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Posted: 4/16/2006 4:59:27 PM EST
Was he really the greatest ever? Any WWI aviation buffs care to chime in and educate me?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:00:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:01:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 5:03:35 PM EST by piccolo]
80 aerial kills in open cockpit aircraft.


Sounds pretty fearsome to me.



eta: He was shot down by ground fire.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:02:35 PM EST
You've never seen the "Red Max"?

Fokkers rule
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:02:56 PM EST
Wasn't he shot down by Australian ground fire?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:03:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 5:03:42 PM EST by southeast_scrounger]
Yeah, but he sure cranks out a lousy pizza.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:04:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:09:48 PM EST
Not as good as Erich Hartmann
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:11:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By STG77:
Not as good as Erich Hartmann



Eric Cartman?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:12:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:

Originally Posted By Graziani:
You've never seen the "Red Max"?

Fokkers rule

Blue Max.



Thank you for correcting

All WWI aces were great until they became national heroes. Then they had to leave the front, go back to big cities to have medals pinned and driven through the crowd as a war hero.

They spent a week to a month killing time and enjoying life. And when they came back, they usually were heavily guarded by a swarm of personal bodyguard planes with strict orders to protect the national hero.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:12:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By 20iner:

Originally Posted By STG77:
Not as good as Erich Hartmann



Eric Cartman?




Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:13:38 PM EST
Same with MOH winners.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:14:12 PM EST
There's a French pilot, Guynemer (sp) who was probably better skilled as a pilot. He flew circles around Udet. It's been said (don't ask me where) that Von Richthoven wasn't beyond poaching another pilot's kill (that is delivering the coup de grace and not sharing the credit).
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:20:12 PM EST

I read somewhere that when Richthofen was killed , Herman Goehring assumed command of his squadron .
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:21:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By southeast_scrounger:
Yeah, but he sure cranks out a lousy pizza.



Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:22:25 PM EST
You have to really admire those pilots from that era. They used wing warping and other unconventional means to move their planes around. Castor oil in your face. What a rush!!! If you survived training the actual fight was easy. It really boiled down to who had altitude and the element of surprise. As said above they used the sun, elevation, surprise and diving speed. Yes Richthofen was good, more so when you realize the plane he was flying. The triplane was good but there were much better designs by both side, Pup, Camel, Albatross to name a few.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:30:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 5:32:03 PM EST by kpel308]
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:33:39 PM EST
Actually both sides paid honor to their fallen enemies. The Germans and Allies paid great respect to fallen officers and pilots.

Even in WWII the Germans were much kinder to officers then enlisted. Much easier conditions and nicer facilities for POWs. German generals that were captured had their own little houses to live in and aides that would help them.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:36:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By kpel308:

He was an honorable man, unlike our opponents of today.



Well put.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:37:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By 20iner:
Wasn't he shot down by Australian ground fire?



There was some question and there is still strong feelings on either side, but most likely yes.

He wrote a memoir, "Der Rote Kampfflieger". It's short, and can normally be found with a short bio by his brother Lothar.

Was he the greatest ever? No. He had 80 confirmed kills. Later flyers FAR surpassed that. Was he very good at what he did? Oh yes.

The whole red plane thing started out as a way for his subordinates to differentiate him in a crowd supposedly. Once he started becoming known, the whole flight painted their planes red, with stripes singling out individuals. His brother ran green stripes I think, or yellow.

Lothar was pretty cool himself. If you had to go out for beers with one of the Richtofen boys, he'd be the least boring. Manfried was a cool, clinical hunter. Lothar just liked to rip shit up, and was very good at it.

Really the guy with the PhD in Good Times however was the Frenchman Charles Nungesser. He was the toast of Paris, and would show up for the dawn patrol in a tux, with a chippie in one hand and a bottle of champaigne in the other, driving his captured german staff car. The man knew how to party.

He was actually also the most injured pilot that survived the war. Busted about every major bone at least once. He sported a mouthful of gold teeth after puncturing his palate on the control stick in a crash, and would literally be carried by his mechanic from his hospital bed to his plane. The guy finally bought it trying to make the first transatlantic crossing (against the jet stream) with another man in a biplane called "L'Oisu Blanc" in 1923. Funny thing is someone found an old engine out in the woods of Maine a few years back, and it matches Nungesser's plane. He was one hardcore, bad luck son of a bitch.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:39:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
He used altitude and the sun to surprise his opponents, and he got 80 kills before he was shot down.



You would too if Oswald Boelke taught you to fly.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:47:52 PM EST
Ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more...
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:50:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By ARDOC:
Actually both sides paid honor to their fallen enemies. The Germans and Allies paid great respect to fallen officers and pilots.

Even in WWII the Germans were much kinder to officers then enlisted. Much easier conditions and nicer facilities for POWs. German generals that were captured had their own little houses to live in and aides that would help them.




Tell that to the widows of the officers slaughter by MG42s during the battle of the Bulge.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:56:11 PM EST
obviously not good enough...
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 5:56:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2006 5:58:16 PM EST by eodtech2000]

Originally Posted By WinstonSmith:

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
He used altitude and the sun to surprise his opponents, and he got 80 kills before he was shot down.



You would too if Oswald Boelke taught you to fly.



Even though Boelcke flew in WWI, his tactics still stand today.


Dicta Boelcke

Try to secure advantages before attacking. If possible, keep the sun behind you.

Always carry through an attack when you have started it.

Fire only at close range, and only when your opponent is properly in your sights.

Always keep your eye on your opponent, and never let yourself be deceived by ruses.

In any form of attack it is essential to assail your opponent from behind.

If your opponent dives on you, do not try to evade his onslaught, but fly to meet it.

When over the enemy's lines never forget your own line of retreat.

For the Staffel: attack on principle in groups of four or six. When the fight breaks up into a series of single combats, take care that several do not go for one opponent.

— Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke, 1916. Germany's first ace, died in 1916 with 40 victories.

Whatever Boelcke told us was taken as Gospel!

— Baron Manfred von Richthofen

I will be like Boelcke.

— German pilots' motto

]


As far as some one comparing Von Richthoven to Erich Hartmann, it is hard to compare them as they flew in totally different eras and air warfare had changed considerably especially tactics. Von Richthoven and especially Boelcke were the type of pilots all Luftwaffe pilots wanted to be. Look at the Dicta Boelcke, those are Erich Hartmann's tactics to a T and he spoke of the Dicta Boelcke tactics as gospel.
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:00:46 PM EST
How many times did he shoot down Snoopy?
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:01:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:11:09 PM EST
In the song, just once, I think.

NTM
Link Posted: 4/16/2006 6:27:31 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 7:11:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
Fokkers rule

Blue Max.

Great aerial combat scenes.

Horrible acting from George "Hannibal Smith" Peppard.

Not even Ursula Andress ("Undress") could save that one.

I can't believe I bought the DVD.
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