Knights of the Air campaign

Stalled Advance: Knights of the Air mission 4a

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Quote Originally Posted by Col. Hajj View Post
(English version below)

Guten Tag Sir Fazer,

I hafe completed flight training and vas immediately sent to ze vestern front as a scout pilot. I hafe been assigned to Jasta 5, an elite group of fighting men. zey alvays seem to find ze trouble up zere, so nev pilots do not last long. If I can manage to surfife a fev sorties, zen ze experience of ze older pilots vill really helps me out. ze Jasta is flying Albatros D.Va upon my arrifal.

Upon reporting to ze Jasta, I vas told to make ready for my first sortie. It vas to be a balloon busting mission. Kurt Schneider, ze Jasta commander, instructed me to to follov ze kette to ze target area. Once zere, I vas to break off and dife dovn to engage ze balloons defenses vhile ze more experienced pilots took on ze balloon and enemy fighters, as zere vere tvo Aces knovn to patrol ze sector.

As soon as our aircraft vere spotted, ze enemy started to bring dovn zeir balloon. I pushed my plane ofer in as steep of a dife as I dared and lined up for a run on a large defensife gun at ze center of ze balloon. At a long range I opened fire on ze gun and vas greeted by ze return fire of efery man in ze trenches around ze target. zinking it better to approach from ze rear so zat fever of ze men could bring me into zere sights, I broke off to ze right and dropped more altitude. My timing vas perfect as ze large shells from ze big gun started exploding abofe me.

As I svapped behind ze balloon to come at ze guns from ze rear, ze rest of ze kette made contact viz ze enemy as vell. High abofe me tvo of our D.Va's began to dogfight viz US and British machines and I could hear ze Spandau's of ze pilot going after ze balloon.

zat vas not all zat I could hear. Efen coming at ze defenses from behind, many of ze riles being pointed at me vere finding zere mark. One efen managed to start a small fire about my engine. Luckily zis only burned for a short time and did not do any damage to ze plane. A quick refersement shoved zat my second pass on ze defensife gun had silenced it.

vhile I vas doing my job, so vere ze tvo Entente Aces. zey had brought dovn tvo of our planes and vere trying to engage our balloon busting pilot.

zis vhole time ze balloon vas coming dovn. Seeing ze mission falling apart, I knov I had to do somezing. I vas to lov to bring my guns to bare on ze balloon, so I flev back under it and put some distance betveen me and it so zat I could gain some height. Coming back at ze balloon, I sav ze last of our scouts go dovn to ze guns of ze enemy Aces. zat left just me to take on ze balloon and boz Aces and some hov make it back alife. Laying into my guns on ze balloon as soon as I could, I vas revarded viz ze gas bag coming dovn all at once in a flaming vreck.

viz ze mission secured, it vas time to play cat and mouse viz ze tvo Aces difing dovn on me. viz one in front of me and one behind, zere vas little room to maneufer and my lov altitude killed any hope for difing out of ze fight. Knoving I could not out run zese tvo fery fast scouts, I decided my best bet vas to stay as close to and under ze one SPAD XIII zat he could not get a shot off at me. zis also limited ze shots ze Se5a could take at me as vell. Flying zis close to anozer machine is quite dangerous as I vas to find out.

In an attempt to slov dovn more and get behind ze faster flying bird, I pulled up to bleed off speed and pop up behind him. I misjudged his speed hovefer and my upper ving tip made contact viz his plane! I count my self fery lucky as only a small hole vas torn in my ving fabric. Somehov I must hafe cracked his fuel line as I sav flames shortly after ze collision. ze ozer Ace vas still about and he must hafe ran out of ammo as he took a couple of long range shots and me zen broke off for home.

On fire and nov alone ofer no man's land, ze SPAD Ace must hafe decided it vas time to call it quits. Despite ze heafy ground fire and seferal rounds from ze Aces, my bird vas feeling pretty good so I decided to gife him one last burst of my MGs to send him on his vay. managed to send him to earz instead!

Returning to ze Jasta alone vas not vhat I hafe enfisioned vhen ve started out zis afternoon. I reported ze efents to Schneider and retired to ze chateau to drink to ze men zat did not return viz me... and to ze success of my first mission viz ze nev Jasta. Claiming tvo ground targets, a balloon and an enemy Ace in my first sortie has gotten ze attention of ze men. Ze more zan 25 holes in my plane might hafe had a little to do witz ze attention as vell!

Maybe I'll make it to be one of ze old hands after all.

Your lofing son,

Stefan Muller
Jasta 5



For those that don't read Germenglish:

Guten Tag Sir Father,

I have completed flight training and was immediately sent to the western front as a scout pilot. I have been assigned to Jasta 5, an elite group of fighting men. They always seem to find the trouble up there, so new pilots do not last long. If I can manage to survive a few sorties, then the experience of the older pilots will really help me out. The Jasta is flying Albatros D.Va upon my arrival.

Upon reporting to the Jasta, I was told to make ready for my first sortie. It was to be a balloon busting mission. Kurt Schneider, the Jasta commander, instructed me to to follow the kette to the target area. Once there, I was to break off and dive down to engage the balloons defenses while the more experienced pilots took on the balloon and enemy fighters, as there were two Aces known to patrol the sector.

As soon as our aircraft were spotted, the enemy started to bring down their balloon. I pushed my plane over in as steep of a dive as I dared and lined up for a run on a large defensive gun at the center of the balloon. At a long range I opened fire on the gun and was greeted by the return fire of every man in the trenches around the target. Thinking it better to approach from the rear so that fewer of the men could bring me into there sights, I broke off to the right and dropped more altitude. My timing was perfect as the large shells from the big gun started exploding above me.

As I swapped behind the balloon to come at the guns from the rear, the rest of the kette made contact with the enemy as well. High above me two of our D.Va's began to dogfight with US and British machines and I could hear the Spandau's of the pilot going after the balloon.

That was not all that I could hear. Even coming at the defenses from behind, many of the riles being pointed at me were finding there mark. One even managed to start a small fire about my engine. Luckily this only burned for a short time and did not do any damage to the plane. A quick reversement showed that my second pass on the defensive gun had silenced it.

While I was doing my job, so were the two Entente Aces. They had brought down two of our planes and were trying to engage our balloon busting pilot.

This whole time the balloon was coming down. Seeing the mission falling apart, I know I had to do something. I was to low to bring my guns to bare on the balloon, so I flew back under it and put some distance between me and it so that I could gain some height. Coming back at the balloon, I saw the last of our scouts go down to the guns of the enemy Aces. That left just me to take on the balloon and both Aces and some how make it back alive. Laying into my guns on the balloon as soon as I could, I was rewarded with the gas bag coming down all at once in a flaming wreck.

With the mission secured, it was time to play cat and mouse with the two Aces diving down on me. With one in front of me and one behind, there was little room to maneuver and my low altitude killed any hope for diving out of the fight. Knowing I could not out run these two very fast scouts, I decided my best bet was to stay as close to and under the one SPAD XIII that he could not get a shot off at me. This also limited the shots the Se5a could take at me as well. Flying this close to another machine is quite dangerous as I was to find out.

In an attempt to slow down more and get behind the faster flying bird, I pulled up to bleed off speed and pop up behind him. I misjudged his speed however and my upper wing tip made contact with his plane! I count my self very lucky as only a small hole was torn in my wing fabric. Somehow I must have cracked his fuel line as I saw flames shortly after the collision. The other Ace was still about and he must have ran out of ammo as he took a couple of long range shots and me then broke off for home.

On fire and now alone over no man's land, the SPAD Ace must have decided it was time to call it quits. Despite the heavy ground fire and several rounds from the Aces, my bird was feeling pretty good so I decided to give him one last burst of my MGs to send him on his way. managed to send him to earth instead!

Returning to the Jasta alone was not what I have envisioned when we started out this afternoon. I reported the events to Schneider and retired to the chateau to drink to the men that did not return with me... and to the success of my first mission with the new Jasta. Claiming two ground targets, a balloon and an enemy Ace in my first sortie has gotten the attention of the men. The more than 25 holes in my plane might have had a little to do with the attention as well!

Maybe I'll make it to be one of the old hands after all.

Your loving son,

Stefan Muller
Jasta 5

Attachment 12573

Sorry for the bad pic, took it with my phone. My plane is the one on fire. I must say, that was the first time that I have taken 0 damage form being on fire!

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Comments

  1. Flying Officer Kyte's Avatar
    Nice bit of reportage Keith. I bet that one had you on the edge of your seat . Well done on a successful mission you dastardly Hun.
    Rob.