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Todt Von Oben

A Revelation...........

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When I began flying Red Baron, I found myself coping with unfamiliar technologies in a combat situation. At first, it was hard to even find the other plane, let alone lock on and shoot it.

 

After a while, I got pretty good at it: managed to survive from 1915 through Armistace Day a few times, and on those campaigns logged several hundred victories each.

 

I'd talk about it with the one buddy I have over here who also played RB3D. And what always hit us was the reality of the situation. Yes, we talk about shooting down famous Aces; battles where we scored many kills before running out of ammo; etc. But there was always that little humbler there, too.

 

We were the product of many, many "lives" in the air. We started out learning to crawl: trying to figure out the machine before becoming aggressive with it. Learning to fly without breaking it, etc. It didn't matter if we got killed: we could simply sign on as another pilot, and have the benefit of all we'd learned. We could try every foolish trick in the book, just to see if we could get away with it. We were like Cylons: to die is to be immediately reborn as another pilot. It's easy to get skilled that way, when all the lessons you've learned in past lives come with you.

 

The reality of it is truly humbling. The guys in WWI who did this for real only had one shot at it. Flight was in its infancy; there were so many ways the planes could kill you it wasn't funny.

 

Plus, those guys were doing it 24-7, through all weather, with all the physical and emotional stress that war involves. High altitude, thin air, freezing temperatures, lost friends, etc.

 

And they only had one chance to get it all right.

 

That's what really trips my respect hammer when I think of people like Von Richthofen, Ball, Guynemer, Voss, Rickenbacker, and the rest. They did all they did first time out of the barn, and did it for real.

 

Here, we have fun with WWI air combat. I do it for enjoyment, and to unwind after work. I can only imagine what it must have really been like for those who did it back in the great war. And when I try to imagine it, I am filled with awe.

 

Prost!

 

TvO

Edited by Todt Von Oben

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I, too am awed by what they did. They seem, through the lens of history, almost like superheroes; doing the unimaginable, on a regular basis, for what they felt were honorable intentions. When I think about, where I always wind up being most humbled, is to remember that these were very young men! Wasn't MvR only twenty five or twenty six when he died, weren't they all just out of their teens? When I think about what I was doing when I was nineteen, I am ashamed.

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It's also interesting to note that of the people you mentioned, only Rickenbacker survived the war. (Unless you were referring to Lothar von Richtofen!) Maybe Eddie's race car experience put him in the right frame of mind to be a survivor or maybe his ear infection took him out long enough to where his luck didn't have time to run out. Even in the cases where you had individuals of great skill, such as Ball or Voss or Boelcke, the odds eventually caught up to them. Richtofen, who, even by his own admission, was not a spectacular pilot, seemed to survive as long as he did mostly due to his iron-fisted determintaion to follow the hard lessons learned in the early days of Jasta 2. When he did fail to follow them, target fixing on a hapless Camel to become #81, what happened? Shot down.

Even for the aces that survived the war, many didn't live to see the next one. It seems that their experiences changed them and they had a hard time adapting to life after the war, most likely due to what is now know as post traumatic stress.

 

Wow, thanks for bumming me out guys.

 

:rofl:

 

RR

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What about the poor saps on the ground? What was their average age? 19? 20? Who knows? I'm sure there were some younger and older, but how many of them perished, no one knowing what happened to them? Military commanders using old tactics against modern technology sent hundreds of thousands to their deaths. Fliers were new, they were popular, and great propaganda material for the war effort. The best were elevated to almost God-like status....until they fell. As the war raged on, toward the end, they were just another tool to get the job done. War is always the same, the older ones start it and the younger ones fight it. Since time began it has been that way and will always be that way. It is sobering, yes, but true nevertheless.

 

CJ

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Again, the sentence comes to mind:

On a long enough timeline, every pilots chance to survive the war, dropped down towards zero.

 

A difference might be, whether you were a young, idealistic warrior, or a man who had a loving woman waiting for him, home.

Ernst Udet comes to my mind - I'm pretty sure, that he survived through taking less risks. He had a loving woman home...

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Again, the sentence comes to mind:

On a long enough timeline, every pilots chance to survive the war, dropped down towards zero.

 

A difference might be, whether you were a young, idealistic warrior, or a man who had a loving woman waiting for him, home.

Ernst Udet comes to my mind - I'm pretty sure, that he survived through taking less risks. He had a loving woman home...

 

Hmmm ... you say something here, Olham. It reminds me of Erich Hartmann in W.W.II with a loving wife at home. But talking about risks he flew too risky as he never was shot down but had to go down 13 times because he went very near an enemy plane before opening fire and was hit by debris. I had the luck to know him as he was a friend of my family.

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Don't forget many of those pilots were in the war a lot longer than Rickenbacker, who knows how long he would have survived if he started earlier.

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Hi, GREMLIN

I read Bubi Hartmanns book, when I was 18. He was badly punished for his huge kill tally - I think he came home

from Russian prison camp as one of the last returners. I was very impressed of a young man, who was so responsible

for his wingmen. He must have known his 109 like his legs and feet - great pilot.

 

Are you still working on the HOTAS profile? Cause, I've got it now.

 

Cheers; Olham

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Hi, GREMLIN

I read Bubi Hartmanns book, when I was 18. He was badly punished for his huge kill tally - I think he came home

from Russian prison camp as one of the last returners. I was very impressed of a young man, who was so responsible

for his wingmen. He must have known his 109 like his legs and feet - great pilot.

 

After crash landing his first plane because of beginner mistakes he learned a lot and became a very good pilot. Out of 13 unwanted landings he went down twice behind enemy lines and made it back. He was 11 years in Soviet prison camps and indeed being one of the last who came home. When the fighting ended he stayed with his men and surrendered to the Soviets. He could have surrendered to the Americans but that would have meant to leave his men on their own. The Soviets wanted to break him and his son died while he was in the prison camps but he never gave up to get free one day.

 

 

Are you still working on the HOTAS profile? Cause, I've got it now.

 

I did not improve on my setup because of my limited time. Hell I could not even install patch 1.26 plus hotfix and try it out. What I have in mind is a unified HOTAS setup for the more modern W.W.I flight sims like OFF, First Eagles, RoF and so on. Thus every time I switch the sim I still have the same buttons for controlling it.

 

 

Cheers

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Don't forget many of those pilots were in the war a lot longer than Rickenbacker, who knows how long he would have survived if he started earlier.

 

Not to put down Eddie even further, but he wasn't flying against the GAF's best in his sector as well.

 

Lufberry, now that's another story.

 

To me the only two true fighter pilots of WWI are Udet and Fonk. Udet survived the whole war in combat, unlike the Fat Bastard, whom once he became a Jastafueher, slowly relegated himself to flying over the fight and observing more often than not. Fonk was in the toughest area, and dished it out with surgical precision.

 

But still... it's a lot of luck mixed in with skill.

 

OvS

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Von Oben: I greatly enjoyed your post. It really does make you think, when you realize that everytime we lose a pilot and create another one to send into the fray, all of our past flight sim experiences go with us. For me, personally, I have flown: F117A Stealth Figther, Wings of Glory, Red Baron II (for nearly a decade), Falcon 4.0, European Air War (for nearly as long as Red Baron), MiG Alley, IL2, OFF 2, and now BHAH. That's nearly fifteen years of flight simming under my belt that every pilot fresh to the front takes with him when he goes up. And STILL I'm sending them in like lambs to the slaughter.

 

When you think of pilots like Richthofen and Rickenbacker, both men in what? Their twenties, doing this for real - it really becomes pretty unnerving. Would any of us stake our lives on a game where the odds are so bad? Think of the number of virtual pilots we've each lost, and realize that if that had been us, we would have been killed seveal dozen times over.

 

Even in RBII, which I considered my best sim in terms of my performance as a pilot, I had one pilot, 1, who survived from 1916 to the end. And even he was maimed. Granted, RBII didn't say where he was maimed, and I doubt I want to know. I remember posting my accomplishment over on OvS's forum, back when he hosted his Hell's Angels Patch. I was so proud I wrote damn near ten paragraphs about the fact that, "holy crap! one of my guys actually survived!"

 

I think the reality really hits you as you start getting older. I'm 27 now, which means I have lived longer than MvR. It puts a chill down your spine to realize that if I was him, I would be dead by now. You look at the photos of those guys - Voss and Boelcke in particular and they age so hard from the stress they're under, that you really have to remind yourself that they're only in their early to mid twenties.

 

Really makes you think.

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What I have in mind is a unified HOTAS setup for the more modern W.W.I flight sims like OFF, First Eagles, RoF and so on. Thus every time I switch the sim I still have the same buttons for controlling it.

Salute! Gremlin

 

I am all for standardizing the Joystick Button assignments in our WWI flight sims. I am learning Saitek SST Profile Editor programming right now. Uncle Al as already listed his set of favorite button assignments in his "tips and tricks" sticky. Olham said he just got a new Cougar Joystick. The Cougar device as dozens of button choices to program.

 

I mostly fly OFF:BHaH and First Eagles:EP1Nov08 patch and even RB3D-Gumpsv2a mod - switching between the games at my whim. I have specific mapping lists for the buttons in each flight sim and often wonder if a standard unified HOTAS setup would be accepted by the community. Why invent the wheel again and again. Maybe this is a pipe dream, since we are all individuals BUT... a standard HOTAS setup would be useful to me. I could automatically reach for button 08 to padlock the target instead of fumbling around when I change my game play from OFF to First Eagles.

 

OlPaint01

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Salute! Gremlin

 

I am all for standardizing the Joystick Button assignments in our WWI flight sims. I am learning Saitek SST Profile Editor programming right now. Uncle Al as already listed his set of favorite button assignments in his "tips and tricks" sticky. Olham said he just got a new Cougar Joystick. The Cougar device as dozens of button choices to program.

 

I mostly fly OFF:BHaH and First Eagles:EP1Nov08 patch and even RB3D-Gumpsv2a mod - switching between the games at my whim. I have specific mapping lists for the buttons in each flight sim and often wonder if a standard unified HOTAS setup would be accepted by the community. Why invent the wheel again and again. Maybe this is a pipe dream, since we are all individuals BUT... a standard HOTAS setup would be useful to me. I could automatically reach for button 08 to padlock the target instead of fumbling around when I change my game play from OFF to First Eagles.

 

OlPaint01

 

 

Exactly what I have in mind. I will make a basic assignment and refine it with some logical programming. As soon as I have this basic assignment I will start a project on my site to gather some feedback from other Cougar Users. Of course everyone has his own preferences but I try to map the buttons as logical as I can under the given circumstances. Of course with a 'one fits it all' approach there have to be some sacrifices but the advantage would be to learn the buttons once and use it in many W.W.I sims.

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