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Olham

DH-2 and German riggers?

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There are again many new historical photos on the "WingnutWings" website.

 

http://www.wingnutwi...togallery?cat=1

 

This is one of them, showing a DH-2.

But I wonder - the riggers with their caps look German to me?

Does anyone know the story behind this? Or did British rigger wear such caps too?

 

full-27170-51815-dh_2.jpg

Edited by Olham

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Good morning from Berlin to Greece, elephant! Yeah, that's what I thought.

When you study the other photos of this session, you can recognise, that many of the

rigging wires are hanging loose or rolled up - as if they took them off or replaced them.

Edited by Olham

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You should be able to find more history. The aircraft is marked as serial number A2540 from 24 Squadron. If they know that much about it, they might be able to learn a lot more about why it apprears to be beside German servicemen.

 

This particular aircraft was forced down at 11.00am, 10th October 1916 by Max Ritter von Müller flying with Jasta 2. It was his first 'kill', although it looks in pretty good shape to be shot down.

 

http://www.theaerodr...any/muller3.php

 

 

Edit:- Seems the RFC Pilot was an N. Middlebrook, from A-flight, 24 Squadron, and there seems to be a model kit containing a DH2 and and EIII, which I interpret to contain the decals and details necessary to model the encounter. http://www.hyperscal...02preview_1.htm

 

Here is the roll of honour where 2nd Lieut Norman Middlebrook of the Rifle Brigade and RFC posted as missing. (He was captured).

http://www.flightglo...916 - 0942.html

 

Even more info:

 

Missing.

 

Lieutenant NORMAN MIDDLEBROOK, son of Mr. E. H.

 

Middlebrook, a well-known Leeds solicitor, and nephew of

 

Sir William Midilebrook, M.P., who has been missing for

 

some weeks, has sent a postcard in which he says he is a

 

prisoner. A student at Repton when war broke out, he was

 

given a commission in the Rifle Brigade. Later he was

 

transferred to t he R.F.C. • He is 19 years of age.

Edited by Flyby PC

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As far as airplane damage, all it takes is one bullet to a pressurized fuel tank and down it comes. Love to see that realism in flight sims instead of the fuel slowly draining out (btw, which means, in sims, that fuel tank damage only occurs at the very bottom of the tank, never anywhere else, since all the fuel drains out).

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Yes, could be the tank hit; it could also be a bad gun jam for example.

What would I do with a German Albatros in my neck, and no gun to defend myself with?

I would be more than happy, if the fellow behind me would only point downwards to tell

me to land my helpless kite - instead of him pulling the trigger.

 

As for pierced tanks - both WW1 air combat sims, OFF and "the other sim" have the tank

only leaking out and slowly running dry so far. I don't think that "the other sim" will ever

change anything about that. Would be great if WOFF did.

Edited by Olham

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I'd rather fight it out. That's what fighter pilots are supposed to do instead of just give up and then throw caution to the wind and hope the pilot doesn't shoot at you anyway. If one can't accept the risk involved with combat and will just give up, it's time to see the CO and tell him so somebody else can take your place.

 

As far as A2540 up there, it was brought down by a hit to the fuel tank. All it takes is one bullet to the tank or the head, and see ya.

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Well, what chance is left to fight anything out with an unclearable gun jam, flying in the opponent's gunsights?

Lanoe Hawker did what you suggest, until he had to try to get back over the lines.

And we all know that was the end of him.

 

Naw, I would have put the kite down under such conditions.

I do much prefer to live than to be a dead heroe.

Edited by Olham

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I think JFM meant the gun jam situation. But still, it would be a longer helpless situation,

when you had to hit the breech with a hammer to clear the dud round - you couldn't

do much evasive manoeuvering at the same time, or so I guess.

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I wouldn't like to judge unless I'd been there and done it myself.

 

A jammed gun wouldn't stop you running for home if your aircraft was fully airworthy. My guess would be some mechanical failure putting an end to your fight and beginning your battle for survival. Get the contraption down on the ground while you can. It's even possible Middlebrook thought he was behind the allied lines when he put it down.

 

There are lots of variables to consider before a lack of fighting spirit. And even if it was, after the Fokker scourge of 1916, who could blame him if his top lip did wobble? A feature of the Fokker scourge was the shabby level of training of RFC pilots. In October 1916, I believe the tide was turning, but hadn't yet turned.

 

Both pilots survived, and the incident seems well enough documented, so there must be more to learn in records somewhere, at least two log books worth anyway.

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Sure, Hawker lost. Look at May, though, he lived. Both were fleeing, and all it takes is one bullet. Hawker got it, May didn't.

 

Survival is fight or flight. Going "I give up" and then hoping the other guy won't shoot an easy target is neither. Two-seaters didn't just give up and land when attacked, and something like a BE2 had little hope of outfighting an Albatros. Yes, there are exceptions to everything, but as a rule they shot back, they maneuvered, they dived away. MvR damn sure wouldn't stop shooting at a guy trying to land. As long as you were in the air, and sometimes after, his writings and actions suggest demonstrated that he considered them fair game. He shot you all the way to the ground, stopped engine be damned. His did this from his first confirmed victory, when he saw the propeller stop on the FE2b but he kept on firing at it anyway.

 

As stated, too many variables for each situation, such as the other guy having no idea that your gun(s) are jammed, and there are lots of examples of guys "fighting" it out regardless and getting home. What if you are in better physical condition and can endure G loads better than the other guy and thus physically beat him in the air and keep him from gaining a killing position? Or keep "attacking" even though a jammed gun and force him to flee? If a pilot is just going to defeat himself mentally and give up, he might as well just fly to an enemy aerodrome and surrender himself on his first sortie to ensure he won't be killed.

 

Regarding the Fokker Scourge, by October 1916 it was a memory. The Nieuports and DH2s had ended that. Regarding A2540's downing, what more is there to learn? Shot in the fuel tank, engine stopped, force landed, PoW, repatriated 18 December 1918. Where he thought he was didn't matter since one can only glide so far when the engine won't run anymore.

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Jim, you are right of course - so many possible variables.

I meant specifically the situation, when the German pilot close behind you (with full advantage)

would NOT shoot as he could, but instead point downwards repeatedly, to make you understand

you should land. Many German pilots did so many times. Even MvR did so, until some observer

fired his machine gun at the circling MvR. After that I think he gave up any mercy.

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There are less immediate things to learn.

 

If this is indeed A2540, then the German air service considered it worth carefully dismantling a captured DH2 in October 1916, 8 months after the type appeared over the lines. (the roundel is still visible on the upper right wing, so they aren't re-rigging it for a test flight).

 

We also get to some idea of the size of a German working party and how a rigger spreads his weight as he works on a wing. You don't see many 'working' photos of ground crew.

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My speculation is they just began the process of removing the wings in preparation to tow it away. Wing removal for towing was SOP.

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