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Hello gents',

Any thoughts on starting up a DiD (dead is dead) series of single missions in FE2/FE? Should help to bring new life into our special sim. Rules don't have to be as strict as for the DiD campaigns running for WOFFue over on the SimHQ website, but a list of some sensible rules should help to get everyone started - and will be a good break from modding and skinning too. :biggrin:

I'm including some preliminary rules below and will try to start up a series of (DiD) single missions soon, either on the eastern or western front (have spent two years already in the Palestine front and currently looking for a change). This may work in campaign mode too (such as for Ojcar's campaigns), but I've tried to develop the rules specifically around single, evolving missions, for variety and historical realism.

If you choose to start up a DiD series of single missions, don't forget to post brief notes on your exploits and some good screenshots here on this thread - for immersion - posts can be brief or long, as per taste.

 

RULES FOR DID STYLE SINGLE MISSIONS IN FE2 (probably works in FE/FEgold too)

1. make sure to begin with a new pilot if your current one is killed in action

2. missions must be flown from your base to the target and back again (no in-the-air or close-to-target beginnings); you may however skip/delete certain waypoints while en route if they are less important to getting to your target area

3. missions may be begun in scouts or two-seaters, whatever you prefer (no need to begin with a two-seater career)

4. if you are shot down and alive but "captured" behind enemy lines (such as sometimes happens after bailing out at low altitude), fast-forward six months for your next mission for the western front, and one full year for the eastern, Italian, and middle eastern fronts (we will assume you eventually escaped back to your side of the lines); these same rules apply if you manage to crash-land and survive on the wrong side of the lines (with wing missing, fuel leak, etc.) but have not bailed out

5. crashing into your wingmen or enemies will count as legitimate termination of your current pilot and will require that a new pilot be made

6. one out of every ten missions must be flown from start to finish in bad weather (inclement or snow, your preference depending on season, but avoid snow if flying in the middle eastern theater; I recommend the latest inclement/snow tweaks found in ver. 9.5 of my FM pack, for immersion)

7. use the following settings for "enemy air activity" in the FE2/FE menu, per theater and per period, for max. historical realism and to minimize extreme kill ratios:

          light - for the whole period in the middle eastern theater // for the whole period in the eastern theater // for the Italian theater to July of 1917 // for the western theater to October of 1916 // for the Italian theater from August to November of 1918 // for the western theater from August to November of 1918

          moderate - for the Italian theater from August of 1917 to July of 1918 // for the western theater from November of 1916 to February of 1918

          heavy - for the western theater from March to July of 1918

8. lighter "enemy air activity" than suggested per period and theater may be used, but not higher than suggested (no need to install my further congestion controls that are available in the Flight folder of ver. 9.5 of my FM updates pack unless you enjoy hard-core simming in WW1 with wide expanses of sky, with no aircraft for hours on end; I will work on those further to fine-tune them for a later FM update pack)

9. flight models should be flown at maximum realism (I strongly recommend my FMs for historical realism and consistency for a DiD series of missions but you can fly other ones too, as long as they are flown on "hard" settings)

10. no time compression

11. no autopilot (although the level flight command is acceptable for long flights)

12. make sure to have Cap'n. Vengeur's medals pack/ranking system installed since that pack gives awards more slowly and realistically

13. you may begin a DiD style single mission at any point in the war (for example, you may begin flying for the French in July of 1916, or as an American flyer in August of 1918, etc.)

14. if you are flying DiD style single missions, proceed chronologically from the date of your first single mission (for example, if your first single mission was in July of 1915, your next one should again be in July of 1915 or later, not earlier in the year)

15. fly a minimum of 2 and maximum of 5 missions per month in 1914 and 1915 (across all theaters), a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6 missions per month in 1916 (across all theaters), and a minimum of 4 and maximum of 8 missions per month in 1917 and 1918 (across all theaters) - this will produce realistic, historical attrition rates and also increasing risk of being shot down, captured, etc. (will also depend at what initial point in the war you begin your pilot's missions; for example, beginning in January of 1917 will put you in a situation where you will be flying a min. of 4 missions per month right away); if your mission is stamped with a date that is only a few days from the end of a month, start your next mission in the following month, overriding the rules set for min./max. flights per month - this will be the only exception to rule no. 15, for the sake of chronology

16. transfers from one theater to another are allowed if historically realistic and if made possible by Cap'n. Vengeur's medals pack (for example, flying for the French in 1916 but transferring in June of 1917 to fly for the French giving support to Italy, in the Italian theater, perhaps flying a Nieuport, etc.)

17. if transferring from one theater to another, skip one month of flying for realism

18. if you crash-land but survive on your side of the lines (for example, wing missing, engine shot up, fuel leak, etc.), skip one month of flying for realism (hospital)

19. any type of single mission may be flown, depending on the types available for the aircraft you are flying at the time, but one out of every ten missions minimum must include one of the following types of missions (these are usually the most rigorous): offensive patrol // balloon busting // (armed or unarmed) reconnaissance // army co-op; reconnaissance missions may sometimes be gruelingly long if they are the "long reconnaissance" type

20. settings in your huddata.ini file, in the Flight folder, should also be set realistically, as follows (notice the map and label settings giving limited info., and also notice that the target cone and other identification boxes for aircraft have been disabled; the waypoint boxes can be left on, and padlock view may be used):

[HUDLabels]
EnableLabels=TRUE
LabelFriendlyAir=TRUE
LabelFriendlyGround=FALSE
LabelEnemyAir=TRUE
LabelEnemyGround=FALSE

[MapLabels]
EnableLabels=TRUE
LabelFriendlyAir=FALSE
LabelFriendlyGround=TRUE
LabelEnemyAir=FALSE
LabelEnemyGround=FALSE

[Map]
MapDisplayLabels=FALSE

[Display001]
DisplayType=DIRECTOR
ObjectType=TARGET_ENEMY
//ConeSize=5
//BoxSize=5
//BoxType=TRIANGLE
//BoxColor=0.0,1.0,1.0,0.75
//ConeModelName=redcone

[Display002]
DisplayType=DIRECTOR
ObjectType=TARGET_FRIENDLY
//ConeSize=5
//BoxSize=5
//BoxType=TRIANGLE
//BoxColor=0.0,0.0,1.0,0.75
//ConeModelName=bluecone

[Display003]
DisplayType=DIRECTOR
ObjectType=NEXT_WAYPOINT
ConeSize=5
BoxSize=5 (pick size you want, I prefer smaller boxes)
BoxType=SQUARE (use whatever shape you want, TRIANGLE or CIRCLE work too)
BoxColor=1.0,1.0,0.0,0.75 (use whatever color you want for this)
//ConeModelName=whitecone

 

Happy flying DiD style,

Von S :flyer:

Edited by VonS
Modified rule no. 15 to maintain realistic chronology of missions.

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Hi - I'm going to try this out (and report back). I'll use the new Italian terrain, with my WIP campaign. Testing and having fun in-one :-)

 

cheers

gt

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On 9/4/2018 at 11:52 PM, gterl said:

Hi - I'm going to try this out (and report back). I'll use the new Italian terrain, with my WIP campaign. Testing and having fun in-one :-)

 

cheers

gt

Great stuff gterl, pleased to hear that. I've already started with one completed DiD single mission in the Palestine theater, with a new pilot, for July of 1918 when some Pfalzes arrived there. Post is below for immersion, and some "period" pics. too - will be interesting to see how long Ltn. Müller survives using the 20 DiD rules for missions that I posted.

Von S :smile:

---

First DiD Mission for Vzfw. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 rules for DiD

---
July 27, 1918

"Today was a morning mission to bust balloons near Jericho. Weather was broken and with slight winds. I had a headache from the previous night's celebration to welcome our new flight officer, but the cool morning air, I was sure, would be beneficial.

We had also received some Pfalzes recently, prior to our previous flight officer's replacement. They were sent by train, with some delays, but we were grateful to receive them finally at Jenin airfield. The Albatros D.II we were still relying on was a nearly useless type and I dreaded getting into one of them. Today was my first mission in the Pfalz, although I had already trained some on them back home. Their acceleration and climb is pleasant, although I am now more careful to watch my speed and stay out of spins - this I learned unexpectedly in flight school.

Flying with me was a new fellow, Ltn. Eckard Steinmann, who already had five combat missions under his belt but no kills. It was a comfort to have him fly with me - I have had only two combat missions so far, both uneventful, no aircraft encountered the first time and the other time a brief fight with one of those Englisher* pusher-types. My guns had however jammed on the old Albatros and I wasn't able to fire a shot. Today would be different, I hoped, and so it was.

Working our way towards Jericho between clouds, at around 2000 meters, we noticed a solitary balloon further south of the town. My flight companion who was above and in front of me made a signal and we dove on the balloon. It lit up rather quickly in a small ball of flame and disappeared below; soon after I turned and noticed the observer parachuting down into a field.

Some large solitary English aircraft had been lumbering around in the vicinity and decided unwisely to attack us after our adventure with the balloon. He was however slow and with poor maneuverability and I got on his tail quickly. I had already experimented with a cockpit-camera device on the old Albatros and was eager to test it out on the Pfalz too. Fortunately I had time to install the device yesterday but there was no opportunity to test it. You see it works intermittently - the gun trigger is connected by wire with the device and every 20 rounds or so fired is one full exposure for a picture. Somewhat clumsy yes but I was pleased with it, and today especially for it captured the lumbering English type as it began to smoke and steam profusely.

Cold by now and tired of our adventure, I made a wide turn north, south of Jericho, only to see what seemed to be two English scouts approaching rapidly, a new maneuverable type they have here, although in small numbers, and that I had heard stories of several times. Steinmann went after the lower fellow while I began a gentle climb to meet the other Englishman. We circled and circled for what seemed like ages, with my adversary outmaneuvering me most of the time, but I was careful to maintain speed and to use gentle movements, getting out of his way whenever possible. My camera again worked well when I found myself on the fellow's tail. His fuel tank was punctured; eventually I saw his propeller stop as he drifted southeast, with Steinmann following behind and his own adversary nowhere to be seen.

Apprehensive of meeting with other unpleasant things, we decided to climb north into the clouds again, above Jericho, and then over the mountains for the long flight back to Jenin.

Later that day the report came in that I would be awarded with three kills - a balloon, the lumbering Englisher, and the maneuverable and pesky scout that kept getting on my tail and even managed to put a few holes in my rudder. Steinmann congratulated me and was surprised that my lack of experience in combat, compared to his own, had not gotten in the way. I amusingly suggested that perhaps my lack of combat experience is what helped me this time and that flight school was correct by putting me in the cockpit of a Pfalz. Sometimes at flight school they'll tell you anything, and sometimes they are right.

In all the excitement, I had nearly forgotten that I would be awarded the Honor Goblet and was being promoted to Lieutenant!"
---

Note: "Englisher" is being used for period flavor in Ltn. Müller's post and is not meant to be offensive.

Note 2: Early war, lowest congestion settings from my ver. 9.5 FM updates pack are being used in the Flight folder for this series of adventures, to help further with the "light" aircraft activity setting in the FE2 game menu.

 

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Here is the Second DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 rules for DiD (by Von S)

---
July 29, 1918

"This morning our new flight officer decided that I and Vzfw. Arnold Nowotny would do a reconnaissance flight to Port Said. The weather was pleasant enough with a light breeze and scattered clouds, but the flight would be a long and grueling one, and cold at the high altitudes we were to undertake the journey.

We ascended slowly from our aerodrome at Jenin, gathering speed and altitude gradually, and making our way towards the open water. By this time we were at an altitude of about 4000 meters and were frequently battling a constant westerly wind* that kept pushing us in proximity of the coast, so that we had to fight our aircraft controls to go further over the water and remain unnoticed by any English forces that had crept northwards during these trying months.

The journey was indeed a monotonous one with no friendly or enemy aircraft in sight* but at least the pretty clouds made our long flight to Port Said feel shorter. Eventually I lowered my left wing, peered over the side of the cockpit, and noticed the mouth of the Suez Canal coming into view, emerging here and there through the light cloud cover. I idled my engine and began a gradual, spiraling descent towards the port, with Nowotny following me. Feeling sure of ourselves, we descended quite low and sprinted across several fields and villages slightly south of the port when we noticed a caravan, made up of seven or eight camels and carrying supplies that seemed to consist of munitions and various boxes. I quickly signaled to my flight companion and we dove on this caravan - three or four passes were required but eventually the whole was a fiery mess, with black clouds of smoke being blown across the countryside. Seeing the commotion below, I began a wide ascending turn only to see that Vzfw. Nowotny had been caught unaware by a sly Nieuport that may have been hiding in some cloud cover.

I was still about half a kilometer away but pointed my wide turn in the direction of the Nieuport that was already chattering away with its gun, following closely behind my companion. This Nieuport was not piloted by any novice however, for he soon broke off his attack and turned directly into me. We circled and danced, I doing wide turns to maintain speed and this brave fellow doing a few loops over me, and then below, and then with some tight turns thrown in to impress me further. I seized on the opportunity, found myself slightly below the fellow, and opened my guns. His engine began to burn soon. I did not wait to inspect details but began a fast climb away from him. When I leaned over my cockpit to survey the scene I saw that he had plummeted down in the vicinity of a village, trailed by a long plume of smoke.

Nowotny had in the meantime joined up with me and was pointing upwards with his finger, towards what to my satisfaction was an observation balloon, roughly above the Canal and near a bridge. This balloon was surprisingly high, over 1000 meters, so we climbed some, did a few wide circles around it and then attacked. It was quick work and a descending ball of fire was then seen heading towards the bridge, with no sign of the balloon's occupant. We did not bother to circle the area any further but climbed slightly and headed in the direction of our lines, across the Canal. All was going well I thought, given the excitement of this flight, but I was premature in my conclusion. My propeller's revolutions suddenly slowed, and slowed some more, and it came to a stop … and then there was only the sound of the wind. Had I pushed my engine too much during this flight? I was close to 1500 RPMs for most of the journey. Perhaps it had overheated and seized?! But there was no evidence on the instruments that something was wrong. These and other questions went through my mind for the next minute - I realized the situation was serious. My flight companion had slowed down and was observing my still propeller. I had no choice however and, very grimly, signaled with my left hand that he fly back to our base at Jenin and inform all of my engine failure.

Now I concentrated on bringing my crate down, careful not to stall since I knew the Pfalz's vices. I landed somewhat roughly but intact, and rolled to a quick stop about three or four kilometers east of the Canal, and about half a kilometer away from what seemed a fisherman's hut (I was very close to the coast). There was no way of knowing if English or our own and Ottoman troops were nearby since the front lines here were always changing, as the waves on the coast. I did not wait too long to think but gathered my map, compass, other items of sentimental importance from the Pfalz, and ran into the fisherman's hut. To my delight the old fellow inside, after calming down from seeing my strange presence, informed me pleasantly that he was helping to get much-needed supplies to the Ottomans and would frequently ferry such items in his fishing boat, back and forth - using the cover of moonless nights to slip by.

For the next several days I remained huddled at the bottom of this fishing boat, feeding on salted fish and crabs, and viewing and reviewing my map, to see that we were headed east and slightly north towards our lines, careful to keep the coast visible but not to come too close. By the time I reached Jenin I had grown a beard and was unrecognizable to Nowotny and Steinmann. I would require several weeks rest before any flights were attempted; these were the orders of the flight officer. While I did not want to rest that long, I could still rejoice since my victories were confirmed two days before I arrived - the British caravan, an observation balloon, and the Nieuport that had impressed me with its aerobatic skills. This had brought my total aerial victories to five, and I would be receiving the Iron Cross 2nd Class!"

---

Notes: The effects of wind drift are noticeable in FE2 above about 3500 meters altitude (11,000 to 12,000 feet) in these wooden planes (but not so noticeable lower down, which seems realistic) - and also it depends on the strength of wind in the environmentsystem.ini file that's installed in the Flight folder (see my FM update packs for those files). The low congestion modifications are also working very realistically - only a few aircraft so far are spotted per mission, as typical of these obscure theaters.

 

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Edited by VonS
Added info.
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Third DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 rules for DiD (by Von S)

---

August 31, 1918

"Seeing that it would take some time for me to recuperate from my ordeal at Port Said, Von Winklermann, our flight officer at Jenin, decided to send me temporarily to the aerodrome at Amman to oversee some of the novice pilots. I have been here already for two weeks but had not been in the air once since arriving. Amman is an Ottoman base and is lacking in equipment. Available is one obsolete Fokker E.II type that is no longer airworthy and sits dismantled in its hangar; also present is a Rumpler that is barely airworthy and on occasion engages in short reconnaissance flights; and the other three remaining aircraft are two Albatros D.V types and a solitary Pfalz döppeldecker as I had flown on missions from Jenin. One of the Albatroses was on an escort flight today with the Rumpler. This left me with the other Albatros and a young fellow by the name of Viktor Weihs with the Pfalz. I was by now feeling well enough to engage in short flights and was assigned an evening task, consisting of a wide circle from the aerodrome to the Amman Observation Post and its balloon, about five or six kilometers southwest of us, and then back. The flight officer at Amman had a propensity to send his men out on afternoon or evening flights, and to while away the hot days reading or playing chess in his tent, in contrast to the morning discipline found typically at Jenin.

As we got underway, it was already raining and the clouds were settling low, with a light breeze. Vzfw. Weihs was comfortably sitting in his Pfalz with the engine started, before I could even climb into the cockpit of the Albatros. Eventually my mount sputtered to life too, and I immediately noticed that it was much noisier than my lovely Pfalz that the fisherman and I had to destroy unfortunately, for fear that it would fall into the hands of the English or Bedouin tribes that would often be found in that area. Soon we were off, climbing to an altitude of about 1200 meters, but not higher since we would become disoriented in the rain and fog. Checking our maps from time to time, we floated along from one point to another, and eventually to the outpost that was southwest of us. We cut our throttles slightly and circled several times but were unable to spot the observation balloon through the thick clouds. A buzzing sound directed our attention to two of those maneuverable English types, Sopwiths, that were about 500 meters above us - but these fellows seemed to have been coming back from a mission and did not notice us in the rolling fog below. Cautious of these types, I signaled to Weihs that we avoid engaging them - they could climb faster and were already at a height advantage, and there was no use in pursuing them since our observation balloon was safe from prying eyes in the fog, at least for tonight.

We turned back gradually towards our aerodrome at Amman when the chattering of a gun drew my attention to a third aircraft, the same type of maneuverable British scout, closing fast on Weihs's tail - my companion being about half a kilometer behind me. Weihs also spotted this fellow and began a wide ascending turn in the Pfalz, but I had in the more nimble Albatros already pointed myself in the direction of the British scout. All three of us now did several oscillations to the left - once, twice, thrice. On the fourth or fifth one I fired my guns - but the difficulties in getting behind his tail were evident. This Englisher was indeed slippery and had a better plane than either of us, but I persevered. A few more well-placed shots were sent in his direction - and he turned on his back and disappeared into the rain and fog. Weihs soon rejoined me and we proceeded back to the base at Amman. There was no use loitering about too long since the weather was worsening and we were also not very enthusiastic to meet more of these maneuverable foes.

It was a relief to be back at the aerodrome. The rain had settled in for the night with a slow but rhythmical wind thumping against our tent. Weihs had already fallen asleep, no doubt exhausted after the flight. I on the other hand remained awake a few more hours to read some notes on aerial tactics that I had been penning ever since my arrival here from Jenin - and also to contemplate my sixth victory."

 

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Edited by VonS
Fixed typos.
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Fourth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 rules for DiD

---

September 5, 1918

"I was back from Amman and the sleepy pace of its flights. We had already joked with Wincklermann that the mission he was sending me and Steinmann on today in the afternoon - to bust balloons west of Jericho - indicated that he was likely transforming into the leisurely officer at Amman with his beloved afternoon patrols. For this flight my good friend would fly an Albatros D.V; a few had reached Jenin aerodrome while I was at Amman. Much to my pleasant surprise, however, my fellow officers had surprised me with a lovely Pfalz, bolted together from a spare Pfalz fuselage we had in one of our tents, and new wings and elevator that had arrived by train from Istanbul, while I was away.

The final product was somewhat motley, with blue wings and new crosses, and the grayish fuselage with our old, flared cross markings that had been standard issue until this summer. I was at any rate pleased with the final product and was sure that my foes would remember the colors. I had always preferred the Pfalz to the Albatroses since their slipperiness could count as an advantage during difficult kurvenkampfs. Steinmann was also becoming a better shot and had during my absence bagged a balloon and one of those lumbering types the English call the Martinsyde. Nowotny was in Istanbul, trying to procure improved Mercedes engines for our mounts - the latest engines of 180 horses - and we would not see him for another week.

Our flight was initially uneventful. We ascended through broken cloud cover and some winds to an altitude of 2500 meters and flew to our destination unimpeded. We considered it prudent to fly slightly higher than usual since there were reports of English soldiers creeping steadily northwards towards our lines, over the last weeks. Near Jericho we idled our engines and descended gradually southwest of the town, until we spotted our balloon. Both of us opened our guns at it at the same time; I was surprised to see it go up in flames so quickly - was it hit by flak perhaps? Doubtful. Most likely Steinmann had proved an excellent marksman and the balloon rolled away below, in smoke and a cloud of steam. Soon the observer was spotted dangling from his parachute, only to disappear into the mist.

We now began a turn towards Jericho when a buzzing was heard overhead. I immediately looked up, only to see a lumbering type bearing down on me, followed by one of those stubbed-nose Scout Experimentals that the Englishers have brought into the theater recently. Round and round we went, with Steinmann above me and surveying the situation. Soon I was above Steinmann, looking at the situation unfolding below as if I was an eagle on a cliff, with my companion now twirling and dancing between the Martinsyde and stub-nosed scout. I took advantage of the situation and made my ingress into this grim dance - first the scout became a torch and whistled off into the ground; then the lumbering type burst into flames, only to break up further below me. Exhausted but pleased, I looked around. Where was Steinmann? There was no cloud cover in the vicinity. Left, right I looked, but he was nowhere to be seen. I then spotted, above my top wing and to the right, that another Englishman was following very closely behind my companion's Albatros, with guns chattering. To my horror, the Albatros' engine then began to burn and black smoke poured out in a thin stream.

Was this the final flight for Steinmann, the good marksman with a balloon and plane already to his credit? These thoughts built up in my mind and multiplied, but now was no time for philosophy - I opened my throttle, went after the English scout, and sent some shots his way. He soon began to tremble and disappeared below; it was one of those pesky maneuverable types again, Camels as they call them.

With no sign of my companion and disappointed, I did a wide ascending turn above Jericho and disappeared into the clouds above, and kept climbing to about 3000 meters - to avoid further Camels in the area. Still full of sad and contemplative thoughts a half hour later, I idled my engine and descended gradually towards the base at Jenin. My speed was too high so I cut my engine and glided in with a still propeller, side-slipping across the tents and onto our airfield, and rolling to an abrupt stop in front of my hangar. This all greatly amused the fitter and rigger.

'Well done with your dead-stick hop!; I just did one too.' These words came, not from the fitter - but - from Steinmann! - who had now rolled up to his tent with a silent engine as well! 'I managed to put the fire out in a dive,' he said, 'but that Mercedes kept rumbling and rumbling; had no choice but to do a very wide turn into the clouds, kept climbing and climbing - lost sight of you too Fritz and thought that English jockey had bagged you. Seems we were flying roughly the same path back to Jenin but didn't spot you in the high clouds. Oh well, better luck next time.'

I congratulated him on his spectacular return and explained that I went after his nemesis, that we got rather low, and that I thought he too was done in today. The fitter was however less than impressed with our tales of adventure and escape - muttering something about how engines were in short supply already, even without holes in them that we seem to have gotten in the habit of collecting. We laughed his comments off and met with Wincklermann soon. Steinmann was credited with his second balloon and third victory. I was credited with the lumbering type, maneuverable Camel, and snub-nosed scout. This now gave me nine victories and, contrary to typical protocol, a second honor goblet - but now in silver instead of steel."

 

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Edited by VonS
Fixed typos.
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Fifth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

September 7, 1918

"At least once or twice in a man's life he goes through what can be described a rite by fire. Today was that fated day for me. Nowotny had telephoned yesterday that, together with a shipment of only two Mercedes engines, uprated to 170 horses, he would return in five days. 'We will see,' said one of the fitters here at Jenin, 'what we can do to improve performance further, but our supplies of tooling equipment are dwindling, as are other things, and we can't make promises until we see the engines.'

Steinmann and Logan-Ritzer, a half Irish and half German fellow who had arrived while I was at Amman, were on a long reconnaissance flight today, in their Albatroses, to Port Said. This left me as one of only two pilots at our aerodrome; the other was a new fellow, Vzfw. Jonas Schnitzel, a small character with spectacles but a good flyer, who was to do a flight to Amman and back in the Rumpler later in the day. My mission was to fly offensive patrol to the industrial area of Jaffa, to the southwest of us. With a slight breeze and only scattered cloud, I assumed the flight would be pleasant. 'And you are my wingmen this morning Herr Schnitzel, yes?' - I asked.

The reply came from our flight officer: 'No lieutenant, you shall fly solo this morning in your Pfalz, while I and Schnitzel go over some maps since he is very new here.' 'But I was under the impression Herr Wincklermann that lone wolf missions have not been flown for more than a year, neither here nor on the busy front back home,' I uttered. 'You are indeed correct,' was my flight officer's reply - 'you see, not since the days of the great Buddecke* have solo missions been typical here; granted, this is no longer the summer of '16, but I trust in your abilities as a skilled marksman and pilot - if anyone can handle such a mission it is you - Steinmann and Nowotny still need more experience, as does Logan-Ritzer. Good luck to you.'

I thanked our flight officer for the reassuring words, although I was hesitant to fly solo when the British were also in the area in greater numbers. But orders were waiting for me and I clambered into the cockpit of my trusty Pfalz - soon the engine was running and I was off, ascending gradually to a height of 2500 meters and flying south and slightly west, towards Jaffa. As I neared the destination, I cut my throttle down by half and began a gentle dive towards a balloon, spotted not too far from Jaffa's industrial district. The balloon was suspiciously high, nearly at 1500 meters, so I did not get too close (the British would sometimes hoist explosive-laden balloons very high up as a decoy; one of our flying men was brought down this way on the Balkan front last year).** Instead, I opened fire at a distance of about half a kilometer, with short bursts. The gasbag was soon covered in flames, rolling away in the breeze and with the observer rather quickly parachuting down, no doubt to get away from the inferno that the balloon had become.

But no sooner had I completed the task when I was jumped by two Englishmen in maneuverable Camels, and round and round we went. A flight companion in a Pfalz or Albatros would be very handy, I thought - but this was no time to speculate. A couple of more turns and I was on one of the fellow's tails. With his engine punctured by a few well-placed shots, he began to vibrate and glided away into the morning haze below. I was now busy with the other fellow, a stubborn one, when another two Camels dove towards me, and one of those lumbering Martinsydes too! The worst possible situation had now come true - with the odds very quickly stacking against me.

We were now rather low over a factory in Jaffa's industrial district and I could make out the smoke-stacks clearly. Also visible was an improvised anti-aeroplane gun that was sending rounds in my direction while I was being chased by a Camel, with the other two dancing above, and sometimes below me. Every man was now flying to the limits of his skill and his crate. I was whenever possible using the Pfalz's slipperiness and sharp stalls to avoid my foes' bullets that were whizzing by in several directions. Up and down we went, with me positioning the Pfalz in such a way that I would always be more parallel than perpendicular to these brave flyers. Ten minutes into this maddening dance the very stubborn Camel lit up from my rounds, rolled over, and plummeted into a field next to the factory.

Another five minutes later I managed to avoid one of the airmen for long enough to pierce the other Camel's engine since it had mistakenly flown across my nose. This flyer's propeller came to a stop and he crash-landed next to one of the smoke-stacks, no more than a few meters away it. The last few minutes of this adventure were split between me and the remaining talented fellow - this one being very skilled in avoiding tight turns that would slow him down. We measured one another up, flew across each other's paths, circled and circled some more. He then came at me from my back, closing the distance. I was numb with fear but in control; I now as if by habit idled my engine and swung my rudder fully to the right. A snap spin then brought me under him, with my guns chattering before the second spin was complete. When I next spotted him he had already crashed into a field below and was broken into several pieces that were emitting black smoke.

I now had time to gather my wits and realized that the ponderous Martinsyde was still in the vicinity, rumbling away merrily and expecting me to be exhausted enough so that he could finish me off. He was however hardly maneuverable - I smiled at him, my face black from the engine exhaust. He waved at me, as if to greet me for my wonderful dance with the four English fellows. And then he attempted to turn into me to get a shot in, but I was already behind him. I closed on his rudder and fins - closer and even closer - just a few meters away. And then there was the sound of the empty click of my guns (both were empty now). I now flew up beside the lumbering flyer again, waved to him pleasantly, and did a wide ascending turn over and above the factory at Jaffa, for the return flight to Jenin. I heard the Martinsyde grunting behind me for a minute or two but it was useless - he was too heavy to reach me as I disappeared overhead.

The flight back was uneventful, thankfully so. I did however notice several bullet holes in my wings, something that had escaped my notice during the waltz above Jaffa. My rigger would not be too impressed, but such thoughts were trifles, no doubt to help me forget about the ordeal and that I had nearly had it on this solo mission. Approaching our aerodrome, I cut the engine as on my previous flight, slid in quietly over the tents, side-slipping, and plopped down in front of my hangar. This time there were two mechanics there but, unlike my fitter and rigger, there was no laughter. Instead, they looked at me with my face covered with grime, the bullet holes in the wings, and some fabric that had torn off - likely from desperate maneuvers during the fight - and their jaws seemed to reach the sand. I barely pulled myself out of the Pfalz and dragged my legs to my tent. Soon after, with a fresh face and composed, I went to tell Wincklermann about the flight and its details but he was already waiting for me.

'Hello Fritz, spectacular flying today; we just received word by wire that you became entangled in a flight of several Englishmen near Jaffa, yes?' - he asked. 'Well sir, 'entanglement' is the polite way of putting it - really it was more of a free-for-all - with every man at his wit's end; I'm thankful to the Pfalz most of all for holding together, and the slipstream for keeping me concentrated in the cockpit.'

'Ha, indeed!,' was the flight officer's response, 'always the modest fellow - also wired to us is confirmation of your victories, three Camels and a Martinsyde - fascinating!' 'Four Camels sir,' I replied - 'the Martinsyde got away; I had no rounds left by then.'

'Ho, even more wonderful, four pesky Camels! - never mind the Martinsyde, those are always buzzing around and frequently they end up at our doorstep with engine failure, most convenient way of giving us prisoner pilots - also, there are conflicting reports that a balloon came down but no confirmation for that I'm sorry to say. And how will you celebrate this little adventure?' 'Well sir, if you don't mind, I will try to sleep it off and will then write up some notes about the flight,' I replied.

'Nonsense! - tonight you dine in the officer's tent, and no more lone wolf missions. Tomorrow, weather permitting, you will fly with Steinmann or Logan-Ritzer.' This was very pleasant to hear, even though I did not admit it; but even more pleasant was the flight officer's congratulating me on my 13th confirmed victory, and that I would be receiving the Iron Cross 1st Class for today's flight of flights!"

---

* Hans-Joachim Buddecke dominated the skies over the Palestine front in his Fokker Eindeckers during the first half of 1916; he flew again in that theater for some time in 1917; he was shot down by Camels over France in March of 1918.

** Rudolf von Eschwege was brought down this way in Macedonia in November of 1917 while attacking a high-alt. British observation balloon; the balloon was fitted with explosives, a dummy observer, and was detonated from the ground, knocking Eschwege's Albatros D.III out of the sky.

 

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Sixth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

September 15, 1918

"The German front lines south of us were being tested more and more by the English over the last several days. It was Von Wincklermann's opinion that a large offensive would soon be launched, and so we were all apprehensive. Our offensive patrols had been cut down drastically in the last week, and fuel rations were also not helping with flying. Nowotny had finally returned with the two Mercedes engines and the mechanics were looking them over, to see if any in-field modifications could be made. Together with the few Pfalzes that we had acquired in July, and the Albatros D.V airframes that we received later, the general idea was to install these two engines and also to carry over necessary upgrades to the current batch of the standard 160hp Mercedes mounts that we already had. This was of course all theory, and the commotion of the war was making such modifications difficult to implement. We hoped that soon at least two or three of our crates could be fitted with stronger engines - although we would still be no match for the speedy, stub-nosed scouts that our enemy was wielding in small numbers.

Word had in the meantime reached Jenin from Amman, a bit before Nowotny's arrival, that Weihs and another fellow from that aerodrome had been shot down while doing an offensive patrol across the British lines further south. I remembered Weihs from my stay at Amman: a good pilot but his turns were somewhat sloppy and I had encouraged him to practice further. He had bagged a Martinsyde while I was still there, and in the fight that was his last, he had managed to down a Nieuport. The odds were against him in that mission however since he and his flight companion were surprised by two Camels and two Nieuports - this at any rate was the report. I was however surprised to hear that the British were still using Nieuports in the area. Possibly it was four Camels that had jumped them. Oh, they fought valiantly, Wincklermann said, but they were outflown by the opposition - at least poor Weihs went down with two victories under his belt. More and more of our brave flyers were being shot out of the sky this way by the numerically superior foe.

Schnitzel and Logan-Ritzer had been transferred to Megiddo on Wincklermann's orders. They were good characters but still required more flight hours before being thrown into heavier combat duties, although Schnitzel was a natural airman. And so, our flight officer, ever the careful and supportive fellow, sent them to the sleepier northern corner of the map. They would return to us in a fortnight if all turned out well. Steinmann's tally of kills was rising quickly, I was pleased to see. On his previous long reconnaissance flight with Logan-Ritzer he had managed to bag his third balloon and a Martynside that was carelessly wandering about, on their return flight to Jenin. This had brought his total victories to five. Logan-Ritzer also downed a balloon on that flight but it remained unconfirmed.

Nowotny was today looking over the new engines with the mechanics. Steinmann and I were on the other hand to undertake an afternoon defensive patrol around Jenin aerodrome and slightly southeast to Gan Dafna. The weather was at least pleasant, with hardly any wind and only one or two small clouds in the sky. 'Your missions for the next few days, and most unfortunately gentlemen,' said Wincklermann that morning, 'will be of the defensive variety until we get more shipments of fuel, and benzene too. We particularly need the benzene, to mix with the limited fuel already present. This will extend your flight opportunities.'

'I have heard,' uttered Steinmann, 'that this benzene extends the potency of the regular fuel, acting as a kind of enhancement shall we say; it is most noticeable in advanced engines used on the western front by our flyers, but it certainly cannot hurt to pour this liquid into our own engines too.' 'Yes indeed,' I commented, 'you are the resident chemist here with your diploma from Baden-Baden, and perhaps you will be able to concoct something even more magical than benzene for our engines.' Laughter ensued, even from the mechanics this time who were often flat-faced but now overheard our musings. But our little mission awaited. Steinmann took one of the Albatroses; I was again in my trusty Pfalz with its lovely colors. I had nicknamed my crate 'The Blue Ritter,' much to the amusement of my fitter and rigger - the only thing left was to emblazon the letters on the fuselage, but now there was no time for such trivialities. 'Oh but you should write something on it,' muttered Steinmann over the rumble of his engine, 'for here in our exotic theater everything and everyone has an original name, like that English Lawrence who goes by the moniker of Lawrence of Arabia would you believe.' 'This English Lawrence,' I yelled over my mechanic's gesticulations to prime my engine, 'no matter how extravagant his name, has already heaped praise on our brave men of the Asia Corps* - that they fight to the last man and efficiently too.'

And we were on our way, hopping into the air, ascending gradually to about 1500 meters, and doing a wide circle around Jenin before heading south and easterly. The day was beautiful and if it wasn't for the war going on, one might mistake this for two flyers out on a leisurely adventure. We flew from waypoint to waypoint, guided by our maps and the little villages and encampments scattered to and fro. Nothing of any value was spotted until we were close to the emerging hillsides visible farther south of our aerodrome. Rumblings and monotonous thuds were heard slightly below. I looked over the edge of my cockpit - and there they were, two Martinsydes floating away slightly to the east, and two snub-nosed scouts, already having noticed us, and engaged in a wide, fast and ascending turn to face us. All this was made more exciting by the little flak bursts from one of our anti-aeroplane guns stationed in the vicinity and that had opened up on the dashing Englishers.

Steinmann was already engaged in a series of tight turns with his opponent while the other stub-nosed fellow was bearing down on me at a great rate. I dove to gain speed, with the wind roaring alongside the cockpit and through the wing wires - and I executed my loop carefully, being gentle with the stick since the Pfalz has thin wings and often slips out of loops. Up and over I went, to find myself behind this fellow who had overshot and was too fast now to come back at me in time to avoid my Spandaus. I opened up, tracers riddling the area around his fuselage. There was no fire, but his engine ground down to a low rumble and I saw him side-slipping into the sand below, to break into several pieces. Grimly, I had also noticed the pilot slumped over as his crate descended.

I now turned my attention to the other stub-nosed character, only to see this one following closely behind Steinmann and with his guns firing. My flight companion could not get away since the Albatros was much slower than the Scout Experimental. Desperately I dove about 500 meters and sent a few shots in this fellow's direction. He immediately broke off the attack and made a wide turn, fast and low, and was directly heading towards me. Here was a worthy nemesis, an expert at the slashing attack - one joust, and then another, and then a third and a fourth followed - we repeated the attacks, and it was relentless. Finally, on our seventh charge, I hit his engine with a few shots. It was a very close head-on pass. When I next spotted him, after completing a wide turn, he was already burning profusely and hurtling towards the earth in proximity of the hills.

While I was busy with this fellow, my companion had managed to latch onto the tail of one of the Martynsides and sent him down spinning, and with the wings breaking off. The other lumbering type was already too far south and so we did not bother pursuing him. I signalled to the Albatros and off we went back to Jenin. A short roll to our hangars later, while I was still unfastening my harness, our flight officer strolled over to the fuselage of my Pfalz and congratulated me on my 15th victory, and Steinmann on his sixth. We were pleased, although Wincklermann looked somewhat glum.

'What is the matter sir?,' I asked - 'we decided it was unwise to follow the solitary Martinsyde that got away since he was too far south already, close to the British lines.' 'Oh that's no trouble gentlemen; it was wise of you, and I need as many flyers surviving as possible; no, rather I am disappointed that I had to discipline two mechanics while you were on duty today.' 'Discipline?,' asked Steinmann.

'Yes, you see I caught two of them behind one of the tents singing silly lyrics in dubious honor of Logan-Ritzer, nasty work accompanied by the sound of a concertina and flute. I will have no such nonsense and lack of discipline here; we are not a circus side-show act. They are now to clean the latrines for one week. I hope you two enjoy mechanical work on your engines since those rascals won't be of much help for a time.' Wincklerman uttered these words sternly, saluted us again, and went back to his office. He did however hand me a piece of paper with the crude song that the two fellows had been singing. Steinmann and I could not stop laughing while we walked back to our tents after reading what was scribbled there.

Logan-Ritzer
had a spritzer
and dreamt
a dream
in fizz and
bubbles.

Up he
looked now
tipsy drunk and
saw a flyer with
much spunk,
prancing about
with no care
on little clouds
in the air.

Was it
Schnitzel with
his Rumpler
or Herr. Fritz's
grand Blue Ritter
of azure
hue - Logan
had
no clue.

But oh those
wings, they were
nicely ribbed
and with
a color as fine as
on the patterned
under-pants
of scrumptious
bar maid
Hegeline."

---

* The Asia Corps was a detachment of the German Army sent to help the Ottoman Army, as early as December of 1914. They were admired by T.E. Lawrence. Most were not able to avoid death or capture after the Battle of Megiddo in late September of 1918, although they fought valiantly northwards towards Damascus, amid the remnants of the destroyed Ottoman Army.

 

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Seventh DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

September 20, 1918

"Today we were awakened by what I thought was thunder but instead turned out to be exploding grenades and some bombs, hurled at us by two of those lumbering types and a Scout Experimental that had surprised us very early in the morning. Jenin aerodrome had quickly turned into an inferno, with two older Albatroses destroyed, an extra Pfalz incinerated that we had previously also cobbled together from parts, and three hangars completely wrecked. Nowotny tried to intercept these rude fellows with his D.V but they got away in low cloud cover. I had also attempted to go up but my engine would not start. Consoling at least was that Nowotny spotted another lumbering type to the southwest of us and managed to gain the upper hand, with the wandering Martinsyde side-slipping into the ground and bursting into flames.

Not less than an hour and a half later, after a quick breakfast, Nowotny and I were off again on a defensive patrol, ascending into some broken clouds and windy conditions. We were however not more than a kilometer or two away from our still ravaged aerodrome when we were jumped by two Camels that emerged from a cloud. A grueling kurvenkampf then ensued, with both Camels initially latching onto Nowotny's Albatros. One of these fellows then transferred his attention to me and we went round and round in several circles before I was able to send some shots in his direction. He quickly began to emit flames and disappeared towards the ground. I then managed to distract the other Camel long enough so that this fellow became irritated and began chasing me. The next several minutes turned into a very slippery fight, this character evidently being a veteran of the war or perhaps even an ace. Up and down he went, with excellent tight turns, easily evading my less maneuverable Pfalz. After several unsuccessful passes, I found myself underneath him and with a few shots destroyed his engine. His propeller spun down and he glided off, crash-landing into some sand dunes further away.

When we returned to the aerodrome, it now looked even more shabby than before we went on our patrol. 'What is now the matter?,' asked Nowotny of one of the mechanics. 'Horrible!, we were attacked with more bombs by a couple of Scout Experimentals that escaped quickly while you were being kept busy by your mission,' was the response. I rushed over to Von Wincklermann's tent - to find him packing some smaller items for transport. He informed me with a sad face that the latest orders, wired to us from Damascus, were to evacuate Jenin as soon as possible.

'Let us try to salvage at least some of our remaining aircraft, Lieutenant; fly your Pfalz towards Megiddo and continue northwards for some time; I will take the Rumpler. And tell Nowotny to fly the engined-up Albatros and to follow you. Leave the older Albatroses here, including the one Nowotny was in today - they are useless now. Don't waste time refueling since British soldiers are less than a dozen kilometers away. One mechanic will fly with me in the Rumpler, in the observer's seat; the other fellows are already being transported northwards by train. Steinmann has already left for Megiddo in a D.V that was unharmed.' I rushed off to execute orders with lightning speed. Could it really be that we were leaving our beloved aerodrome at Jenin? These and other questions I would meditate upon more thoroughly much later in the day when our flight officer informed me that my sixteenth and seventeenth victories had been confirmed by some remnants of the Asia Corps that were nearby, and that I would be awarded the Merit Cross Second Class for my continued perseverance in what was quickly becoming a losing battle for our men."

 

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Eighth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

September 27, 1918

"We spent only five nights near Megiddo before moving further to a makeshift camp north of Damascus - where we are currently situated. In the meantime both the aerodromes at Megiddo and Amman had fallen, on the 25th. Our supply trains could also no longer operate since the tracks were sabotaged by some of the Englishers who had pushed further north of Amman during the chaotic fighting of the 25th. Also on that day we lost the young but competent pilot Vzfw. Schnitzel, who, with Logan-Ritzer, had been previously transferred to Megiddo to gain more experience, ironically in a more quite corner. My Pfalz had trouble starting that day, as it did at Jenin on the morning of the 20th.

We were surprised by three of those stub-nosed fellows circling the field near Megiddo. I attempted to intercept but my engine rattled for a bit and went silent next to a hangar. Schnitzel, wishing to seize on the opportunity to display his bravery, went up in an older Albatros, to great protestations by Wincklermann who considered the act suicidal. Oh, he fought brilliantly; I had rarely seen such natural flying. He evaded his three foes for many minutes but was eventually shot up by a fourth Scout Experimental that had joined the fray. Schnitzel's Albatros was then spotted, on fire, and gliding northwesterly of the aerodrome. It was only the next day that his charred remains and remnants of the aeroplane were found by some of our retreating soldiers.

To complicate things, Steinmann my good friend had gone up in his rickety D.V to attempt evening out the score. He flew wonderfully and managed to bag his seventh victory that was confirmed by his fellow officers observing events from below, but he was wounded in the left leg during his daring duel with another of the stub-nosed fellows; he crash-landed near our base and was already that night being transported by camel, and truck, to the field hospital at Aleppo. This had reduced our flying capabilities to Nowotny, Von Wincklermann, me, and Logan-Ritzer, and had left us with four aircraft - two engined-up Albatroses, my weather-beaten Pfalz, and the Rumpler that Wincklermann had flown from Jenin. There were also two obsolete Albatros D.II types at the aerodrome near Megiddo, with tattered and faded linen, and so we considered these useless against the enemy's fast aircraft. We did not even bother setting fire to these two relics of happier times when our airmen had reigned supreme in these regions.

In this state our motley crew had arrived at a small, makeshift base set up for us some 10 kilometers or so north of Damascus. We had a few canvas hangars erected that were a nice beige color and blended well with the sand hills that separated us from much of the noise and artillery of the fighting now going on all around. Today however was a tipping point that brought a decision to Von Wincklermann, rather than having Wincklermann make the decision as to our next move. Awful inclement weather had rolled in during the previous night and there was no break in the clouds today. We were to do a morning intercept, indicated Wincklermann, of British aircraft seen buzzing overhead over the last couple of days. Up we went into the cold wind and mist that morning, rain splashing against my goggles. Nowotny was in one of the improved Albatroses, our flight officer in the other, and I in my Pfalz. Logan-Ritzer would keep watch, with our fitter and rigger, at the camp, although he was advised not to bother taking the Rumpler up in case English flyers were spotted nearby.

We had ascended no higher than about 1500 meters and were being pushed slightly northwest by the wind when we spotted four Camels passing high above. They were heading south, most likely after doing a bombing and strafing run on the remnants of our Asia Corps that were bravely retreating northward. All three of us attempted to meet our foes on the level but there was no way we could climb that quickly or overtake them in any practical manner. Our officer signaled that we abandon the idea and instead we did an ascending turn southwards towards our camp. No sooner had we completed the turn than we were ambushed by three Scout Experimentals that dropped out of some low-hanging clouds. I managed to do a sharp head-on pass on one of the fellows and broke his bottom wing off with carefully aimed shots. He spiraled into the fog below with a thin stream of gray smoke trailing behind him. In the meantime, Wincklermann and Nowotny had been busy with their two airmen. Neither of those fellows was shot down but my officers managed to cripple them enough that the foes opened their throttles and escaped across their own lines.

We now continued towards our camp when, much to our disappointment, three Voisans with cannons were seen doing wide circles in front of us. Perhaps they were looking for our encampment? Without answering this question to myself I jumped into the middle of this flight, with my officer and Nowotny following. I had heard about these types but had not seen them until now in the theater. We all began circling one another: Nowotny, a Voisan, the flight officer, another Voisan, me, and yet another Voisan. These fellows were very slow, so much in fact that I had to throttle down by half, but they were very maneuverable, using their large ailerons to advantage, to flutter about like butterflies, always swinging away from my shots. Notowny eventually was chased by two of the Voisans, with Wincklermann following behind and pushing them off of his tail. I was busy with the third fellow and could not help them. We were involved in a dizzying fight that I ended by puncturing his fuel tank; he then glided down onto the sand but rolled over onto his back and caught fire, after which a small explosion was heard, likely from grenades that they had on board.

Now another one of the Voisans that was chased off from Nowotny by my flight officer, seeing what had just happened, began to harass me with cannon bursts. I was in no mood however to receive one of these bursts that would surely mark my end. Instead, another wild fight ensued, lasting several minutes, before I was able to get underneath my opponent and spray his underside with several rounds. I then saw his whole tail section come off and float away in the wind, while his front half with engine and wings still intact hurtled towards the ground, to become embedded in the wet sand with a loud thud. I now had no rounds left and it was pointless to pursue the third Voisan that was slowly flying away. Fortunately, Nowotny caught up with this character and sent him tumbling into the ground, with his engine enveloped by a ball of fire.

Somehow all three of us managed to join up in the horrible weather and returned to our makeshift camp. My engine rumbled and stopped near the encampment, and I had to glide in dead-stick, into the mud, tipping over onto my nose. I clambered down from the cockpit and was about to straighten the crate, with the help of the mechanic, when Wincklermann rushed over from his Albatros and said, 'Don't bother, let it be Lieutenant. That Pfalz has served you well but we are now in no condition to repair its engine; and besides, with its tail now up in the air, it is a kind of strange monument to your achievements.' 'But what will I now fly, sir?,' I asked. 'You will fly one of the improved Albatroses from now on; Nowotny will fly the other. I will take the Rumpler again and Logan-Ritzer will fly as observer for a while. It has become too dangerous to stay here and we will make a run for Aleppo tomorrow afternoon once there is a break in this weather. The encampment may be discovered any day now. The tipping point in this war has been reached.' 'I'd say we tipped over back at Jenin on the 20th,' said the mechanic who now peered at us from behind the Pfalz, but this received no comment from us. We were all in a state of denial of the obvious.*

'I take it that we should turn out all the lights tonight Herr. Wincklermann?,' asked Nowotny, who was now also listening to our conversation next to the upturned Pfalz. 'Yes, all lights off, no exceptions; and also help me to roll our functional aircraft into their tents. It will soon be time for lunch, and we all need nourishment. I will have no half-pilots under my command.'

We complied and were also helped by the mechanic and rigger. Although our faces were tired and glum, the flight officer congratulated Nowotny on his victory over one of the Voisans, bringing his total to four (Nowotny had previously downed two balloons in late June, before my entrance into the theater, and the Martinsyde at Jenin on the 20th of September). I was as well commended on my victories over the Scout Experimental and two Voisans, bringing my total to twenty - although I was now so anxious over the loss of my trusty Pfalz that I did not pay too much attention to my rising tally."

---

* Von S enjoys writing these reports since, unlike the role of a typical author who creates events and controls what happens, he lets the events in FE2 decide how these field reports develop, which maintains an air of randomness and risk, as would have been expected on the front - since there is no telling what will happen to Ltn. Fritz Müller on his next mission.

 

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Ninth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

October 6, 1918

"We were bogged down by inclement weather for two days north of Damascus at our makeshift camp and only made our escape to Aleppo, by air, on the 29th of September. On the first of October Damascus had fallen to the Englishers.

The aerodrome slightly south of Aleppo, where we are presently situated, is a pleasant one. There are several Albatroses of the D.III variant here, with Ottoman markings. Some are in disrepair but it is a fairly busy place nonetheless. The local flight officer, Hauptmann Hans Brüker, is a jovial fellow and gets along well with Von Wincklermann. I and Nowotny had not been assigned a mission for several days and usually we would spend our free time doing acrobatics over the aerodrome in the improved Albatroses brought over from Jenin. Von Wincklermann and Logan-Ritzer in the meanwhile have been doing a few reconnaissance flights further south, to keep track of the movement of British troops that are now located 30 kilometers or so north of Damascus.*

Today I was finally able to fly a mission, an early morning defensive patrol in good weather, to be accompanied by my flight officer and Logan-Ritzer in their Rumpler. We ascended to about 1300 meters, engaged in a wide turn south of the aerodrome, and already spotted a Voisan, lumbering Martinsyde, and stub-nosed scout approaching from the west, on the level. A melee immediately developed and lasted nearly 15 minutes I would say. Our Rumpler initially managed to get some shots into the Martinsyde but then the lumbering type turned the tables and began chasing the Rumpler, putting some shots into his tail.

I was too busy with the Scout Experimental now and could not come to the Rumpler's aid. My opponent was a seasoned airman and specialist at the slashing attack, often accelerating away and doing wide turns to come back at me. Using the better maneuverability of my mount, I eventually got into a position to disable his rudder, whereupon his turns became rather sloppy. A few minutes later his engine began to emit smoke, to my delight, but the fire was put out in a prolonged dive. We then went at it several more times before I sent another few well-placed rounds in his direction. Most likely the pilot had been wounded or killed, for I next saw him side-slipping into the ground, to break into several pieces. While the Voisan had taken advantage of the commotion to float further south over its own lines (for it was nowhere to be seen), the Martinsyde and our Rumpler were still in a fight a couple of kilometers east of me. I quickly caught up using my 170-horse engine, hit the lumbering type's fuselage with several rounds, and then observed its propeller spin down and a small fire erupt from the engine. The lumberer, in this incapacitated state, glided off to the southwest but I did not bother to pursue it.

The Rumpler and I rejoined and we proceeded to our aerodrome. The short hop back was uneventful. I landed first, rolled to a stop, and was still in my cockpit unfastening my harness when I saw the Rumpler approach our base. Its elevator was vibrating slightly and it landed roughly, with a slight thud, upon which its engine began to rumble and emit gray smoke. It came to a halt rather quickly but at that moment - how horrible to relate - the engine fire engulfed the entire length of the fuselage of the old Rumpler, and it exploded! Wings and struts flew in several directions, thus marking the end of our flight officer from Jenin and the honorable Carl Logan-Ritzer of tavern poem fame.

Nowotny, after hearing the noise, ran out of his tent, as did I clamber down from my cockpit, but our efforts to help were useless. Several hours later only a charred indentation remained and some pieces of the Rumpler's engine, marking the spot where it was engulfed by fire.

That evening the flight officer at Aleppo, Brüker, attempted to console us - but our nerves were frayed, with everyone sulking about during dinner and staring at the two empty chairs that were next to the table. 'Most likely,' uttered Nowotny, 'the Rumpler's elevator was weakened by rounds from the Martinsyde; this accounts for the rough landing, and perhaps the fire and explosion. Take consolation in the fact that you did not return empty-handed and have levelled the score, Fritz.'

I pondered over Nowotny's words that night in bed. Victories 21 and 22 I would dedicate to the memories of Logan-Ritzer and Wincklermann. But who would inform Steinmann, still at the field hospital, of the sad turn of events? He had telephoned yesterday and requested oranges. I thought about the oranges, to block the explosion of the Rumpler from my mind - and this way fell asleep amid visions of a fruit grove."

---

* Aleppo fell to the British on October 25 of 1918, unofficially marking the end of the war in this obscure theater. A formal truce would follow on October 29. While there was hardly any flying from the Germans in the second half of October, the 20 Rules for DiD require, should he stay alive, another three missions from Ltn. Müller. The author of these field reports eagerly awaits those missions, which will bring us up to the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

 

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Edited by VonS
Repositioned pics. and fixed typos.
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Tenth DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

October 12, 1918

"On the 10th of the month I had some time in the morning to visit Steinmann at the field hospital and presented to him, in delicate terms, what had happened to our flight officer from Jenin, and Logan-Ritzer. Steinmann himself was most surprised and commented that the Rumpler should have been abandoned long ago, for it had previously gone through two or three series of extensive repairs. We also discussed further activities at the aerodrome south of Aleppo, over a bag of oranges that I had brought, and he made me promise to greet everyone at the 'drome and to mention that he is recovering well. For my part, I made it known to him that I was sure of his return to the air, perhaps even in a fortnight at the latest. Also, yesterday we had been buzzed by three lumbering types and three Voisans that had emerged from the southwest, and that had dropped a few grenades over our base, fortunately without any serious damage. The weather had however become overcast rather quickly and so we abandoned the idea of pursuing them. This was the first time that we were harassed in such a way.

This morning I was busy helping my rigger and fitter to get as much power as possible out of the improved Albatros, and in this confident state I was assigned an evening defensive patrol, around our balloon post and barracks, also the field hospital that were located nearby. Nowotny and I ascended into the sky patched with pretty, scattered clouds, and leveled out at around 1200 meters. We did a wide turn and pushed slightly east of the aerodrome when, not more than three or four kilometers away, we were jumped by a flight of nine Martinsydes that came in at a higher altitude, and from the south.*

We accepted the challenge and round and round we went in the middle of this chaotic pattern of aeroplanes. Two fellows, perhaps not trusting their piloting skills, immediately turned towards their own lines and slowly disappeared. The other seven fellows remained and it took us a good 20 minutes, possibly longer, to dispatch them all. Nowotny managed to light up three of these lumberers, but he was then out of rounds and proceeded back to the aerodrome at half-throttle. I had in the meantime disabled the engines on two of the Martinsydes, and eventually sent the other two hurtling into the ground, with a thick column of black smoke trailing them.

As I turned and accelerated to catch up with Nowotny, who was already a few kilometers south of our 'drome, I observed two Voisans, the cannon-armed variant, descending from a cloud and trying to position themselves behind his tail. Nowotny had also spotted them and was making a wide ascending turn, while I flew into the fray and danced a while with these pesky Voisans. At first one fellow went spiraling down, with one of his bottom wings missing, and then I hit the other fellow too, who was now emitting an engine fire and thin stream of gray smoke as he turned on his back and descended in the vicinity of our barracks and field hospital.

Nowotny had already landed by the time I, now exhausted, rolled up to my hangar and clambered down from the cockpit of the Albatros. 'Well done Fritz, I'd say this was our best show yet!,' said Nowotny, who had been talking to one of the mechanics. 'And what has Brüker to say, I wonder,' was my response. We proceeded to the flight officer's tent and were cordially greeted. Nowotny was credited with his three Martinsydes, bringing his total to seven, and was to be awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class. I was credited with the two Voisans that had been observed plummeting down by some fellows at the barracks slightly south of the aerodrome, and also with three of the four lumbering types I had downed (one would remain unconfirmed since I had chased it too far south before it was dispatched). 'Congratulations gentlemen,' was Brüker's response; 'and with your total now standing at 27, Müller, I am pleased to inform you that you will be receiving the Saxon Order of Albert, Knight's Cross 2nd Class.'

A pretty little medal, I thought to myself that night in bed, and a rare one, although I was more pleased to see Steinmann two days ago and to hear that he is recovering quickly. I was also, on a more grim note, being troubled by images of Voisans fluttering by me, in a sort of half-sleeping dream in which I was trying to maneuver between them but also was attempting to stay out of the reach of their cannons. No matter how slow, these types were proving more and more troublesome to bring down; and I remembered Von Wincklermann's words to avoid them if too many were approaching, or if they were too close for a proper melee to begin."

---

* The formation.ini file was removed from the Flight folder in FE2 for this particular mission, which, even with light aircraft activity set in the main menu, produced a larger sweep of enemy planes, as typical of the British buildup for the final large battle, of Aleppo, in this theater. The formation.ini file was then placed back in the Flight folder for subsequent missions, and for variety.

 

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Edited by VonS
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Eleventh DiD Mission for Ltn. Fritz Müller, Palestine theater, following the 20 Rules for DiD

---

October 17, 1918

"Slightly windy weather and with broken cloud cover this morning. Was assigned a lengthy defensive patrol about 40 kilometers south of our aerodrome at Aleppo. We ascended to approximately 1800 meters and proceeded as planned, to oversee for enemy ground activity that was creeping further northwards, and to spot for enemy aeroplanes. A young fellow, Vzfw. Otto Krepps, was also accompanying us, in an Albatros D.III with Ottoman markings. We flew southwest as per usual directions. Near our destination point we circled for a few minutes and were then approached by two Martinsydes. Krepps followed one of the Martinsydes further south while I tangled with the other one. Two Voisans had also appeared soon after.

I was busy with the Martinsyde for a good 10 minutes but managed to notice one of the Voisans slipping back south over its own lines. Krepps was nowhere to be seen and was likely chasing after the other Martinsyde, I assumed. Our flight leader was in the meantime involved in a very prolonged kurvenkampf with the other Voisan, likely flown by a seasoned airman for I had intermittent opportunity to observe that this character was extremely maneuverable and practiced very tight turns. While still engaged with the Martinsyde, I looked to the east and noticed that the flight leader had now gotten the Voisan, with a thin stream of smoke following it. However, when I looked again the Voisan had somehow turned into our leader and both began descending rather alarmingly, with the flight leader losing most of his wings and disappearing in the region of some marshland that was nested among the hilly terrain below.

After dispatching the Martinsyde, I proceeded to do several wide circles but only spotted the crash site of the Voisan that was embedded below near some foliage, with its fuselage burning and wings separated from the wreckage. Neither the flight leader nor his Albatros was anywhere to be found. I returned to base stupefied!

'And what kind of a flight report is this, Nowotny?,' asked Brüker that afternoon, 'and where in the world is Krepps - most likely flew over the British lines and was pounced?' 'It's possible, sir,' replied Nowotny, 'for he was rather keen on getting his first victory.' 'Well then, you will be credited with your eighth victory, for the other Martinsyde. Fortunately some of our retreating soldiers were in the vicinity to confirm. Also to be confirmed is Ltn. Müller's 28th victory over the Voisan,' commented flight officer Brüker.

'And now to this business of Müller - are you sure he went down?' 'Yes sir,' responded Nowotny, 'I saw some of his wings break off as he plummeted into the marshland fenced in by some hills.' 'But could you spot the location of the crash?,' asked the flight officer. 'No, you see sir, I did several wide circles above the area and there was nothing, except for the burning remnants of the Voisan.' 'That will be all Nowotny, thank you.' 'Thank you, sir,' was Nowotny's reply, before he departed for his tent. 'What to do with this nasty business,' thought Brüker to himself. 'I will report this as a case of missing in action, and for good measure Ltn. Müller will be awarded a wound badge - he was a stellar flier that one, and there will certainly be less aerial action now at Aleppo as we return to a slower pace,' ruminated the flight officer while puffing on his cigarette and adjusting his monocle.

Meanwhile, at the British field hospital located just on the other side of the lines, about seven kilometers south of that morning's engagement with the Voisans and Martinsydes, in a corner of the room - and with his entire body in a cast - was a strange sight of a patient. 'What's wrong with this one,' asked the doctor while staring at the nurse's healthy proportions. 'Oh, he's not one of ours doc, was picked up by our patrol in the afternoon; three broken ribs, a dislocated ankle, broken arm, and concussion, pulled him out of what was left of his crate, stuck in some mud, the poor fellow - should be able to survive, lucky this chap, I'd say.'

'I know a bit of German nurse,' uttered the doctor, and will try to ask him a question. The doctor then whispered something through the cast covering this fellow's head. A muffled response was heard; the doctor was silently contemplating the answer. 'Well, what did he say, I just adore his accent behind that cast,' was the nurse's reply.* 'We have to wait for the effects of his concussion to wear off; let him rest for a day or two. I think he mumbled something about a certain Pfalz - but I don't know any such fellow.'

The doctor concluded that Pfalz was another doctor or perhaps a medical intern, and didn't give the comment much thought as he went off to attend to other patients."

-----

* We will assume that Ltn. Fritz Müller survived and returned to the Weimar Republic after spending a few years in Istanbul, where he trained young pilots. For further narrative warmth, as we unexpectedly complete this series of adventures cut short by an aggressive Voisan, let us conclude that Ltn. Müller married the buxom nurse too, and that he grew an aversion for Albatroses while always fondly remembering his two Pfalzes that he flew earlier in the theater. Nowotny, by the way, also survived and went to South America to do stunt flying. Steinmann, after recovering and being discharged from the field hospital near Aleppo once the war was already over, went back to Baden-Baden and became an excellent chemist and professor of chemistry at a local college, doing research in octane ratings and gasoline supplements well into the 1950s.

 

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      View File Tweaked Flight Models and Realism Pack for FE2
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    • By VonS
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    • By VonS
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