a.jpg
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#4618612 - 01/12/23 12:23 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“I don’t know very much about him. I did not know he survived the war.”

“Oh yes, he survived, he always survived. That is why his Spitzname* was Glücklicher Felix. He was always the lucky one. He was a bit of a legend among us. He should have died many times.”

“What about him? He was Berthold’s wingman most of the time, wasn’t he?”

“Yes, he was with der Eiserne in FA23, then followed him to Jasta 14, 18 and 15, all through the war. Berthold always wanted him with him when he flew a mission. He believed Felix’s luck multiplied his own. It was on one of the flights Felix could not go on that Berthold crashed and was so badly hurt that last time.”

“So, he left the country after the war?"

“Not right away, he followed Berthold when he started the Eiserne Schar Bertold ** after the war and was with him in 1920 at the end.”

Then he leaned forward and said in a low voice, “After that he was involved with Seppl, you know.”

“Veltjens?”

“Yes…in the arms trade. He vanished sometime in the 1930s, then reappeared in the 1950s. He came to the last meeting of the ‘Alt Adler.’*** I have spoken to him several times in this past year. He cannot be reached by telephone. If he calls it is from a different place each time. He is like that. I have an address he has mail sent to, if you want to try to contact him. He is very secretive and does not like attention. But I think he will talk to you if you tell him you want to know about Berthold. He was a good comrade but a little, shall we say, shady, that’s why Berthold called him mein Scherge. He can seem a little strange sometimes.”

“If I hear from him in the meanwhile, I will speak to him about you.”

“Perhaps, also, send him the Sanke card you showed me of Berthold and one of his dogs. He always had a great fondness for the dogs we all had about us in the Staffeln.

* nickname, Lucky Felix, earned early in Eber’s flying career as a two-seater pilot in FA23 along with Berthold. This is rather like saying lucky guy. The meaning of the name Felix is lucky.

*** Iron Troop Berthold

*** Gemeinschaft der Alten Adler – Society of the Old Eagles - an association WW1 and pre-war aviators


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[Linked Image]





Paul dissolved and the dream then shifted to another time and place; I’m walking into the Aviation Hall of the Duetches Museum in Munich. I see an elderly man with his back to me, looking at the display of the red Fokker triplane. The man is about medium height, probably he was once a bit taller but now he is stooped. He is wearing an old, ill-fitting gray suit which looks as if the owner whom it had once fit had shrunk, with a hat of the same color, in the style of the 1930s and 40s. He is carrying a cane, which I never see him actually use, in one hand. He has a photo album in the other hand.

Certain that this is my man, although there are no known photographs of him, I approach him. “Herr Eber?”

He turns toward me, greeting me in the Bavarian fashion, “grüss gott.” He does not look like the ninety-three-year-old man I was expecting. He is supposed to have been born in 1883.

Although his face is weather beaten, scarred and deeply tanned, it does not have the wrinkles and spots of an elderly man. Neither is there any of that rheumyness in his eyes which comes with age.

His nose is prominent and has been broken many times. A large, very old scar which runs along his right cheek and cuts across his upper lip giving him an amused, and slightly sinister appearance and there is something unsettling about the gray-blue eyes behind his spectacles.

His close-cropped hair is gray, as is the short beard. This, with his spectacles, and of course, his dress, are the only things that hint at any great age. Perhaps the little information that exists on him is wrong and he’s younger. But he would still have to be at least in his late seventies.

Grüss gott, Herr Eber.” He puts the cane in the crook of his arm and we shake hands. His grip is firm, and again, although tanned, with knuckles that are very much scarred, his hand, like his face, does not have the look of an old man’s hand.

“Thank you for meeting with me.”

“It is no problem, Paul spoke well of you, I am happy to help you with your project. The birdmen of the war should be remembered.”

His accent is strange, but then there were many old dialects and accents that have disappeared over the last seventy years and he’s been away for some decades.

He turns back to the triplane. “I like to see the old crates now and again. I did not like the DR1, I never liked rotaries. Some of the boys liked them, it was good in a climb but this is an acrobat’s plane and I was never an acrobat.”

“I liked the Albatros and Pfalz, even if it was a bit slow, and of course, the DVII. Despite its reputation and quirks, I liked the Walfisch* as well.” We stroll over to the Rumpler, then to the Fokker DVII display.

He speaks about the various faults and merits of the different types he flew. I simply listen, only asking a few questions from time to time, as is my usual method during the first part of an interview. It’s unfortunate that he refused to allow me to record any of this and walking around while trying to take notes is not an option. The technical aspects of the aircraft were never of a great deal of interest to me but my friend Peter would have been very much interested in what he has to say.

“The old Kahnen (barges) were dangerous, I would not go up in such a thing now, but it was such a relief to be up in the clean air after the trenches with their mud, rats, and lice. We had all the advantages of the Etappenschweine**. One had a roof over one’s head, a bed instead of mudhole to sleep in, plenty of food and Flliegerwetter.***”

“In 1915, when I started flying, it was Spazierenfliegen. **** One got shot at from time to time and there was the Flak, but that was no problem. Then the Baguettes (the French) began to put machine guns on their maschinen and all that changed.”

“Flying was a joy most of the time, no matter the machine, but when I flew the Walfisch, that was when I first formed a personal bond with the machine. I no longer had the feeling I was sitting in a Flugzeug and steering it, but it was as if there were an understanding between us. It is like the bond between a horse and rider if you do not just let yourself be carried by your mount but try to communicate your wishes and so completely merge with the horse that it immediately feels what its’ rider wants. Both have full understanding and trust in each other, they are moved by one will.”

After strolling about and looking at a few other displays, Herr Eber suggests we go to the small coffee shop in the museum and have some coffee and Kuchen (cake).

* Roland CII

** reserve-lines hogs

*** Pilot’s weather – weather too bad for flying – usually time off and sleeping in

***** pedestrian flying


Attached Files z Deuches Museum.jpg
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[Linked Image]
The Fokker Dr1 display at the Duetches Museum as it appeared when I visited there as an American service member in the 1970s.



At the table, I take the note pad from my briefcase. He produces a silver flask out of his inside coat pocket and pours a small amount of whiskey into his coffee. He then offers it to me. “Warum nicht?” (why not?) I put a few drops in mine as well. We then raise our cups, “prost.”

The first thing he tells me is very surprising. He says that he has read my articles in the Cross and Cockade and the Cross and Cockade International as well as those of some of my friends. When I contacted him, he knew immediately who I was and had been looking forward to meeting me. Of course, he has also spoken to Herr Strähle about me in a later phone call as well.

Having finished his Kuchen, he lights an R6 cigarette with a gold plated lighter covered with small fleur de lis. There is no restriction on smoking in a restaurant in the 1980s. He offers me one of the cigarettes, which I refused, and he lays the cigarettes and lighter on the table.

He notices me looking at the lighter and says, “Legion Estrangere.” Though I’m curious I don’t inquire further as it may prove to be a diversion from the purpose of our meeting.

He shows me his photographs and I make notes on what he says about them. There were about thirty of them, most of which are duplicates of others I have seen and copied. What is most valuable about them are his notations on the back of these, places, dates, the occasion, names, serial numbers, colors, even the names of the dogs in the pictures. They are as detailed as I would have made them…strange.



Attached Files z Deutches Museum Munich (2).jpg
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The first photo is of a lineup of the Albatros DIII OAW of Jagdstaffel 18. The first Albatros is a familiar one, often seen in pictures of Jastas 15 and 18. It bore a horse shoe and clover leaf painted on its side. The pilot of this aircraft, up to this point, has never been identified. This was the personal marking used by Felix. Herr Strähle had not mentioned this when I showed photographs of aircraft with this marking to him.

This photograph keeps drawing my attention. It’s if there’s something I’m supposed to remember about it and it’s just on the edge of my mind, but I cannot grasp it.

The notations on the back indicated that the photograph was taken on August 16th 1917 at Harlebecke.


I WILL NOT BE POSTING TOMORROW. I WILL RESUME ON SATURDAY

[Linked Image]

Attached Files sepia.jpg
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10

Freitag, 17 August 1917

Bart comes through, pounding on the doors of all the NCO’s. We have no Burschen as the officers do, so Berthold sends Bart down to wake us up.

I drift off again and Paul is speaking to me about der Eiserne. Then he looks at me and says “Guadn moing Spezi!”* Awake now I see that it's Bart sticking his ugly head in the door to make sure I’m getting up.

No nice cup of tea and a pitcher of hot water for us. We do for ourselves. I prefer it this way, one can become too soft.

I use my German safety razor , with cold water because I’m too lazy to go fetch hot. The case has a picture of our Kaiser and Gott strafe England (God punish England) emblazoned across the front. I may have to go back to the straight razor soon because it’s difficult to get the blades now.

I have an American Gillette, but the blades needed are different from the German made ones. Occasionally I‘ve gotten some Gillette blades, perhaps next time I’m out shopping for the Offizier zbV I’ll use backdoor methods to see what I can find.


[Linked Image]




There are Kartoffelpfannkuchen (potato pancakes), scrambled eggs and Bratwurst for breakfast, along with real coffee, thanks to my recent foraging operations. I try to eat sparingly since we will be going up in less than an hour. But it's so very good. What would I be eating if I were still an Frontswein?** I don't wish to think about it.

We’re introduced to two new members of our band, Oblt Harald Auffarth and Ltn Siegfried Keller, fresh from Jagdstaffelschule.

Auffarth seems a serious fellow, he looks older than his twenty-one years. He was an observer in FAA 266 and wears the Eisernes Kreuz erster Klass on his tunic along with his observer’s badge. Neither of them wears the pilot’s badge as it now requires 40 combat flights.

Keller is younger, perhaps twenty. Der Eiserne personally selected them from the latest hatchlings from Valenciennes. He says he can smell a good fighter pilot and his instincts are usually right.

Lack of sleep is starting to take its toll, I linger awhile over my coffee and one of my Turkish cigarettes, losing myself in a revery about many such mornings, mornings before battle. Berthold sits at the end of the table, smoking a cigar and looking at some papers. Paul sits across from me.

I notice with a start that Berthold and Paul are both staring at me. I was muttering to myself and I don’t know what language I was speaking. Probably Latin or Old Saxon, those are the languages in which most of my thoughts are framed. They say nothing as I rise from the table and leave. They probably think little of it, everyone has their odd ticks after they’ve been at the front awhile and both are aware that I speak a number of languages.

* good morning, sweetheart in Bavarian dialect. Spezi is the form for males, Spaztl when addressing a female.

**Frontswein (front swein or hog) a front line soldier usually those with the will to fight somewhat ironic as opposed to Etappenswein (rear swein or hog).

Attached Files Razor.jpg
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#4618714 - 01/14/23 12:07 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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During the night, the English have been bombing in the area. The ones who attacked us missed the airfield entirely. They or the French set fire to the railway station at Kortemarck, east of Dixmude. They’re reported to be out again this morning. It is these we will be hunting.

No clouds, wind Northwest. It’s expected to be 22 degrees today (Celsius, about 72 Fahrenheit). With such good weather we can expect lively aerial activity over the front.

There will be nine of us, Oblts Berthold and Jahns, Ltns Veltjens, Weinschenk, Schober, and Strähle, Otto Gerbig, myself and Jan Klein.

Vater Turck will take the Hasen on a tour of the area to familiarize them with the landmarks and evaluate their flying skills
.
We take off singly this morning at ten minutes after seven.

Oblt Jahns turns back with mechanical problems almost immediately.

We see the black dots of anti-aircraft bursts as we circle to gain altitude. Der Meister leads us toward the nearest of these groups of black smudges, in the direction of Menen. Poor Paul can’t keep up again and eventually falls out of the formation.

East of Menen three REs are returning home through the shrapnel bursts 1,000 meters below us. Berthold, Veltjens and Klein dive on them head on and I follow der Eiserne in a wild Affenfahrt,* Beomia screaming through her wires like a Valkyrae.

The REs aren’t able to lift their noses enough to fire on their attackers but our red beaked Albatrosn receive warm greetings from Herr Franz as we flash below them. Berthold and one of the Britishers almost collide in the fighting after the initial attack. All three of our intended victims manage to dive away, and so we reform.

* Monkey ride, a high speed dive or chase

[Linked Image]





Attached Files D 17th cb 1st mission.jpg
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Nearer the lines two Sopwith Triplanes can be seen against the pockmarked landscape at low altitude, doubtless returning home after a fight. We have the advantages of height, numbers, the wind is more in our favor and they’re still within our territory, leichte beute .(easy meat) As we attack, they turn and climb to meet us. We’re surprised to find these are some of the tripes mounting two MGs. These boys in blue* are skilled and aggressive frontfliegern and our kisten (crates) are no match for theirs. I smell the castor oil as a brown blur flashes by me, then uses the superior lift of his three wings and powerful rotary to rise out of my reach as if he were on a lift. They put holes in most of us, then simply leave. There is no way for us to catch them.

* slang term for RNAS pilots.


[Linked Image]



Sop tripe 2 gun RNAS-1 generic wingman skin Off_Sopwith_Tripe_2G-t-RNAS-1 1917.



.

Attached Files D 17th cc Sop trip RNAS1 2 gun.jpg
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Attached Files D 17th cd Sop trip RNAS1 2 gun b.jpg
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Eiserne is boiling mad when we touch the grass at 0830 and curses us all, saying it was the worst performance he has ever seen. “Each of you is no more than a Depp,* not good enough to ein Blumentopf gewinnen.* He, of course, has done no better than the rest of us, which is what he is actually angry about.

* derogatory term referring to ineptitude or lack of intelligence

* win a flowerpot i.e. a consolation prize

Attached Files D 17th ce Sop trip RNAS1 2 gun climbing away.jpgD 17th cf ground view.jpg
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#4618735 - 01/14/23 08:21 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Great stuff Jerbear I'm sure some will find it fine for a morning coffee story.


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
#4618756 - 01/15/23 11:49 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Hello Pol, glad your enjoying. Actually having my coffee while I'm posting. It's 5:45 here.

11

Pairs of us take our birds up again in turns between flights to either fire at practice targets on the ground or do mock combat with one another. In this way only two aircraft are unavailable for any emergency that may arise.

Usually the more experienced are paired with the less so. The hasen will have three of these practice sessions to one for us alt hasen. This was Berthold’s training method in Jasta 14. He takes his turn with this as with everything else. I pity the poor fool that gets paired with that aggressive B@$!^*d.

This morning it is Runge and Auffarth. We stand around smoking and watching them attack each other.




[Linked Image]




Paul tells us that, after he dropped out, he fired on a group of two-seaters but had no success. His motor was just not good enough to keep up the pursuit. He received a hole in his tail section for his trouble. Privately, he later told me that his guns jammed again.

This would be a serious problem if der Eiserne were to learn of it. He will accept jammed guns once, maybe twice, but after the third time the offender is out of the Staffel and he’ll try to see to it that the pilot is out of the air service altogether.

This is unlikely with Paul, since he has seven Luftsieg to his credit and has, only this month, received the Hohenzollern, the ribbon of which he wears on his tunic at this moment. But certainly, der feuerspeinde Berg, (the volcano) would make his life as miserable as possible.

I suggested that, since we are, after all, taking such great care with our ammunition, it has to be his guns. He should request they be replaced as they’re probably just worn out.

Strähle and I have become surprisingly fast friends, despite the difference in rank, in the short time since I ‘ve come to the Staffel. He’s a Swabian from Schorndorff in Württemberg, a town in which I’ve spent a certain amount of time in the last few decades or so. Of course he would have been a small child at that time and I have to lie about the date. But there is no one particular thing that we have in common.

It’s a strange thing about the people you meet when you’ve lived as long as I have. There seem to be only a certain number of basic types and almost without exception, people fit into one of these categories. It’s only in the details and their circumstances that they differ. I’m seldom wrong in my judgment.

It often seems as though I meet the same people over and over again, men and women. I feel I know them when I see them for the first time. There’s a sort of mutual Deja vu. This was how it was with Paul and I.

After Beomia was painted blue and red, I helped Paul and his ground crew to finish up his own. It was at my suggestion he overpainted his battle ax personal marking, moving it and giving it the curved handle. This was the design I favored for my throwing axes when I lived and fought with the Sahson* so long ago.

When we were done, I took a picture of Paul and the Brüder mit öligen Fingern (Oily fingered brethren) who were helping him with the painting in front of his beautiful red beaked bluebird.


*Saxon, rendered in ‘Old Saxon.

Attached Files Ea training Runge and unknown.jpg
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#4618792 - 01/16/23 12:20 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[12


1i]Vater[/i] Turck leads this flight, der Eiserne has other matters he must attend to.

As Kommandeur of the Jagdgruppe, as soon as Berthold returns from a flight, he has to be in his office, fighting the paperwork war. At times he must go directly to the Staffel or Headquarters with which he's having a problem to settle the matter in person. Even without his constant pain he would be under severe strain.

Runge and Paul are finished with their training exercise in time to have their machines ready, so we are Nine in the, Vater Turck, Seppl, Paul, Weinschenk, Jan, Runge, Otto, Keller and myself, flying Jahn's machine with the Hakenkreuz insignia, another good luck symbol.


[Linked Image]


j Jahns is not featured as an ace by WOFF. For his skin I used a Personal skin from my Mod; off_Ald_DIII_OAW_ace_t_Jasta 18 1917_Personal_Hakenkreuz





The wind is from the southwest, cumulus clouds are developing but it’s still clear in our area.

As we leave the ground at 1140 we look like a string of brightly colored beads, taking off singly but forming up in the tight formation [b]der Eiserne[/b] requires. Vater will catch hell otherwise.

There are bombers over Kortrijk (Courtrai) but they're too high for us to reach.

There’s much less Flak over Ypres this time and less air activity. We pursue a lone SPAD in the direction of Ypres but our birds are no match for the speed of its 150 horse power V8.

Paul and Runge only managed to throw away a few of their bullets at it. They’ll hear about that from der Eiserne, I have no doubt.



Attached Files E aa Jahns Hakenkreuz.jpg
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We happen upon an RE artillery observation machine over Bellevandesee at 3,000 meters and attack with little result.






[Linked Image]

Attached Files E b RE8 running.jpg
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] We all land at Harlebeke at 1305.

There’s time for two more pairs to practice air fighting and target shooting before the next combat flight. Berthold comes out to watch the Oberleutnants Auffarth and Vater Turck. When they land, he has complementary things to say to Auffarth but says nothing to Vater.

After looking over Beomia with Georg and Heinrich, I pat her and tell her I will see her again this evening. I should exercise, but I simply have to sleep. It’s easier for me to rest during the day, when there’s activity around me. Nothing haunts me as it does in the quiet of the night. I’m completely unconscious for nearly two hours and wake
up much better for the rest.

Abendbrot is at 1730. I eat very little and drink only milk to avoid the discomfort and possible problems a full stomach can produce in the air. Berhold is particularly charming to the new birds, his medication must be working well.

We are to be ready to fly again at 1900. This time der Eiserne will lead..

Attached Files EC.jpg
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13


Available for this flight are der Eiserne, Oblt Turck, Ltns Veltjens, Schober, Wienschenk, Klein, Offz Gerbig, myself and our newest members Oblt Auffarth and Ltn Keller, taking their first combat flight as a Jagdflieger. They’re to stay out of any fighting, and Vater Turck will watch over our häschen,or as der Eiserne says in his Franconian dialect, Hosn.

Berthold is worked up and angry now, and as usual cursing at everyone and everything. “Remember that accomplishment is born only out of inner joy! God is with us, trust in him! It is sweet and honorable to die for the fatherland!” And more of his, sometimes inane, exhortations. He really is quite worked up this evening. He hasn’t added to his tally in some time, perhaps this is eating at him, or it’s the drugs.*

Strong southwest wind that shifts around quite a bit, we will take off singly rather than as a group because of the shifting wind. Stratus clouds at 3,000 meters and hazy.

We’re in the air at 1930 and forming up.


* Berthold was in constant pain at this point from his frequent crashes and wounds. It has been said that he was being given morphine and that was the cause of his towering rages over a nothing and then in the next instant, ecstatic over something equally trivial. It was actually cocaine that he was using.
He became more and more unpredictable as time went on, one never knew whether he would find him elated or encounter an outburst of temper and fits of loud swearing. The men respected him still but it was much harder for them to love him.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files F 17th ca 3rd mission of the day Houthult wood a.jpg
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North of Houthulst Wood, a group of REs are harassing our forward positions, protected by a half dozen Napoleons (Nieuports). I and the others occupy the Napoleons while der Eiserne attacks the REs, Schober and Klein with him. Their only achievement is to receive a number of holes in their machines. But the REs did leave the infantry alone and go home. This is the most important thing.




[Linked Image]

Attached Files F 17th cb 3rd mission Shober Bert vs RE8.jpg
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Near Staden der Meister allows Paul and Seppl to drop out of the formation to attack five SPADs below us. Then we were surprised by another ten to twelve single seaters who came down on us from above, Nieuports and Nauticals.*

Paul becomes involved in a single combat with an Englishman who is so good that he believes himself engaged with Captain Bishop, the English Richthofen.

Realizing he was outmatched; Paul tries his spin. He goes down vertically at full throttle to escape the Englishman’s accurate fire.

Seppl sees him going down and thinks he has been hit, The machine is going end over end, completely out of control.


* another slang term for the RNAS triplanes.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files F 17th cd Strahl and the Spad.jpg
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[Linked Image]





It’s nearly 2300 when we land with our last drop of fuel. Seppl reports seeing Paul go down and believes him shot down. But no more than ten minutes later we hear an Albatros sputtering, running on fuel vapor, coming straight in without circling the field.

His machine comes to a stop halfway down the field and everyone who has legs run to the scene, thinking he’s injured, but he jumps out laughing, hopping up and down and yelling, telling us that he has “performed the first trudeln* in an Albatros.”

He tells us “I must have been going 265 kilometers per hour!** I thought the wings would break off! All controls were completely slack! I pushed the stick to the right and forward, and my bird came out! It came right out of the spin, completely undamaged!”

“The SPAD pursued me again at once when he saw me recover, but I was too far ahead and it was getting dark, he gave up.”

We go to the hangars to refill our ammunition, discuss our machines and MGs with the Schwarzer Mann and the armorer.



* spin

** 165 mph. According to the editors of Cross and Cockade Vol 11 Number 4 the speed of 165 mph would have to be incorrect, although it was probably his perception that he was going at greater speed than he was. In a spin the aircraft is stalled and the speed will not build up above the stalling speed. The fact that the controls were slack confirms that the aircraft was indeed in a spin and not in a spiral dive.


Attached Files Fd paul landing again.jpg
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#4618902 - 01/18/23 11:44 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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14

In the Kasino this evening, everyone is excited and talking endlessly about Paul’s spin. They cannot wait to attempt it themselves. Berthold is particularly interested in it as it’s a new tactic. He questions Paul intensely and asks to see the article about it. He’ll write up a report to Kofl 4.* for distribution throughout the air service. A new tactic, originating from his Jagdgruppe will be quite a feather in his already heavily plumed cap. He’ll try it himself before he sends the report, of course.

I tease Paul, calling him Herr schwindelig** but I’m very pleased for him. He took a tremendous chance with his life and came out the winner…this time.

I sit in an armchair with a colorful floral pattern and have a pipe, half listening to the same record playing over and over on the gramophone, while reading the Kregszeitung der 4. Armee*** It’s full of articles on our duty to sacrifice ourselves for the Heimat**** and how God’s fondest wish is that Germany wins this war against the perfidious French and British and the uncivilized Russians.


* Kommandeur der Fliegertuppe 4. Armee

** Mr dizzy

*** 4th Army newspaper

***** Heimat – literally, home town, used to refer to the home front. More familiar than saying the Fatherland. It means the people you want to protect, parents, wives, children, your own home town.

[Linked Image]

Attached Files newspaper 4th army.jpg
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#4618903 - 01/18/23 11:50 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Evidently the Kaiser and God have a very special and intimate relationship. Jehovah is the god of the Germans it seems and he will continue to prefer a German victory as long as front soldiers as well as civilians at home display the prescribed faith and piety.

We are instructed that, although hatred is not pleasing to God, heiliger Hass (holy hatred) of the enemy is perfectly justified in his eyes.

There are some tips for the men in the trenches and a few cartoons, the relevance of which I don’t fully understand or care about. The paper will be good for cleaning glass or soaking up oil, or perhaps packing material and is always good for starting a fire.

Der Kregszeitung, is quite wrong, no God cares who wins any war. War is, in fact, the real god men worship. On the one hand, war is really just organized murder for the profit, vanity and glory of those who rule. On the other, it entertains the gods and bloats Mars on the blood of its sacrificial victims. He must be truly drunk on blood by now, what a feast the last few years have been for him.

It’s always been the fate of humanity that the son cannot draw on his father’s experience. He has to gather his own experiences, and so he must suffer in person all the disillusionments and heartbreaks, all the injuries and losses. He is acquainted with only his own contemporary affairs; of the past he knows but little, of the future nothing.

And so, I have seen generation after generation go to war. They all believe they will win and they all, individually believe they will survive no matter how many others perish.

Optimists believe in progress. I wish they were right, but since the beginning of the world there have always been wars. As the technology improves, each war assumes more horrible form and as the world is more thickly populated than in olden times, Mars demands a larger number of victims.

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#4618956 - 01/19/23 11:15 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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15

Vater, in his dashing Hussar uniform, comes in with his shaggy black Newfoundland, Max.* The dog comes over to me and sniffs in his usual proper and dignified manner to see if I have something for him. I always do. He takes his Brötchen gingerly in his teeth and goes off to a corner with it.

Keller is quiet among us alte hasen,** but Auffarth, due to his rank and experience is more comfortable. He makes an effort to treat us NCO pilots as equals, but it doesn’t come off well. This is the custom in most Staffels and Berthold’s policy is that all the pilots are equals no matter what their rank.

In actual practice this is the case on the flight line and in the air, but in all other matters, rank and military discipline is adhered to. We may be on a first name basis in the Kasino but there is always a certain restraint. Outside of the confines of the flight line and Kasino, we are expected to salute and address our officers in the proper manner, and we NCOs, of course, do not have the same privileges as the officers.

In my opinion, it would be better to maintain a separate Kasino for the non-commissioned pilots or allow them to use the one provided for the other NCOs, though they wouldn’t quite fit in there either.

I have found that; even if the officers overlook the existing differences in rank, the NCOs have difficulty getting over their social insecurity and lesser education. In a Jagdstaffel, the NCOs are usually heavily outnumbered by the commissioned officers and this causes them to have difficulty being themselves. They would feel freer and more at ease if they were left to themselves and not drawn into relations, which, instead of offering then relaxation, imposes unaccustomed and tedious reserve.

My own difficulty, whether with those of my own rank or above it is to keep from revealing my age, experience and level of knowledge through careless remarks. I’m always acting, no matter what the company I must stay in character. It’s the reason I avoid becoming drunk. For this reason, among others, I often seek the company of animals, rather than my own species, with them I can simply be.

Seppl serves as a welcome and almost indispensable connecting link between the commissioned and non-commissioned pilots. He, like most of the reserve officers came up from the ranks, but is of the middle class. But he has an open, easy good nature, always in high spirits and with an abundance of common sense he eliminates a good deal of the unease and misunderstanding.

I like to think that I contribute to this cause as well, but I also have a rather wide mean streak that I can’t always resist exercising.

As is usual with the new ones, Keller asks most everyone what they think are the best tactics when attacked and what are our preferred methods of attacking the enemy.

When I ask him, Auffarth says he has decided on a symbol for his Albatros and has drawn it out, a very striking Komet (comet) with eight points and three tails. It will look well on the blue fuselage. To me his choice of marking along with his manner, indicates burning ambition. Not unusual in a Jagdflieger, but he’s especially so. May he live long enough to finish painting it.

“Let me know when you are done and I will take a picture of you with your new steed.”


* no specific canine is known to be associated with Truck. This fictitious one is to be part of a story at a later time.

** old hares – expression used for experienced veterans of all branches of service.


[Linked Image]





Attached Files FXA Auffarth NICE.jpg
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#4618957 - 01/19/23 11:32 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I’m thinking of leaving but Paul comes and sits opposite me. He asks me, You’ve been with der Eiserne from the beginning of the war, haven’t you?

“Not from the very beginning, no. But we served together in Feldflieger-Abteilung 23, where I was assigned after Fliegerschule at Liepzig-Lindenthal.”

“I knew Berthold by reputation, he was a big hero and wore der Eisernes Kreuz erser und zweiter Klasse for catching the French sneaking around behind us in 1914. This was much more prestigious at that time than now.”

“I first met him a few days after my arrival, in March, I think, back in 1915. I had been introduced to all the other pilots and observers but he had been away, picking up some new aircraft.”


[Linked Image]
Berthold as an observer in 1916


“I was simply minding my own business when he left his Observer friend, Leutnant Grüner, came rushing up to me and began a rant over some minor infraction of mine. I cannot even remember what it was now. Probably something to do with a cigarette.”

“He did not like the Non-Commissioned fliers because they often had their own ideas about how a mission should be conducted and how much they were willing to risk their necks. That is, in part, why he became a pilot himself…he wanted full control.”

“One expects this sort of tantrum from a Prussian but it surprised me to see this in a Frank. I judged him as a typical martinet, And, he was so foul mouthed! Even in my experience.”

“As you know, I am sure, there is a way of standing at attention, snapping a salute, replying briskly, that is perfectly correct, but unmistakably insolent. I could enrage him to the point of frothing at the mouth.”

“As I stood there, he screamed at me, angry that I was not cowed by him, ‘Do you find me amusing you son of a französische Hure (French wh*re)?!’”

“This was, of course, because of my face as you have probably noticed. It gives me a certain…devilish look, yes.”

“At your orders Herr Leutnant, not at all and with respect, she was not French!”

Paul laughed at this.

I go on, “He was still furious, but let out an enormous guffaw, sending small drops of spittle into my face as he was so close. When he got control of himself again, he said in an ominous tone, “Get out of here Vizefeldwebel.”

“I snapped a very smart salute, which he did not return, so I held it, forcing him to do so, as required by the service. Then, just as smartly, I executed a perfect about face and marched away. To my back he took the predictable, ineffectual last shot.”
“I have my eye on you Vizefeldwebel Schwien.”*

“Of course, in the old days, someone like him could have had me flogged to death, or worse. But, in these more lenient times they do not have so much power, even in war.”

I catch myself and look at Paul. I was speaking as if I had lived during those harsher times. But he doesn’t seem to have noticed anything unusual in the comment.

I continue quickly, “We stayed out of each other’s way for some time after that. Even though the NCO pilots were welcome in the officer’s mess as they are here. I ate with the others of my rank so there was little interaction between us. He was flying the big G-type bombers during most of this time.”


* A play on Eber’s name, which translates as Boar.

Attached Files FZA BERTHOLD AS OBSERVER 1916.jpg
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#4618960 - 01/19/23 11:39 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“Then a situation arose that changed my opinion of him. It was in the late summer of the year 15, not long before he started flying the little Fokkers with Buddecke and Althaus. He had by that time been promoted to [i]Oberleutnant.[/i]”

“There was a series of incidents in which my observers were killed. First, Ltn. Amann was killed when our Aviatik was hit by Flak. We crashed within our own lines. He was killed on impact, but I was thrown out of the aircraft and suffered only severe bruising and a broken nose.”



[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]



I laughed and touched my nose. “One of many, schön, ja.”* (Pretty, yes?)

“Then Ltn. Deitz was chopped up by the propeller of another Kahn (Barge) when it ran up on us during a landing. I suffered no injuries whatever.”

“The Observers began to get the idea that I was verhexen, ein unglücksbringer* and became nervous about being assigned to fly with me and trying to avoid it.

“In a bit of dark humor, one of them started referring to me as glücklicher Felix** and the name stuck, or at least Felix did.”




* jinx or Johah, bad luck bringer

* lucky Felix, rather like saying lucky, the fortunate one



Attached Files FZBA FLAK HIT.jpgFZBB CRASJ.jpg
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#4618961 - 01/19/23 11:45 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“Finally, there was a third incident. Ltn. Schmid was fatally wounded when we were attacked by a Baguette.* I was hit by one bullet only and was able to put the Kahn down in a field near our Feldflieger-Abteilung at Roupy. It was not a serious wound and I recovered quickly.”

* Derogatory slang term for the French


[Linked Image]


“Now they began clamoring for me to be reassigned to the rear area, or anywhere.”

“To my surprise, Berthold stood up for me. He used that foul Franconian mouth of his, ridiculing them, right in front of the Abteilungführer for their ridiculous superstition.”

“So ein Misthaufen!* I will fly with Herr Felix and you will see.”

“So, with Hauptmann Seber’s permission, we embarked on a short Fliegerehe* Franz and Emil for about a month. He continued to fly his own aircraft as well, which was a considerable amount of extra strain for him.”


*what a pile of crap

** Aviator’s marriage




Attached Files FZBC ATTACKED BY NIERUPOT.jpg
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#4618962 - 01/19/23 11:49 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]

“I expressed, before our first flight, that I was grateful, and I was. I was concerned that I might be sent back to the trenches.”

He dismissed it, “Nonsense, the Fatherland needs trained pilots. I will not have a useful pilot wasted because of a bunch of foolishness, not even a Schwein like you. But he did smile.“

“I also have luck. Perhaps we will see who has more.” He always said something similar before each flight. Perhaps it became another superstitious ritual for him.

“We flew about ten missions and worked well together. There was less tension between us, but we, as you would expect, did not become friends.”

“He insisted that I go to the officers Kasino after our flights. After one such flight, he sat opposite me and assessed the flight and our mission. He could be charming when he wished to be.”

“I notice no uncertainty in you as you fly the plane and you follow my instructions. I think you are on good behavior but I can still see what you are capable of.”

I have been packing another pipe and now pause to light and draw on it, “One problem I had with flying with Berthold was that he was less interested in the mission than in getting into a fight. I did not try to curb his enthusiasm. He could get himself killed if he wished and I would be alright.” This statement makes me pause again, I’m tired and not watching what I say as closely as I should, I add, “Of course, I mean I was still young enough to trust that my own luck would hold whatever happened to Berthold.”

Attached Files FZBF AVIATIK.jpg
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#4618963 - 01/19/23 11:54 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“I gave him two real fights and he was crazy enough to enjoy it. Well, I must admit that I enjoyed it as well and we always dropped a few bombs when we went over the lines. We both had time to evaluate the other and developed a certain grudging respect for one another. I believe he thought he had found a kindred spirit.”

“Perhaps he had, but only to a certain extent and without his burning ambition.”

“We did not shoot either of the Frenchmen down, but we put some holes in them. They were not keen for more after that and got away from these crazy Boche as quickly as they could. He is always, as you have seen, in good spirits after a fight.”


[Linked Image]


“Another thing he said to me as we were sitting with drinks after a flight,” “I wonder what sort of criminal you are Felix?”

I replied, “The best sort, of course, Herr Leutnant.”

“He began to call me that, Scherge or der Verbrecher (thug, criminal). This was picked up by others but no one else called me these things to my face.”

“He truly did believe that the reason I did not wish to draw attention to myself was that I had a criminal past or perhaps was involved in such things. He was not that far from wrong really, I think you are already aware that I have some rather shady connections. They come in handy for our supply situation on occasion.”

Attached Files FZC FIGHTING WITH BERTHOLD.jpg
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#4618967 - 01/19/23 12:07 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“Even after this, many of the observers were not keen on flying with me, but they stopped trying to get me transferred. I got a new fellow for my Franz, Ltn. Eduard Edel and we got along splendidly. We were a team, up until around the middle of the Summer of 1916. After we started flying our Roland, we even managed to shoot down a Frenchman, but it was not confirmed.”

“I enjoyed flying the Walfisch. Many did not. Did you ever fly one?”

Paul, “No, I did not. I only spent about two months on Aviatiks with FAA 213 before I went to Jagdlfliegerschule at Cologne.”

“ Just so. The Walfisch required a light touch. It needed to be treated with tenderness and understanding. The mere suggestion of a turn sufficed. If one forced it, the way one must force and guide other, heavier Kisten (crates), then it became stubborn and would do almost the opposite of what one wanted.”


[Linked Image]

“It behaved the same way when landing. While flattening out close above the ground, it suddenly thrust its upper wing before your eyes and denied you any view of the ground, as if it wanted to say to me: I do not need you for this…I can do it all on my own. I was superfluous at that point, because every time it settled gently onto the grass without bouncing.”*

“I was
, eventually, transferred. Hauptmann Palmer sent me to a Flugpark to be sidelined. I spent this time at the aircraft depot at Valenciennes flying replacement aircraft to front line units and returning with worn out or obsolete machines, if they would fly.

The Hauptmann had no problem with my performance and I was not demoted. This would have required some sort of evidence. However, he was suspicious of my “extra” activities. And” I couldn’t resist a sidelong leer at Paul, “my morals were questionable and set a bad example.”

Paul laughs at this. “Yes, You do set a rather bad example for us children…go on.”

“He could prove none of this but it is not necessary for a commanding officer to do so. Nit Wahr.”**

“I was not allowed to see what was in the report, I was simply notified that I was transferred…immediately, with no reason given, as so often happens.”

“It is possible also that the Hauptmann may have had pressure from above.”

“I was often an object of curiosity when I delivered aircraft to front line units. Why was an obviously experienced Visefeldwebel pilot with the Eiserners Kreutz zweiter Klasse and the Friedrich August Medal, in silver,*** on his tunic ferrying aircraft. Probably they thought I was no longer master of my nerves.”

“The whole incident was unnecessary and ludicrous but I did not mind the quiet assignment, though I did hate to leave my Franz. He was killed about a year later. It was a bit of a rest and I met some very usuful people at Valenciennes.”

“Berthold was given command of the Kampfeinsitzer Kommando****at Voux after our short time of flying together, until he crashed a Pfalz Eindecker. Afterward, when he had recovered enough, he took over Jasta 4 and then Jasta 14. He obtained the blauer Vogel *# he wanted so much, along with some more holes in himself and more broken bones.”

“After finding out where I was, der Eiserne was able to have me transferred to Jagdstaffel 14 in September of 1916, despite the bad report in my record. He was attempting to get others from FA 23…Sepple, of course, and other old comrades.”

“He brought two pilots with him when he took command; Leutnant Alfred Lens who took over as Offizier zur besonderen Verwendung**# but would also fly and Margot, who was an Unteroffizier then yet to act as Werkmeister, just as he does here.”
“When I reported to Eiserne for duty, he had the report before him. He opened it, smirked at me, and walked out of the room saying, “I am going to visit the Donnerbalken latrine), you inspire me” leaving me standing at attention.”



* adaptation of Otto Fuchs comments on flying the Roland CII from his book Wir Flieger, translated with commentary by Adam M. Wait and published by Shiffer as “Flying Fox.”

** an abbreviated form of Nicht Wahr, which is loosely, is it not so.

***Saxon award given to enlisted men, Feldwebel and below for meritorious achievements. In this case, 300 combat missions against the enemies of the Fatherland. The medal was given in two grades, Bronze and Silver.

**** fighter detachment

*$ blue bird, slang for the Blue Max, which was itself slang for the Pour le Merite.

**# Special Duties Officer, Ozbv



Attached Files FZG ROLAND.jpg
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#4618968 - 01/19/23 12:13 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“I, of course, read the report. It was quite correct, but all just suspicions.”

“When he came back he outlined my duties in the Staffel.


[Linked Image]

“For me he had several plans. First and foremost, he would train me to be his Flügelmann, (wingman) to watch his back when he attacked. That was my primary function in the air, just as it is in this Staffel.

“On the ground, he instructed me to assist Lens as Ozbv, since he knew I had connections and ‘talents’ that would help him obtain things that were difficult or impossible to obtain through official channels.”

“At the end of my interview, he swept the report onto the floor as he said, “How clumsy of me, would you be so good as to take that rubbish with you and dispose of it?”

As I left he said, “You really are a Schwein, Nit Wahr?’”

“He was still recovering from his crash in April. He had difficulty walking and his eyes watered and hurt. This did nothing to improve his disposition.”

“We were in Lorraine, a quiet sector, which did not please him. But he used the time for very rigorous training of his pilots. He was rather disappointed when he found out that he would have to leave 14 behind and begin training another batch of Dummköpfe.”

Paul says, ‘Why thank you, that is very kind.”

“Well…so that is how I got from there to here. Time for bed mein Junge.

It‘s close to one in the morning before I lay down to try to sleep, wondering what dreams will come. But I have a deep and apparently dreamless sleep, as I am exhausted.

Attached Files FZH J14 DIII.jpg
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#4619037 - 01/20/23 11:57 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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16

Samstag, 18 August 1917




[Linked Image]


Neuer tag.

We take off singly at 0645.

The sky is clear again with a strong southwest wind. It’s already 20 degrees and should get to 23 today (75 degrees Fahrenheit).

Vater Turck, Jahns, Auffarth, Weinschenk, Otto Gerbig and Strähle fly the upper patrol. Seppl leads the lower, with Jan Klein, myself and Keller in tow. I am to watch over the Hase. He is to stick to me like glue.

We begin in the tight formation der Eiserne requires but gradually loosen it up and Vater doesn’t protest.

Attached Files H 18th a MAP.jpg
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[Linked Image]



] We fly to the north of Ypres, toward the ruined Houthulst Forest and Staden. We turn south, in the direction of Passchendaele, then east. Over Moorslede, or at least what the map calls Moorslede, it’s jut a heap of stones and bricks now, one of our aircraft above, which I assume to be Auffarth, detaches itself from our formation and streaks to the southeast, toward home. Vater has sent his hase home.

Now the upper patrol attacks five SE 5s with red markings.*

From below, I see a plane with cockades go down, out of control and, closer to our level, another, I can’t tell whose, dives away from the fight, apparently damaged or with a wounded pilot. It must be one of ours as it turns southeast.

*Historian Russ Gannon has determined that these SE 5s were from A flight, No. 56 Squadron, who had recently been indulged in red markings for their aircraft. These were sometimes referred to by the German pilots as Pups, though they look nothing like them. There were Pups being flown by some Squadrons in the area so possibly Gannon is incorrect.

Attached Files H 18th aa Turck leads loose formation.jpg
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#4619045 - 01/20/23 12:14 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Above, they disengage after about five minutes and reform, going their separate ways.

On our level we see an Artilleriehaschen* and chase him away. We only pursue him long enough to see that he’s really going home. Wisely, he does.

Keller is a good pilot; he mirrors my every move perfectly and keeps his station.

Upon landing, at about 0815, we find Albrecht Weinschenk’s Albatros being pushed toward the hangar by the Schwarzer Mann. Auffarth, who was ordered home when the action began, tells us Albrecht has been wounded in the leg and is being taken away in a Sanka. ** The Sanitätsunteroffizier (medical orderly, usually a Gefreiter) says it appear that the bone was broken.***


* artillery hare, slang for an artillery spotting aircraft.

** acronym for a military ambulance.


***The record is not clear as to whether he rejoins the Staffel. A wound of this type usually requires about two months in a hospital followed by a leave and a period of light duty.**[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Attached Files H 18th ab 1st mission Maxwell vs Weinischenk.jpgH 18th ad 1st mission Strahl vs SE5 guns jamed.jpgH 18th af Gerbig Luftsieg.jpg
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#4619046 - 01/20/23 12:25 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Paul and Otto (Gerbig) attacked the Lord who went down. Paul tells me that his guns jammed again when he was firing at the Pup* at 120 meters and Otto had to finish him off. He has to report this and have those guns replaced, they’re simply useless and will get him killed.

Paul and I, along with several others, go into the Staffel’s office with Otto (Gerbig) to fill out witness forms for his claim. If confirmed, this will be his fifth.

We fill the forms out as a draft in pencil for the Uffz to type up for our signatures.

Ulrich ** looks at the forms when we hand them to him. He says to Otto, “They look alright…but your name goes at the bottom Vize.” He lines Otto’s name out. In his excitement and haste, Otto has put his name in the space that says ‘Namen der Besatzung’ (Name of the Crew). This is where the names of the enemy aircrew are placed, if known. In this case, the name of the pilot killed.**

Otto goes white.

I slap him on the shoulder. “Don’t worry about it Kamerad…it means nothing. Forget it.”

But I could see he would not forget about it.***

* the SE 5 is often referred to by German pilots as a Pup during this time. Strähle, in particular, seems to have this habit.

** Uffz Ulrich Heidenfeld – a fictional character is the Staffel report clerk and telephonist, now the clerk for Jagdgruppe 7 as well, since Berthold has become Gruja (Jagdgruppenführer).

***This is based on the story told by Friedrich Rüdenberg about the death of Werner Voss. It is mentioned on Osprey’s book on Jagdgeschwader 1 on page 55.

#4619119 - 01/21/23 11:20 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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17

2nd mission 18 Aug

There’s little time to rest as we go up with Vater Turck again only two hours later at 1030, flying toward the Polygon Wood.

Nine of us this time, Vater, Jahns, Seppl, Auffarth, Strähle, Keller, Otto, Klein, and myself. No lower patrol.

There's a layer of stratus coming from the enemy lines, moving east driven by a strong westerly gale. We’re thrown about by the strong wind. There are showers under the clouds.

We turn toward Langemarck. As we pass over Ballonzug 2, six Bristol two-seaters pass below us and four other scouts pass about 500 meters above us. Vater does not give the signal to attack but Paul drops down on this own, as we fly on. Keller waggles his wings at me, asking if we should follow, I shake my head no.


[Linked Image]



I see Strähle break off his attack and use his spin technique to get away before the lower scouts decide to pursue him. They do not.

We land back at Harlebeke before noon, Paul comes in ten minutes later. He’s upset that no one followed him but Vater quietly but sternly tells him his reasons, mainly that we could not attack the two-seaters without the scouts above us jumping on our necks and that we had two new pilots with us who were not yet ready for that kind of show. In addition, he ordered him not to attack alone in that manner again.

Attached Files H 18th ag Strahle attacking Bristols.jpg
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#4619121 - 01/21/23 11:31 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We eat a noon meal together.

Paul says that after he spun away, he searched along the front at low level in the rain but saw almost no activity.

The hospital has confirmed that Weinschenk’s leg wound was in the flesh only, but he’ll be out of it for some time.

It rains on and off but it’s my turn so I have to go aloft to play chase with Keller.

He’s painted what he calls a star-burst on his aircraft in gold. It’s pretty when the sun hits it but it’s not quite as visible at a distance as it should be. Eiserne has allowed it though.

I showed him my bag of tricks, then he imitated me, even getting on my tail once.

After we had finished with that, we used about 300 rounds on the ground targets Eiserne had set up, just strips of cloth. I used only my left gun so as not to waste the incendiaries and had Keller use only one gun as well, he uses the incendiaries on both guns.

He used the target to the right side of the field and I used the left. We counted the bullet holes in both of them, about fifty hits in each, not bad, that’s about my average for this type of shooting.


[Linked Image]

This skin: off_Alb_DIII_OAW_ace_t_Jasta 18 1917_Personal_Sunburst is presently in the Alternative Skins Mod. It will be moved to a new mod which contains only Personal Skins when I'm able to post updates. This will be done as soon as the new Pfalz skins are released.


This personal skin was made for a non-ace wingman for my serialized story about Berthold’s fictitious wingman, Carl Eber.

The design is based on a statement by Capt. D.S. Hall of No. 57 Squadron describing a fight with Albatros fighters from Jasta 18. He stated that one of the enemy had a gilt circular marking the shape of a chrysanthemum.

This could be some sort of flower, but since it is guilt, it is probably a sunburst or bursting shell as I have depicted on this skin.


NO POST TOMORROW. I WILL RESUME ON MONDAY 23 JAN.


Attached Files H Keller.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/21/23 11:37 AM.
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18



Berthold leads an evening patrol. The showers are more general and most Staffels would stay on the ground, but for Berthold’s Band der Adlern (Band of Eagles) there is no evening on the ground. He says “It does not rain on the Bluebirds; it rains with the Bluebirds.” It’s part of his idea of training and discipline. But, as in everything else, he is with us, he does what he expects us to do.

The wind is still as strong as earlier in the day and the visibility is poor. I think this patrol is pointless, we will see nothing. I hate flying in the rain, goggles streaming and steaming up, sitting in a wet seat, and the water makes Beomia’s wings heavy.

Paul is not with us; his machine guns are being replaced and he will be adjusting them. His mechanics will also be trying to do something about his motor as well. There are eight of us, der Eiserne, myself, Vater Turck, Auffarth, Keller, Otto Gerbig, Seppl, and Jan Klein. We take off all together at 2000 (1900 English time).

The air is bumpy and the close formation is almost impossible to maintain. We loosen it up on our own initiative, volcano or no volcano.

Three times we see machines at lower altitude and approach them but they all turn out to be our own working machines until we are over Passchendaele. I am surprised when we see three dark shapes whose bright cockades give them away, even in this poor light.

They’re REs. Otto, Sepple and der Eiserne dive on them from the front and receive a good spraying from the English observer’s paint brushes*, as do I as I follow Berthold.

* Slang for the observer’s flexible mount Lewis gun.


[Linked Image]


Attached Files I 18th aj 2nd mission Gerbig attacks.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/23/23 11:25 AM.
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As der Eiserne and I recover from the first attack, I look back and see Otto’s machine going down. I have no doubt that he’s dead. Another offering to Mars.

Was it a coincidence or a demonstration of the power of the human mind and the effect of superstition upon it? I don’t have time to think about that now.




[Linked Image]

Attached Files I 18th ak 2nd mission Gerbig goes down.jpg
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#4619212 - 01/23/23 11:31 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We're able to attack once more before the REs escape but manage only to collect more holes in our machines. Poor Beomia’s wings look like a colander.



[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



Attached Files I 18th am Veltjens and RE.jpgI 18th ah the dogfight RR light rain.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/23/23 11:40 AM.
#4619214 - 01/23/23 11:36 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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It is after 2100 when we taxi up to our wooden hangar sheds
.
I do not go to the Kasino tonight. It’s a cognac and a smoke while I take time to make a few entries in my diary, then straight to bed for me. It will be uncomfortable in the Kasino after Otto going down anyway.

On my way I pass and salute Auffarth as he goes to the hangars in old working clothes to help with the painting of his Komet.

[Linked Image]





Gerbig’s Jasta 18 Albatros DIII OAW. Interesting note about this skin – this is another one of those little glitches in WOFF. In the real world he was posted to Jasta 18 when Berthold took over and he has this skin, but he is not on the roster for this Staffel. His last fight had to be staged with me flying his plane.

The one good thing about this is that it makes this nice skin available as a personal skin.


Attached Files I 18th ag Gerbig RR light rain mention skin but not on roster.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/23/23 11:37 AM.
#4619234 - 01/23/23 06:15 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Brilliant stuff mate, and there’s some fantastic screenshots taken cheers


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
#4619285 - 01/24/23 12:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Thanks Adger - the screenshots are a big part of it. The idea is to make the whole thing something like a graphic novel. The old "picture is worth a thousand words" thing.
Enjoy Jb

19


I don’t dwell on Otto Gerbig’s fate, I’ve seen this happen many times before, men who apparently believe so much that they’ll die that they seem to make it happen. But still tonight, the dead haunt me. Battles in which I have fought, old comrades and their deaths, men I have killed in battle, enemies I have eliminated, fields covered with the dead and wounded after a battle, the stench. I dream of Otto too, although I have no confirmation of his death.






[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]






Attached Files Old battles comrade.jpgold battles comrade death.jpgold battles battle.jpgold battles, men I have killed.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/24/23 12:08 PM.
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[Linked Image]

Attached Files old battles dead b.jpg
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My mind awakens but I can’t move. Terrified, I believe I’ve awakened after being buried again and struggle to move my body but can’t. I try to scream and finally manage it.

I come to myself, sit up and realize that it’s just that my mind has become alert but my body is still deeply asleep again. It happens from time to time when I’m particularly troubled.


[Linked Image]

The clock tells me it’s too close to wakeup call so I don’t go back to bed. Instead, I get my lazy @#$ up, go downstairs and get a pale of hot water for a Huren baden and a decent shave.

When Bart comes by and sticks his ugly head in. In his garbled rural Bavarian he says something like, “Hallo Schatz. You look beautiful today.”

I return, “Morgen Zaubermaus.”*

Der Meister received a call on the blower last night. Gerbig is confirmed dead.”

I simply grunt and he withdraws.

At breakfast there are further details about Otto. His machine made a crash landing near the ground observer’s post. He was shot in the lungs.

Eiserne sent a truck with a detail to retrieve the body. It’s being embalmed at one of the hospitals in Kortrijk. We are to have a short service for him tomorrow at Saint Joesph’s Church before his coffin is sent home.

* magic mouse – an endearment

Attached Files HAND FROM GRAVE.jpg
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20

Sonntag, 19 August 1917

We get a late start because of heavy fog. This allows Keller and the others who wish to do so to attend and early Mass. We’re not airborne until 0915. It’s 20 degrees by this time (67 degrees Fahrenheit). A strong west wind clears off the fog and the sky is hazy but visibility is reasonably good, there are large strato-cumulus developing.

This morning the upper patrol will practice Paul’s spin. Berthold will waggle his wings twice to direct Paul to demonstrate, then, when he has returned to the formation, der Eiserne will attempt it. Each of us will practice the maneuver at his signal.

The upper patrol led by der Eiserne consists of Veltjens, Klein, Strähle, Keller. myself, the Oberleutnants, Turck and Auffarth.

There are only three in the lower patrol, Jahns, Richard Runge, and Schober. They’ll get their turn at the spin when we return from this patrol.

After we reach our intended altitude, der Eiserne gives the signal and we begin. When it’s my turn, with my heart in my mouth, I sideslip out of formation and throw Beomia into a head over heels spin. I would have prayed had there been anything to pray to. But just as Paul’s English friends had written, after about 500 meters of spinning with slack controls, I push the stick right and forward and Beomia comes out of the spin beautifully and with both wings still intact. I’m slightly dizzy but not much worse for wear, it passes.

We patrol as far as Bixschote and the flooded area but there’s little air activity. Over the lines a Spadstaffel attempts a diving attack on the lower patrol but we frighten them off. We return to Haralebeke at about 1030.

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]




Attached Files J 19th aa 1st mission my spin a.jpgJ 19th ab 1st mission my spin recovery.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/23 11:46 AM.
#4619352 - 01/25/23 12:02 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We won’t be going out again until this evening. Berthold cancels the usual mock combat and allows us to have more practice with the spin. So everyone is taking turns, as Paul says, “spinning merrily.”

The Offizier zbV gives me the task of collecting Otto’s personal belongings to have them sent to his home.

His quarters are one door down from mine. The clothing, boots, etc. will go to the supply depot where they can possibly be reissued. Everything is in short supply and nothing must be wasted.

I open his door and feel that quiet, waiting feeling that the room of a dead man always has. The room is spartan, like all the rooms the enlisted men inhabit. The only decorations are the old, ornate curtains and a few color prints from Die Jugend* that he had tacked onto the plain wallpaper and the picture of a girl in a frame.

[Linked Image]


His letters, pictures, books, medals, and other personal items, I place in the box to go to his parents. A sad collection. Several copies of Vorwaerts**and Die Jugend I take to put in the Kasino, that should put der Meister’s nose out of joint. I’ll have to make sure no one sees me put them there.

There are a few papers I keep for myself. Copies of combat reports, his flight log, which should probably go to his parents but it’s going in my collection. He kept no diary.

I also keep two boxes of Heer und Flotte *** cigars, one with four and the other with three cigars, half a bottle of Bols gin,**** a little money here and there which I put in the box, except for one 50 pfennig silver piece for which I have plans. Someone else will take it, no doubt, but it somehow doesn’t feel right for me to do so, not this time anyway.

There is some good underwear, almost new. Three pairs of heavy home-knitted socks. I filch these as well. They aren’t the first dead man’s clothes I‘ve worn. I’m sorry for Otto, but practicality over sentiment.

Otto was a dependable man, a good comrade, quiet, and an alt Adler (pre-war flyer) who got down in the grease with the mechanics. He leaves a big hole in the Staffel, der Eiserne is quite upset by the loss.

He was twenty-three. Rest in peace Otto.

* ‘Young People’ a Munich illustrated weekly, focusing on art but also filled with satire and criticism of Far Right politicians and the influence of the church

** a Socialist paper frowned upon for officers to read.

*** Army and Fleet – military ration cigars.

**** Dutch distillery, operated since the 1500s, liqueurs, vodka, gin



Attached Files Jugend a.jpg
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[Linked Image]

When I take the box to der Spiess* in the office, I ask Ulrich if he still has the handwritten copy of Otto’s claim report from this morning. He’s thrown it away, but retrieves it from his waste basket. I’ll place this among my collection as well.

I’ve been collecting such paperwork since late in 1916 when der Eiserne brought me in to Jasta 14 from being Zwischengeparkt. **

Ulrich was Berthold’s clerk at Jasta 14 and he brought him with him to this assignment. He’s been providing me with a duplicate of the War Diaries and many other documents since that time.

He’s an easy bribe, all he wants is money. He wants to start a business when the war’s over, get married, all that sort of thing. I’ve tried that a number of times in my life, it usually turns out badly in the end for everyone involved, so I avoid attachments. Besides, war will always find me no matter where I go.

Ulrich agreed to do this for me if I cleared it with der Meister. That too was easy. I caught Berthold in a good mood, told him I planned to write a book about serving under him and felt it would be of great interest to people and be inspirational to the next generations of young men.

I really poured it on about what an honor it was to serve under him. My inspiration for this performance was Seppl, who really feels this way. I just thought; “What would Seppl say?”

He is flattered, as I knew he would be, anything to bolster his ego is always welcome. He was surprised at my desire to be a ‘scribbler’ but was agreeable to the idea. Of course, it was highly irregular but he saw no reason why not, as long as nothing classified was copied and it didn’t interfere with Uffz Heidenfeld‘s work.

His parting comment as I left his office was, “You are a strange creature Felix.”

I managed to get Ulrich to provide me with transcribed copies of the war diaries of both these Staffeln going all the way back to their founding, all the combat reports for the Staffel and now for the four Staffeln of JagdGruppe 7, since this was now the Stab Staffel.***

Periodically I gather this material up from Ulrich and send it, via some old associates of mine who can provide that service, to my man of business in Switzerland. There is some possibility that this could be misconstrued as espionage but I’m willing to take that chance. I’ve never encountered any problems with it that I couldn’t bribe my way out of. Everyone has their price.

* Spiess – slang term for the Sergeant Major, similar to ‘Top’ for a first sergeant in the American army.

** temporarily parked – sidelined

*** HQ Staffel of the group.


Attached Files Jugend b.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/25/23 12:18 PM.
#4619409 - 01/26/23 11:42 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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21

I haven’t properly explored the area around the aerodrome, so I light one of Otto’s cigars with my petroleum lighter, the one with the naked lady, and stroll around the area to get the lay of the land. I have, of course, seen it from the air, but I find it a good habit to have a close look at what’s around me.

[Linked Image]


The landing field itself is located in the fork between two roads leading out of Kortrijk, or Courtai as the French call it, above a bend in the River Lys.

The hangars and sheds are located along the smaller road that runs along the western side of the field. The road that runs along the eastern side is the major road which leads on to Ghent, roughly paralleling a rail line running along its east side.

A dirt side-road runs north through the middle of our landing field

On the other side of the rail line is a major rail hub and supply depot. An ammunition dump is just to the south of the depot along with a small rail station.

A small cemetery is between the main road and the rail line

Attached Files lighter.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/26/23 11:43 AM.
#4619410 - 01/26/23 11:47 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]
The location given to Harlebeke and Houle airdromes on the WOFF map and terrain is incorrect. WOFF has these airfields south and west of Kortrijk, whereas they were north and somewhat more east of that city. Harlebeke should also be right by the Lys River and very near the rail line coming north out of Kortrijk. The rail head and supply depot is missing as well.

This is not intended as a criticism. This information was not as readily available when the Sim was created. Now you can Google to find just about anything, including trench maps.

The map I have used and modified is from a 1/20,000 trench map on the Library of Scotland website.

The aerodrome had been vacated when this map was made near the end of the war. I have drawn in the tents and hangars to look like the standard German aerodrome in Rob Wiggins’ Consolidated Custom Facilities Mod. What it actually looked like is anybody’s guess.


[Linked Image]

Location of Harlebeke on the WOFF in flight map. It is where the green aircraft is flying.





Behind the hangars is the chateau where we pilots are billeted, with a small park on its western side. A water filled ditch with a row of hedges along it, runs from the chateau almost to the edge of the town where the bend in the river starts..

A long barracks has been built near the fork of the two roads closer to the town.

The Lys runs just below the bluff, beyond the chateau on the west side of the aerodrome

I stand for a few minutes, watching the two Flemish boys the Kommandant der Stadt (Town Commandant) has assigned to cut the grass on the field with a horse drawn mower.

The field itself is about 700 meters long and 400 wide at the northern end and about half that on the south, the western portion of it slopes off toward the bluff above the Lys. The northern border of the field drops off to a small brook. Here a Schwarzpecht *follows me about from tree to tree, eyeing me. I greet him, [/i]“Hallo roter Kopf (red head). Keeping an eye on me for my[i] sator (sire, progenitor usually devine)?” He makes a trilling call and bangs on his tree.

Going down to the Lys, I can see a light rail bridge about one hundred meters and a larger bridge just five or six hundred meters south with a windmill before it and a church spire just beyond it on this side of the river.

On the other side of the Lys I see only fields on rising ground.

I’ll explore more later, when there’s time. The woodpecker leaves me as I start back toward my quarters.

*Black woodpecker, a crow sized woodpecker common in Germany. The woodpecker is one of the familiar animals and birds associated with Mars.





Attached Files K Harlebeke Map.jpgK Harlebeke Map WOFF.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/26/23 12:05 PM.
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[Linked Image]





22

19 August 1917



The evening patrol takes off at 1912.

The Upper patrol consists of der Eiserne, myself, Auffarth, Jahns, Jan, and Seppl.

Vater Turck leads the lower patrol with Runge, Schober, von Barnekow * and Keller.

There are almost no clouds in the sky but visibility is only average because of the haze.

Over Menin, there are three British machines above us which we’re unable to reach.

* Raven Freiherr von Barnekow, according to ‘Jasta Pilots,’ is supposed to be in FEA 5 for training. He is listed as assigned to Jasta 4 in September 1917. WOFF has him in this Staffel, I do not know on what evidence. But hey, here he is so I added him to the patrol. He disappears on 4 September.

[Linked Image]

We hunt toward Polygon, Zonnebeke and then up to Langemarck. The Flak is moderate and ineffective.

Over Bixschote where the flooded area begins, our lower patrol has a Luftkampfes (air fight) with some amazingly maneuverable single-seaters, I believe them to be SE 5s.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files K 19th 2nd mission a MAP.jpgK 19th 2nd mission ab.jpgK 19th 2nd mission acb Turck vs SE5.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/23 11:55 AM.
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[Linked Image]

We have no time to watch the show as two groups of single seaters approach us at our same level. The first to make contact are triplanes, the others are Napoleons.

There are no losses and no victories.



[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]



Attached Files K 19th 2nd mission ac Schober.jpgK nieuport and newbie.jpgK 19th 2nd mission ad.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/23 12:07 PM.
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[Linked Image]



On the way back, four SPADs attempt to attack but only make a number of ineffective diving attacks. Another flight of Albatrosn appear and this chases them away.



[Linked Image]



We touch the ground at Harlebeke at 2040.

Otto is only mentioned a few times this evening, there is some moderate drinking and we raise a glass to him.

Paul and I have a disagreement about the aircraft the lower patrol was fighting. He says they’re Sopwith Pups. They look nothing like the Sopwith Pup, they have a squared off nose and an in-line engine. I don’t think he knows what a Pup is, but I let it go. I must also take into account that I have a much higher than normal acuity in my vision. I tell him “as long as you can tell a cockade from a black cross, we’re alright, though there was the incident with Jahns.”

Paul laughs and retorts, “Berthold is right, you are a Schwein.

He’s also seeing SPAD two-seaters all the time. I haven’t seen one of those since I came up to Flanders. I think what he’s seeing are the new Bristol two-seaters.

Attached Files K 19th 2nd mission af Auffarth.jpgK 19th 2nd mission ag SPADS.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/27/23 12:11 PM.
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23

Montag, 20 August 1917


On the way to breakfast I see Berthold come out the door of the chateau to get into the Benz. He’s representing us at the Kaiser’s review of the 4. Armee near Kortrijk.

He’s in his red piped feldgrau regimentals with a stiff collar, puttees just so and all aglitter with blue and gold at his throat. I come up and salute him. “How lovely you look Herr Oberleutnant.”

Returning the salute he smiles only slightly, saying, “And you look like warmed over $!##, go and shave before you enter the Kasino my most insolent Schwein.”


I salute again, “At your orders Herr Oberleutnant!” Without returning my mocking salute, he moves on to the car.

I watch him go. His belt gathered around the waist of his uniform jacket emphasizes how emaciated he’s become and he’s still limping rather badly from his last leg wound. I hope he took plenty of drugs this morning.

I can think of nothing I would like to do any less than stand about in a field, waiting for some Royal to stroll by, letting f@&ts while a gaggle of Generals behind compete to sniff them up.

I wanted to tell him to ask the Kaiser how God was, since they’re such close friends.

Bart is out with Berthold’s three West Highland Terriers and I play with them before going into the Kasino.

I do not shave before going in to breakfast. I’ll accomplish this when I’m done, with some hot water from the kitchen.



[Linked Image]


Attached Files Bert with dog.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/28/23 11:47 AM.
#4619483 - 01/28/23 11:58 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]

As group leader, Berthold assigns the gouvernante* flights, barrage patrols and balloon protection patrols to the other Staffels, while we make only hunting flights.

Paul leads this formation. Johannes Klein, myself, Oblts Jahns, Turck and Auffarth, Ltns Veltjens, von Barnekow and Keller. There is no lower patrol.

We take off at 0805, in V formation, as ordered by der Eiserne, but loosen up the intervals once we’re out of sight of Kortrijk.

The wind is out of the west and it’s very hazy. There are stratus over the Wytschaete area of the front.

*Governess – a slang term for escorting working or bombing machines, also “playing governess.”



[Linked Image]



Attached Files L 20th a 1st mission MAP A.jpgL 20th b 1st Mission Strahle leads.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/28/23 11:59 AM.
#4619484 - 01/28/23 12:03 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We visit Zillebeke Lake, Bixschote and the flooded area, Staden and Langemarck. Over the trenches at Ypres, three SPADs alter their course and pretend not to see us. Five triplanes about 1,000 meters overhead shadow us from the Ypres area up to Bixschote, then leave us. The brown birds above us and flying in the same direction appear to be almost standing still.

One finally makes a move to dive on us but none of his raggies* follow so he climbs back up to join them.

Paul maneuvered us into an excellent position in the sun over three REs but Klein suddenly drops out of formation on his own, alerting them and they get away from us. We return home almost in a straight line after this.

* Raggie, British Naval slang for a best buddy. The term is based on idea that best buddies shared the same polish and polishing rags. A breakup of such friends would be to part brass rags.

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]







Attached Files L 20th c 1st mission three REs.jpgL 20th d 1st mission Klein attacks on his own..jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 01/28/23 12:04 PM.
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When we land at 0910, Paul is furious at Offz Klein and reports the breech of discipline to der Eiserne when he returns.

Both Paul and Klein are ordered to report to der Meister together. Neither is happy when they come out and go their separate ways.

We have the mid-day meal as a group, then go to Saint Joseph’s to see Otto Gerbig off. The casket has been sealed for transport as required by law. Eight of us carry him out to the ambulance that will take him to the train for his final journey back to Erfurt. Before the Sanka leaves, I place the 50 pfennig piece on the coffin, “for Charon.”




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NO POSTING TOMORROW




Attached Files St Joesph church.jpg
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24

The training session is over in time for Vater and von Barnekow to be ready to join us for the next flight.

The wind has reversed itself and now comes from the east. It’s still quite hazy and a warm 22 degrees.

We take off at 1640 in formation.

Berthold leads the upper patrol, Jan Klein, Sepple, Paul, von Barnekow, myself, Keller. All three Oblts, Turck, Jahns and Auffarth take the lower patrol.

The Flak over the flooded area is particularly heavy, as is the enemy air activity. A flight of four SPADs five or six hundred meters below us, six SE 5s at about the same height, another twelve SPADs just a few hundred meters below us, then eight more coming up behind them. Two triplanes cross our path perhaps eight hundred meters above us. None of the Tommies seem eager to attack us.

Berthold makes his choice and attacks a group of SEs a few hundred meters below us. While we’re engaged with them, six SPADs dive in. I see Paul pulling one off Klein.


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Attached Files M 20th ad1st mission Berthold vs SE5 forced down.jpgM 20th af Paul pulls SPAD off Kelin.jpg
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Berthold latches on to the object of his initial attack and follows him down, damaging him enough to force him to land at Zillebeke Lake. Two of his comrades do not like this and protest but together Berthold and I send them packing. The fight is very near the ground and we receive heavy ground fire.

We reform on der Meister and return by way of Polygon and Zillebeke.

[Linked Image]

Berthold’s SE was behind the lines, so it will probably only be a zlgzw* but he is elated. It’s his first success since he was wounded in April. . It might have been different had not the wind been so unfavorable to us today.

At 1845 when we land, it’s beginning to rain.

* zur Landung gezwungen-forced to land






[Linked Image]


Attached Files M berthold a.jpgM Landing.jpg
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25


At Abendbrott, Berthold tells us about the review. All the GrossKanone (big guns) were there, Pechmann, Dostler, Bubi Voss, der Rittmeister himself led the aviation contingent.

He proudly shows us a photo and personal note from Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia.* He tells us of his meeting with the prince a few weeks earlier at a Sunday lunch near the 7th Army frontlines. He says he found the prince to be “A basic and unaffected man with a stern view of things.” In other words, a man after his own heart, in his opinion.

He passes the photo and note around, I ‘m the last one to look at it and I act particularly impressed. He knows me too well not to see through this. When I stand to reverently hand it back to him with a click of the heels, he looks up at me and says, “One day you will go too far Felix.”

Jawohl, Herr Oberleutnant, probably so.”

I have done so many times before… and paid the penalty many times as well. Despite this, I persist, it amuses me.

Paul tells me afterward that Jan Klein made no excuses. He was verbally reprimanded but no more. Berthold warned that a continuation of this sort of behavior could jeopardize his imminent promotion to Leutnant.

Paul was also singed by the Volcano, being told that he was too lax and apparently hesitant in conducting the patrol. In the future he would maintain proper intervals and take off in formation. He felt that der Eiserne actually blamed him for the incident more than Klein. He respects him as an air fighter but is considering a request for transfer away from him.

He and Jan make up later. Klein saying that he doesn’t quite know what got into him, he knew what he was doing was stupid but the tension of waiting for the proper moment was too much for his nerves and he apologized with all his heart.

*The Kaiser’s 2nd son and at one time, commander of the 1st Foot Guards.

[Linked Image]


He doesn’t know what had gotten into him, but I do, it was das Jagdfieber (the hunting fever). In the Legion we called it the furor Teutonicus. It is the same fever that infected this boy’s ancestors, making them unable to wait for the command to attack, turning into berserkers, mindlessly breaking ranks to throw themselves against our shield wall without the support of their comrades. Easy meat for us.

Attached Files let loose the legions Germans getting all excited and such.jpg
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It is the same fever that we too felt, when they began to break and run and the command came from Pertinax, our general, “Let loose the Legion.” It is the fever that was on us as we killed the Marcomanni until our arms could no longer lift a sword.*

I have no doubt that der Eiserne prefers Jan’s headstrong aggressiveness over Paul’s cooler, more calculating style. But both have their place.

*This is during the Marcomannic Wars 166-180 AD. Eber participated as a member of Legio II ‘Italica,’ one of two legions created for the offensive of 172-174AD against the Marcomanni and their allied tribes. Due to a lack of manpower after a plague ravaged Rome during this period, Gladiators, slaves and professional criminals were admitted into the ranks of these two legions, Legio II and Legio III, both of which were later given the title ‘Italica Pia”(the second faithful Italian Legion) after they supported Septimius Severus in his bid to become Emperor.


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Screenshots from the video game Totalwar: Rome II, by SAGA

Attached Files romans c.jpglet loose the legions.jpglet loose the legions bloody faces a.jpgLet loose the legions enenmy runs.jpg
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26



After I leave the Pilotenkasino, I sit in the armchair I have in my room with a cognac and roll a cigarette of Turkish.


[Linked Image]

Jan Klein and his Jagdfieber have caused my mind to reminisce about those days in Germania. I never light the cigarette, nor do I finish my drink.

I drift off into a deep sleep and dream.

I am standing at the window, looking out at the statue of the composer, Orlando di Lasso in front of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof on Promenadeplatz.


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At a knock on the door I say, “Eintreten!”

The door opens, Bruno is shocked when I turn around. I am no longer an old man dressed in a loose fitting suit. Instead, he sees a man about his own age, clean shaven, in jeans and a polo shirt, standing at his full height and with a huge grin.

“Who are you?” He asks, although we both know full well who I am.

I laugh at him and speak in American English, “My passport says I’m my own Great-Grandson. You can call me Carl Junior.”

He becomes angry, “So, this was all an elaborate hoax after all?”

In German now, I answer, “No…the hoax was that I was a ninety-three-year-old man.”

“I see.” But of course, he didn’t.

Continuing in German, “I told you my age, approximately.”

“I do not understand any of this. Why are you playing this game and what do you hope to achieve?” Becoming louder he yells, “What is it that you want from me!”

I lock eyes with him and, not quite as loudly, “Setz dich! Listen to me now! I will tell you who I am and you will see what my object is!”

He sits in the armchair, adopting a poker face and I know that he’s acting the Psychoanalyst now.

“Shall I lie on the couch Herr Doktor?”

“Whatever will make you comfortable.”

I sit on the bed and light a Marlboro.

“Are you an American or a German?”

“I am neither.”

“When recognized by my mother’s husband as his own, I was named Marcus Triarius. I am not certain as to the exact date of my birth but it was approximately 20 BCE, during the reign of Caesar Augustus.”

I looked at Bruno’s expressionless face and couldn’t resist a faint smile before continuing.

“The man whom I believed to be my father was one Constantius Triarius, Primus Pilus of Legio VII.* My mother’s name was Martia.** Her family name and the exact circumstances of her birth are unknown to me.”




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“Both of these parents perished in a plague when I was quite young. I also contracted the plague but did not die and was raised by another of the Centurions of the Seventh until I came of age to join the Legion at seventeen.”

I served with the Seventh in Germania in the campaigns of Tiberius against the Marcomanni and in the suppression of the Illyrian Revolt, rising to the rank of Optio of the First Cohort.”***

* First File, commanding Centurion of the First Cohort, and senior Centurion of the Legion.

** Meaning, devout to the god Mars.

***An Optio, meaning to choose, because he was chosen by the Centurion, was a position roughly equivalent to a Lieutenant and was second in command of the Centria.



Attached Files cigarettes j turkish ww11.jpgStatue Orlando di Lasso.jpgRomans Jd.jpg
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[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



“We then took part in the campaign of Publius Quintilius Varus. You know, of course, how that ended.”

“Teutoburg Forest.”




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Attached Files Teutoburg A.jpgTeutoburg B.jpgteutoburg c.jpgTeutoburg ca.jpgteutoburg d.jpg
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[Linked Image]


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Screenshots from the video game Totalwar: Rome II, by SAGA




Attached Files teutoburg e.jpgteutoburg f.jpgteutoburg fa.jpgteutoburg g.jpgTeutoburg ga.jpg
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“Just so. It was there that I first tasted death.”



[Linked Image]


“I awoke on the battlefield among the dead, stripped of my armor and clothing, everything that I possessed. I was in great pain from my wounds which were being licked by something, wolves. I was surrounded by wolves and expected that this would be my death, to be eaten alive by them.”





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Attached Files teutoburg h eber dead.jpgTeutoburg wolves.jpg
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I look at Bruno To see if there is any reaction. None whatever. Very professional.

I continue, “I found that they had no intention of eating me, but instead stood guard over me and brought me food. It was mostly raw meat which they vomited out for me as they would for one of their cubs. This would have been too disgusting for me, but I was starving and I became accustomed to it.”

“Scraps of clothing were brought to me and huge dogs slept next to me, keeping me warm as it was September and beginning to get quite cool.”

“These were, by the way, some of the same huge war dogs the Germanii loosed on us at the end of the battle.”



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Attached Files teutoburg h f last defense.jpgteutoburg i war dogs.jpg
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“Woodpeckers also brought me things, bread they had stolen from some German farm somewhere, cheese, vegetables, whatever they could steal and carry.”

“These animals being sacred to Mars, I prayed and made offerings to him. I wondered what great plan he had for me that he went to so much trouble on my behalf.”

“The stench of the place was horrible, mutilated bodies were everywhere and severed heads were nailed to trees. But to this too, I became accustomed with time. Why my body was not mutilated as the others had been I did not know.”


[Linked Image]

Screenshots from the video game Totalwar: Rome II, by SAGA





“As I healed and became stronger, I built a fire and cooked what the wolves and woodpeckers brought to me and I was able to build a lean to. I was surprised at how quickly my wounds healed.”

“Once I saw the wolves attack a party of Chatti who had been coming to investigate my fire. They were routed by the wolves and several were killed. They never returned.”

“By mid-October I was strong enough to travel but the wolves blocked my way. After a few days a huge Schwarzpecht * appeared and perched on the tree next to my shelter. He spoke to me, not in words exactly, but in my mind.”

I grinned at Bruno, “Yes Herr Doktor…in…my…mind.”

Then I continued on, “This was Picus, one of the sons of Mars and the same who had brought food to Romulus and Remus.”*

* Black woodpecker, a crow sized woodpecker common in Germany.







Attached Files dead tuetoburg.jpg
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“Picus said to me, ‘I have come to tell you who you are and to bring you to your father.’”

“But my father is dead.”

“Your father is the one to whom you have been praying and giving thanks for your deliverance.”

“Do you have any questions thus far Herr Doktor?

“So you are a demi-god?”

“That is correct. But a unique one, not half, but three quarters divine. Can you guess how this came to be?”

“Mars and Ares being one in the same, yes…I can guess.”

I go on, “Picus said, ‘You, since your death and resurrection, have come to the attention of the Dii Consentes** of whom your father is one. They have condemned his obscene and irresponsible act in creating an abomination and a threat.’”

I said, “I did not, I am not a spirit…I live!”

“But dead you were.”

I then asked Picus, “How am I a threat?”

He said to me, “A non-divine immortal, if allowed to propagate would possibly create an immortal race that would rule the world and could change the balance of power between humanity and the gods, bringing about their end.”

“The wolves will lead you to your father, who is to test you to see if, since you cannot be killed by a mortal, you can be killed by one who is divine.”

I asked now, “And what if I cannot be killed?”

His reply was only, “Then we shall see.”

“The wolves then began to move and nudge me along, completely encircling me.”


*Therefore Carl Eber’s ‘Bruthu from anuthu muthu.’

** The council of 12 gods.



Attached Files Picus.jpg
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“We came to an open meadow, in the center of which was a tall, regal figure in helm and armor, with spear and shield."




"Mars the god.”


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Attached Files Mars shield and spear.jpg
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“Surrounding the field was an army of wolves, bears and other wild creatures. Vultures circled the open sky above the meadow. One great eagle perched on a branch behind where Mars stood.” *

“Picus perched on a pile of weapons, armor and shields for me to choose from.”

“I chose those I was most familiar with, the scutum and gladius, Lorcia Segmentata (segmented armor), greaves, galea (helmet of the common Legionarius) and the Manica, (Dacian war armguard sleeve), which I tried but discarded as it hampered movement of my sword arm.”

“We fought from this early afternoon until darkness fell, giving each other many wounds, but nothing that could kill.”

“This scar,” I said, touching my face, “was one of them. None of the scars from the wounds Mars gave me that day faded with time as all the others I have received through the years have done.”

“When the sun dropped below the land, Mars called for his chariot pulled by fire breathing horses:

Aithon – Red Fire
Phlogios – flame
Konabos- tumult as a loud confusing noise
Phobos – fear

“I was left on the field to rest and tend my wounds. A bright light suddenly sprang up behind me. When I turned there was a fire and a meal prepared for me and wine, which I had not tasted since before the battle.”

“Picus remained with me and advised me.”

“You will not win. Whether you can defeat your father or no. Whether he can kill you or no.”

I asked him, “Then what should I do?”

He said, “You should call upon your grandsire, Jupiter, offer yourself as a sacrifice to test whether you can die or no, throw yourself on the mercy of the gods if you cannot die. This is the only hope you have."

"There are many things worse than death.”

“I decided that he was correct. So, in the morning, when Mars appeared to renew the battle, I stood naked and unarmed and called upon Jupiter as Picus had advised.”

“I presented my bared chest to Mars and he struck me in the heart, splitting it in two.”

“I became conscious again in agony and was again cared for by the wolves, dogs and woodpeckers until I was strong again.”

“You might imagine that, having died times without number that the dread of death would not trouble me.”

“I will tell you now, death is often quite painful and traumatic and on the occasion when it is so instantaneous that you feel little or nothing, the resurrection and recovery more than compensate.”

“There is also the shock of discovering yourself in a pile of corpses or buried alive or worse, burning or burnt. This type of immortality is not something to be desired. My very existence is a curse.”

“During this time, I thought about the injustice of what had been done to me and of my sator,** I will not call him my father. How was he ever a father to me? He created me as an experiment of the most perverse kind and what was his punishment? To have to kill me?”

“He did not acknowledge me or so much as speak one word to me. He struck me down without hesitation. No…he is no father of mine!”

“All the gods, what do they do but use men for their entertainment!”

“When I was strong enough, Jupiter himself appeared in the meadow in the form of the great eagle I had seen when I did battle with Mars.”

“He said to me that he and the council had judged that my valor in battle with my sire and the willing sacrifice of myself made me worthy to be elevated to join them as the personification of soldierly courage and discipline.”

“I was young and angry, having been badly used. My reply was, ‘I want nothing to do with gods and their amusements! You are all despicable and it is no honor to be counted among you! I would remain as I am, a man and a soldier among soldiers.’”

“Jupiter was angered at this rejection and granted my wish. I would be, for all time, just what I was. I would suffer all that men suffered, I would be spared nothing and never have the release of death. I would never rise above the level that I had achieved in my Legio and no matter how I attempted to avoid it, war would always find me.”

“No god would give me aid.”

“Too, I could not be allowed to father children, just in case this immortality would be passed to them. So, Liber appeared as a goat and touched me with his horns as I stood, frozen in place.”

“I was left there with nothing except the rags the wolves had brought me.”

“My Legion no longer existed and I could not reveal that I had survived the massacre without being accused of cowardice and executed so I began my first new life. I made my way to Xanten where I joined Legio XXI.”

* All sacred to Mars, as are woodpeckers and dogs. Eagles are sacred both to Mars and Jupiter, but primarily they represent Jupiter.

** Sire, progenitor usually divine.











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“With Legio XXI, I took part in the punitive campaigns across the Rhine. The eagles of XVII and XIX were recovered in Germanicus Julius Caesar’s campaign in 15-16 CE and we marched to Teutoburg Forest where we burned and buried the bleached bones of my comrades.”



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“And so this has been my life for more than 2,000 years from army to army and war to war.”

“What is your diagnosis?” I laughed again, “Perhaps you can write a paper on my case, Nit Wahr.”

“I think it is a very elaborate delusion, if you truly believe it.”

“Yes…it is very elaborate and I do believe it. You will come to believe it too. The proof of this and everything else I have told you is here in these boxes.”

“Why do you feel you have to take me on a trip back in time, what is the purpose of this?”



Attached Files ROMANS ON THE MARCH.jpgBurying the dead.jpg
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“Over the many centuries I have lived and fought in hundreds of wars, spilled the blood of unknown numbers of men, women, even children. I have loved and lost good comrades, women, horses, animals of all sorts to whom I have become attached. They die and I alone remain.”


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“But I am a man like any other. I do not die but I feel the same things as other men, I feel fear and love, suffer the pain of death and the pain of returning to life. There have been times when the burden of these unavoidable things, loss, pain, grief, fear, becomes too much for the human mind to carry. I have longed to die, tried to die, countless times, but I cannot.”



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“For decades at a time I have gone, forgive me for using such a layman’s term, insane. Wandered in the wilderness, living like an animal on instinct alone or locked in a lunatic asylum until my unhinged mind could heal itself.”



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Seeing this, one of the goddesses took pity on me, defied Jupiter and aided me…Anna Perrena, the circle of the year. Do you remember her story, the trick she played on Mars?”

“Yes…she disguised herself as Minerva, the virgin goddess Mars wanted and tricked him into marrying her.”

“Yes, my grandmother. She granted me this ability to revisit the past.”

“To what purpose?”

“I have found, over time, that sharing this burden with another helps me to maintain my equilibrium. Do you not understand that this is the thing that you who choose, in these times, to be psychoanalysts actually do? Share the burdens of others. It is no wonder that so many who choose that profession end their own lives. This and your passion for these relics you see before you, are why you are the perfect candidate for my bargain.”

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“You must realize that what you ask is an impossibility.”

I laugh again. “Jünger, time is not as linear as is generally believed. What did Shakespeare say?”

In English, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy?”

“So can you see, from this story, fantastic as it may seem, for me, dead is not dead.”


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“I beg you to accept my bargain, I am weary beyond measure.”



Attached Files Mars A.jpgmars b.jpgmars c.jpgmars d.jpgmedieval e cav horse.jpg
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27


Dienstag, 21 August 1917

It’s 0800 and we’re in the air on the way to the Ypres salient. Berthold leads Klein, myself, Paul, Vater Turck, Jahns, Auffarth and Keller in the upper patrol.

Sepple leads the lower with, Schober, Barnekow and Runge in tow.

The wind is still against us, coming from the east. On the ground is fog with a low sea of cumulus above it. Visibility is excellent above the cloud layer. It’s expected to get over 22 degrees today.

As we work our way along over the flooded area, a big two-seater passes above us and Berthold and I separate from the formation to attack him. Vater Turck takes over the front of the V.

I stay above and behind der Meister to protect him while he deals with our prey. I also provide some distraction for the English Franz.

After a protracted fight, Berthold finally shoots him down near Dixmunde.*


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The upper patrol circles around while we climb to rejoin.

Just as Berthold takes his position at the head of the V again SPADs, triplanes and SE 5s appear apparently from nowhere and there is a large, confused Luftkampfes over the flooded area.


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This Tripe skin from the WOFF Skin Pack is for RNAS-1 Stanley W. Rosevear


Attached Files N 21st b Berthold Luftsieg DH4.jpgN 21st d tripe RNAS-1 Rosevear.jpg
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I follow Berthold as long as I can, but lose site of him after a sharp turn, I’m too busy to go looking about for him so I throw Beomia all over the sky, firing at every cockade I see and I see many.

I don’t like getting into these whirlpools, too many aircraft to keep track of and a very good possibility of a collision. I try to do all the damage I can to as many of the Lords as possible, especially to the triplanes which can’t take very much damage before their performance is significantly reduced. In this way, I hope to make as many as possible go home. That’s the best possible outcome we can hope for, our machines being so much inferior to theirs at this time.



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When we are able, each of us breaks away. We’re too scattered and low on fuel to be able to find der Eiserne and reform. So, we return piecemeal, singly or in twos and threes.




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Attached Files N 21st e shooting at tripe, cockpit view.jpgN 21st g SPAD head for home.jpgN 21st h head for home.jpg
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Amazingly, we all make it back and the last one of us is on the ground again by 0840. Berthold is beside himself with joy as he climbs down from his bird. He hopps around until he hurts his leg, then settles down.


[Linked Image]

Consolidated Custom Facilities Airfields Mod for WOFF BHHII by Robert Wiggins


As I dismount, I yell “Weidmannsheil Eiserne!”

He laughs and yells back “Weidmannsdank Felix.” *

Oberleutnant Jahns is visibly shaken when he sees how close the bullets that hit his fuselage during the big Luftkampfes came to the cockpit .* He says he was hit when he turned in front of a Sopwith.

When we fill out our witness forms, Paul is sure that the two-seater was a French SPAD type. I wasn’t sure what it was, only that it had British cockades and it was large.

We won’t be going up until around 1300 so there’s time for a proper mid-day meal. We break our usual practice of little to no alcohol during flying weather for a toast to Bertholds 13th victory, which has received tentative approval over the phone.

*According to “Iron Man, Rudolf Berthold” by Peter Kilduff, this fight happened at 0725. Berthold’s victim was a D.H.4 of No. 57 Squadron, A7577 both members of the crew were killed.

*the Hunter’s salute, which dates back as far as the 1600s. It is still used by hunters today. Berthold’s father was a forester, so this would be familiar to him.

Hunters will greet one another or wish one another good hunting. One will say Weidmannsheil and the proper reply is also Weidmannsheil. If you are being congratulated on your bag, your reply is Weidmannsdank.



[Linked Image]

I have Jahns flying an Albatros with the Hakenkreuz (swastika) as a personal symbol. This is a personal skin I made to use in this story. It is in no way connected with this pilot and I have no evidence of anyone using the marking in this Staffel, though it was extremely common. This skin will be in a new Mod to be released when the new Pfalz come out, Personal Skins Mod by Jerbear.

Attached Files n LANDING.jpgN 21st f Jahns shot up by Strahle.jpg
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Jahns machine is down for the next combat flight and Paul’s machine is getting a new engine installed.

So Paul takes off at 1130 with Schober as observer in a captured FE2b.* They’re taking low level photographs of the area around Kortrijk from 400 meters for 4. Armee. I ask Schober to take one of Harlebecke with my camera, to which he agrees.



[Linked Image]



The rest of us fly back to the flooded area. The Flak is especially heavy again, but exploding about 500 meters below us. Berthold plays a trick on the gunners. He leads us in a zig zag and makes abrupt changes of direction, leading the gunners below to imagine their bursts are hitting near enough to worry us and increasing their fire, wasting an enormous amount of ammunition.* *

We have another big Luftkampfes….SPADs and tripes. I get into a Kurvenkempf (turning fight) t with a SPAD. He’s above me and I can’t gain altitude without inviting a stall. So I keep close under him so that the distance between us doesn’t give him an opportunity to get me in his sights. He finally tires of this when he sees I’m not going to run or make a mistake and breaks off. I let him go since I really have no choice in the matter, there’s no way I’ll catch a SPAD. The wind is from the east still and I’ve drifted well over enemy lines. There are low clouds coming in that look like the have rain in them.

*this is FE2b 5149 from No. 20 Squadron captured by Ltn Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp for his 10th Luftsieg. He is commanding Jasta 36 at this time.

**Adaptation of an incident written by Rudolf Stark in his memoir of the last year of the war “Wings of War.”




[Linked Image]



Attached Files NN captured FE2b.jpgtripe dogfight 2.jpg
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[Linked Image]


I put Beomia into an easy, steady climb and engage the locking device on the elevator. In this way I can sit back and relax, only correcting the roll and yaw with the ailerons and rudder. The clock says I’m near the end of my main fuel supply so I set the fuel tank air pressure valve to ‘Emergency Fuel’ and move the fuel tank selector valve to ‘Emergency Fuel Filling.’ Now I sit back for the easy ride home.*

I’m at 2,000 meters as I cross the lines and see black puffs in my rear view mirror. The Flak boys are calling my attention to a pair of SPADs following me. They must have been hunting for our low flying Artilleriehaschen. I’m sure they see me as easy meat, probably low on fuel, which I am.



[Linked Image]



I go blissfully on and let them get within 200 meters then dive, they fire.....too far away, I reverse myself in half loop, and fire upside down. Not the best maneuver but if you think long you think wrong. I didn’t hit a thing, not timed well. It seems to disconcert them though.



[Linked Image]



One of the Englishmen loses height in a turn and I pounce on him. The Flak does not let up. I damage the one who slipped in his turn and he runs. The other decides to stay and fight.



[Linked Image]



He should have left with his mate. I catch him from below and in front with a good close burst and he goes down. The old thrill runs through me.



[Linked Image]



My blood is up and if I had a machine that would catch him and enough fuel I would chase the other one down. Poor Beomia is just not up to it.

*I have no idea where any of this is. The information on these features is from James F. Millers, “Albatros DIII, Johannesthal, OAW, and Oeffag vatiants” Air Vangard 13.





[Linked Image]


Consolidated Custom Facilities Airfields Mod for WOFF BHHII by Robert Wiggins

Historically Populated Airfields by JJJ65 and RJW


Attached Files O 21st 2nd mission ba SPAD leaving fight..jpgO 21st 2nd mission a rear view..jpgO 21st 2nd mission ad Immerlmann..jpgO 21st 2nd mission af damage..jpgO 21st 2nd mission ah Kill..jpg12 Sep circling field.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/03/23 12:39 PM.
#4619931 - 02/04/23 12:02 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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It starts to rain in the early afternoon so we don’t fly, though there is some training flying.

A new pilot has arrived this afternoon, an Uffz Höhndorf.*

Reports from the ground observer indicate that the big two-seater was a DH-4. The names of the crew were Barry and Falkiner, both dead. Berthold has Ulrich type up a message to be dropped within the British lines to notify their people. A copy of which I obtain.

In the Pilotenkasino this evening there is a more relaxed atmosphere. Some of the tension has been removed since der Eiserne got a few Englishmen.

Keller has been adopted by our good natured Rheinlander who has dubbed him Sigi. Everyone has started calling him that now.

Auffarth is more aloof and spends most of his time with Berthold. They have more in common, both Active officers,[i] Oberleutnants,[/i] both ex observers, both ambitious, He’s interested in climbing and Berthold can do things for him. Jahns and Vater call him Harald but the rest of us stick to [i]Herr Oberleutnant[/i] and he doesn’t protest.

Jahns is still talking about how close he came to getting killed when he turned in front of that Sopwith and was fired on at point blank range. It shook him up quite a bit apparently.

Paul tells me privately that Jahns flew right in front of him while he was firing at an [i]Engländer.[/i] These things happen all the time in the confusion of a wild Luftkampfes like that one.

I’m asked to be a fourth for a game of skat, which would make me dealer, but decline.

Besides all this particular group ever talk about are shooting down planes to earn medals, horseracing, alcohol and women. I have as much interest in most of these subjects as anyone but I don’t like hearing the same broken record played over and over.

Gambling is tolerated in the Kasino but only for table stakes, and 10% of the winnings, the Berthold tithe, goes to the Kasino so that no one gambles away his patrimony.** In the end the mess fund is really the only winner. Nevertheless, Berthold thinks gambling is an evil which should not be tolerated in the service. It ruins characters and spoils friendships, in addition to exercising a bad influence on work.

* No information on this pilot, just his rank and last name. Jasta Pilots says he was assigned 31 August 1917, but according to Paul Strähl’s diary, he was obviously here sooner.

** based on the practice in a number of Kasinos


[Linked Image]

I feel rather oppressed by the noise, music and smoke of the Kasino this evening, so I decide to take another walk, perhaps explore the nearby town to see how it has changed since my last visit so long ago.

When I start to leave, Max makes it clear he’d like to go with me so I tell Vater and he agrees to let him come with me. I take the leash and we’re off.

It sprinkles or mists occasionally but not enough to matter.



[Linked Image]




Attached Files Kortrijk scat cards.jpgSightseeing Map.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/04/23 12:32 PM.
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[Linked Image]

We walk south toward the town, going down the road behind the hangar tents, passing the barracks. At the fork of the roads that run either side of the airfield a streetcar line joins the road. The road now runs along the bluffs overlooking the river. We pass the windmill.

To my left, the main rail line to Ghent and the nearby supply depot are very busy this evening.

A short distance farther and on the left nearer the Lys is Sint-Salvatorkirk. We walk round it, looking at the architecture and at the statues of Saints Peter and Paul on either side of the entrance.



[Linked Image]




This church is the proud possessor of the Holy Thorn from Christs crown. If prayed too it is supposed to help with head ailments. They carry it around in a procession every Ascension Day.

I talk to Max, explaining to him how the old gods, the ones that were worshiped when I was much younger, masquerade as these saints, living off the prayers, lighted candles and offerings made in their name. This is how the gods live, they feed off these things. These offerings and prayers are what created them in the first place.

It is man who created the gods, not the other way around.

Mars, of course doesn’t need these petty offerings, he gets all the worship and sacrifices he needs in a more direct way, although people don’t realize what they’re doing.

Max is enjoying himself, lots of things to smell. I allow him to chase a few things, running along with him. He doesn’t get to go out like this very often, the animals that belong to the members of the Staffel are not allowed to run about lose.

After about two kilometers there’s another bend in the canal and there are more trees and a few fields under cultivation along it. A particularly large Schwarzpecht joins our party, flying from tree to tree. I know who this is and I greet him in the old Latin of the Caesars “Ave Picus, good to see you brother, I hope all is well with you. Our father must be the most powerful of them all now, with so much blood being spilled. Tell him I said he can kiss my @$$”

Picus eyes me, squawks and continues to follow us, pecking on a tree from time to time.


[Linked Image]


Attached Files Sightseeig airfield fa.jpgKortrijk Sint Salvatorkirk 1823.jpgsightseeing black woodpecker.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/04/23 12:37 PM.
#4619934 - 02/04/23 12:16 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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About two kilometers further, we cross the Bossuyt Canal and enter the old town. On the left you can see the moat around the original city, old fortress and the Broeltorens, the twin towers that once guarded the entranceway to the city. I remember marching through that gate. So long ago and with which army. I can't remember just now, it will come to me. A large hospital is here as well.


[Linked Image]


Picus leaves his tree and swoops low over our heads. I hear inside my head,”in proxim fratis,”* and he’s gone.

We travel on to see the old city hall and stop in the square at a small café with tables on the street under an awning. There is only one other customer, an old man who appears about to leave until I greet him in Flemish. This seems to relax him. I sit down and have Max lie down beside me.

From here you have a good view of the city hall and you can see the two towers in the distance. The square is surrounded by medieval buildings. I feel a bit like a tourist.

When the waitress comes I also order in Flemish, a rather antiquated and rusty Flemish but understandable. I order a beer for myself and a bread roll for Max.

The waitress is rather pretty and not put off by the uniform of the occupiers of her country.

I pay in army scrip but give the waitress her tip in good German silver. Perhaps I’ll come by another time.


*Latin, literally until a near time brother, used something like see you soon.



[Linked Image]


Attached Files kortrijk broel towers.jpgKortrijk Scrip.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/04/23 12:17 PM.
#4619935 - 02/04/23 12:25 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I think about going down to see the train station but instead I go back north.

Next on the agenda is Houtmarkt so we go north on Lange-Brugstraat to what has been the Bordeelstaetken (Brothel street) of Kortrijk since the 15th century. It has changed little since I last saw it.

When was it now. Sometime in the 18th century. I just can't recall it.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

The square is lined with brothels and taverns which also serve as additonal brothels. Most of these are only accessable to Germans and the girls are required to have weekly medical examinations by der Sanitätsienst (Medical Corps).

I’m propositioned from a number of the windows but have to make it clear that I can’t take advantage of their offers with my friend along. I’ll be back later, with reenforcements.

I turn right of Langemeerstraat, passing Sint Niklaas Hospital where the oberkanone* Richthofen was treated for his recent head wound.

From there we walk to another square where the shining bronze Groeninge monument stands. I wasn’t here at the Battle of the Golden Spurs but I heard about it later from some who were. A good fight and a good trouncing in the Flanders mud for some of the high and mighty. I’m always pleased to hear about such things.* *

*top gun


**The Battle of the Golden Spurs was fought in 1302 during the Franco-Flemish war. The battle was between the militia of Kortrijk and Philip IV with an army of 8,000 including 2,500 mounted knights, many of whom were killed with the Flemish groenendags, a pike specially designed to penetrate between the gaps in armor plating.

500 pairs of spurs were gathered up from the battlefield and hung in the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Kerk van Kortrijk (Church of our Lady of Courtrai), which I passed on my way to Houtmarkt. The steeple can be seen from the square.




[Linked Image]



Attached Files Kortrijik brothel street.jpgsightseeing map blow up.jpgsIGHTSEEING knights.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/04/23 12:44 PM.
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I apologize to Max, this is a very long trip for him. We take our time walking back, taking frequent breaks for a rest and a drink out of a fountain.

It has only been misty during our walk but now it begins to rain harder and we shelter under trees along the road.

As luck would have it, one of our trucks on a supply run comes by and we hitch a ride back.

When we get back to the Pilotenkasino it’s 2100, we were gone over three hours. I find Vater and return a slightly damp but very satisfied Max to him, he’ll sleep well tonight and perhaps so will I.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files airfield night d.jpg
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Mittwoch, 22 August 1917

Neuer Tag. Early in the morning I hear an increase in the distant artillery fire. There must be something happening at the front.

I’m up before Bart comes along to bang on the door and tell me that we’re supposed to be down at the hangars by 0600.

We lift off the ground in formation at 0645. Vater Turck leads the upper patrol. Der Eiserne leads the lower at 3,500 meters; Jahns, Auffarth, Strähle, Schober and myself.

It’s a little hazy this morning, a few clouds, wind from the south. The Wetterfrosch says it should get as warm as 25 degrees (Celsius).

The Tommies are attacking again, we can see a heavy barrage on our lines as we pass over Steenstraat and Zonnebeke.*

* See maps below, the attack on 22 August advanced the British positions up to 600 yards on a 2 mile front. It was intended as a preparatory attack to gain jumping off positions for a major assault on 25 August which never materialized, partially due to the rain which began on 23 August.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]





Attached Files p 1 map a.jpgP 2 MAP.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/06/23 11:55 AM.
#4620061 - 02/06/23 11:41 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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The Flak is heavy and unusually accurate from Ypres to the flooded area. We loosen up the tight formation as der Eiserne takes us left, right, up, down to throw the aim of the gunners off.

I do not hear but see a flash. A snowball appears in front of me and I fly through the smoke. Then another two that I do hear, quite close, which lift me out of my seat, shrapnel hisses past, several holes appear in Beomia’s wings and there are thumps on her birch wood fuselage.

What has been damaged? I hear and see nothing; everything seems to be functioning. More loud cracks and shreds of slate-gray smoke fluttering past. The air pressure from the nearby explosions leave my ears ringing despite the plugs in them.



[Linked Image]























Attached Files Pa Flak close call.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/06/23 11:57 AM.
#4620062 - 02/06/23 11:44 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Over Bixschote a wedge of five red nosed SE 5s*appear above us out of the west, no doubt attracted by the white cotton balls appearing around us. They attack and the Flak stops.

Auffarth is singled out in the initial attack by one of the Britishers. Paul discourages him with a few well aimed bursts as Auffarth dives away for home.

*’ A’ Flight No. 56 Squadron, led by Gerald Maxwell who was credited with 12 air victories at this time and will be credited with two more today. He may have claimed Auffarth as ‘Out of Control.’ Osprey “Jasta 18; the Red Noses,” Greg VanWyngarden



[Linked Image]





Attached Files Pb Auffarth attacked by Maxwell 56 Squ.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/06/23 11:45 AM.
#4620063 - 02/06/23 11:48 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Paul, with his new engine, climbs above the Luftkampfes to provide top cover for the rest of us, taking occasional shots at any Tommy who pulls up near his level to gain advantage.

Vater brings the upper patrol in to assist and several of them mob one of the SEs which spins down and dives away before they can finish him.



[Linked Image]

Henry ‘ Duke’ Meintjes No. 56 Squadron. I know…I know, his SE is marked for C flight not A Flight. Let’s just agree to say that he’s filling in. Shall we?



Attached Files Pc Turck attacking Henry Meintjes No 56 Squ.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/06/23 11:49 AM.
#4620064 - 02/06/23 11:53 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I lose track of the rest of the Staffel as I follow Berthold and Schober who are attacking one of the SEs. We follow him down very low above the enemy trenches. Berthold refuses to let go until all of us receive ground fire.



[Linked Image]



The three of us fly back to Harlebeke, landing at 0800. Auffarth is there, looking over his damage. The rest of the Staffel, led by Vater touches the grass ten minutes later.

We are told that the fight broke up after ten Albatrosn appeared. They didn’t join in the fight, but their presence put our fellow sportsmen off.



[Linked Image]






Attached Files Pd Shover attacking SE5.jpgP airfield ha landing circling c.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/06/23 11:59 AM.
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Everyone is too shot up from the Luftkampfes and the shrapnel so there is no training this afternoon and there will probably not be a mid-day patrol, at least not at full strength. Auffarth’s Kiste, in particular, was badly roughed up and he won’t be able to do any more flying today. He’s not particularly shook up about his ordeal, it’s not the first time he’s been shot at in the air.

I spend much of my time helping Georg, Heinrich and Dieter but find time for a good nap. We pilots are able to have a decent mid-day meal. The cooks have made Wellfleisch, with which we have a little beer and schnapps.*

Vater’s machine is in good enough shape to take Uffz Höhndoff on his first tour of the area.

* Belly of pork, common meal is with sauerkraut and lots of mustard, beer and schnapps. Sometimes, as in this case, with potato dumplings as well.



[Linked Image]



Enough machines are again air-worthy for a patrol in strength by 1630. The sky has become cloudy and the haze is worse. The wind has now shifted to the southwest.

Reports have come in that the Lords are attacking the ground troops in great strength. Berthold will lead this evening to contest this.

We will be; myself, Berthold, Jan Klein, Sepple, von Barnekow , Sigi Keller, Paul and Schober.


Attached Files P Wellfleisch.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/07/23 11:38 AM.
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[Linked Image]


Eiserne finds what he’s shopping for east of Langemarck. Bristol fighters are energetically bombing and strafing our reenforcing troops as they try to come forward. Down go our red beaks and we break up the party.
The Tommies are scattered, low to the ground and much of their ammunition is spent. Still they put up a sporting show.


[Linked Image]






Attached Files QB.jpgQC.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/07/23 12:26 PM.
#4620205 - 02/07/23 11:48 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]

These, I find, are very effective aircraft. Every bit as maneuverable as some of the best single-seaters and with a stinger in their tail. I wouldn’t mind flying something like this myself. I’ve missed my Franz very much since I became a Jagdflieger.



[Linked Image]




Attached Files QD.jpgQE.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/07/23 12:26 PM.
#4620208 - 02/07/23 11:55 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We become as scattered as our adversaries and, once again, in part because of the haze, I lose sight of Berthold, who is pursuing one of the Bristols over their own lines. I search for him for a short time, finding only Sigi who attaches himself to me. The rendezvous at Zonnebeke is too far to go and still have enough fuel for home.



[Linked Image]



With Beomia’s fuel clock telling me it’s time to go, we turn east. Below me I see sooty spots, then several more Flak bursts freshly flashing. I search until I finally see movement. Two…three, no five, maybe six moving shapes about the size of an ant amid the flashes and barely discernable streaks of tracer ammunition. I estimate them to be 1500 meters below us. Another gang of Fussballindianer* are attacking the Feldgrau below. There are only two of us and we’re low on fuel but we have the height, they’re scattered and preoccupied. Visibility overhead I know to be poor in these Kisten and they carry only one MG, which is probably becoming low on ammunition. I calculate that there are other airfields on the route home where we can refuel so I decide to attack and at least send them packing if not destroy any of them.

I signal Sigi to stay above and cover me.


* Football Indians – another slang term for the English.


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Attached Files QK.jpgQL.jpg
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#4620209 - 02/07/23 12:02 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I’m gripped by the familiar thrill of the attack, remembering past onslaughts on the enemy and the push against the shield wall. The gods help us, there is pleasure in combat. Man was made for battle, and when the fight starts you can’t help but be drawn into the killing.



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Attached Files Q medieval danes vs Normans d.jpgQ medieval d 776 ad.jpgQ charge.jpgQ napoleon early aj.jpg
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I imagine the many horses on which I rode into battle as I touch Beomia’s side. “And so, here we go mein Schatz.”



[Linked Image]

Battle scenes are from the video game Totalwar: Rome II, by SAGA

Attached Files Q cavalry charge.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/07/23 12:10 PM.
#4620211 - 02/07/23 12:12 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I throttle down to avoid the strain of excessive speed. Suddenly cut back, the engine blubbers. The exhaust bangs and meter long flames of unused gas shoot out. I dive on the nearest one from above and in front, one of their worst blind spots, aiming just in front of the engine, spitting a long burst into him as he passes through the stream of Lead.

Beomia groans as I pull the stick back and push the throttle forward to claw back into the air as soon as the Tommy has passed through my fire. The pressure pushes me into my seat and my sight goes for just a second.




[Linked Image]

The D.H.5s are from No. 32 Squadron which was operating in the Ypres area at this time. The fight sequence for the screenshots was done in QC using the Ground Forces option, in both the attack and defend mode.
The weather depicted in all these screenshots is from BuckeyeBob’s Optional Clouds Mod. This particular sky is titled, PR Heavy Haze, in the Mod and was made by Panama Red.



Attached Files QM.jpg
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#4620212 - 02/07/23 12:15 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Looking behind me I see the Lord rear up in surprise, turning left and right to try to find me. With his wings wobbling he gives his clumsy beast full throttle toward his own territory.

The others don’t seem to have even noticed me so I pick another victim, use the same tactics and send him back to mommy as well.

The others have caught on to my game now. One, either the bravest or the most foolish, tries to claw his way up to me. This is hopeless from his starting position with no momentum.



[Linked Image]



Attached Files QN.jpg
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#4620213 - 02/07/23 12:17 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I dive once more and streak around behind him, biting hard. He’s had enough and turns for home.




[Linked Image]

Attached Files QMA.jpg
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#4620215 - 02/07/23 12:20 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Rather than finishing him off I zoom back up to Keller’s altitude and signal him to attack the escaping English Rabbit.


[Linked Image]



Attached Files QO.jpg
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[Linked Image]


He eagerly dives on the Englishman and gets on his tail. I dive also and put a burst into his quarter and together we set him on fire. I send an extra burst into the fuselage and cockpit just in case he’s still alive.




When Sigi attaches himself to my left again he gestures excitedly. He’s tasted his first blood.





[Linked Image]


Attached Files QP.jpgQR.jpg
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#4620288 - 02/08/23 11:37 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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32



I feel we might still have just enough fuel to reach Harlebeke. We follow the road from the pile of rubble that used to be Moorslede to Bolleghencappelle. This puts us near Iseghem and Heule but I still feel we will make it in without having to land.

Finally, starved of fuel, Beomia begins to cough as we approach the Lys so I glide into Cuerne (Kuerne) aerodrome, Keller following.


[Linked Image]



This is the home of one of our sister Staffeln in the Jagdgruppe, Jagdstaffel 36, the Blue Noses.*

* WOFF has Jasta 36 at Cuerne at this time. Other sources say that they should be operating out of Bavichove. This aerodrome is not featured in the Sim so this is probably the reason for their presence at Cuerne.

Attached Files Q LANDING.jpg
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#4620289 - 02/08/23 11:41 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I’m unable to taxi out of the landing field so a team of Schwarzer Mann come out and I help them push Beomia to the Jasta 36 Hangars. Only these are blaue Männer. These men are from Schusta 25b, a Bavarian protection Staffel, now being used for ground attack duties. Evidently, in the Bavarian service, the mechanics wear blue instead of black.

A flight from their Staffel is just coming in and I thank them as they rush back over to their part of the field.


[Linked Image]
off_DFW_CV_ace_t_Ss-25b 1917 – Emil Prime – Prime flies a DFW from Jun-Dec 1917. This skin is an LVG built DFW and is from the Two-Seater Skins Mod by Jerbear.

The bullet hole patches are friendly fire cockades with an iron cross in the middle of them. This was done on a whim. Neither the patches or the LVG build DFW have any historical connection to Prime or SS-25b.

Attached Files Q SS25b DFW.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/08/23 11:42 AM.
#4620291 - 02/08/23 11:47 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Sigi had enough fuel left to cough his way up to the hangars. He jumps out of his cockpit and comes running up to me. “Congratulations on your Engländer Felix, thank you for letting me help!”

“Not my Engländer.

I only softened him up. You shot him down.”

“No…not at all…you bounced him. He was almost finished when I got to him.”

“We don’t have dice, but if it will make you feel better we can flip a coin for the Luftsieg.

“If you wish, certainly.”

I fish in my pocket for an old silver coin I always carry. Not for luck but to remember other days and times, die Nostalgie (Nostalgia).



[Linked Image]


I flip the coin in the air and slap it onto my forearm but do not cover the head of Mars. “What do you call it?”

With the head of the coin in plain sight he laughs and says, “I call you verrückt (crazy). HEADS!”

I clap him on the shoulder, nearly knocking him over. “Humpf! I am so bad at this! How is it that I am lucky in so many other things but never win with the coin toss?”

I find the wachtmeister for Jasta 36, who wears the white, green, white cockade of Saxony, as I do. So, I make my request for enough fuel to limp home on in Sächsisch, which seems to please him. While this is being taken care of, Sigi and I talk to some of the pilots, a Leutnant named Böhning and a Vize named Patzer. I let Sigi do most of the talking, I can see that if he doesn’t get to tell someone about his D.H. 5 he’s going to burst into flames.

He’s well aware that I handed the Englishman to him and makes sure he lavishly praises my part in the attack, and also making certain it is understood that the credit is based on a coin toss, saying that I attacked even though there were six to seven of them strafing our people. I made it five, but who’s counting.


Attached Files Q coin mars.jpg
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#4620292 - 02/08/23 11:51 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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The Staffelführer Ltn Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp comes up to see what’s going on in his cabbage patch so I have to put out my verdammt cigarette and salute.

A real aristocrat, this one, in his ‘Death’s Head Hussar’ uniform with the pre-war black and red cap, Turkish star on his right breast, riding breeches, crop in hand. A bit Hochnasig* he seems to me.

He’s cordial enough, though rather cool, as you would expect from one speaking to the lower orders. He’s an alumnus of Jasta 18 where he won his Hohenzollern.

Nice dog with him though. Tönnes, some sort of shaggy white mut, very friendly. I crouch down and pet him while the Leutnant talks to us. He looks down at me and I can see he would like to say something about this unmilitary behavior but decides against it.

Bothkamp congratulates Sigi on his Luftsieg then tells us to give his best to Paul and the rest of the old gang. Then he shoves off, promising to call the Staffel to let der Eiserne know where his stray sheep are. I suppose I could have gotten on the blower myself when we landed, but I saw no need since the question of where we were would be answered in the next half hour or so.

Tönnes stays with me until the Leutnant, appearing annoyed, calls him. Patzer tells me that he’s supposed to be the official Staffel mascot, but stays mostly with von Bülow-Bothkamp.

*literally, high nosed.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files QZ von BB and Tonnes.jpg
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#4620295 - 02/08/23 12:00 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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While waiting I look at some of the blue nosed Albatrosn and made notes on their markings. Ltn Böhning….Hans, shows off his DV, of which he is particularly proud, to me. [/i]

It’s a beautiful aircraft, painted with the blue and white[i] rauten
so loved by the Bavarians. There are a number interestingly decorated machines. I ask Hans if he minds my coming by at some point to take pictures of himself and some of the others with these beauties, to which he agrees, pleased with the compliments I heap on his artwork.


[Linked Image]

off_Alb_DV_later_Ace_t_Jasta 36 1917_Hans_Bohning – from User Skins Mod Pack 2. This skin leaves something to be desired but it is as close as it is possible to reproduce Böhnings markings, given the warpage in the tail section of the fuselage. Sorry, looks like this came out darker than I expected.




Attached Files qza Bohnings DV J36.jpg
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#4620296 - 02/08/23 12:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]



When we land at Harlebeke there’s back slapping all around for Sigi as we go to the office to fill out the Combat Reports.

This evening in the Pilotenkasino, der Eiserne congratulates Keller effusively. For one of our newest to add to the score so quickly is very encouraging. Successes have been all too few since we came here and our neighbors at Markebeke recently celebrated Jasta 11s 200th Luftsieg and Richthofen’s 58th.

Later der Meister comes over to my chair, where I have Franziska, one of his West Highlanders and named for his sister** in my lap, and comments. “Well, I see you have helped another Hasen to his first. How many does that make now?”

“He didn’t need my help; I was only there to cover him.”

“Just so, good work anyway, it will motivate him, and the others.” He raises his glass to me, I raise mine back and grunt and he walks away, back to Seppl, Auffarth and Klein.

** My invention, the names of Berthold’s dogs is not known at this time.



[Linked Image]

Attached Files qz LANDING.jpgQ BERTHOLD MIT HUNDEN.jpg
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#4620297 - 02/08/23 12:12 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Tonight I dream of flames.



[Linked Image]


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Attached Files Q burining DH5.jpgQ arrows fire.jpgQ Aviatik burning.jpgQ Caudron burning.jpgQ Romans winter f catapults, fire arrows.jpgQ DIII burning.jpg
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33


23 August 1917


Donnerstag, 0915, we are over Wieltje at 4,000 meters. There are seven of us, led by Paul Strähle. Myself, Sepple, Otto Schober, our Oberleutnants, Jahns, Turck and Auffarth. Uffz Höhndorf is right up front in number 3 position where we can all keep an eye out for him on his first sortie over the lines.

The lower patrol, flying at 3,000 meters, is led by Jan Klein with von Barnekow, Runge and Keller.

The ground is obscured by a thick layer of cumulus from 500 meters down as low as 200. Above these are some gray nimbus.

At our altitude the glare of the sun is bright. Occasionally I hold my hand up to cover the bright disc to see if there are dots hiding in the glare.

Our route takes us from Warneton up to Wytschaete, Polygon Wald, Wieltje, Bixschoote, Dixmude, then back south to Langemarck. There is very little enemy activity far over their own lines. We see only Albatros patrols at the front.




[Linked Image]


Attached Files RA MAP a.jpg
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#4620360 - 02/09/23 12:21 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We land on the field at Harlebeke at 1015 in a misty rain which increases as the warm, humid day progresses.

Sigi Keller and I get permission to take the Benz out to try to find his D.H.5. Sepple and Klein tag along with a bottle and we make something of a party of it. Seppl brings Bella along.

The Lord crashed close to the road at a small village called Wallemolen on the east side of the ridge about two kilometers from St. Julien. Probably this area is within range of British artillery but, as it is on the far side of the ridge, should be fairly sheltered from observation.

There‘s a great deal of congestion on the muddy roads leading toward the front and it takes some time to locate the village, where some feldgrauen* at a battalion headquarters who saw the fight are able to lead us out to the field where most of the charred remains lie.

Bella and the mutts that hang around the battalion have a barking contest. There must have been some insults slung about because Sepple has to hold Bella in the car to prevent her from jumping out.

The feldgrau treat us like heroes. One of them, a Gefreiter relates that the pilot fell out. Upon impact the body bounced up again a few meters like a rubber doll before coming to rest. He can show us the way, “Over there near the farm with the poplars.”

So, possibly I didn’t manage to kill the pilot after all. Perhaps he jumped.

The colonel came out to see what all the racket was about. We all salute him and he replies with a couple of fingers in the way a Colonel generally returns salutes to those below him. He comes along with us.

The pilot falling or jumping out of the De Havilland reminds me of my most recent death, while still with Jasta 14. I experienced my greatest fear, being shot down in flames. I too jumped, and bounced just as described by this Gefreiter.

I reawakened under the dirty blanket that had been placed over my body. Really put the fear of God into the feldgrauen who were standing around me. I took several months to recuperate. I had some broken ribs which penetrated a lung, a fractured skull, of course, and my entire body was one large bruise.

The doctors were amazed at my quick recovery, that I recovered at all in fact. This was the true beginning of my reputation among my comrades as invincible and the were in awe of me.

*Feldgrau - front line soldiers the Field Gray you can just say Feldgrau as in ‘the field gray’ or Feldgrauen which is plural.



[Linked Image]


Attached Files RAB J14 DII flames.jpg
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#4620363 - 02/09/23 12:25 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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There’s not much to see, just twisted, blackened metal. The engine dug itself into the ground. There appears to be nothing to salvage.

A mound of dirt with no marker shows where the pilot was buried.

Sigi is quiet and seems embarrassed rather than elated now that he’s at the scene of his glorious victory.

As is my usual practice from ages past, I fish out a small coin from my pocket, this time all I have is a twenty pfennig, it will have to do. I place it on the mound. “Nam portitor.”

“You are a priest now?” Sepple asks.

I shrug and stomp out a cigarette asking the crowd, “Has anyone found a part of the wings?”



[Linked Image]



Someone points to a nearby meadow. We have to cover a few hundred paces through high weeds to get there, silently accompanied by a group of curious onlookers. Bella is allowed lose now and runs around the field jumping and barking…in dog heaven.

There lay a piece of the upper wing with an aileron and part of a strut. On the olive green painted fabric the blue, white and red cockade is shining like the eye of a peacock.

There were other scraps of charred canvas and wood splinters around the area but nothing else was intact.

We hear explosions coming from the west and see dirt flying up into the air but we are on the far side of the ridge and cannot be seen. Still, a few overshoots fly overhead and land in the fields beyond us.

I look inquiringly at our Gefreiter friend who shrugs, “Just a little hate, nothing more. They are not coming today.”

We cut the cockade off the broken spars and ribbing and roll it up, then get back in the car. Everyone is silent for a while but soon their young minds put the unpleasantness out of their minds and we have a jolly ride back home.



Attached Files RB DH5 wreck.jpg
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#4620365 - 02/09/23 12:39 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]


Training is still going on back at Harlebeke in spite of the occasional showers. It’s humid and unpleasant.

Keller and I take a turn, blasting at the targets and fighting in mock combat. He’s really quite good, thinks quick. He stalled out once in a turn. That’s easy to do in any Kiste, but it can cost you your life.

I help Sigi tack the cockade up on the wall of the Pilotenkasino and he paints the type, D.H.5, date and his name on the white portion. He hands the brush to me and says, “put your name on it too, you put as many bullets into it as I did.”

After Abendsbrot we go to the hangars to refill ammunition belts. There has been a new shipment of incendiary and I find more than the usual number of bad cartridges but otherwise it seems fine.


[Linked Image]



I have an unpleasant task this evening. Spiess has asked for me to speak to Gefreiter Emil Malmann who has charge of the vehicles and drivers. This is one of the jobs der Eiserne has assigned to his Scherge. (Thug)

Gfr Malmann is about my size and build, broad shoulders, thick arms, tough looking. A broken nose and some missing front teeth. One would mistake him for a prize fighter in civilian clothing, a Hannoverander. He does, in fact, do some illegal prize fighting. I saw him in one when I was unable to sleep and heard something going on out by the Lys in the middle of the night. Margot was there and had his money on Malmann.

I studied him since I anticipated that at some point we would come into conflict one way or another. He harasses the Jews in the Staffel, some of whom I’m on friendly terms with.

He has a wooden foot in his boot as his price for getting out of the trenches. He could have used it as a Heimatschuss* but volunteered to return to duty. That sort of thing impresses der Eiserne and is one of the reasons he wants to keep the man.

Malmann is into a number of disagreeable things, running a protection racket against his own motor pool men, some black marketeering, gambling and the associated debt collecting, prize fighting, of course, both as a promoter and participant, some minor larceny and it’s suspected he may be a Lude (pimp) as well. This is the one thing in the report that was sent with me when I was reassigned from FA23 that wasn't true.

A man like this should be easy enough to get rid of but, with his disability he can’t be sent to the front lines and he’s very good at his job. Good help is difficult to find these days and useful men are siphoned off for the front lines in increasing numbers as the war drags on.

Spiess and der Meister don’t want to get rid of the man and a certain amount of such activities is to be expected in the lower ranks, but Malmann is just too brazen about it.

I ask him politely to join me in one of the unused hangar tents, he’s no fool and knows what it’s about.

We’re alone in the tent and I really only intend to speak some reason to him to begin with but he takes a swing at me.

I’ve been fighting with both weapons and bare hands for two millennia and I’ve learned from some of the best two thousand years were able to produce. On top of this I am the son of the god of war. No normal human being is a match for me.

I catch his fist in my right hand and force him down to his knees, nearly breaking the hand so that he’ll agree to have a reasonable conversation. I assure him that I want us to come to an equitable arrangement.

As soon as I release my grip on his hand the unreasonable beast whipped out a Kampfmesser (combat knife.) My instructions were not to disable the man any more than he already was but I just can’t abide this kind of behavior.

I broke his arm, suggesting to him that if he’s ever so foolish as to brandish a knife at me that he be sure to use one made from chocolate because I will make him eat it. “You do like chocolate. Yes?”
“I cannot hear you. Do I break the other arm?”

“Yes…yes I like chocolate.”

“Good, it is agreed then. You see, we can agree on something. It is a beginning.”


*Homeland shot, a blighty, wound not permanently disabling but enough to get evacuated home.



[Linked Image]



Attached Files RD MOCK COMBAT.jpgR airfield fb.jpgTrench Knifes.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/09/23 01:09 PM.
#4620368 - 02/09/23 12:55 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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He’s in a great deal of pain but he’s a hard man, he’ll live.

I help him up and place him in one of the chairs I had put in the tent for our conversation. Then I light a cigarette for him, one of the Ecksteins I recently acquired, and pull out the flask of schnapps I had intended to share with him during the negotiation.

I explain that his activities simply had to be more subtle and that the abuse of his subordinates must stop. He was actually quite reasonable about it all and I think we were both satisfied with the results of our conference.

I go with him over to the little medical office and bring Neumann, the Sanitätsunteroffizier (medical orderly, usually a Gefreiter) to look after him, leaving him with the pack of Ecksteins and the rest of the schnapps.

I believe with that Amerikanisch President…Lincoln that when you defeat an enemy you should, “Let em up easy.”

We both know that if he makes it necessary, I will kill him. But there’s no need to make an issue of it.

Before I leave him, I ask, as a personal favor, that he leave the Jews in the Staffel alone. I have good working relationships with most of them.

He agrees to this as well.

Spiess and der Eiserne are not happy about the arm but the hospital just set his arm and sent him back to us. He’s still able to do most of his work with one arm. So, all’s well that ends well. Yes?

Tonight the dreams are of the early days of this war. Before we sat down in the mud.


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Battle scenes are from the video game Totalwar: The Great War, by SAGA


Attached Files RA Inf.jpgR Inf.jpgR inf a.jpgR inf b.jpgR inf cav.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/09/23 01:12 PM.
#4620444 - 02/10/23 11:40 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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34


Freitag, 24 August 1917

Paul leads the upper patrol this morning. It is 0700 when we approach the Polygonwald. Paul is very pleased with his new engine and it's a bit hard to keep up with.



[Linked Image]


Below there is an operation to retake by storm the Herentageposten* at Polygonwald, our Infantry and Artillery machines are everywhere


* Herentageposten translates as 'daily post.' This was a minor counterattack where the Germans used flamethrowers and stormtroops, bombing, burning and bayonetting anything in their path, to recapture gun pits near Polygon Wood that had been taken by British 14th Division in an assault spearheaded by tanks on the 22nd.

This action took place in the 4. Armee Gruppe Wijtschate Sector and Jagdgruppe 7 is assigned to that group. Jagdgruppe 7 is sometimes referred to as Jagdgruppe Wijtschate.

“Fighting the Kaiser’s War: The Saxons in Flanders 1914-1918,” Andrew Lucan and Jürgen Schmieschek, Pen and Sword 2015.




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Attached Files S Map.jpgS FLAMETHROWER.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/10/23 12:02 PM.
#4620447 - 02/10/23 11:48 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We are seven Albatrosn at 3,500 meters, Paul, myself, Auffarth, Turck, Jahns, Seppl and Keller.

Jasta 24 is operating at 2,000 meters and our lower patrol, led by der Eiserne is lower still at between 1,000 and 500 meters, right down in the action.

Visibility is good, despite the intermittent showers but a strong southwesterly gale is a great nuisance. The morning is quite cool up at our altitude and I’m glad I put on my silk shirt and an extra pair of poor Otto’s heavy home-made socks. It’s supposed to be twenty degrees (Celsius) today but up here it will be at zero or below and it’s still quite early.



[Linked Image]


off_DFW_CV_ace_t_FA(A) 250s 1917_Ernst_Wiessner from the Two-Seater Skins Mod by Jerbear. He’s no longer in FAA250 at this time, but for our purposes, the aircraft is still around, crewed by another pilot.
The weather is from BuckeyeBob’s cloud Mod, BB Rain showers.


The Lords are conspicuous by their absence so our artillery and infantry aircraft go about their jobs undisturbed. Only one flight of six Pups is seen and they stay on their side of the lines. The whole club is doing aerobatics.



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Attached Files Saa FAA250s.jpgSab british ground troops mg nest.jpgSAT TANKS FOR THE MAMMERIES.jpgSac SS23 DFW machine gunning MG nest.jpg
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#4620448 - 02/10/23 11:57 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We’re home before 0800. It’s raining harder now and the wind can’t seem to make up its mind which direction to blow from, tossing us about. While leveling out during landing a gust pushes me to the ground too soon and I bounce up.

Jahns sets down in front of me. His left wing brushed the ground and he goes into a ground loop.

I have to quickly push the throttle and fly another circuit of the field.

The second try is much better. Beomia touches the grassy surface and rolls rumbling to a standstill. Georg and Heinrich come out to guide her, I buzz the engine until close to the hangar opening.



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ENDE


Attached Files Sa airfield r rain k.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/10/23 12:06 PM.
#4620551 - 02/11/23 01:53 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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IF YOU CHECKED IN EARLIER AND ARE WONDERING WHAT'S GOING ON....I GOT MY POSTINGS OUT OF ORDER SO I HAD TO DELETE WHAT I DID THIS MORNING. I AM NOT CORRECTING THE PROBLEM

JH

Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 01:53 PM.
#4620553 - 02/11/23 02:03 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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35

Höhndorf stands watching the rain with me in the hangar. We’re scheduled for training but I have just gotten through telling him that I don’t think there will be any flying today when der Eieserne comes storming up, cursing and wanting to know why we aren’t doing our training.


[Linked Image]


I simply point to the sky, at which point the volcano explodes. It’s all I can do to contain my own anger. I know Berthold can see in my face that I’m considering killing him no matter what the consequences. He doesn’t exactly back down but he does turn on his heel and walk away, not waiting for our acknowledgement or salute.

Fine, we round up our crews to get our birds up and running.

While I'm doing this, I'm weighing the possibilities. I could desert and make my way to Switzerland, taking up one of the alternate identities I always have in reserve. I could also go to America and even perhaps join their air service or get back into the ground war. Africa or the Far or Middle East? None of these alternatives sounds appetizing.

Beomia’s wings are sodden and heavy and the pilot’s seat is wet, causing my buttocks to itch intolerably. I have to constantly wipe my goggles with the silk rag I have attached to a string on my flying suit. The whole thing is a misery and I do it half heartedly.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files sata looking out hangar at rain.jpgSAA mock combat Hohdorf.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:07 PM.
#4620554 - 02/11/23 02:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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After we’ve done a few mock combats and follow the leader we come in. The ground is so sodden that it collapses beneath Beomia’s wheels and she comes up on her nose, breaking the propeller. I cut the power to the engine as she gracefully tilts forward until she lands upside down.

Hanging upside down in my restriaining belts I hear running feet and shouting. Even though I have shut the engine off it’s still best not to linger so I put an arm up so that I touch the ground and pull the pin that holds my restraints. There’s little room but enough for me to crawl out.

Hands reach in and quickly pull me from under Beomia. I stand and it appears I’m not much the worse for wear, a few bruises.

I look at poor Beomia laying there on her back, looking very undignified with her legs pointing skyward. Eine Damenlandung.*
*Ladies landing




[Linked Image]


I couldn’t, for the life of me, get a WOFF plane to flip upside down without bursting into flames. So, this is a modification of an internet photo of a DV turned turtle.

Attached Files SAAA ladies landing.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:06 PM.
#4620556 - 02/11/23 02:11 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Not far away Höhndorf, having suffered the same fate, is sitting by his overturned Albatros as well. Nuemann, the Sanitätsunteroffizier is looking at him.

I see Berthold standing at a distance with his hands in his pockets and think how satisfying it would be to break that skinny neck. I could do so easily. He turns and walks away no doubt satisfied that although he has three aircraft down no pilots are off the roster.

As I watch him go, I see his limp and the posture of an exhausted old man. I’m reminded of why he is the way he is much of the time and even though he is without a doubt an ass, pity replaces my hatred.

Training is cancelled for the rest of the day. How wise of der Meister. A bit late.

In between rain showers the Schwarzer Mann right our two kisten. She weighs about 1,000 kg (a ton) but most of that weight is in the front so the tail section is relatively light. Cables are attached to the tail section and a team of men pull Beomia up onto her nose while another group steadies her. The tail section is then pulled while the group under the fuselage hold her so that she is gently lowered to the ground in the upright position.



[Linked Image]



Her undercarriage is broken so carts are put under her and she is pushed into the hangar. Her upper wing is ruined and the struts will have to be replaced.

Margot has a propeller and everything that’s needed to replace the struts and the undercarriage but it will be a few days before a new top wing arrives. I’ll have to use a reserve aircraft unless we get some serious Flliegerwetter (pilot’s weather).

The only aircraft available is a DV which I don’t particularly relish flying with its lower wing shedding tendencies. The MGs will have been zeroed in by the armorer but they’re not set to my liking. I’ll put up with it until Beomia is back in condition. At least that ridiculous head rest has been removed on the upgraded production batch.
There’s nothing for Höhndorf so he’s grounded for awhile. He’s welcome to this kiste.

I spend much of the evening checking over the ammunition belts and looking over the DV with my crew.

We are informed that the assault of this morning was a complete success. I also found out that my old regiment, the König von Sachsen 4. Infantrie-Reg. Nr. 103 was involved in the assault and are presently holding a line of trenches near Polygonwald. Our 32. Infantrie-Division was reassigned as [i]eingreifdivision [/i](counter-attack division) to Gruppe-Wytschaete earlier in the month.*



ENDE

Attached Files Sc ladies landing.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:14 PM.
#4620557 - 02/11/23 02:18 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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36


Höhndorf and I have had a chance to get to know each other somewhat today so he sits with me in the Kasino. He asks me the usual questions.

I tell him, “When attacked it is always best to act immediately, automatically, even if it is not the best possible of all moves. If you think long, you will think wrong and do not run, always face your attacker. Turn under him and he cannot fire at you.”

“If you feel you are out of your depth, act as though you will ram him, make him get out of the way. Unless he is very cool, he will think you are mad and probably try to get away from you.”



[Linked Image]



“Of course, now that Paul has shown us that the spin is possible, that may prove to be just as effective in this case.”

“If you do so, it would be best to drop down to at least 1,500 meters as at that altitude your pursuer will come under ground fire and will most probably break off and go home.”



[Linked Image]


“If you find yourself separated from the rest of the Staffel and cannot find them, go directly back to Harlebeke. If you see other aircraft that your certain are Germans, and their going roughly your way, join them. It is much to dangerous to fly about on your own. There are specialists on both sides who hunt for such verfranztes hasen.” (lost bunnies)

Attached Files SZ head to head.jpgSZ spin.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:19 PM.
#4620558 - 02/11/23 02:21 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“As for attacking, it is always best to climb onto the back of a single-seater, but a two-seater, if you can, it is best to get behind and below him where Franz cannot see you. But if this is not possible, I prefer to approach them from the front and below, you face the pilot’s gun but it is fixed and can be evaded better than the flexible mount of the[Franz.[/i]”


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

Attached Files SZ attacking SPAD.jpgSZ attacking 2 seater.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:22 PM.
#4620559 - 02/11/23 02:24 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“Do not get into a Kurvenkempf (turn fight) with a triplane, any turns you make should be to the left, their rotary does not allow them to turn so well in that direction. If you become involved in a Kurvenkempf with a SPAD or SE 5 and they are above you, stay below them so that the distance between you is too short for them to attack you. Usually after a short time of this useless activity they will break away, using their greater speed to outdistance you and go home. If you have to break out of the turn, turn around tight and face him head on.”


[Linked Image]



“Never be shy about a frontal attack, use your rudder in either direction to throw his aim off while your MGs are still pointed at him. Begin your turn as he passes. This is your opportunity, you are already beginning to turn, complete it and you are behind him, at least for a few seconds and often that is enough.”

Attached Files SZ tripe dogfight.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:25 PM.
#4620560 - 02/11/23 02:30 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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He then asks me something more personal, “To what do you attribute your tremendous luck? The others tell me you have cheated death many times.”


“One makes one’s own luck, that is at least half of it.”

“I check my own ammunition more thoroughly than even der Eiserne requires and I fire my guns in short bursts, this also helps prevent jamming.”

“I stay on good terms with the Schwarzer Manner, I go over my aircraft every evening and check it over again, as carefully as possible, before takeoff.”

“I try to make sure I get enough sleep, eat well, do not drink heavily during flying weather. “

“Sleep is more necessary than food for you. You cannot fly well if you do not sleep well.”

“I take leave whenever possible.”

“I have good comrades who watch my back as I watch theirs.”

“Above all, do not depend on superstition. No god cares what happens to you. Depend on yourself.”

But you have symbols of luck on your fuselage, the horse shoe and four-leaf clover.”

“A joke only, because of my reputation and Spitzname, no more.”

He accepts this but I think he was hoping for something more. A magic charm such as a Himmelsbrief * or some other talisman sold by fortune tellers and other hucksters, or perhaps a special prayer..

[Linked Image]

Attached Files SZ Eber Nieu.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:31 PM.
#4620562 - 02/11/23 02:38 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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In my quarters tonight the railway station seems to be making much more noise than usual.

The conversation with Höhndorf causes me to reflect. Just how many times have I died and reawakened? I cannot count them. Sleep won’t be easy to achieve tonight.

*“Fighting the Kaiser’s War: The Saxons in Flanders 1914-1918,” Andrew Lucan and Jürgen Schmieschek, Pen and Sword 2015.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]
It’s just a flesh wound!




ENDE



NO POST TOMORROW



IN CASE YOU LOOKED IN EARLIER...I GOT MY POSTINGS OUT OF ORDER. THIS IS POST #36 AND I FORGOT TO PUT IN #35. TO CATCH UP - GO BACK AND YOU WILL FIND #35 NOT POSTED ABOVE THIS ONE.

Attached Files SZ dark ages thrones britannia c.jpgSZ dead agincourt c.jpgSZ dead napoleonic c watrloo.jpgSZ medival Ottoman sultanate vs france d JUST A FLESH WOUND.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/11/23 02:40 PM.
#4620587 - 02/11/23 10:49 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
jerber,
would you consider sharing your graphics card settings and your in game graphic settings? The photos are really great.

Thanks.


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb." - Benjamin Franklin
#4620590 - 02/11/23 11:59 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Sorry NEC

Nothing to share. These are just snips off the internet. Except for the WOFF shots. I just use the vanilla graphics settings in the Sim.

No graphics card wizard here, all your modern technology frightens an old came man like myself.

Jerry H

Last edited by jerbear; 02/12/23 12:01 AM.
#4620683 - 02/13/23 11:45 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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37


Samstag,
25 August 1917

The weather is clear enough by early afternoon for me to take the DV out for a spin and familiarize myself with it.

It feels a bit heavy but handles well, It’s not as responsive as Beomia, but well enough. I don’t see any particular improvement over the OAW DIII. The fuselage is more rounded. Visibility from the cockpit is about the same.

I climb to 1,000 meters and find that it takes about the same four minutes to reach that altitude.

I dive and take it on an Affenfahrt* and find that I’m fine as long as I keep it reasonably shallow, but any truly steep angle brings a dangerous vibration in the lower wing.

I’m not at all impressed with Johannesthal’s latest product and I’ll be glad when Beomia is back on her feet again. I go to see Hermann (Margot) to find out if he knows anything about the new wing. They’re going over to the 4. Armee-Flugpark (aviation supply depot) today with a truck to pick it up.

In the meantime, Georg and Heinrich work on the bracing and it’s better when I take her up again but I’m still nervous about it.

Next we push her to the range and put her tail up on a trestle to sight the MGs.

*Monkey ride


[Linked Image]


This evening we’re able to make a patrol at 1855.

We have a cloudless sky with a westerly wind. The temperature reached 20 degrees by late afternoon but the patrol will be at 5,000 meters so it’s time to bundle up. I put on my silk shirt for extra insolation.

This will be a small patrol, Berthold, Paul, Auffarth, Turck, Schober, Veltjens and me in the DV, no lower patrol.

We fly back and forth between Ypres and Dieu. Flak is moderate today.



[Linked Image]



Attached Files TR DV test flight.jpgT Map A.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/13/23 11:46 AM.
#4620684 - 02/13/23 11:53 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Over the Ypres front are 6 SPADS about 500 meters below us and 6 SEs lower, perhaps another four to five hundred meters down.*

Berthold attacks the SPADS and we all follow.

*According to Greg VanWyngarden in his Osprey book “Jasta 18; the Red Noses,” these are SPADs from No. 23 Squadron and SE 5s from No. 56 Squadron.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



Coming in behind him, I have to pull up because that #%&*$# wing is vibrating, the SPAD Berthold has attacked goes into a spin but one climbs and comes toward me. When I fire a burst from my Spandaus *fragments fly all over the aircraft and the noise from the exhaust becomes deafening.

VERDAMMT!

Something is wrong with the MGs or the ammunition!


*Maxim machine guns were referred to colloquially as a Spandau since they were manufactured at the Köngilich Gewehr und Munitions Fabrik (Royal Gun and Ammunition Factory) at Spandau, Berlin.

Attached Files Ta Six Spads below us cockpit shot.jpgTAa Bert attacking SPADs.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/13/23 11:53 AM.
#4620686 - 02/13/23 12:04 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I pull away to assess the damage. The SPAD is now otherwise occupied with Auffarth. The intake manifold and exhaust are riddled and my oil pressure is down so the line must have been hit.


[Linked Image]



Looking around, it appears none of the Lords in the area have taken notice of me so I pull back the throttle further and turn east, determining that I’m between Zillebeke and Hollebeke. The engine temperature goes up dramatically so I have to shut it down before it seizes up.

I still have 4,000 meters under me so with the wind behind me I might possibly make it as far as the aerodrome at Menen if I’m not interfered with.

Now that the propeller has stopped I can see that it took some damage from the fragments as well.

I manage to glide to the aerodrome at Menen but break the undercarriage and damage one of the wings in the landing, entirely by accident, of course. A freak gust of wind, such things happen.

Menen is another of the airfields with a Bavarian unit in residence, Schusta 24b. So again I see ground crewmen dressed in blue. They’re not happy with having to hoist the DV onto a cart and drag it off the field
.
Jasta 33 is also here with their yellow noses. The Staffel livery is very plain, just a yellow spinner hub and a white number on the fuselage. They’re still flying the early version of the Albatros DIII. Clearly they’re low on the Luftstreitkräfte food chain.

The Schusta uses a white diamond with a blue number in the center on the DFWs.




[Linked Image]


These DFWs are from SS-24b. The first one in line is the standard WOFF skin, the 2nd is a custom skin from the Two-Seater Mod for Karl Kallmuzer, the only ace pilot assigned to this unit by WOFF.

Attached Files Auffarth.jpgTfb ss24b.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/13/23 12:05 PM.
#4620687 - 02/13/23 12:13 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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I have a look at the damage done to the machine. The MGs appear normal, it has to be the ammunition, probably the new incendiaries.

Then I go to the office, the Jastaführer is not there so I report to the Offizier zbV and get on the blower to Harlebeke.

I’m not offered the hospitality of the Pilotenkasino but have some bitter ersatz coffee in the office. Not all OzbV are equal and this one could probably use some instruction in the art of acquisition.

After several hours of waiting about, the Benz finally comes to collect me. It seems that der Meister suffered the same fate as myself when he used that ammunition, crashing his machine near the village of Gheluvelt.* The ammunition is being sent back to the depot and an investigation is supposed to be made.

Otto Shober is also down and we pick him up at a field hospital near the Menen Roeselare (Roulers) Eisenbahn.** He’s not injured seriously.

Last evening he and Paul had a number of fights with the the SEs I saw. Schober took a number of hits and used the trudeln to escape, leveling out at about 200 meters and making his getaway to the east for a forced landing west of the Roulers-Menin road.***



[Linked Image]



*In Jörg Mücker and Rainer Absmeier’s “Jasta 14, Die Geschichte der Jagdstaffel 14 – 1916-1918,” there is a newly discovered photo of one of Rudolf Berthold’s DIII OAW crashed near Gheluvelt in August or September 1917. The cause of the accident is not known and there is nothing recorded about Berthold being injured at that time so he must have survived the crash unhurt.

Gheluvelt is marked on the Map above as is the place where Schober landed.

*Literally, iron road - railroad

** Osprey “Jasta 18; the Red Noses,” Greg VanWyngarden. VanWyngarden believes this was RTC ‘Georgie’ Hoidge of No. 56 Squadron who claimed Schober as a victory.



ENDE

Attached Files TH Schober and Hoige no 56.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/13/23 12:13 PM.
#4620777 - 02/14/23 12:31 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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38



Sontag 26 August 1917

I don’t get back to Harlebeke until the next morning at around 0730. The morning patrol is just returning. Berthold must not have suffered any injury since he led it. He has a personal reserve machine.

In the night enemy machines have come over, dropping bombs and machine gunning, they were met by heavy AA fire and didn’t linger. No visible damage was done except a few holes in the field which are being filled by the civilian workers.

A Ltn Schüssler* has arrived, whom I meet when I come into the office.

I have to fill out a report on the incident with the ammunition and my crash with the DV. Berthold and I speak about the ammunition when he comes in the office. He gets quite worked up about it to the point that it’s hard to tell if he’s angry at me or the ammunition supplier. But, that’s his way, you just shrug your shoulders and go about your business, usually. I wonder if he knows how close he came to being murdered yesterday?

I see Paul coming off the flight line. I get his version of what happened last evening and he and Schober’s fights with the “Pups” which were the SEs I saw, he insists on calling them Pups. I told him it was greatly to his credit that he had pioneered the spinning technique, it most probably saved Otto’s life.
So, that’s three of us down, two because of our own ammunition.

*The only information I have on this pilot is his rank and last name. He was with Jasta 18 from August to sometime in October.



[Linked Image]

Attached Files U patrol landing.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/14/23 12:31 PM.
#4620778 - 02/14/23 12:34 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Spiess tells me that orders have come down that von Barnekow is to report to Jasta 4 in Richthofen’s Geschwader by the 4th of September. He’s moving up to the big leagues. He’ll get along well there, lots of blue blood.

I expected to be grounded until Beomia is repaired but my luck only goes so far. Since Oblt Jahns is leaving us for Jasta 28w on September 4th, Berthold lets him go on furlough before he reports to his new command. I can take his machine.

Very nice of him.

No rest for the wicked.



[Linked Image]
Detail from the airfield at Harlebecke is from Rob Wiggins’ Consolidated Custom Facilities Mod.

Attached Files UA jahns machine in front of hange=ar.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/14/23 12:34 PM.
#4620779 - 02/14/23 12:39 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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The next patrol will be at around 1200 so I have a lot of work to do. I check out Jahn’s Albatros, his crew says it’s in good shape, the engine problems he had been having were fixed with a new carburetor.

I have no time to check the sighting of the guns but I pull out the ammunition belts and put Beomia’s in for the left gun. I take all the tracers out of her right gun belt and put that one in this machine as well.

I go over the machine’s controls, checked the cocking mechanism on the MGs. The rigging seems good, this will certainly be better than flying the DV.

By the time I grab a very quick afternoon meal it’s time. Berthold calls all of us to the front of the lined up Albatrosn for a quick mission briefing.

Only seven of us this time and no lower patrol, this one will be at 3,000 meters. Berthold will lead us, there are myself, Keller, Seppl, Auffarth, Turck and Richard Runge.

We will patrol between Comines and Ypres.

It’s cloudless and clear just overhead but a heavy layer of stratus is coming over from the Ypres front. The wind is quite strong and from the west.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files U Map a.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/14/23 12:39 PM.
#4620780 - 02/14/23 12:44 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We take off all together into the wind, then turn in the direction of Comines to the southwest. A few minutes later, when we have reached about 700 meters, suddenly tracers are flying all around us. A Geschwader* of five SPADs attack out of the incoming clouds.

*The term Geschwader (squadron or formation) can be used to refer to any formation from a half-flight of three machines to a complete squadron of 12 to 18.




[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]

Attached Files UB SPAD attack.jpgUB SPADs attacking.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/14/23 12:45 PM.
#4620781 - 02/14/23 12:51 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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The SPADs use the same tactics as the last scrap we had with them, diving down on us with terrific speed then zooming back up out of reach.

These SPADs are so powerful they must be the new 200 hp type. All we can do was avoid their attacks as there was no way to come to grips with them.

In the end, they all shear off towards Ypres and we return home.



[Linked Image]




[Linked Image]




[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]




ENDE

Attached Files U Berthold vs SPAD.jpgU auffarth fighting.jpgU dogfight distance.jpgU spad going home.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/14/23 12:53 PM.
#4620825 - 02/15/23 11:59 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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39



Paul meets me at the hangar when I dismount. He’s going over to Moorseele to try out the captured SPAD* FA33 has over there. "Yes,,,of course I want to go."

I get permission from der Eiserne and we climb into the second Benz that was recently acquired by the efforts of our OzbV and Berthold’s clout.

As he starts the car up, Paul says, “I hear you have been busy.”

“Busy…oh, you mean that business with Malmann. Yes, but it is all sorted out with him. I had to deal with some of the men who wanted revenge on him while he can’t defend himself but that is all taken care of now as well.”

Der Meister shouldn’t use you as his personal ruffian.”

“But I am a ruffian. I don’t mind. It is something I have always been good at and I rather enjoy it.”

“Each to his own.”

Moorseele is only about 15 km away and the roads aren’t too jammed with traffic so we’re there in less than a half hour. The SPAD is already sitting out of the hangar, warming up, all the cockades now covered over by large white patches with the Eisernes Kruez painted over them

It’s a 150 hp SPAD VII. The serial number reads, B.3504. It was forced down by Flak in June and was flown by No. 23 Squadron.
.
*A picture of this SPAD can be found on page 87 “Above Ypres: The German Air Force in Flanders 1914-1918” by Bernard Beneckere, Firestep Press 2013.

It was forced down by Flak on 18 June 1917, flown by Cpt Davidson of No. 23 Squadron. This from Osprey “Jasta 18; the Red Noses,” Greg VanWyngarden, page 33, where there is another picture of the machine.



[Linked Image]




CAPTION: off_spadVII_ace_t_0 RFC 1917_Captured_B3504. This skin can be found in the Personal Skin Mod after the next update. Unfortunately you can’t take off from a German aerodrome but you can fly over and land on one. If you feel particularly evil that day you can join an Allied formation and backshoot everyone. What fun! clapping



Attached Files U Captured SPAD A sitting on field.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/15/23 12:18 PM.
#4620826 - 02/15/23 12:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Paul climbs in and we look at the cockpit. It’s quite spacious and gleams with brass and nickel gauges.


[Linked Image]



I watch him speed down the field and climb into the air.

Since I’m not expected, I have to go to the office to ask permission for a quick spin in the captured machine.

I’m given permission to take the SPAD up for fifteen minutes.

I flew a number of captured machines at the Jagdschule, but they didn't have an operational SPAD at that time.

After Paul lands he stays in the machine, some of the Schwarzer Mann guide it back down the field where I’m waiting.

“Anything I need to know?”

“Just that the throttle is a little strange and she’s a little unstable in a climb. I had no problems with the takeoff or landing.”

One of the Schwarzer Mann helps me get strapped in, down with the goggles. Los gehts!

The throttle, instead of being attached to the stick is over to the side, in front of another handle for fuel mixture. That will take some getting used to. Also the cane like stick feels strange after so much time in the Albatros with its two handles.

There’s plenty of power in the Hispano-Suiza V8 and I climb to 1,000 meters in a little over two minutes, almost twice as fast as the Albatros.

There are so many gauges I don’t really know what I’m looking at so I just listen and feel to try to get a sense of how the motor is running.

I don’t see any of the instability Paul mentioned. It seems like a very stable gun platform to me. The only thing I really have against it is the poor forward and downward visibility. The downward visibility I can deal with. After all, I flew a Walfisch for quite some time. Still, the forward view is so restricted I feel as if I’m boxed in.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files U cockput SPAD.jpgu CAPTURED SPAD B VISIBILITY.jpg
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[Linked Image]


I try a quick Affenfahrt* at full power and recovery, during which I almost black out. There is no vibration in the wings at all during the dive, this thing is very strong.

I try a couple of shallow turns in a figure eight. Then I try some tighter turns. The big rudder is very sensitive but the turns aren’t as tight as an Albatros can make, this I already knew, having flown against our fellow sportsmen in this machine a number of times. During the tightest turns I could get out of the crate it warned me of a stall by starting to shudder so I could let up in time to avoid it. I can see why the Engländers and Baguette’s who fly these machines prefer the straight in diving attack to any sort of maneuvering.

I cut the gas back to an idle to see how she glides. There’s none of the floating sensation you get in an Albatros. It starts to drop like a brick

All things considered, I think I could live with such a machine and have a certain feeling of security from its strong construction. I’d prefer to have two guns though.

I try to land it like the old Walfisch, just letting it land itself, but she wants to put her nose down, and again, feels heavy as a brick so I have to pull the nose up and give more power for another go around. I don’t know how you would make a dead stick landing in the thing.

On the second try, a little bounce but not a bad landing.

Paul and I discuss the SPAD on the way back. Having flown it and seeing the vulnerabilities first hand, we’ll have a better idea as to how to handle one in a fight.

There was a good deal of discussion about the SPAD in the Pilotenkasino. Some of the others are going to try to get over there to fly it themselves, Auffarth in particular. He’s a very intense fellow.

* Monkey ride



[Linked Image]



ENDE







Attached Files u CAPTURED spad FLYING A.jpgu CAPTURED SPAD FLYING B.jpg
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Freitag, 31 August 1917

On this, our fifth day of Flliegerwetter, der Eiserne has arranged for us to make a visit to Bubi Voss’ Jasta 10 at Huele to have a look at his experimental V4 Fokker Dreidecker.*

Paul and I got a distant look at the one the Richthofenstaffel has when we were at Moorsleede yesterday as it took off. We were there to pick up the photos Paul has been taking for 4. Armee of the Kortrijk area in the captured FE2d with Schober as pilot.*

*This is one of the first two Fokker Triplanes to reach the front line for further evaluation by Richthofen and Voss. They were not yet designated Fokker Dr1.

*This FE2d was captured 7 May 1917 by Ltn Walter von Bülow-Bothkamp, then a member of Jasta 18. It was from No. 20 Squadron and was used extensively for taking back area photographs during this period.


[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]




Attached Files V FE.jpgV  tripe taking off.jpg
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As a result of this trip I became acquainted with Ltn Benzsch who is in charge of the photograph developing section of FA 250s. We were able to come to an accommodation about the development of the film from my little camera. I’ve been able to visit several of the Jastas in the area during this bad weather to take photographs of some very interesting and beautifully painted aircraft.

As soon as my photographs are developed I’ll have another round of trips to make since I promised copies of these photos to many of the pilots whose picture was taken with the aircraft.

We’re going to Huele* rather than Marckebeke where the other triplane is because most of us already know Bubi and there’s just too much of a circus going on at Marckebeke.

This is, of course where Richtofen’s Staffel is and Tony Fokker is over there taking moving pictures of the Baron flying the thing and there’s brass @ssh01* deep over there.

Bubi was acting Staffelführer for us for about a month back in Jasta 14.

Berthold looks very dapper in his favorite Litewka**

All of us pilots, including Margot, load up in the two cars and one of the gray trucks for the short ride across the Lys. We NCO’s, of course, are in the truck. We are all well lubricated, and a jolly time we have of it.

Bubi is standing outside one of the hangars in a rumpled uniform with his hands in his pockets when we pull up and pile out of the vehicles. He looks old and exhausted. Used up at the age of twenty-one. But he seems as glad to see us as we are to see him.


*”Jasta Pilots” and a number of other publications has Jasta 10 at Marckebeke but “September Evening: The Life and Final Combat of the German World War One Ace, Werner Voss” by Barry Diggens, Grub Street 2012 says there was not enough room at Marckbeke so Jasta 10 was at Huele.

**Litewka, a dress down type tunic of lighter, softer fabric with a turn-down collar


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

Attached Files V worn out Voss.jpgV Lewtka.jpg
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Introductions all around for the ones who haven’t met him before. I thought Höhndorf was going to faint when he met such a star as Bubi. He and Berthold have met and he gives der Eiserne a halfhearted salute, as you would expect from Bubi.

Bubi shakes my hand and slaps me on the back, “FELIX, wie geht es dir du alt Perversling? Keeping your nose clean are you?”

“As far as anyone knows. What have you heard?”

Then I say what everyone is thinking.

“You know…you look like die $ch!*$$e!

“Yes…you know this Staffelführer business is killing me.”

“Take leave.”

“Soon. By the way you look like $ch!*$$e too, but that’s normal for you. Nit wahr?”

“Just so.”

“Let me introduce you to my baby,” he says to all of us and leads our little party over to the edge of the field where his baby sits and pats it lovingly.

To me it looks like a stubbier version of the Fokker DV with three, equally stubby, heavily cantilevered wings. The top wing looks too heavy and makes the machine look as if it will fall over any time it is moved.

The wings are attached by a single thick strut. No bracing wires at all except for a few in the center with the engine struts attaching the top wing to the fuselage. This just doesn’t look like enough bracing. I don’t see how that big top wing can stay on under any kind of stress.

It’s painted with layers of different colored streaks such as I have seen on a few working machines, mostly DFWs. According to the light at various angles, it appears to be light blue, greenish brown or gray. The round cowl is a dark gray. It has two cooling holes in the cowl that suggest eyes. Bubi, always inventive with his aircraft’s painting has put the outline of a white face on the cowl using these holes as the eyes.



[Linked Image]

CAPTION: : off_Fokker_DR1_ace_t_Jasta 10 1917_Werner’Bubi’_Voss.

Skin made by Terry Kerby and James Romano in 2010. The sky is from BuckeyeBob’s cloud Mod BB Heavy Dark Clouds.

Unfortunately, Voss never flies this DR1 in campaign. BHH2 does not assign this aircraft to Jasta 10. If you want to see or fly it you’ll have to do it in QC or maybe it’s used in a Quick Scenario. Don’t know, never use them.



Attached Files V voss and baby.jpg
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Bubi tells me that this face was suggested to him when he remembered the Japanese kites* he saw as a child.

He tells us that his baby, FI 103/17, has a le Rhone engine because they just can’t get the Oberursel right yet

Bubi says she’s a dream to fly, the most perfect machine he has ever flown. It is as if she were made specifically for him.

He assures me that the bracing for the wings is more than adequate and that, although she’s not fast, she can reach 1,000 meters in a little over two minutes and that’s without any momentum from a dive.

She has excellent visibility once you’re in the air, except for the center wing placement. A little tail heavy but you get used to that.

“I can slap her around to reverse direction with rudder only, no banking at all, just whipping my tail behind me.”

I’m impressed with what he tells me and I’m glad for him but I just don’t think this is a machine I want to fly. First of all, I hate rotaries with their verdammt Schirpsknapf (blip switch) and I’m just not interested in fancy aerobatics. The Albatros and the captured SPAD I flew last Sunday are more my style.

I get him to stand in front of his baby and let me take some pictures with my little Brownie. He’s interested in the camera, photography is one of his hobbies, and I let him play with it.

I think the machine smells of fish but don’t mention it. It must be the ersatz oil…Voltol.*

Karl and Christian* come out to see me. It’s good to see them again. We exchange a little gossip.

*The face was from a Japanese fighting kite. Voss father was a business man who did trade with various Asian countries and Werner had seen these kites as a boy.

*Voltol is an ersatz for castor oil, which was unavailable in adequate quantity to the Germans. It was a blend of fish oil, rape seed and various minerals.

* Gfr Christian Rüser and Flieger Karl Timm, Voss’ mechanics. These men followed him to all his assignments and he was on a first name basis with them. Part of the problem the military establishment had with Voss was his familiarity with the enlisted men.

September Evening: The Life and Final Combat of The German World War I Ace: Werner Voss,” by Barry Diggins (214)

Also, I call the triplane Voss’ baby. I have no idea if he called it anything or not. I just made that up too for the sake of a good story. This is semi-fictional, after all.

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I separate myself from the crowd and walk around the airfield. There are some of the new Pfalz DIII types here too, painted in a mauve and green camouflage scheme.

Jasta 24 shares Heule with Voss’ Staffel and I take a few pictures of those as well



[Linked Image]


CAPTION The Pfalz is the wingman skin OvStachel made for the new Pfalz DIIIa model and the Albatros is the stock WOFF Skin Pack skin for Heinrich Kroll, Jasta 24.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files V Pfalz.jpgV DV J24 Kroll.jpg
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While I’m taking some pictures of the new Pfalz I run into a newcomer here at the Staffel, a Leutnant Julius Bender* and we hit it off quite well.

He’s a tough looking Badener, with none of the airs of an officer. We talk about the Pfalz, one of which he flies and he’s quite pleased with it. It’s not a trick machine like Voss’ toy and it’s a little slower and a little less responsive than an Albatros but it’s solid, rugged and it dives like hell.

I offer him one of my precious Bond cigarettes which he likes very much. These are a new acquisition of mine. They’re made by Philip Morris of London whom King Albert of Belgium named his Royal Tobacconist. They’re, I think, the best smoke I’ve ever had.

Bender is very much interested in how such things can be found and I promise to take him along on some of my shopping tours. When we part, I give him the rest of the pack

*Bender’s record in “Jasta Pilots” is wrong, it says he was assigned from the Infantry to pilot training 3 Sep 17, FEA 11 and Jagdschule I on 22 Jan 18 but he is flying a Pfalz on 23 Sep, 1917 in Jasta 10 when Voss is killed. He is listed in March 1918 as being in Jasta 10 on the roster in “Hunting with Richthofen” p55, age 24. He is also shown in Jasta 10 only from 9-30 May 1918 in Jasta pilots.



[Linked Image]


Attached Files V Bender.jpg
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I come back over to the group, which appears to be breaking up. Bubi is complaining to Berthold, grumbling about all the paperwork of being Staffelführer.

Böhme* is here looking at the Dreidecker as well. I walk up and salute him and we shake hands. I didn’t know if he would remember me or not. He was one of my instructors at Fliegerschule at Liepzig-Lindenthal. He was a Vizefeldwebel then. Now he’s a grosskanon and Staffelführer of the prestigious Jagdstaffel Boelcke. They’re up near Bruge now at Varsenaere.

Quite a good fellow. A bit serious, but then this is a serious business. He and Voss are old mates from when Bubi was in Jasta Boelcke.

*Erwin Böhme



ENDE


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[size:18pt][/size]

Attached Files V Errwin Bohme.jpgKortrijik cenema.jpg
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Samstag, 1 September 1917



[Linked Image]


It is 0830. The upper patrol, led by Bertold, is 4,500 meters over Warneton, just above the thick cloud layer. Following him are myself, Paul, Otto Schober, Jan Klein, Richard Runge and Sigi Keller.

Sepple has the lower patrol below the clouds at about 2,000 meters.

Storms are expected this afternoon but for now it’s calm enough.

It’s good to be back with Beomia. She has her new manifold and exhaust, new undercarriage and a beautiful new top wing with printed fabric in the lozenge camouflage pattern.


[Linked Image]



Caption- Replacement wing in 5 color lozenge. Windsock’s “Albatros DIII” by P M Grosz p 143 indicates that the 5 color lozenge began to be used with the 2nd batch of Albatros DIII OAWs, ordered May 1917.







We’ve also given her a new overall paint job but in the strong sunlight, her many wounds are made evident by the overpainted patches on her body and wings like the numerous scars on my own body, telling our stories.

Schüssler got Jahns’ old machine. He’s painted a Deutsch Michael on its side in white, with a red nightcap.




[Linked Image]


Caption-This figure on the fuselage is deutsche Michael, he’s the German national symbol of how they see themselves, like John Bull or Uncle Sam. Michael represents the people of Germany, an easy-going everyman. I spent two tours of duty in Germany and have seen this guy and never realized what he was, go figure.
The sky is from BuckeyeBob’s cloud Mod: BB Clouds and Fog, Low. The aircraft is at 15,500 feet.

Attached Files W MAP  b.jpgw Beomia new wings.jpgW Deutch Michael.jpg
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Paul takes his Kette to chase after some fleeting dots and we lose track of him.

Paul and company find us again over the Houthulster Wald.

Since there seems to be nothing doing above the clouds we drop below them on our way to Wulverghem and Ploegstreert Wood and receive heavy Flak.

Over Warneton again, der Eiserne takes Klein, myself and Keller to chase after a pair of REs.

Berthold is far out ahead of us and a pair of Nautical raggies drop out of the clouds and start for him. I signal to the others and we climb to them, causing the boys in blue to think better of the idea and break off their attack.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


Attached Files W berthold chasing.jpgw tripe goes home.jpg
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Berthold leads us home by way of Comines and our wheels touch the grass again at 0930.

The dots Paul chased after turned out to be Albatrosn.

It begins to rain just about 1100 and increases to a full blown storm by mid-afternoon. Der Eiserne seems to have gotten over the idea of having us do training in heavy rain.

Today we get a ration of Heer und Flotte Zigaretten und Zigarren , a box of 10 cigars and 2 boxes of 20 cigarettes, not nearly enough for me, but I don’t really need them since I was able to procure plenty of tobacco for myself and the other pilots during the Flliegerwetter.

I’ll keep these issue items as a reserve or perhaps use them to grease some palms.

While shopping for the Offz bVz I got my hands on considerable amounts of various types of tobacco. These Bond cigarettes are marvelous and I’ll keep them close to me but I was able to get Vater some of those odorous clove scented French Gouloises and the equally obnoxious Gitanes favored by French officers, nasty things.

I found a very few Woodbines which are worth their weight in gold on the other side of the lines. I found a good number of Ecksteins, which are one of my favorites, some Pilots which Seppl favors and some Turkish Regie gaspers.*

I sold most of them off to the rest of the boys but make no profit off my flying comrades. This would be very poor form.

The alcohol ration was renewed also, I leave it in the Pilotenkasino account for drinking when I’m there, I have preferred brands I get by other means for more private use.


Paul is packing up to go on a well-deserved leave. He won’t be back until Oktober. Many things are in short supply back in the Heimat, I help him find some things to take back to his people in Schorndorff.

*Entirely fictional. I have no idea what type of cigarettes these people favored, other than that Veltjens smoked the R6 brand postwar.

ENDE



https://SimHQ.com/forum/tmp/44051.jpg

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Attached Files cigarettes Gaouloises french a.jpgcigarettes j turkish ww11.jpgcigarettes g.jpgcigarettes woodbine british cheap strong unfilered popular w enlisted.jpgcigarettes b.jpg
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Sontag, 2 September 1917, Sedantag



[Linked Image]



Today is Sedantag* and as we have more Flliegerwetter, we can have a proper celebration.

I saw Paul this morning getting into the Benz to be taken to the train station in Kortrijk. He was loaded down with luggage and boxes. Maybe he’ll get home with all of it.

*Celebration of the victory at Sedan, 2 September 1870, during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.
In Germany, this war is called the German-French War rather than Franco-Prussian since it resulted in the unification of the German states into a Reich, elevating Wilhelm I from King of Prussia to the Kaiser of the German Empire.


[Linked Image]



No training today. I spend my morning working on Beomia.

I run into Malmann. We have become, if not exactly friends, friendly. His broken arm isn’t slowing him down much. He joined me and some others from the Staffel on an expedition to Houtmarkt to work off our Geilheit* during our down time this past week.

The cooks and the OzbV outdo themselves. There are oak leaf wreaths around all the plates and serving dishes, flags and streamers all over the dining room and some very fine china and crystal, stolen from who knows where.

The cooks have prepared der Eisernes favorite dish, Bamberger Zwiebel,** a dish usually referred to as beer onion outside Berthold’s native Bamberg. With it are potatoes, a salad and a great deal of good beer. And, of course, there is the punchbowl which is usual during any Fliegerfreier (Flier’s celebration.)



[Linked Image]




Everyone is in their best finery, an eclectic group as is usual in a flying unit, almost everyone in the uniform of their Stammeinheit.*** I myself wear the tunic of the König von Sachsen 4. Infantrie-Reg. Nr. 103 with gray air service straps piped in the blue of my regiment and the number 4 in red below the red Fliegertruppe insignia. On my cap I wear the white green white cockade of Saxony below the black white red one of the Reich.

We put oak leaf sprigs in our cap bands and in our button holes as a patriotic gesture.

Berthold is at his best, turning on that considerable charm that has been less and less frequently seen in recent times.

We toast the Kaiser and the heroes of the Deutsch-Französischer Krieg von 1870 bis 1871 and the victory at Sedan.

I was not there at Sedan, having suffered a fatal wound in the rubble of Saint Privat on 18 August while with the 1st Saxon Brigade.

* randyness lust


**A large onion, hollowed out, filled with sausage meat, eggs and bread, then braised in a beer sauce. Usually served with potatoes or sauerkraut and, of course, beer.

***Parent unit





[Linked Image]









Attached Files 2 sep Airfield in the rain.jpg2 Sep Berlin 1895.jpg2 Sep Saint Privat B.jpg2 Sep bamberger.jpg
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This was one of those times when I died in the field hospital and awoke in a row of other bodies to be buried. As often happens in the confusion in such places, it was just assumed that an error had been made.

My recovery from that was longer than usual as my leg was badly mangled. I had to fight the doctors and orderlies to keep them from taking it off. After I threatened to kill them all they left me alone. Why waste time on a madman when there were others who wanted to be saved. “Let the fool die if he wishes.”

But, of course, I did not die and the leg, though scarred is as sound as ever. Just as things have always been for me.

After this war, a united German nation, a Reich came into being and I, once again, served a Caesar.



[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



Attached Files 2 Sep Fraco Prussian a.jpg2 Sep Franco Prussion b.jpg
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Lively discussions buzz above the table and there is much singing as we become more lubricated.

We are treated to a fine comic story from der Eiserne about a fight he and I had during our period of being Franz und Emil.

“I had Felix here with me out to do some photographing when we were attacked by two enemy scouts.”

Imitating the maneuvers of our opponent with his hands he says, “The leader of the two came sliding from the side over our right wing…so high…I would say a hand’s breadth…I had to duck so that he would not take off the top of my head with his undercarriage.”


“I don’t think he even noticed my shouting ‘Good morning’ to him as he was in such a hurry to make a steep curve with his aerial chaise and plant himself below our tail. His fellow sportsman dropped down from above and nagged at us…from the right, from the left. I could have used a machine gun which turns in all directions like a garden sprinkler and sprays bullets.”


[Linked Image]


He now dabs with his handkerchief at his face, upon which the exertion of eating and drinking has caused drops of sweat to form.

“They made a sieve out of us. Horrible?”

Nicht Wahr Felix?”

I add my part to the exaggeration, “Just so…a complete sieve Eiserne…yes. I did not count the holes but there must have been hundreds…thousands!”

Eiserne continues, “But, in the end, that was our salvation. The Frenchmen could no longer see us because of all the holes and we escaped home.”

There was much merriment over his story, retold many times before but not to many of this particular crowd.

Since that one went so well he continues with his second story. “On another occasion, long before I flew with Felix, the uralte alt Kiste (ancient old crate) I was flying in received so many hits from ground fire between the two cockpits that the tail began to detach. But with presence of mind I flung both my arms around my Emil and held on tight, and in so doing kept the tail on. During the landing afterwards we flipped over. There we were lying on our back, and only when I freed my arms of my Emil did the fuselage break into two halves.”*

Auffarth is laughing so hard that he swallows the wrong way so that Seppl has to pound him on the back as his face turns blue.

Cigars are lit and we adjourn to the main room of the Kasino for more talk and drinking until Abendsbrott.

We talk about some of the various superstitions of pilots and Frontswein we have known. Their efficacy or lack thereof. The swindles perpetrated on the gullible by fortune tellers. Margot has a tale about a pilot he knew whose wife asked him to send some of his pubic hairs, long ones. She was paying a woman to make a charm from them that would protect him.

I ask,”Did it work?”

“Unknown…a Frenchman cremated him and his Franz before the charm came in the mail.”


[img]*These are adaptations of stories told at an Easter celebration at FAA 292b from Otto Fuchs Wir Flieger, translated with commentary by Adam M. Wait and published by Shiffer as “Flying Fox.”


ENDE


NO POST TOMORROW[/img]

Attached Files 2 Sep Aviatik vs Nieuport.jpg
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43

Dienstag, 4 September 1917

Alter Herr Dingel,* our jolly Uhlan has joined us from Jasta 14 this morning and Barnekow has gone to Jasta 4.

Dingel’s Spitzname, is rather amusing to me. He’s all of twenty-nine, but an ancient to these young men.

Physically I believe I must have stopped aging around twenty-five or six. So, I’m a bit of an ancient to them myself. How surprised they’d be if they knew my true age.

Margot is the oldest of the old Jasta 14 crowd at thirty-three.

*Old Mr. DIngel - Walter Dingel served with Berthold in FA23 and Jasta 14. Born 19 April 1888 in Magdeburg. Reserve officer, originally in Uhlan Regiment #16. Jörg Mücker and Rainer Absmeier’s “Jasta 14, Die Geschichte der Jagdstaffel 14 – 1916-1918,”



[Linked Image]


Höhndorf is no longer with us. Something about him displeased der Meister and he disappeared into the ether, such are the consequences of losing favor with the gods.

We had fine weather yesterday and made three hunting flights but none of the Lords wished to come over and play.


[Linked Image]



Today their reconnaissance machines are out in force.

It’s a beautiful day, sunny, no clouds with a favorable westerly wind.



Attached Files X Dingel.jpgX RE8s RFC 21.jpg
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Berthold finds a nice, unwary RE, the Franz preoccupied with his tasks. He attacks, bringing it down near Ypres.* I see it crash on the northern edge of the city.

*This RE8 was B3411 of No. 7 Squadron, crew Lt. Wray and 2Lt Payne MC were killed. The Luftsieg was confirmed and credited to Berthold. This according to “Iron Man, Rudolf Berthold” by Peter Kilduff.




[Linked Image]





Attached Files X RE8 flames.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/20/23 12:06 PM.
#4621172 - 02/20/23 12:10 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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At 1700 we have a third hunting flight with only myself, Seppl and der Eiserne. Heavy clouds are beginning to come in from the northwest.



[Linked Image]



A British Artilleriehaschen (Artillery rabbit) is going about his business east of Ypres. Eiserne points to the RE and and then upward. Sepple and I nod at him. He will attack while we cover him from above.

He sends it down, stinking, a few kilometers north of Ypres.* Two in one day. Der Eiserne is back in form.

*Again, from “Iron Man, Rudolf Berthold” by Peter Kilduff; this RE8 was from No. 9 Squadron. This was confirmed as Berthold’s 15th on the basis of Germans who saw the RE going down, although it was within its own lines. So much for fairness in the confirmation process.



[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]






Attached Files x 3 man patrol.jpgx RE8 flaming distance.jpgX MAP.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/20/23 12:13 PM.
#4621173 - 02/20/23 12:19 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Today's two REs are der Eiserne’s 14th and 15th Luftsiege, the first of which has already been confirmed when we touch the field this evening.


[Linked Image]


Berthold, as you would expect is in great high spirits. Assuming that the 15th Luftsieg will be confirmed as well, the OzbV has a wreath made, which is presented to der Meister at Abendsbrot.

Eiserne, of course, makes a speech which turns into a bit of a rant and gives us an indication of why Höhndorf is gone.

“I wish to remind each of you that it is your duty to shoot down your countries’ enemies whenever the opportunity presents itself.



[Linked Image]


Not to do so is to transgress against your soldierly duty, which demands that one render an opponent harmless wherever one encounters him. At times, this means taking him prisoner if one surprises him in a defenseless position. More often, and for us, because this is impossible in the air…killing ..”

“Some may think that it is honorable…chivalrous to spare an enemy when he is at your mercy!”

I SAY IT IS NOT!

“To fail in this duty betrays the spirit of comradeship in that a dangerous fellow is allowed to go who perhaps tomorrow will extinguish the life of one of our own without batting an eyelash!”

“Is this not mutiny and does it not demand a court martial?”

“I will have no such person in my Staffel!”







Attached Files X airfield ha landing circling f.jpgX tripe stinking.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/20/23 12:31 PM.
#4621174 - 02/20/23 12:22 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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My personal take on this subject differs somewhat. Although I recognize the truth in what der Eiserne says, my focus is more on preventing the enemy from accomplishing his mission. If I can damage a number of them so that they retreat, then I consider this more important than making sure they die.


I have, of course, no problem with killing an enemy. This is necessary in war and I’ve certainly killed my share.



[Linked Image]


But it should not be your only object. The same or better results can be obtained on occasion by maneuver or by disabling an opponent.

So in a Luftkamps my main focus is on supporting my comrades rather than destroying individual opponents.

But then, I don’t seek any glory, nor do I really care one way or the other about the victory achieved by any nation or monarch. I’ve seen them come and seen them go. I identify with my comrades and with peoples with whom I’ve lived among in the past, such as the Sachsen.

At times, however, the traits I inherited from my sire surface and I am taken by the Jagdfieber.

Violence and the act of killing can become addictive if one is not careful.

When we discuss the speech later, none of us saw the incident der Eiserne seems to have been referring to. It’s just as possible that it was just something Höhndorf said that led Berthold to the conclusion that he didn’t have what it takes to be a Jagdflieger.

The best of luck to him.*

*As before stated, I have no information on Höhndorf other than his name and approximate time of assignment to Jasta 18. This story about him is fiction and is not meant in disrespect. I needed someone to be the object of Berthold’s speech, also fictitious, and he fit the bill.

The speech itself is an adaptation of a conversation between Otto Fuchs and Otto Kissenberth, referring to an Englishman Fuchs found napping and decided, on a whim, to spare.

It was Fuchs, not his commanding officer, who suggested the the act was a form of mutiny and he should be court martialed.

Otto Fuchs, Wir Flieger, translated with commentary by Adam M. Wait and published by Shiffer as “Flying Fox.”

ENDE

Attached Files x vikings vs wessex 871 ce h neck kill.jpg
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[Linked Image]


44

Mittwoch, 5 September 1917

Nuer tag.

A fine day, warm, only a few clouds and a northwesterly wind.

Berthold leads the upper patrol. We have Alter Herr Dingel with us for his first patrol with the Staffel and Ltn Schüssler finally getting to make his first as a Jagdflieger. First, there was no aircraft for Schüssler, then he became ill, so his debute was somewhat delayed. He has Jahns’ machine.

Sepple is leading the lower patrol with Otto and Jan.

The lower patrol foundthree of the new Sopwith Camels northeast of Tenbrielen. Jan Klein attacked with the others in support and brought one of them down.


[Linked Image]


Caption: This skin is Off_camel_Ace_t_RFC-43 1917_John L_Trollope. There are no details about the Camel Klein shot down on the 5th. I used this one because the unit is in the area and I just like to do shots of some of the beautiful skins in the WOFF skin pack. Trollope was not Klein’s victim.

John Lightfoot Trollope was credited with 18 aerial victories and died in 1958.

The Albatros DIII OAW skin for Johannes Klein was made by OvStachel in 2017

I believe Sandbagger was the maker of all the Camels.



Attached Files 5 Sep map.jpg5 Sep Klein vs Camel.jpg
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[Linked Image]


Caption This Albatros DIII OAW skin for Walter Dingel was made by OvStachel in 2020. The British skin is Off_camel_Ace_t_RFC-43 1917_Henry W_Woollet from the WOFF Skin Pack.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


Caption - This Albatros DIII OAW skin for Josef ‘Seppl’Veltjens was made by OvStachel in 2020. The British skin is Off_camel_Ace_t_RFC-43 1917_Charles C ‘Sandy’_Banks from the WOFF Skin Pack.



[Linked Image]




[Linked Image]


ENDE




NO POST TOMORROW

Attached Files 5 Sep Dingel vs Camel.jpg5 Sep Keller vs Camel.jpg5 Sep Veltjens vs Camel.jpg5 Sep Klein flying over Luftsieg.jpg5 Sep Camel no 43 Squ Woollet leaving.jpg
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45

The second Patrouillenflüg,(patrol flight) of the day begins at 1100. It’s not in full strength, only myself, Runge, Schober and Klein, led by Seppl. A few more clouds have developed but it’s still a fine day for hunting. The wind is in our favor.

We fly to Warneton, then north to Ypres. The Flak is moderate and low. Sepple leads us in maneuvers that suggest to the gunners below that they’re zeroed in on us and the white puffs don’t trouble us.

We fly all the way to the flooded area, finding nothing on our side, then turn back, dropping down to 2,000 meters.

Near Zonnebeke two REs are harassing the feldgrau. We attack and the Flak fire stops.

The two REs separate. Runge, Schober and I concentrate on one while Sepple and Jan Klein go after the other.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]



We cut off our REs escape and herd him back toward the west where our Flak starts up again, coming uncomfortably close to us as well as to the Engländers. Beomia takes several hits from the shrapnel.





[Linked Image]





Schober and Runge keep an eye out for interference and block off the RE’s escape route while I continue to attack. After I do severe damage to his wings, the RE is forced to land near Oosthoek.




[Linked Image]


Attached Files 5 Sep Eber vs RE.jpg5 Sep Eber Schober Runge vs RE.jpg5 Sep Runge firing.jpg5 Sep Flak close call.jpg5 Sep Eber takes RE down.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/23/23 12:17 PM.
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Sepple and Klein’s chase terminates over the lines near Hoogen.

It goes straight down, crashing in the craters behind the British trench line.*

*Josef Veltjens did not shoot down an RE8 on this date, nor did he make a claim as far as is known. This noon patrol is entirely fictitious. It is a WOFF Campaign mission. Most of the patrols up to this point have been scripted from Paul Strähl’s diary. He’s on leave for most of September so there is limited material on day to day activities other than weather information and documented patrols where aerial victories were achieved by the Staffel.



[Linked Image]





Schober and Runge attach themselves to me and we look for Seppl and Klein in the direction of the front but don’t find them so we return to Harlebeke. Sepple and Klein come in about fifteen minutes later.




[Linked Image]




We all discuss the fight then go toward the office. I go in the opposite direction.

Seppl asks, “Aren’t you coming to fill out a claim?”

“I hadn’t planned to…Flak and ground fire took our Kiste down.”

Runge and Schober, in unison “No it didn’t, we saw you nearly shoot the wings off the thing.”

“No…it was Flak. You saw how close it came to me also. One of you are welcome to contest the Flak claim. You both put some holes in it as well. I’m not wasting my time.”

Sepple turns, “As you will.” and the others follow him.



[Linked Image]





I’m called into der Meister’s office about a half hour later.

Eiserne: “Why haven’t you put in a claim for your RE?”

Myself: “I have no claim to make. Ground fire and Flak brought it down. The holes in my bird’s wings attest to how much fire was coming from the ground.”

Eiserne: “Quatsch!* That is not what Runge and Schober say!”

Myself: “They are mistaken. They were too far away to know.”

Eiserne: “This is not the first time you have neglected to make a claim. I do not know what your problem is but you will not continue in this way!”

“This is a matter of the honor of the Staffel. The number of Aircraft shot down is what a Jagdstaffel is judged by. It reflects badly on this Staffel and your comrades if you do not claim your Luftsieg!”

He failed to mention the most important point. It didn’t make him look good.

“You will go to the office and you will claim that RE, for this Staffel and you will not mention Flak or ground fire!

“Is this understood!” He was screaming by this time.

“At your orders Herr Oberleutnant!”

“Verdammter noch mal!
He says to my back.

*a rude expression similar to nonsense.



NOTE: See map above in post 44 for the location of aerial victories of all the patrols for 5 Sep.



Attached Files 5 Sep Veltjens vs RE.jpg5 Sep airfield gg.jpg5 Sep landing.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/24/23 12:09 PM.
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46

Our evening hunting flight was scheduled for 1700 but before 1500 we received an alert to intercept British bombers, apparently on their way toward Ghent.

Those of us that were fueled and ready took off with Berthold and, following the line of black specks in the sky engaged them at 5,000 meters near Iseghem.

These were some of the big D.H. 4 machines. After a chase of about twenty kilometers, der Eiserne forced one of these down near Thielt.**

**Ref. Osprey “Jasta 18; the Red Noses,” Greg VanWyngarden. This was D.H.4 A7530 of No. 55 Squadron. Lt John William Fraser Neill and 2Lt Thomas Milligan Webster were taken prisoner.
Thielt is not on this map square so I have marked Iseghem instead with an arrow indicating the direction of the chase.


[Linked Image]




Attached Files 5 Sep Berthold vs DH4.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/24/23 12:07 PM.
#4621402 - 02/24/23 12:13 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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[Linked Image]



It begins to rain lightly when we return to Harlebeke.

Vater was not able to take part in the chase of the D.H.4s as he is having problems with his engine. He’s in the air, testing the work done on it.

I’m talking to Dieter, watching Vater land and taxi up to the hangars. Two of his ground crew, Wilke and Zadeck , squat on a tool chest chatting. Next to them, Max is lying in the grass stretching out all four of his legs.



[Linked Image]




Vater’s bird rolls across the field in a wide arc and draws closer, first grumbling angrily and then softly whistling and grinding. Max starts up from his slumber and springs towards the machine, knowing it is Vater and greeting him with the joy that only a dog can feel. He circles around the machine barking and accompanies the Haifisch until it stops twenty paces in front of us.



Attached Files 5 Sep Hangars rain.jpg5 Sep newfoundland.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/24/23 12:14 PM.
#4621405 - 02/24/23 12:26 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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“Look at that crazy mutt!,” Wilke shouts. Max is bouncing like a rubber ball. Then he squeezes through beneath the wings and straightens up, resting his forepaws against the fuselage. Vater, who is standing up in the cockpit now, stretches his hand towards him. Max whines as he licks it.

Then he races forward again toward the gently paddling propeller. CRACK!

“What was that?”


The propeller stops, broken in splinters. A black heap plops to the ground thirty paces to the side…Max.

“Well he’s had it,” Says Zadeck and tosses his cigarette away.

We all run over. There lies a panting black bundle. A thin string of blood is running from his nose and mouth. His rear shank has been split by a deep wound. Below his hock his leg is bent at a right angle. Wilke bends over the silently twitching animal. Everyone assembles around us. In the background Margot is cursing. “Mist! This is great! Such a stupid animal! Look at that verdammt propeller!”

Der Meister is there now and disperses those standing idly about. They should get back to work.

“What the hell you deppen gawking at? Perhaps you have never seen a butcher shop before. I will not have any more dogs on the airfield…stupid…stupid. It must have severed his spine…No? but he’s lost his leg. His skull will also be cracked…stupid…stupid”

Vater is kneeling silently beside his dog.

“We will have to shoot him right away,” Wilke murmurs as he straightens up and slaps the dirt off his knees. He means well.

Vater slowly turns his head towards us. His deathly sad eyes, half hidden beneath his thick lids, are fixed meaningfully upon Berthold for a second. Then he looks at his friend, gently slips his hand beneath his heavy head and slowly turns it toward him.

“Then you may as well shoot me as well,” he says.

There follows an awkward silence. Margot breaks off in the middle of his cursing.




[Linked Image]



I have seen many wounds in my time. I bend over the leg wound and spread it apart with my thumb and index finger. One could easily lay a hand in the gaping salmon pink hole..

“Just the muscle has been hacked through..the leg is unfortunately broken. But maybe that too can be mended. Besides that he will have suffered a concussion…perhaps internal
injuries.?”

“So you are also a doctor?” Wilke growls. He feels a bit hurt because his well-intentioned advice appears to have been overly hasty. Vater casts a grateful look towards me.

Malmann and one of his driver’s speeds off with the Benz to get hold of a veterinarian. I stay with Vater and we put on a temporary bandage.

The others go about their business. We move Max, carefully on a litter, to Vater’s quarters as it begins to rain.

It’s well after Abendsbrot when the driver and Malmann return. He has with him a Tierarzthelferin * who offered to accompany him in a humanitarian, or rather animal-loving fashion, since a veterinarian could not be found.

Max is still unconscious when they arrive.

The medical man straightens the broken leg, removes the splinters with tweezers, sets it in splints and covers it with plaster of Paris. He conscientiously shaves the fur around the wound and stitches the folds of skin with a curved needle.

The Tierarzthelferin tells us that Max will probably pull through. He will have another look at him later this evening and inject him with camphor in order to stimulate his heart.



[Linked Image]



Vater is touchingly grateful. He will probably be up all night with Max. I leave them alone.

When the Tierarzthelferin returns I have a nice present waiting for him.**


*Non-commissioned Veterinarian’s helper.

**Story adapted from one told by Otto Fuchs in his, Wir Flieger, translated with commentary by Adam M. Wait and published by Shiffer as “Flying Fox.” The story is about a Newfoundland named Wotan who belonged to a fellow pilot in FAA 292b.




ENDE


Looking back at the last posting, I see that I don’t have the lozenge wings on Beomia…OOPS!

What’s done is done.






Attached Files 5 sep Turck.jpg5 Sep Veterinarian.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/24/23 12:35 PM.
#4621451 - 02/25/23 12:06 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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47



Dienstag
, 9 September 1917

Neuer tag.


Jasta 24 has come from Huele to join us here at Harlebeke. They moved in on the other side of the field yesterday and are still setting up. They're in the process of re-equipping with the Albatros DV.

The pilots will be quartered in a chateau near the south edge of the landing field.


[Linked Image]

Caption - From from front to back are the Albatros DV of Gebhardt Salzwedel; Wilhelm Sheerer; Max Wackwitz and Otto Heller, all from the More Skins by jerbear Mod pack 6.



The fog and rain have let up and there is brisk enemy activity along the front this afternoon.

It is 1430 and der Eiserne is leading us on a hunt over Hollebeke at 4,000 meters. There are six of us, Eiserne, Sepple, Auffarth, myself, Keller and Klein. Jan Klein takes the highest position in the rear to be our guardian angel.

In the sunlight the fuselages of our brightly colored birds glow splendidly; reminding me of the of the bright colors displayed by the knights long, long ago. These too served the purpose of identifying the wearer by his family or the organized body to which he belongs so that his deeds are noted.

Our own colors, Gules and Azure, would have symbolized the warrior and noble cast and truth and sincerity.



[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]


Battle scenes are from the video game Totalwar, Medieval II, by SAGA

Attached Files 9 SEP J24 LINUP.jpg9 Sep Flashing in sunlight.jpg9 Sep medieval crecy aj 1346.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/25/23 12:33 PM.
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Vater is leading the lower patrol, with Runge, Otto Schober, Schüssler and Alter Herr Dingel. The Flak is light, and concentrates mostly on them.


[Linked Image]


A formation gradually approaches us. It’s higher than we are, and with the sun in our eyes we can’t tell whether it belongs to friend or foe.



[Linked Image]

Attached Files 9 SEP Turck and shober.jpg9 Sep enemy above.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/25/23 12:13 PM.
#4621453 - 02/25/23 12:15 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Now those machines are above us, and we spot their cockades in the sunshine…Camels.

We close up and await their attack.

A verey light shines out on high and sinks towards us with long trails of smoke…the signal to attack, given by the English leader.*


[Linked Image]




CAPTION – Sopwith Camel skins are from No. 43 Squadron


*Yeah, yeah…I know…we don’t have flare signals for scouts in WOFF. Use your imagination.



Attached Files 9 Sep Verylight.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/25/23 12:15 PM.
#4621454 - 02/25/23 12:21 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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They dive down on us and a lively Luftkampfes begins with these ‘Sons of Albion.’*
The air reeks of castor oil.

*a term used in many sermons and religious articles in the German wartime newspapers. Eber would use such a term in a comic sense.


[Linked Image]



It’s impossible for me to keep track of Eiserne.

I see Keller foolishly get involved in a Kurvenkempf with one of the Camels. At lease he has the sense to turn to the left. I flip over and reverse direction to break up the party.

I fire at the Tommy and he drops into a spin.

I look around for the next target and everything is calm. I see only our machines and a few dots in the distance, to the west.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]



We begin to reform on der Eiserne.


[Linked Image]

Attached Files 9 SEP Bert vs Camel.jpg9 Sep keller vs Camel.jpg9 Sep Eber vs camel.jpg9 Sep reforming.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/25/23 12:36 PM.
#4621456 - 02/25/23 12:29 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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When I walk into the Pilotenkasino this evening, Vater is paging through a magazine, one of the Die Jugend from Gerbig, frowning. “This is disgusting filth. How did it get in here?”

I shrug.

Max hobbles towards me on three legs, the fourth in bandages. He greets me with a slight wag of the tail. I get down on my knees and rub him and speak to him. He smells the pieces of sausage I have in my pocket for him. It looks like he’s going to be just fine.

“By the way, congratulations on your RE. I hear the confirmation came through.” Vater says. “Too bad about Sepple’s…. eine zur Landung gezwungen I hear.”

I simply grunt.


[Linked Image]


I don’t like to make victory claims. I prefer to remain in the shadows. Calling attention to myself puts me in danger of being discovered for what I am.

If rich, powerful people were ever to come to know about me they would make a laboratory rat of me so they could try to find out a way to cheat death.

That would be a living death for me.

I’ve been very successful at staying hidden. I have been discovered on a few occasions and I had to kill a number of people to suppress that knowledge, witch hunters, an inquisitor that thought he had found some sort of demon. I had to spill a lot of blood on that occasion.

When I joined the Luftstreitkräfte, I thought it would be a low visibility assignment. I had no idea that the air war would become so prominent and so much attention would be paid to successful pilots.

Even when Berthold asked for me in Jasta 14 I only thought the limelight would shine on the kanone, like himself, Boelcke, Immelmann and their like.

This Luftsieg makes three confirmed.

Franz Höhndorf has died. He took over Jasta 14 after Berthold was given this command. An old comrade from the FFA 23/Kampfeinsitzer KIommando Vaux days and a Blue Max man. Died in a crash, test flying some prototype or other.

ENDE



NO POST TOMORROW

Attached Files 9 sep Eber vs RE8 a.jpg
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#4621563 - 02/27/23 11:46 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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48

Dienstag, 11 September 1917

Neuer tag.

The mid-day hunting flight leaves the ground at 1445. The upper patrol is led by der Eiserne.

There are seven of us, myself, Sepple, Jan, Otto Schober, Alter Herr Dingel and Schüssler. Seppl takes the highest position in the rear.

As we reach our intended patrol altitude of 4.000 meters, smudges of Flak can be seen to the south of Kortrijk.


[Linked Image]


We climb higher as the Flak moves toward us. There is a wedge of green geese within the puffs of black smoke. I make them to be D.H.4s, five of them. They’re dropping bombs on the Kortrijk rail sidings.

Eiserne fires three shots to signal an attack and dives. We follow in formation, firing at the nearest olive green shape then separating after we pass through the enemy. The bomber formation breaks up and we each pick our target.

I keep my distance, attracting the fire of the English Franzen to distract them from Berthold and the others trying to get behind and below them.

Berthold receives such a heavy dose of lead that he lets go of his opponent as the Britisher dives toward the west.



[Linked Image]


CAPTION: This D.H.4 skin is that of Alexander Roulstone of No 57 Squadron. This encounter is fictional, he lived until 1965.

I just wanted to show off these WOFF Skin Pack skins. The two D.H.4s lost were from No. 57 Squadron, just not these particular guys..


Attached Files 11 Sep DH4 dropping bombs.jpg11 Sep Eber vs DH4.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/27/23 12:02 PM.
#4621566 - 02/27/23 11:53 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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By ones and twos the others reform on der Eiserne as he circles above the Eisenbahn.* Dingel does not join us and so we continue to circle for another ten minutes before Berthold leads us back home.

On the ground again at about 1530, no one saw our Uhlan after the enemy formation broke apart.

Spiess comes running up to der Eiserne and says that Dingel has made a good emergency landing near a rear area rest camp at Moorseele. He has a hole in his fuel tank so a crew will have to go to repair his machine.

Now that we know Alter Herr DIngel is safe there are congratulations all around for Otto, who has his first Luftsieg. We pick him up and carry him to the Pilotenkasino where champaign is opened and poured over his head.**

*Literally, iron road - railroad

**This is Schober’s first and only aerial victory, a D.H.4 from No. 57 Squadron, A.7439. Shot down near Terhand. Both crewmen were killed.


[Linked Image]

CAPTION; This D.H.4 skin is that of Claud Stokes of RFC 57. Stokes was not shot down and killed by Schober. He was credited with 5 aerial victories and was killed on 7 November 1918.

Attached Files 11 Sep Schober vs DH4.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/27/23 12:03 PM.
#4621567 - 02/27/23 11:59 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We do not see Dingel until we gather in the Kasino after the evening patrol. He has the big rudder of one of the bombers propped up against a wall. He chased one of the Engländers to the Moorseele area where he shot the wings off him.*

*Walter Dingel’s second and last aerial victory. A D.H.4 from No. 57 Squadron, A.7583. Shot down near Moorseele, Both crewmen were killed.



[Linked Image]


CAPTION; This D.H.4 skin is that of Andrew MacGregor of RFC 57. MacGregor was not shot down and killed by Dingel. He was credited with 6 aerial victories and died in 1983.

Dingel’s emergency landing is fiction. The damage to his aircraft only happened during the WOFF fight in Campaign land.



[Linked Image]


It’s an auspicious day for our newest member to join us. We now have Ltn Walther Kleffel among us, late of FAA 296 and Jagdeschule 1 and a comerade of Weinschenk’s from Jäger Regt zu Pferd Nr. 6. He’s quite disappointed that Weinschenk is not among us at this time. It’s assumed that he’ll be back with us after his recovery but the time frame is uncertain.


ENDE


Attached Files 11 Sep Dingel vs DH4.jpg11 Sep Mapa.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/27/23 11:59 AM.
#4621634 - 02/28/23 11:59 AM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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49

Mittwoch, 12 September 1917

Neuer tag.

No rain, cloudy, 17 degrees.

Bombing has been going on almost every day at Huele and Markbeke airfields.

Turck and I take Junger Kleffel out for his first orientation flight this morning at 0800. He uses Paul’s machine.*



*WOFF assigned Kleffel the horseshoe I use. Did not make a Pfalz an Alb DIII OAW or DVII. What he flew is unknown.


[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]

We show him the sites, west along the Lys and the Kortrijk rail line to Wevelghem and Menen; up along the old Roman road from Menen to Ypres to Gheluwe; southwest to Wervicg along the rails to Warneton and on west to Hollebeke; now northeast along behind the lines to Ghetuevelt and Moorslede; west over Passchendaele to Langemark; doubling back to Poelkappelle where we heard this morning that a pilot from Jagdstaffel 3 shot down the Baguette’s Oberkanone* Guynemer yesterday; north to the Houthulster Wald and the flooded area; now east toward Roulers, Iseghem and Ingelmunster where we can follow the Eisenbahn** back down to Kortrijk before turning east and home.

*top gun
* *Literally, iron road - railroad


[Linked Image]

Attached Files 12 Sep 3 Alb flying.jpg12 SEP MAP.jpg12 Sep circling field.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/28/23 12:15 PM.
#4621636 - 02/28/23 12:05 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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We make an evening Patrouillenflüg at 1700, Otto Klein, Keller, myself, Richard Runge, Seppl leads.

The weather is still cloudy and warm.

We scout along the lines opposite Ypres at 3,500 meters hoping to find an English arbeitsfieger. (Working pilot) There is little Flak.

Three silvery Nieuports pass above us and seem to be going their own way until one of them tumbles down like an acrobat, then comes at us from behind.


[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]


CAPTION This it the default skin for the Nieuport 23 (Lewis)

Attached Files 12 Sep A.jpg12 Sep B.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/28/23 12:06 PM.
#4621638 - 02/28/23 12:10 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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The other two Napoleons stay above. Perhaps they’re Hasen, and this one wants to show them how it is done.



[Linked Image]




[Linked Image]



The silver devil is an excellent flier and his Nieuport, though not one of the very newest type, is very fast and he flies rings around us. None of us can lay a hand on him.

Perhaps he is their Albert Ball returned to life.

Attached Files 12 Sep C.jpg12 SEP D.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/28/23 12:20 PM.
#4621640 - 02/28/23 12:13 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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He climbs out of our reach and he and his companions continue on their way.


We’re lucky Berthold wasn’t leading this patrol. We’d never hear the end of it. All of us agree to an acceptable story and play it down when he asks about the encounter later that evening.


[Linked Image]



[Linked Image]



ENDE



Attached Files 12 Sep E N23 going home.jpg12 SEP landing.jpg
Last edited by jerbear; 02/28/23 12:13 PM.
#4621646 - 02/28/23 01:12 PM Re: DEAD IS NOT DEAD [Re: jerbear]  
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Absolutely brilliant stuff mate, imo this should be sticked is there anyone else here that’s reading Jerbears “Dead is not dead” works?.

Fantastic writing and screenshots Jerbear. cheers


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
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