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DiD IV Campaign - Flight reports & Player instructions

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Damn....and it was going well too.


Sergeant Kenneth Hardie

6 Squadron RFC

Abeele airfield


1 confirmed victory

1st November 1915


Major Shephard took the briefing and explained that the mission today would be an attack on Phalempin airfield.


The weather was good as Kenneth cranked up the throttle and the BE rumbled across the airfield.


The journey went quietly until they crossed the lines. From that moment on the flak grew thicker and thicker. Kenneth's BE was thrown about the sky as the bursts threw metal everywhere.


Just as they approached Phalempin and Kenneth was about to nose down on the bombing run, something blew directly in front of him. Wood and metal flew around and Kenneth buckled as he took the full brunt.


He was groggy and blooded and as he tried to get control of the aircraft again he realised he couldn't. The wires were wrecked and the stricken BE began a spiralling fall.


As the ground grew nearer, Kenneth kicked the rudder to try and level out and it worked a little but the aircraft nosed into the ground and skidded to a halt. Kenneth was out cold as flames burst out around them........he felt nothing anymore.......




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That’s a tough break AT. A toast to the fallen. 

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funny, my pilot is stationed at Phalempin, and almost every mission start in Nov has either a Morane or Be2 mucking about. I only witnessed one Morane go down near our field though.

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It was certainly an unpleasant surprise. With the ground fire set to hard and the Archie mod active I guess it's bound to happen sooner or later.


I've a new pilot lined up and waiting for the go ahead from the chaps in charge.

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Sorry for your loss ,AlbertTross!

AA is really thick near Phalempin,i am noticed!

Edited by Paroni1

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Great stories Gents!

A.T.  - Rest In peace Kenneth Hardie! We drink to your memory and your success in combat. He was such an interesting character and I enjoyed your pictures of the bombs!

Mfair - Elijah is quite the poet sir!

Hassel - Auguste's time in the Nieuport 10 should be interesting!  Such a bleak photo of the front too, chilling, PBI.

Raine - I continue to love your writing, poor Mr Osbourne - just as he was beginning to open up to Hawkwood!

Albrecht - I love your art style thanks for sharing how they are done!

I'm looking forward to what October has brought for the rest of our intrepid DiD pilots!



Flight Lieutenant Theodore Aloysius Andrews aka 'Runt'                                                      

HQ Sqn 1 Wing RNAS in Flanders                                                                                                   

St. Pol-sur-Mer


Flying Hours: 82

Confirmed Victories 6 


Part 12

I didn’t wait...

I left the little coffee shop at once. To see Monique with Simon Ackart, my boyhood bully and current odious nemesis was a most devastating vision, my heart felt like it was going to explode and the blood in my veins had turned to ice. I felt kicked in the stomach and twisted in knots. There is a small bar in Dunkirk, in a side street, near the docks and it was there my feet dragged me. The open door emitted a whiff of tobacco, sea-water, sweat, the subtler indescribable odour of masculine loneliness and one too many bare-knuckle fights, but I pulled up a chair and drank heat into my veins and heart. Just a few weeks into being twenty and I felt like an old man. One drink turned to more drink, then, even more, drink, then oblivion.

I woke on my camp bed, in my basher, cold with a mouth feeling like a fur coat. Davies stood over me. “How’s the head Theo?” He enquired with a practised delicateness that only the Welsh can manage without sounding effeminate. 

“Thumping like a barn door in a gale”. I slurred.

“Not surprised, old man.” He smiled “ I went looking for you and Monique last night, I saw her and Ackart together and guessed where’d you be.” Davies looked upon me with sympathy and care in his eyes. “You need to learn to hold your drink.” The older man added. After a moment of silence while he assessed my sorry state he continued,  “Apparently he made his move when we were in captivity, by all accounts she was devastated and he moved in with a strong arm and shoulder to cry on. I’m sure when she hears we’re safe and sound things will work out.”

Whether it was pride or a sense of scorn I resolved in my heart never to step foot inside the Le P'tit Dupont again and devote my time to flying and to helping the chaps with one exception.


The Partnership continued.

I was cleared to fly again very quickly and Davies’ and my partnership continued. The first half of October was the continued mix of reconnaissance and patrols, both over our lines and the enemy’s. We went two weeks without seeing anything in the sky and then mid-way through the month things began to heat up dramatically. We were attacked by Fokker monoplanes on two separate occasions. In the first instance, Davies and I were near the back of our formation and the first I knew of it was Davies firing like the blazes. We downed at least one but our claim was denied. On the second occasion, we were jumped from below by 4 Fokkers. Our Morane was leading the flight I ordered the flight into a climbing left-hand turn, allowing us all to make shots on the EAs. Between us, we bagged a couple. Ackart is still flying a BE2c and I saw him break away from the pack and was being chased by two very determined Fokkers. I am proud to say I didn’t even hesitate and pointed the nose of the Morane to aid him. Ackart saw what we were attempting and flew towards us, the BE2 coming under intensive fire, it flew over us and Davies let the first Fokker EI have it. The Fokkers incensed, left Ackart alone and stuck to us. Davies fired and fired taking a couple of hits himself. Whether it was Archie or the Fokker our Morane had had a bellyful and started to lose fuel and responsiveness. I started to make for our side of the lines with the Fokker in pursuit. Davies, despite his injures kept firing at the Fokker who wouldn’t let go.  I knew his bravery was rewarded when all of a sudden, Davies shouted "Got the bugger!"


Ackart's BE2 is attacked by Fokker EI


Fokker Scourge Getting Close ...


... But Not Too Close

Putting the Morane down in a field, I dragged Davies out of the cockpit bleeding. Ripping strips from my coat I wrapped his wounds. He had nasty wounds in both his shoulder and left arm as well as a gash above his forehead. I couldn't see any sign of the second Fokker and perhaps Davies hit that chap too - I'll never know.

Davies was taken to hospital and I returned to St.Pol-sur-Mer. Ackart’s observer had also been injured in the fray but apart from that, the flight escaped unharmed. I still do my best to avoid Ackart, there is no love lost there between either of us. After the Fokker attack, he did try some attempt at an apology, which I detested as it put further demands on my patience.  We were a claim on the flaming EI too.  I think everyone too busy was fighting for their lives to notice!

Unbeknownst to me, that was to be my last flight with Davies, who I’ve been to visit in hospital a couple of times. The next day I flew with a new chap and on the third day, we took delivery of some beautiful single-seat scouts. Nieuport 10s. This is a relief as the Morane’s were little match for the German one seaters. I ended the month enjoying the beauty of this new machine. The chaps have started scoring regular victories in them, I even two bagged two armed Aviatiks of which one has been confirmed.


Confirmed and unconfirmed victories


The squadron is in frightfully good heart some great chaps have joined us. The most promising is an Australian chap called Rod Dallas. He arrived in a Caldron G4 which he prefers at the moment to the Nieuports - for my money it’s a ridiculous looking thing, but it keeps up with the rest of us so we let it pass. We’ll hopefully coax him into a Neiuport before too long. He is a particularly good sport, on his second day with us one of the other chaps, a practical joker, imitating Chris Cleaver (our CO) telephoned Dallas, (who was the duty officer) and ordered him in brusquely imperious tones to take off in a 'propeller-less Breguet' that we had knocking about in a hanger. Upon learning that he had been tricked, Dallas joined in the laughter with the rest of us and has accepted the resulting nickname of "Breguet".

To be continued …

Edited by Sebtoombs
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November 15

015_Ltt_Schneider.jpg.639773e16a2a2f43100b2ae81b3c57e5.jpgPaul Schneider transfered N113.Replacement should be arrive soon.

Third Battle of Artois continue.Losses are extremely high and gaining ground are nonexistent.

Whole October was muddy are rainy.Flights were always when weather allow it.Contacts with Boche however,was not.

The consolation was that Nieuport was much better plane than Morane.Now there was little possibility gain victories when you have forward shooting machine gun!

Chief mechanic Jacques Neuville changing a tire from Henri Castillac's plane.


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Mfair - A courageous attack on Bertancourt but then some awful news about Captain Goon.


Hasse - Good to see your fellow getting to grips with the Nieuport.


Seb - That Ackhart seems a right little charmer, moving in on Monique. Runt took it out on his liver in response. It didn't make any difference in the air it seems, some excellent maneuvers against those Fokkers. That Davies is a brave chap.







Vizeflugmeister Leopold Bertram Doll, he's 24 and from Krefeld in the Ruhr. After school and a short period working in his father's tailoring business, he joined the navy. He serves on several vessels but once the war started and the Belgian coast captured he was posted to admin duties in Knokke-Heist.


This inactivity didn't last long as he applied for pilot training in early 1915 and was accepted. He takes to flying like the proverbial duck to water. He is sent to Schwerin in September to learn rotary engine flying with the Fokker company. He is then ordered to the Marine Feldfliegers at Nieuwmunster.


This is his story..........




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Vizeflugmeister Leopold Bertram Doll

Marine Kampfeinsitzerkommando

Nieuwmunster airfield


30th October 1915 - 6pm


Leo alighted the car he'd been travelling in from Brussels. The car pulled away and left him standing in front of the main building at the airfield.


The weather was not good, wind and rain whipped his overcoat lapels, but he'd been in northern Flanders for 12 months now and was used to it's weather. He entered the building and approached the adjutant, Feldwebel Richter.


"Good evening Vizeflugmeister, wait here please and I'll see if the CO can see you now." said Richter. He entered the office behind him before reappearing and announcing "Leutnant Kagelmann will see you now".


Leo entered the office and saluted. Leutnant Kagelmann responded. "At ease Vizeflugmeister" he said.


Leutnant-zur-See Georg Kagelmann was 25 and from Bad Iburg. He'd been with the Marine Feldfliegers since 1913 and was very well thought of.


Kagelmann perused Leo's papers. "6 years in the navy eh? What made you join the fliegers?" he asked.


"I was just sitting around Herr Leutnant, it's not what I wanted when I joined up. Aircraft have always interested me and memos had come around asking for volunteers for the Marine Feldfliegers." replied Leo.


"Interesting, it beats being a submariner...eh Vizeflugmeister." said Kagelmann.


"Indeed Herr Leutnant." said Leo.


"I see you spent time at the Fokkerschule at Schwerin. Excellent." continued Kagelmann.


"Yes Herr Leutnant, I managed several hours in Fokker types, I'm well aware of their capabilities." 


"Glad to hear it, we have eight Fokker Eindeckers in our inventory and with you we now have six pilots. Our role is to protect our forces in the area from enemy incursions and to protect our two seaters." stated Kagelmann.


"We have strict instructions.....in fact....orders, not to cross the lines. You should bear that in mind if you should find yourself chasing an enemy aircraft Vizeflugmeister." he continued.


"Aye aye sir" confirmed Leo.


"Good. Now, go and get yourself sorted, see the adjutant. We'll be having food shortly so you can join us and I can introduce you to your fellow pilots." confirmed Kagelmann.


Once Leo was settled in his quarters he went through to the kasino and had a very reasonable dinner with the others. After dinner he had a few drinks with them and seemed to get on well. Flugmeister Eduard Pretzner was particularly good company. He was 25 and from Neuhofen near Mannheim.


The following morning, Leo woke bright and early. The previous evening had been enjoyable but he'd kept it in check. After breakfast he sat in the meeting room with the other pilots. Leutnant Kagelmann went through the general situation, the allied attack to the south had slowed but probes were still occuring.


Activity here in the north had been consistent with enemy raids on various installations on a regular basis.


He confirmed that this morning's sortie would be to cover the Roulers railyard. Kagelmann would lead with Leo and Oberflugmaat Kurt Brand with him. The weather was still not good at all, but as Kagelmann had put it, "this is the channel coast, if we stopped flying due to inclement weather, we'd never be in the air".


Leo sat in his Fokker EI as the engine heated up. Shortly after, they headed off and climbed up to 7000 feet. They reached Roulers and patrolled around. They saw nothing and landed safely an hour later.


Another sortie in the afternoon took Leo down to the lines to the north of the Ypres salient, again it passed quietly enough although the weather made visibility poor at best.


The following days went similarly, the weather did not improve and the low lying land was taking a battering. 


On the 2nd of November, Leo, Kagelmann and Pretzner were on a patrol of the lines south of Nieuwpoort. The weather was still woeful but they climbed above the rain clouds and proceeded west.


As they approached the front Leo saw something over to the right, it was above them and flak bursts told him it was probably enemy.


The 80hp engined Eindecker climbed slowly, even more so in the buffeting wind. He was catching the aircraft up though, now visible as a BE2.


The Englander ran once he'd seen the Fokkers but Leo kept after him. He eventually got within range but the wind made accurate aiming impossible. He still managed to get some good bursts away but increasing flak told him he'd crossed the lines. He reluctantly turned and flew back.


He landed safely and Leutnant Kagelmann spoke to him shortly afterwards. "You did well out there Vizeflugmeister, it was virtually impossible to get at that Englander before it crossed the lines but you did it. In better weather, who knows maybe you would have got him. Either way, your determination does you credit. You also followed orders by turning back once across the lines. I know that was tough but you did it." said Kagelmann.


"Thank you Herr Leutnant. Yes I'd have got him but for the winds. There'll be other occasions." said Leo philosophically.


Two more sorties took place on the 2nd November but the airfield was becoming completely waterlogged. It came as no surprise when operations were cancelled for the 3rd, Leo spent most of the day map reading and talking with Flugmeister Pretzner and Oberflugmaat Brand.







Edited by AlbertTross
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November 1915

Misty morning on Flanders



Oh poor fellows there!

Artois offensive bogged down.

Finally happy day for Henri!Three Aviatik over No-Man-Land and he got hits on them all.Capitaine Hullier saw one crashing to German side.First confirmed victory!


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Good luck to our new pilots! Me thinks we are all going to need it.   

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Jean-Fidele Hierrot: October 1915 Report, Part I

The month of October got off to a slow start due to bad weather. On October 2, Jean-Fidele had a claim get rejected: while he'd downed an Aviatik C.I two-seater, his flight mates had gotten stuck in a cloud and weren't able to confirm his account. Escadrille N12 would go on to get rained out multiple days in a row that week at Rosnay. During this downtime, however, Jean-Fidele received word from de Gennes that his last two claims from the end of October were confirmed, increasing his total to 3. 

Sadly, that was going to be the last conversation Jean-Fidele would ever have with de Gennes. Days later, Escadrille N12 was rocked with the news that the squadron leader was killed in a patrol over enemy lines. Enemy anti-aircraft fire was only growing in its intensity, raising the imperative for all patrols to ascend to as high an altitude as possible, as soon as possible, upon takeoff.

Raymond de Pierre de Bernis assumed command. Day 1, he declared to be "a day of mourning"; day 2, he declared to be "a day of revenge."

In Jean-Fidele's case, that "day of revenge" came to an abrupt end when he dove too hard after some Aviatik two-seaters over French lines, and broke off the left half of his lower wing. The Nieuport threatened to spin. To gain back control, hoping it would even out the overall lift and allow him to land safely, Jean-Fidele repeated some tight high-speed, high-G turns to deliberately break off the right half as well. The gambit worked, and Jean-Fidele made it back to Rosnay on a modified Nieuport 10 "monoplane."


On day 3, the second day of revenge, Jean-Fidele stayed on the ground while mechanics rebuilt to lower wing on his Nieuport 10.

On day 4, the third day of revenge, Jean-Fidele was once again sent back to the ground. While attacking a formation of Aviatiks, Jean-Fidele came up from below and behind one of the two-seaters, when the enemy pilot pulled the Aviatik's nose up to induce a stall. For that one moment before the stall hit, though, the rear gunner had a clear shot at Jean-Fidele, and that one moment was all that this particular gunner needed to damage Jean-Fidele's engine and put our intrepid hero out of commission for the day.



By the time Jean-Fidele crawled out of his cockpit, de Bernis commented, "Maybe the good lord is telling us what happens when we go out in search of vengeance."

"Yeah, les boches give us more c--- to get revenge for..."

The next day, a new transfer, Armand Callinet, joined the unit. While de Bernis remained nominally in charge of day-to-day operations, Callinet became de facto flight leader for the squadron - much to Jean-Fidele's benefit, as he would soon see.


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Jean-Fidele Hierrot: October 1915 Report, Part II

When Jean-Fidele woke up to join an October 10th patrol over the frontlines, he didn't realize his life was about to be changed forever.

Jean-Fidele immediately noticed that Callinet, the leader on that flight, was far more aggressive, far more vigilant, with the keenest eye of anybody he'd flown alongside - surpassing even beloved Aldric. Based on a mere discoloration in some clouds along the front, Callinet knew some German two-seaters were trying to sneak into French territory. Rather than chase the Aviatiks directly, Callinet directed the flight to remain along the frontline so the Nieuport scouts could cut off the enemy's escape route. Once Escadrille N12, Flight B was between the Aviatiks and the front, Callinet gave the signal to let loose.


Unlike last time, there were no dirty German stalling tricks: just a young man, his Nieuport, and a decisive surgical strike of 47 rounds straight into the bad guys' belly. Thanks to Callinet's observation skills, Jean-Fidele even got credit for the victory - while Callinet bagged the Aviatik's flight partner.

Over the next two weeks, Jean-Fidele and Callinet became a potent combination. They weren't able to get every claim confirmed, but as a pair, they were taking down at least one Aviatik every other day. From the 10th through the 21st, Jean-Fidele was credited with 4 new confirmed victories, raising his overall score to 7.


The most dramatic of these four victories was easily the last one.

By the end of the day on the 20th, Jean-Fidele had reached 60 flight hours, qualifying him to lead a flight. He found out about this on the morning of the 21st, as de Bernis woke him up with an abrupt slap to the face. "Sous-Lieutenant Peti-Sous! Guess what!"


"You're now eligible to be a flight leader!"

"Oh okay, nice..."

"There's some German two-seaters spotted over our aerodrome. Go lead a flight now, flight leader! Scramble!"

"...Thanks?" the seven-victory ace muttered as he got up and readied himself to go to the airfield.


A pair of Aviatiks were indeed flying overhead, perhaps a mile or two away and crawling within range to strike the airfield.

Charles de Rose and Jean Marie Navarre joined Jean-Fidele as they formed up to try to catch up with the two-seaters. Jean-Fidele waved them both to attack the Aviatik further back; he knew he had to take on the more present threat himself. A member of the ground crew caught the results on film as seen above.

As the month of October drew to a close, Jean-Fidele focused on setting up his flight mates for victories of their own. He'd already reached ace status, after all, and he was leading his own flight. The next step to grow, he figured, was to become a trailblazer of sorts - not just an ace, but a mentor to aces. There were a couple successes along the way, and Adjutant George d'Oisy even got a confirmed victory in the process.

On the 26th, however, the weight of responsibility became all too clear to Jean-Fidele, as he faced the Germans' most cunning tactic yet.

While Escadrille N12, Flight B was out on patrol still within earshot of Rosnay, the flight caught sight of an unarmed Aviatik B.I drifting aimlessly in the general direction of the frontline. Navarre and Quellenec went in pursuit.

The thing is, given that the Germans were using inline engines for their two-seaters, their engines had a very distinctive sound that stood out in contrast to the dinky little Le Rhône rotary engines powering N12's namesake Nieuports. And the noise from the Aviatik's engine felt too wide, to spread out to be just that one engine on that one aircraft.

...Jean-Fidele caught a glimpse of a C.I poking out from behind a cloud.

It was now obvious what the Germans were doing: lure N12's scouts away with a B.I as bait, while the C.I sneaks in through the back door to gather more intel or wreak havoc on French targets down below.

Jean-Fidele screamed at his flight not to take the bait, but it was too late. Navarre and Quellenec couldn't hear him. It was on Jean-Fidele to take this on himself.


Much to Jean-Fidele's good fortune, Callinet's Flight A happened to be in the neighborhood. providing the necessary eyewitnesses to corroborate Jean-Fidele's claim: his eighth victory.

After the confirmation came through, Quellenec approached Jean-Fidele to run him through the standings. "So this puts you two ahead of Pegoud, who got killed in action two months ago...God rest his soul...You're also three ahead of Immelmann on the other side, and you just pulled ahead of Hawker for the English. Your greatest rival right now is probably Theodore Andrews, a pilot for one of the English naval units up north..."


"Yes, Jean-Fidele?"

"...I don't care."

"But surely it must mean something to know where you stand!"

"I know the count. I know what happened. I was there."

"Very well. I'll have to give you a run for your money one of these days."

"Yeah, well, you'd have to learn to hit the broad side of a barn first," Jean-Fidele retorted. Both men cracked weary smiles.

"Well, fortunately for me, barns don't fly."

Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer
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Paroni - Henri too is getting to grips with his new mount. Congratulations on his first confirmed victory.


Albrecht - Enjoyable reading! Jean-Fidelle's tales are like 'boys own' stuff and the pictures make it even more so. That landing with only the top wing left must have been terrifying. 8 confirmed victories already, I think a visit is in order.

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Your pics are very nice!

I myself am content with the original image quality because i am afraid i will mumble something!

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November 4

Caporal Lenard Piatte is new arrival.

November 6

Hard battle over the trenches

Castillac claimed victory over Aviatik C1(denied)!

Turin claimed one but counter-fire put him make force-landing.Own side,luckily!

Huillier got one and it is confirmed.

He awarded Chevalier Legion d'Honneur!


Happy Capitaine Huillier.A first ace of Esc 15.French press made them a national hero.

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Vizeflugmeister Leopold Doll

Marine Kampfeinsitzerkommando

Nieuwmunster airfield

Fokker EI

4th November 1915


There was only so much map reading anyone can do and Leo spent a few hours in the kasino in the evening of the 3rd. He, Pretzner and Karl Horn seemingly putting the world to rights over a beer and a schnapps. Horn was only 19 and from Sande near Wilhelmshaven and was full of youthful exuberance and vigour. He argued with the more stoic and pragmatic Pretzner about the direction of the war. Leo, used to barrack room politics from his time on board ships, listened to them both.


Although the rain had stopped overnight, there was no chance of flying in the morning of the 4th. The ground crews worked ceaselessly to get the airfield usable in time for the afternoon and just about managed it.


This was fortunate as the airfield alarm sounded and nearby flak began to open up. The Fokkers were started up and Leo jumped into his. He looked upwards and saw several aircraft high above the airfield.


As he climbed away he glanced upwards again and saw enemy scouts hurtling down. Pretzner and Huhne were also airborne as the Nieuports arrived.


Leo dodged the attack and swung around to try to get after one of his attackers. A glancing shot was all that was possible but Leo got hits. One of the Nieuports went after Huhne and Pretzner went to help.


Leo found himself with two enemy scouts after him. He flew skillfully and kept them at bay. He got a bead on one as it flew past and fired an accurate burst into him. The Frenchman rolled away and ran for home.


Leo left him and stayed with his other assailant. The Frenchman was skilled and worked to stay above Leo, who kept the stick to his chest and pulled as tight a turn as possible.


All this was taking place well into German territory and eventually the Frenchman's nerve broke and he tried to run. Leo saw his chance and took it, he had to be quick as the Nieuport pulled away. He fired a good burst which hit the Nieuport hard. The Frenchman turned about and came at Leo. Leo fired into the enemy and stayed with him as it tried to climb away.


The Nieuport's engine faltered and he lost power and height. Leo looked below him as the floundering Nieuport wobbled and then fell into the trees south east of Oostende.


The third Nieuport had ran, so Leo set himself up to land. Pretzner had already set down, Huhne had fallen however. A flaming pile was ablaze in the next field, marking where his Fokker had smashed into the ground.


On landing Pretzner came across to congratulate Leo. "Gut gemacht! Du hast ihn erwischt!" exclaimed Pretzner as he reached Leo.


"Danke meine freund. I'm glad you got back down ok" said Leo.


Leo's claim was a formality, the whole airfield had seen him down his foe. Huhne was done for, his body was recovered later in the evening.


The bad news about Huhne did not deter the others celebrating Leo's success in the Kasino later. Leutnant Kagelmann led the goings-on and presented Leo with an Ehrenbecker commemorating his first victory.


On the morning of the 5th, Huhne was buried in the field next to the main office. He was only 19 and from Baiersbronn in the Black Forest.


The next couple of days passed quietly enough. The weather held and the sorties passed without incident.







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Albrecht – Let me second TWK’s compliments about the artistic editing of your screenshots. Jean-Fidele had a very close call with that fragile Nieuport, but then teamed up with Callinet to set the skies on fire!  Epower and I did our best to make confirmed claims more difficult in this campaign, then your man comes along and makes it look like a pushover.

Albert – Losing Hardie had to be a real punch in the gut. He was doing extremely well.  Still, pushing ahead with a hearty welcome to Vzfw Doll. Now we get to see what an Eindekker jockey can do. Congratulations on your first confirmed victory.

MFair – It was a real loss to see Captain Goon go so soon. As you said, now the war is getting personal.

Hasse – I am thoroughly enjoying Auguste’s story. Whenever I read about changing the magazines on the early Nieuports, I know that if I were there, it would be 47 rounds and then time to go home.

Seb – Please tell me you were working up a grisly revenge story for that Ackers fellow. Meanwhile, Andrews has become the pride of the Royal Navy. Brilliant work!

Paroni – Henri is surviving in difficult times. I love the photographs you have found to go with his story.


War Journal – Sergeant David Armstrong Hawkwood

4 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Allonville, France


Part 8

It’s time to catch up with my journal, which has been left by the wayside for some weeks now. The latter half of October passed without any incidents of note. In fact, I have begun to feel more like a guard on the Metropolitan Line then the intrepid aviator I imagined becoming. “All aboard! This train for Albert, Courcelette, Martinpuich, Montaubin, and Darkest Hunland. Show your ticket please sir.”

Just read my last entry and remembered poor Mr Perkins. He was to go up with me a second time, but I was running a bit of a fever and was given the day off. He flew instead with a new officer who stalled his machine just after takeoff. Mr Perkins had a ripping good crash and has been away for a few weeks getting fitted for a new set of Army teeth. In his place I played rickshaw wallah to Second Lieutenant Barnett, who insists it’s really rather a lovely war and that we are lucky because we have better access to hot water then one did at Eton. He is not really a bad fellow at all. He makes a point of getting out to the sheds ten minutes earlier than Mr Osborne did and he gives me a very thorough account of our orders. He also likes to take short flips to a nearby marsh where we have several old wings laid out as gunnery targets. It has been reassuring to see that he takes that part of his job seriously. I have yet to encounter one of the Fokker monoplanes but that day cannot be far off.

On 7 November 1915, the squadron relocated to Allonville, about three miles northeast of Amiens. The aerodrome is circled about by a horseshoe-shaped wood. The ground is level and dry. There are only a few wooden huts, and Major Todd has decreed that they will be used for now as the squadron office and the three messes. Sergeant Major Parson warned the warrant officers and sergeants to be on their best behaviour as our mess would at least temporarily be next door to the officers on one side and the ORs on the other. He confided that he had every faith that his warning was unnecessary for us but gleefully informed us that the same order had been strictly laid down by the major for the officers. A new Armstrong heart has gone up to house squadron stores.

Ned Buckley and I have erected our canvas pleasure dome and set it up exactly as before. I must get a few hours away now that we are walking distance from Amiens and the little English bookstore I found on my visit there last month. I have finished reading the Iliad and feel a bit guilty that I did not enjoy it more. Perhaps it was because I laid on my cot thinking what silly sods they were to get bogged down in a siege for ten years – and then the rumble of the guns reminds me of our present situation and I wonder if those same Greek gods are perhaps interfering in our affairs to this day. I suppose that is what happens when you have too many gods and not enough honest work for them all.

On 12 November 1915, Mr Barnett went up with another pilot and was wounded in the leg by a bit of Archie shrapnel. I now have yet another observer, Second Lieutenant Clapp. You can imagine the fun the ack emmas are having with that one.

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2 hours ago, Raine said:

Albrecht – Let me second TWK’s compliments about the artistic editing of your screenshots. Jean-Fidele had a very close call with that fragile Nieuport, but then teamed up with Callinet to set the skies on fire!  Epower and I did our best to make confirmed claims more difficult in this campaign, then your man comes along and makes it look like a pushover.

It seems easy now - but just wait until the Germans fly literally anything in my sector that isn't an Aviatik! I haven't so much as seen a single Eindecker yet, and I'm dreading the Rolands, the Halberstadts, not to mention the Albatros fighters.

My pilot's current situation also happens to play to my particular strengths. I've played as a lot of RNAS pilots who started out in the Nieuport 10's and Nieuport 11's, and I spent weeks - maybe even months - practicing how to aim with that wing-mounted Lewis gun. I had maybe 10% accuracy on the wing-mounted Lewis's at first, and now I'm at around 30-40%. So now on average, a 47-round drum will give me ~15-20 direct hits right at the engine. (Little rough on the math, whatever).

If you can do that on a consistent basis without getting hit by rear gunners too much, AND if you can keep a good altitude while doing it, then it's not that difficult to take down those Aviatik two-seaters. The Aviatiks just don't put up much of a fight compared to literally anything else the Germans fly. It's a very favorable matchup at the moment.

But over the next year, German aircraft gets a lot better while my pilot's aircraft is only going to move ahead marginally. I'm expecting 1916 to get really ugly.

Edited by Albrecht_Kaseltzer
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Agreed that Lewis drums are finished way too soon!Aiming is also really hard.

When is absolutely sure hits,the risk of collision is very high!

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Still somehow succeed with AviatikB1 because no rear gunner.

Aviatik C give no mercy 50m distance!

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November 5


It would be a routine flight.A lonely Aviatik over Vimy ridge.When i get a good position ,enemy opened fire!My machine got so many hits ,i had to break away from the fight.

Jacques counted 72 bullets of my machine.The engine only two cylinders written off.


November 6


Our squadron has now only three fully functional Nieuport.

With them we spotted Aviatik's over St. Vith.All drums spend but good results too!

Huillier was my witness and now is one Boche less!


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Raine - It was a shame as Kenneth must have been due to get a Fee soon. As it is, Leo has an Eindecker EI, there also seem to be a lot of Nieuports about already in the north of Flanders, so it is going to be very tough. As for Hawkwood, a change of scene for him with his move but it seems to be tough going wherever they are, especially for Observers it seems.


Paroni - Henri keeps battling away. Those C types are no pushovers but at least it was the aircraft getting hit. It's all about positioning, staying below the tail and popping up to get some shots in, but not too much.


Albrecht - Yes firing from the Nupes takes practice, but if you can master it I'd sooner fly the Lewis armed N17 then the early synchronised one with it's "putt, putt, putt" rate of fire.

Edited by AlbertTross
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11 hours ago, Paroni1 said:

Agreed that Lewis drums are finished way too soon!Aiming is also really hard.

When is absolutely sure hits,the risk of collision is very high!

I learned two lessons.

#1: in terms of gunnery, focus on aiming within the enemy's propeller arc.

It's an easier target to aim at quickly, so you can make the most of what little time you have before you have to turn away - and if you're already firing within the propeller arc, you can correct your aim to be even more precise without too much trouble.

If you do that, not everything will hit the engine, but everything will be in the general area of the engine and you will get some direct hits in there as a result.

#2: in terms of piloting, focus on speed & momentum control as well as positioning.

You want to be going at an even, steady pace: not too fast or else you don't have time to really do anything, and not too slowly either or else you'll stall when you attempt to strike. I often hit with my engine throttle at 50% or less, or while hitting the blip switch repeatedly.

When I need to pull out, I usually just dive and then switch the engine back to full throttle when I'm catching back up with the target for a second go-around.

As for positioning, below and behind is my go-to. I try to make sure the enemy's tail is always between me and the rear gunner. This minimizes their firing lane.


That's the general approach that's worked for me. Of course, all of this is contextual, and I would completely re-write this if we were talking about combat in late 1916. This is very very particular to wing-mounted guns pursuing slow, ungainly Aviatiks with little-to-no escort presence.

There have also been times when I was in a bit of a rush and was low on ammo, so I went ahead and struck at the enemy's top wing while swooping in from above. It doesn't always work, but sometimes it does - and when it does, it's usually snapping victory from the jaws of defeat.

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