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Thread: OTT DYM - Mission 1 - Luftwachdienst-Sperrflug - 5th January 1916: Zenlizard

  1. #1

    Default OTT DYM - Mission 1 - Luftwachdienst-Sperrflug - 5th January 1916: Zenlizard

    So, what should I do? I don't have add-ons, like the gimbal mounts (as much as they add to a photo narrative), I haven't gotten around to making my own clouds yet, I don't have proper scale accessories (some terrain, but that's going into the miniature zoo I'm making for my MiL, so not available for WoG games)
    Ha! I can play with the reporting format. So, my AARs are going to take the format of a "Letter home to mother", from the limited point of view of my character pilot. So, what you're going to see is a scan of the letter, with a paragraph-by-paragraph english translation & photos of the game interweaved. Necessary meta-comments will be in green, thusly. A few disclaimers: any native speaker of German will be able to pick apart my letters: there are several grammatical mistakes I didn't bother to correct. For example, a German of this period would be more likely to make use of the past perfect or past pluperfect (ex: Ich habe...gesehen/I have seen or Ich hatte...gesehen/I had seen), whereas, I mostly consistently used the simple past tense (ich sah/I saw), and also would be way more likely to speak in his regional dialect, rather than "High German", which was still being developed at this time. Also, although Germans have notoriously bad handwriting, I made no attempt to handwrite gothic script, that's a little beyond what I can do)

    On with the narrative!:

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ID:	261324 7 January 1916
    Somewhere in France

    Dearest Mother,

    Forgive your son for not being specific, but security reasons prevent me from saying exactly where I am. It must be sufficient that I arrived at my posted unit in France just a few days ago. I am proud to say that your son did so well in flight training that I w s allowed to fly in one of our new Fokkers, made famous already by Boelcke and Immelmann. The weather has been so bad of late, that I have had no time for anything by a few practice flights.

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ID:	261325 That all changed a few days ago. I still remember my flight leader, von Öffnungfächer’s words: “If the weather holds out tomorrow, Leopold, I will take you up on a familiarization flight. Command says that we are to patrol near our balloons, and stop and French that may come over and molest them. They don’t do this often, so you shouldn’t expect any action, but if they do show up, stick close to me, stop them before they get the balloons, and don't do anything foolish like letting them bait you away from the balloons. It is our job to protect them, not to go looking for trouble!”

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    Needless to day, the day was bright and clear, so up we went. I had my hands and eyes full at first; I had never seen our sausages up close before, and I was trying to keep one eye on von Öffnungfächer and also memorize landmarks.

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    About an hour or so into the patrol, three Frenchmen did indeed show up.

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    Von Öffnungfächer rocked his wings and immediately turned towards the enemy.

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    He had seen them the whole time, of course. One of them was a new type of biplane, I found out later.
    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 08:45. Reason: Align text & images-Add prefix

  2. #2

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    The biplane flew at us, while the monoplanes, similar to our Fokkers, seemed to hesitate.
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    I followed von Öffnungfächer as he said to do.
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    Von Öffnungfächer started a weave above the balloons; the impudent French were definitely after them!
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    That biplane seemed to be considerably faster than the monoplanes, and quickly crossed no man’s land; von Öffnungfächer said that he was trying to draw us away from the real attackers.
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    I continued to cover von Öffnungfächer’s tail.
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    The French soon found out that we were not the only defenders; our flak batteries were watchful, and soon had the biplane’s range.
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    [Note 1: First card is from the A deck, showing on-target. Card #2 is the actual result, 6 damage and engine damage. Note 2: I screwed up, and failed to remember that engine damage should have forced RTB].
    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 01:48. Reason: Align text & images

  3. #3

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    Then, Mother, the strangest thing happened-the flak burst near von Öffnungfächer, as if they were trying to shoot him, as well. I was expecting an exchange of fire between aircraft, but none came. I suppose our height advantage was too much for the French.
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    And just as von Öffnungfächer said, the monoplanes went for our sausages.
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    As I flew above the balloon, the enemy biplane came after me, but I maintained height, and was able to avoid him. Yes, mother, you needn’t worry about your boy.
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    I then saw von Öffnungfächer dive on the monoplanes, exchanging shots with one of them.
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    [Note 3: 1 damage each, French gun jams].

    I passed my opponent, intending to dive onto his tail,
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    while the crazy Frenchman in the red monoplane narrowly missed my flight leader.
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    [Note 4: Morane has 1 climb counter, Fokker has zero, no collision by the narrowest of margins.]

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    As if crazy Frenchmen weren’t enough, the flak batteries let fly at both me and the biplane, or so it seemed.
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    [Note 5: I am not the actual target here, and it is on-target, but zero damage]
    .

    That wasn’t enough to discourage the Frenchmen from attacking our sausage, though; it looked like that cleverly planned a 3-prong attack.
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    [Note 6: actually out of range due to altitude difference]
    .
    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 03:36. Reason: Align text & images

  4. #4

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    I began to wonder if I had earned the enmity and unwelcome attention of the flak, for a close burst caused me to bounce about the sky.
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    [Note 7: Again there is barely-visible special damage on the A card, but zero actual damage on the C card. Note 8: It was also at this time that I re-referenced the rules, and the Nieuport started its flight home].

    I than began my pursuit of the monoplanes,
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    which had also drawn flak,
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    which again missed. Our spirited defense seemed to have distracted the Frenchmen; they had placed themselves badly for effective shots.
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    [Note 9: altitude differences, again].

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    Several things seem to happen at once. I was preparing my first shot in anger, the enemy biplane & the red monoplane came together, and the flak shot at me again! “Pigdogs!”, I shouted, and some other things I won’t repeat here. I am afraid, Mother, that war hardens us all, and your son isn’t as delicate as he might otherwise be.
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    [Note 10: AAA off-target, Nieuport took 2 damage from the collision, Morane took 8, with the special being ignored due to it being the result of collision].

    The flak had ruined my aim, but in truth, I was probably firing from too far away.

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    I then dived on the black monoplane, took a deep breath, and aimed carefully. Meanwhile, von Öffnungfächer had dived to gain speed on the monoplanes, causing the enemy biplane a big problem in trying to shoot at him. The monoplanes seemed reluctant to dive any lower, probably because they weren’t desperate enough to destroy our sausages by flying into them! I watched my actual first shots stitch a line across the enemy’s fuselage. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 03:41. Reason: Align text & images

  5. #5

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    Meanwhile, I saw von Öffnungfächer exchange shots with the biplane.
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    [Note 11; 1 more damage each, plus engine and rudder damage, well over the limit of FRTB anyway; plus, another French gun jam].

    And the red monoplane did a ‘split-S’ and started shooting at the balloon. I was somewhat impressed; I doubt I could clear my head enough for a shot that soon after such a maneuver.
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    And the flak shot at my flight leader again! Whose side were they on?!

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    And there were still Frenchmen to worry about. As the black monoplane went for one balloon, the red one tried to attack von Öffnungfächer, who cleverly avoided the attack by diving.
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    And the last I saw of the enemy biplane, it was headed home.
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    But by now, the balloon crews had hauled the things about halfway down, so the monoplanes had to prepare for their own diving attack. Click image for larger version. 

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    This gave the flak gunners a chance to shoot at a proper target for once.
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    [Note 12: the Nieuport has reached NML, and the AAA misses the red Morane]


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    [Note 13: No collisions, as the green Fokker {me} is at altitude 4, the beige Fokker is at altitude 3, and the balloons are at altitude 2].
    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 03:44. Reason: Align text & images

  6. #6

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    Well, Mother, my duty was to defend the sausages, so I set off in pursuit of the black monoplane, and I saw the red one take a hit from the flak, and go spinning into the ground.
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    My opponent came back at me, and fear not for your son, my aim was better than his.
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    Von Öffnungfächer flew up as well, but as I was maneuvering to get on my opponent’s tail, he was unable to climb back to our height. And I was becoming quite wary of our own flak, which seemed determined to shoot at anything in the sky except the balloons.
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    When I began to circle around to approach my opponent, von Öffnungfächer took a more direct route: he performed what we call an “Immelmann”, yes the maneuver is named after our famous ‘Eagle of Lille’. But our remaining opponent was after his first target balloon again, diving to where his bullets struck the gasbag.
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    Around now, the Frenchman seemed to notice that he was outnumbered, and turned for home. He had started to weave back and forth, staying just out of range of my shots.
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    I had almost caught up with him when our flak batteries spoke up again and knocked him out of the sky.
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    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 03:47. Reason: Align text & images

  7. #7

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ID:	261433 I hope you will forgive the length of this letter, Mother, but as you can see, this was a significant event for your son. My first taste of combat, and we won quite a victory. Von Öffnungfächer praised my accomplishments, and assured me that I did quite well. And then he told me not to let it all go to my head-overconfidence kills-pointing out that had I shot better, my opponents would have fallen when I had shot at them, instead of letting them get at our balloons. In this, he is exactly correct, of course. He certainly is a leader worth looking up to.

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ID:	261434 Be sure to give my love to my sister Helga; the last I heard from her, she was serving at a field hospital on the Eastern front, and to let little Wolfgang know what an exciting time I’ve had, and naturally, give my respects to Papa.
    P. S. Have you heard from Uncle Ernst lately?
    Last edited by zenlizard; 01-18-2019 at 16:27.

  8. #8

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    The Butcher's Tally:

    French earn:
    No shoot downs, 0 Points

    Germans earn:
    1 for 1 Entente aircraft crossing back over their start line before both balloons are shot down.
    4 for two single-seat scout shot down
    10 for surviving balloons
    15 points total= German victory

    Balloon #2:
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    Nieuport:
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    LT Pierre Cayol: (Nieuport) - FRTB/Eng 0 kills

    Red Morane:
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    Asp Marius Hauss: (Red Morane) SD ET/WIA/0 kills
    Rolled 3 -1 SD, -1 WIA = 1 KIA, RIP

    Black Morane:
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    S/Lt Lucien Cordonnier: Black Morane - SD ET - 0 kills
    Rolled 7, -1 SD, = 6, Skip 1d3 rolled 3, Skip 3
    E & E roll=7, -1 BEL=6=In Hiding=Skip 1d2, rolled 2, Skip2, total Skip 3 scenarios

    von Öffnungfächer:
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    Oberleutnant Gernot von Öffnungfächer: RTB 0 kills

    Säugerjäger:
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    Leutnant Leopold Säugerjäger RTB 0 kills

    Final comments:
    I am still blown away by my lucky card draws. EVERY TIME the flak targeted one of the Germans, it missed, either because it was off target, or there was no actual damage from an on-target draw. No zeros drawn from the B deck at all. And the one collision that did happen was a significant setback for the French.
    My collection includes a significantly larger number of French, as opposed to British early-war planes, so I went with that idea. Also, I decided that the limited-point of view, even when meta-gaming, was better, so I didn't actually bother to name the French fliers; (it did seem to make sense to do the butcher's bill for them anyway) there is no real way a neophyte German flier would know whom he is facing, especially at this stage of the war. And finally, I was trying to decide if I should have one Nieuport and two Moranes, or the other way around: according to the DYM files, the Nieuport 11 was just coming into service at this time, so I decided to go with the former. If I had gone with the latter, and not had such incredible luck with the card draw, I am sure the result would have not have been such a lopsided victory.

    Also, Onkel Ernst, was sagen Sie? (So, Uncle Ernst, what do you say?)
    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 08:17. Reason: Tally tidied

  9. #9

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    Hi Sam,

    Good effort on the AAR, I like the letter home idea.

    A lot of your photos did not come through, possibly because the posts time out. It's a pain but you will have to go through and reload your images.

    Another victory for the Eagles will please the Kaiser - REP inbound.

  10. #10

    Thumbs up

    That was a great start to your DYM Solo Campaign Sam.
    Loved the Letter Home idea & you deserve Rep for going to all the trouble of actually writing the Letter in German!

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  11. #11

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    I agree with what's been said before... loved the letter home p.o.v. and the very fortunate card draws! Should have expected it though... I think all the zeros have already been played!

    Well played, Sam!

  12. #12

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    A really interesting take on your AAR.
    I enjoyed that.


    I must say you are a glutton for punishment, writing all that in German handwriting that few (if any) of us (myself included) will actually be able to read.

    A nice victory for your first OTT encounter.

    REP inbound.
    Last edited by Stumptonian; 01-18-2019 at 23:49.

  13. #13

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    A resounding German success, and a great first outing for your young flyer. The letter home point of view is a good device to use and gives your story a unique aspect that fits in very nicely.
    I started to read this last night but realised the photos were missing so I'm pleased you were able to fit them in, it's always good to see the action as well as have it described.
    Well done.

  14. #14

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    Well done Sam that was a terrific AAR for your first outing in OTT and no mistake. Fun types, French Bulldogs, zero's galore and your own take on presentation.

    Onkel says:

    Hmm, no victories for us to celebrate but still a successful mission as our Drachen can still fly and the gunners bagged one so well done all involved.

    A succinct AAR covering all the action though the text and pictures seem muddled a little by the way they were posted.
    If you post images on a line of their own that jumbled effect will not occur, I was able to sort it out this time.
    You could also get the AAR in one post by editing & using Go Advanced to add it in sections if you need to.
    I appreciated your efforts with the Tally, looks all correct and made it very easy to update the roster so keep it up - you're putting some old hands to shame !
    I have replaced your British Bulldogs with French ones in the rosters, we can add some Brits as and when you need them and whilst you don't name the French pilots in the story-line as your pilots wouldn't know them please assign a name in the Butchers Tally section. I have added them this time - part of the fun is seeing how your enemy fares but without a name there is no real point in doing the tally for them.
    Last edited by flash; 01-19-2019 at 08:47.

    "He is wise who watches"

  15. #15

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    Cracking good read in whichever language you choose.
    As said by others the letter idea is inspirational.We have had the letter home before but never in a foreign language. I feel I missed a trick when my Flight were on the Italian Front last year.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  16. #16

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    I thought that was a cracking yarn and an excellent way to approach the AAR. We'll have to look out for young Leutnant Leopold Säugerjäger. Looks like he knows a bit already Love the letter home. However, is there any chance the handwriting could be a little more legible as this is another great opportunity to pick up a bit of German, complete with translation , assuming you continue with this theme. No doubt, to a German speaker, it is perfectly clear, but I struggled, I confess, and I have had a whole working life of reading other people's handwriting, good and bad
    Congratulations to the Eagles on a fine defensive victory and to Leopold in particular, for surviving his first encounter with the enemy. No doubt his mother is currently very proud of him, and crying her eyes out!!!
    REP inbound.

  17. #17

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    Thank you all, I was hoping this would be a good take on the AAR. Sounds like a smash hit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stumptonian View Post
    I must say you are a glutton for punishment, writing all that in German handwriting that few (if any) of us (myself included) will actually be able to read.
    Oh, no-the self-punishment comes from reading say, the handwriting of my daughter's bio-grandmother. I've had to give up more than once (on the same letter, even).

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus
    However, is there any chance the handwriting could be a little more legible as this is another great opportunity to pick up a bit of German, complete with translation , assuming you continue with this theme.
    Oh, I definitely intend to continue with that theme. In order to add to "authenticity", I deliberately wrote quickly-which also means fairly sloppily. yeah, probably next time, I'll write slower, which will make things clearer.

    And that put the words of my one of my German teachers in my head: "Du mußt langsam and deutlich sprechen." "You must speak slowly and clearly!"

  18. #18

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    Onkel has completed his review

    "He is wise who watches"

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    I have replaced your British Bulldogs with French ones in the rosters, we can add some Brits as and when you need them and whilst you don't name the French pilots in the story-line as your pilots wouldn't know them please assign a name in the Butchers Tally section. I have added them this time - part of the fun is seeing how your enemy fares but without a name there is no real point in doing the tally for them.
    So noted; I'll look at the update, and update the download.

    Hm, wonder what the French would conceive of themselves? "Bulldogs" is very much a British conception, as "Adler" is a German. Maybe "Lions"?

  20. #20

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    An excellent first AAR in gge bank Sam. Keep them up and you'll be leading the squadron.

    Neil
    See you on the Dark Side......

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post

    ... though the text and pictures seem muddled a little by the way they were posted.
    If you post images on a line of their own that jumbled effect will not occur, I was able to sort it out this time.
    Definitely easier to read after Onkel's editing. I will have to find time to give it another go.
    Mine will probably need some tweaking when I do my first effort not using my usual format for this campaign.

    Dave: one thing I had thought was, should we put a placeholder for Uncle/Onkel immediately after our AAR?
    That way all the comments will follow your evaluation.


  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by zenlizard View Post
    ...Hm, wonder what the French would conceive of themselves? "Bulldogs" is very much a British conception, as "Adler" is a German. Maybe "Lions"?
    Maybe but in OTT the allies are named after their breeds of bulldog.

    "He is wise who watches"

  23. #23

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    Bouledogue Français?

    I just used the 52 Squadron identifier, so my French opposition is currently Escadrille MS.52, soon to be N.52 when they swap over to the Nieuport.

  24. #24

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    Excellent AAR thank you for posting.

  25. #25

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    Great AAR, loved the letter home approach. No victorits but a solid win for the Eagles. Sadly your effort writing a letter in German is wasted for me. I once took a college German class. All I remember is when someone would ask me to say something in German I'd say "Ich weiss nicht". They'd ask what I said, my reply with a smile was "I don't know'.



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