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Olham

My Chart of Ernst Udet's WW1 Career

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I always wanted to put the aircraft, the units and the victories of some aces into relationship with each other.

So I have made this chart. What's mainly missing is periods of being on leave, or being wounded.

If someone has the data for that, I will flick them in and replace the chart.

 

 

Edited by Olham

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Yeah, almost - I see a damn mistake!!!! Raaaaaahhhhh!!!!!

I'll replace it...

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Very interesting Olham. Nice work. That really relays a lot of information in a nice neat package.

 

Amazing to see how the action increased dramatically as the war progressed.

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What I was wondering about: although he had the Dr.1 Triplane since mid-March,

he doesn't begin that high scoring before end of May. Before that, he had 22 victories.

MvR died on 21 April. Only after that, Udet goes so "berserk".

Or was the enemy air activity so much higher by end of May, that it was much easier to kill so many?

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The continued German Spring offensive "Micheal" I believe and the renewed offensive efforts of the Entente ground forces probably reflected in the extra aircraft the British American and French put into the air as ground support and top cover once the US had started to show up? I notice that there were still squadrons using the SPAD VII late into 1918, and notice the two Nieuport 28 kills, the newly formed AEF were part of his tally. I'm wondering if one of those kills were the early versions of the 28 which had only a single gun. The Nieuport 28 was a pretty effective turn fighter, probably not as all around good as the Fokker DVII, but they were not easy targets.

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Well, Udet killed several Camels - and they were really good at turning.

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Well, Udet killed several Camels - and they were really good at turning.

 

Yes he did, what's not said in the chart is what type of Camels. Were these the Camels pressed into ground attack roles as the allied offensive ground war intensified? and has been repeatedly mentioned that most kills have an element of suprize as the factor and a single seater doing ground attack on the wrong side of the lines is most vulnerable.

 

I mean the Germans did the right thing, they built aircraft expressly made for ground attack and they were almost always two seaters. The British threw a lot of older Clerget powered Camels and other "have been" fighters, into the ground offensive. Does OFF have a British Campaign for Spring of 1918 flying Camels in ground offensive roles? It would illustrate my point well to fly such a campaign and see how long you last in it.

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.

 

Very good Olham. As 77Scout noted, a lot of info in a small format. Lewie, I would also like to know which Camels those were, and I've a hunch you are likely correct about them being the older, under-powered units pushed into service for ground attack work.

 

.

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You guys can't seem to imagine, that the "better" Camels got shot down?

But when you catch one by surprise, or when it's outnumbered, or when the angle is just right,

you can shoot down everything.

He shot down 2 in the Dr.1, which is not at all asthonishing - the Dr.1 could very well handle the Camel -

and then 8 in the D.VII, which was also a great fighter. So why not?

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You guys can't seem to imagine, that the "better" Camels got shot down?

But when you catch one by surprise, or when it's outnumbered, or when the angle is just right,

you can shoot down everything.

He shot down 2 in the Dr.1, which is not at all asthonishing - the Dr.1 could very well handle the Camel -

and then 8 in the D.VII, which was also a great fighter. So why not?

 

Olham, 'm not trying to be argumentative , but without knowing which Sopwith Camel types these were, and what they were doing at the time, this discussion is slightly academic and pendantic. :dntknw:

 

I agree that Udet was a good fighter pilot, but look at the planes he was flying at the time of his most numerous kills, and the types he was shooting down in big numbers. I mean early in his career with the Fokker EIII he's flying, he get's two kills, one of them over a Breguet Michelin, which was a miserable, lousy kite with bad handling qualities and even poorer visibility for the pilot. Those two early kills were easy meat. It would have been more impressive if he'd taken on and bested a Nupe 11 or a DH2.

 

I think that as a fighter pilot you get to live long and prosper by knowing your enemy's weaknesses and using them to your own aircraft's and your own personal skill's advantages It also a lot about when to not engage an enemy. Boeleke's Dicta..

 

I'm not suggesting that his later kills were easy, but in these situations, as they unfold, you have to take the best chance for victory that you can get. Even the best sim is a poor substitute for what was really historic and really real. If you can prove historically and factually that most of the Camels he had bested were on a near equal strategic level when engaged and were later types I'll concede.

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Very nice looking chart. Interesting that until the middle of 1918, he rarely had any more than 2 or 3 kills in a whole months time.

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It would have been more impressive if he'd taken on and bested a Nupe 11 or a DH2.

 

Respectfully, I disagree. The aim of a fighter pilot was to attack the other guy without being seen. Why is it more impressive to attack/shoot down an N11 from behind without being seen than attack/shoot down a lumbering two seater from behind without being seen? A bullet to the back of the head is a bullet to the back of the head; that was the name of the game. My take, anyway.

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.

 

Absolutely, Jim. The best hunter kills his prey before it even knows it's being stalked, and the best fighter pilots did exactly the same.

 

Olham, no disrespect meant towards Udet as concerns my earlier Camel comment, there were of course many instances where the later Camels were shot down by DR1's and DVII's. Lewie has explained well what I was considering. We shouldn't assume anything when it comes to WWI aerial combat encounters and their outcomes. Just too many variables.

 

.

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Yeah, no problem, Lewie and Lou. I had made this chart for a different reason anyway.

I wanted to illustrate, how much time lay inbetween his kills, until mid-1918, when he suddenly

seemed to "explode" - maybe due to the right aircraft, or maybe due to the fact, that the previous

German "ace of aces" had been killed. I do not know, wether the High Command put him under

any pressure, or if he did it just from his own motivation - or if it really only was the "right" craft.

 

But my chart should definitely demonstrate, that we are making far too many kills too easily.

I am thinking of making a second one for MvR, and maybe also some Entente pilots.

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