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Olham

An Ode to the Halberstadt

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During the last months, I have started Campaigns with Roland C.II, Fokker E.III, and the Halberstadt.

Especially the Halberstadt proves to be a very capable opponent of Nieuport 11 and 16, or the Airco DH-2.

It is, similarly as the Albatros, an energy fighter, that can also turn quite well - in a left turn, a Nieuport 16

has no chance to get behind me. Just avoid right turns - those rotaries are better there!

 

The single gun is no disadvantage, as the enemy craft also only have one. But the robustness of the

Halberstadt definitely IS an advantage. It can carry on with hits, that would cripple a Nieuport, and steep

dives don't seem to irritate her much.

 

I would like to recommend this fighter to all of you, who never tried it yet, who want something new, or

who want to fly earlier in the war than 1917 or 1918. Jasta 1 has the Halberstadt since August 1916.

If you want appetizers, check the "Screenshots" and the "Reports from the Front" threads.

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I have to agree - the Halb is a much misunderstood scout. It seems to me that in the rush towards twin machine guns (accepted and understood), that the Halberstadt was overlooked. It's certainly more robust than the DIII Albatros, and arguably tougher than the DII. It's as good a gun platform as the Pup or Sopwith Triplane - what's not to like? The little time I've spent in Halbs has been enjoyable, as you have a scout that can shoot down anything sent your way, without question. In a way, it's a pity that the Albatros D series was put into service - I do wonder what would have happened if Halberstadt, Roland, Siemens, Fokker, Pfalz and other German manufacturers had had to come up with better designs than they eventually did.

 

It's an interesting historical note. Why is it that Germany - which manifestly had the upper hand in April 1917 - lost it so terminally? It seems clear from the reading that I've undertaken that the German air force never again - even during Operation Michael in 1918 - achieved air superiority (as we'd call it nowadays) for any length of time. The shocking accounts of early 1918, when RFC/RAF casualties were enormous, highlight that there seems to have been no such experience in the German air service. That is something of an eye opener. Surely the German high command must have known by then the usefulness of ground attack aircraft? Clearly something went very wrong, and it led to entente supremacy in the air.

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I can also recommend the Halberstadt. A fine fighter for its time, quite enjoyable to fly.

 

Re: Germans and air superiority. There's a German military term that nicely describes the two world wars: Materialschlacht, battle of material. Germany, while being a great industrial and military power, simply didn't have the material its opponents had. The longer the Great War went on, the harder it became for Germany to keep producing enough war material, whereas the Entente powers decisively benefitted from their colonial resources and most importantly the massive US industry. The British naval blockade meant that Germany lacked certain important raw materials. Naturally this had an impact on their aircraft industry. It never was big enough to come close to the combined Entente industrial might. All the advantages the Germans had were related to superior training and also tactics at first. The Albatros D.II and D.III wouldn't have been that good in early 1917 without well-trained and well-led pilots who fought with careful tactics. But even these advantages weren't that decisive in the end, and the side with the most material triumphed, as always happens in prolonged industrial age warfare.

 

The Albatros factories were unable to keep improving their fighters as quickly as the Entente aircraft industry progressed. When something really impressive finally came into service (the D.VII), it was designed by Fokker. I'm not really sure why the Albatros factory was unable to design any better fighters than the D.III and D.V were. A little seems to have been written about Albatros, especially compared to Fokker.

 

But Germans did use a lot of ground attack aircraft. They had plenty of Staffeln dedicated to just that purpose, namely the Schlachtstaffeln with their Schlachtflieger, battle pilots. Already during the battle of Cambrai in late 1917 German ground attack squadrons actively interfered the British movements and supported their own infantry. And the spring and summers offensives of 1918 saw extensive use of ground attack planes.

Edited by Hasse Wind

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Thanks for that Hasse Wind,

 

It's a subject that I think I'll be pursuing somewhat more actively in due course, but your essential narrative is clear: the larger the industrial base to a society, the more likely it will survive a war, assuming its industrial areas aren't overrun. There's also a hanging thread about aircraft design, but I think I'll hang onto that one for another day!

 

Cheers,

Si

Edited by themightysrc

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themightysrc, when you just take a basic world map with the Central Powers in orange, and the Entente

and their Allies in green, then you will have only one question left: how could they hold it for such a long time?

 

 

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That's actually a little bit misleading Olham.

 

Vast areas in Green are practically uninhabited..if the landmass in Green, was swapped for the landmass in grey, it may give a more accurate representation?

Edited by UK_Widowmaker

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Yes, the population numbers would have been better, but I don't know them.

But you get the idea - it was impossible to win against so many enemies.

Edited by Olham

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Atrocities?!?!?

I would defend my country for our kitchen! Hmmm - Kassler mit Kraut und Püree (mash)!!!

Gegrillte Schweinshaxe!!!! Ooooohhh - now I'm getting hungry! And it's 00:17 h - I'm lost!

 

 

Edited by Olham

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That map also doesn't show the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, which made it easier for Central Powers to keep on fighting. Both Germany and Austria-Hungary were able to move a huge number of divisions from the east to the west and the Italian front after the Russians left the war, though Austria-Hungary was itself on the verge of collapse and their army wasn't very useful anymore at that phase of the war. Still, they tied up a lot of Italian, French and British troops on the Italian front.

 

Then there's also the fact that not all of the countries that declared war on Central Powers did actually much to help Entente win the war. In some cases it was more symbolic support than anything else. Of course such things happened to Central Powers too. For example Finland. When Russia collapsed, Finns gained their independence with German military help. After the independence war was over in May 1918, Finland practically became an ally, or even a vassal or satellite of Germany for the remaining months of WW1. But they didn't declare war to Entente powers or give Germans any kind of military help, only traded with them. So the Entente was not alone in having almost useless allies or sympathizers.

 

But still, the map helps to understand just how many enemies Germany eventually had to face with her weakening allies. I've always believed Germany had her best chance of victory already in 1914. If they had taken Paris and beaten the French armies, the British would have been forced to withdraw from the continent, leaving Germany with Austria-Hungary against Russia. And in such a situation, Russia couldn't have hold out as long as she did historically when large numbers of German and Austrian troops were tied up on other fronts. Imperial Russia wasn't as powerful as the Soviet Union later was. But when things went badly for Germany in 1914, it became very difficult to turn the tide afterwards. The Entente was simply too strong materially.

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I just found these numbers in a website about the Belgian Air Service - don't know if they are right:

 

In 1918 the Germans tried for the last time to obtain decisive victory at the Western front before the American troops could be available in force.

In the air before the arrival in mass of the US Air Service the balance was already in favour of the allies with the following figures in June 1918 :

 

France: 3857 aircraft

Commonwealth: 2630 aircraft

USA : 180 aircraft

Belgium 127 aircraft

 

Total Entnente: 6794 aircraft

 

Germany: 2551 aircraft

 

 

Source:

http://www.baha.be/Webpages/Navigator/Belgian_Aviation_History/ww_i/WW1.htm

Edited by Olham

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i can understand if the aircraft had a tendency to tilt forward but the way it is now its like im pushing the joystick forward, it goes down really fast and i cant get it level, seems like something is wrong. just wondering if it happened to other people too.

 

im using msff2 with centering force but no force feedback after changing something in the registry. the centering force is quite strong.

Edited by Wood

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Well, Moltke supposedly reported to the Kaiser right after First Marne that they'd lost the war. Schlieffen Plan failing and all. So he at least knew that Germany couldn't hold out against all that economic advantage the Entente enjoyed, though I doubt he in that moment could forsee that they'd be able to hold off the Brits & French by building trenches. When I think about The Great War I always wonder two things: if, given the state of the French Army after the mutinies Germany could have broken through in '18 absent American intervention, and why they accepted a treaty as harsh as Versailles while still holding enemy territory.

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Wood:

 

The Halberstadt is really easy to fly, so it must something with your joystick settings.

 

 

Well, Moltke supposedly reported to the Kaiser right after First Marne that they'd lost the war. Schlieffen Plan failing and all. So he at least knew that Germany couldn't hold out against all that economic advantage the Entente enjoyed, though I doubt he in that moment could forsee that they'd be able to hold off the Brits & French by building trenches. When I think about The Great War I always wonder two things: if, given the state of the French Army after the mutinies Germany could have broken through in '18 absent American intervention, and why they accepted a treaty as harsh as Versailles while still holding enemy territory.

 

Regarding this, the reason for giving up was because the German military was finished. Sure, they were still holding some enemy territory, but the army was exhausted, the navy was mutinous and the population deeply unsatisfied and suffering badly from the blockade. Most military and political leaders had also lost all hope of victory. The difference between the end of WW1 and the final phases of WW2 was that Imperial Germany, unlike the Third Reich, wasn't a nation lead by power-hungry, bloodthirsty fanatics who could only accept one of two results, either a complete victory or failing that, total destruction of Germany. For Hitler and his followers, surrender was out of the question. For leaders of Imperial Germany, the best thing to do in 1918 was to give up. Could they have kept fighting until 1919? Probably, but that wouldn't have changed anything, except maybe lead to the occupation of Germany by the victors.

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Wood, the most scouts of those days tended to either lower or raise their noses.

UncleAl is only partly right here: most craft could not get trimmed in flight, but pilots and mechanics

did trim the aircraft on the ground.

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