J2_Trupobaw Has started the "Happened 100 years ago" thread as a way to illustrate the history of the Great War. We are marking many 100 year anniversaries of events that changed the world. This conflict brought forth new and horrific weapons. Mankind would never be the same and would not learn from this tragic lesson.
Trupobaw has suggested that Flanders in Flames missions be dedicated to the memory and achievements of the pilots of the Great War.
When one thinks of fighting units of the Great War many stand out as exceptional, such as No.56 Sq or Jasta 11. Military units are numbered. Very rarely they carry the name of a person.
It is fitting that our first tribute is to Oswald Boelcke.
At a time when aerial warfare was a chance encounter between planes with a weapon for the observer Boelcke was allowed to fly in a plane that would soon dominate the skies. The Fokker Eindecker had a machine gun that could fire through the propeller arc. A pilot could aim the gun and the plane at the same time. The idea was based on the aircraft of Roland Garros but greatly improved upon. The fighter plane was born and with it a new concept, aircraft would be built and flown with the express purpose of fighting other aircraft. Others flew this plane and were successful at downing enemy planes but Boelcke realized that this was a new endeavor. He looked at what was developing and soon found that there were some basic ideas that would be involved in air combat. Written down as a set of rules, the became know as the Dicta Boelcke. This doctrine is so fundamental and insightful, that it is still taught today. He would go on to develop squadron tactics. He was teacher to many future aces.
On 28, October, 1916 Boelcke with Erwin Böhme and Manfred von Richthofen were flying Albatros D.II machines as they engaged Airco DH2 machines from No. 24 Sq. During the engagement the machine of Erwin Böhme touched that of Oswald Boelcke. Boelcke's machine took damage to the wing and aileron. He could not control the aircraft and crashed to his death. On December 17, 1916 Jasta 2 was renamed Jasta Boelcke.
The administrators of Flanders in Flames wish to dedicate the Saturday, 29, October, 2016 mission to the achievements of the "father of air fighting tactics" Oswald Boelcke.
Information on Oswald Boelcke can be found at:
And of course our own RoF group Jasta 2