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Thread: OTT Daring Young Men Mission 1 Luftwachdienst – Sperrflug - 5th January 1916

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    Default OTT Daring Young Men Mission 1 Luftwachdienst – Sperrflug - 5th January 1916

    Erinnerungen eines Fleiger:
    I saw the first light of day at Kulm on the Vistula on 29th July 1896. My father was a senior Leutnant in the 2nd Pomeranian Jaeger Bn. At the age of 6 my father’s military duties took him to Colmer, Alsace. We transferred to Saint-Auld in Lorraine in 1905. I attended Karlsruhe Cadet School in Baden, I remained there until I transeferred to Cadet School Gross-Lichterfeldt near Berlin. I took my final examinations, the Reifeprufung, there.

    In 1915 I was sent as a new ensign cadet, Fahnrich, to the 10th Hanoverian Jaeger Bn. Shortly after, my transfer request to the newly formed Fleigertruppe was confirmed. After qualifying as an aerial observer, I was transferred to AFA 204, attached to FFA24 just returned from the Russian Front.

    Feldfleiger-Abteilungen 24
    ObLtn Kurt Wingens (P)
    Ltn Friedrich Marnet (P)
    Ltn Heinrich Immelman(P)
    Ltn Horst Freiherr von Althaus (P)
    Ltn Siegrfried Berthold (P)
    Ltn Otto Parschau (P)

    Artillerie-Feldfleiger-Abteilungen 204
    ObLtn Karl Zeumer (P2)
    Ltn Georg Frankl (O)
    Ltn Theodore Croneiss (P2)
    Ltn Simon Kafloc (O)

    On January 5th Feldfleiger-Abteilungen 24, joined with Artillerie-Feldfleiger-Abteilungen 204, at the airfield of Azonnes (we called it, Gebogene-winkel, after its distinctive shape when seen from the air), in support of 5th Armee preparations for the forthcoming attack on Verdun. Our first mission was to be:

    Luftwachtdeinst/Sperrefluge (Aerial Guard Duty/Barrier Flight)

    We were called early to a briefing by the squadron leader, Oberleutnant Kurt Wingens.

    “Gentlemen as you know our offensive will start shortly. We must protect the observation balloons, as they are vital in spotting likely enemy artillery positions and troop movements. We will divide the flight into 2 patrols. Horst you and Karl will take the northern balloon, whilst Theodore and I protect the southern balloon. We have orders that no Eindeckers are to cross over into enemy territory, therefore we will not pursue any enemy aircraft over no-mans land, is that understood? Good. Now let us get going before the damn French beat us to it. Simon, watch your arcs, test fire your guns as soon as we reach 1,000m and good hunting.”
    Last edited by Skafloc; 02-13-2019 at 13:33.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  2. #2

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    AAR: Luftwachtdeinst/Sperrefluge (Aerial Guard Duty/Barrier Flight)

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    Combat Report 5th January 1916

    As directed, Lt Croneiss and myself were on patrol accompanied by ObLt Wingens and a second pairing of Lt von Althaus with ObLt Zeumer and Lt Georg Frankl. Each group a separate patrol with separate tasks to provide cover for specific observation balloons. Shrapnel bursts near the front directed us towards a flight of 5 French aircraft attacking our balloon line. During the ensuing combat I engaged a French Caudron GIV and wounded one of the crew at close range. I observed Lt Althaus crash landing behind a gun position as the result of enemy fire severely damaging his aircraft. ObLt Wingens shot down a scout . Lt Croneiss shot down a 2 seater and the Caudron GIV . Lt Frankl shot down a 2 seater and a single seat scout. I observed one of our balloons explode and I believe a second was destroyed by fire before it was fully winched down.

    Our remaining aircraft continued to patrol and we returned when our relief aircraft arrived in the patrol sector.

    aus dem pers๖nlichen Tagebuch von Leutnant S. Kafloc:
    5th Jan ’16: The official combat report card leaves little space for embellishment, I leave that to this diary. I have decided that I will keep a full account of my activities so that if I survive this war I will have an accurate account of what I went through day by day. If I don’t, then I hope it will give some relief to my family of what I had endured. The squadron commander, ObLt Wingens had given us the briefing and we waited for the green signal flare indicating we could take off.

    Today was a cold January morning. The frost from my hot breath clouded the air before me. We took off with a jerk as I had failed to notice the lazy path of the green flare climb skywards. I grabbed onto the sides of the rear gun-pit as we bounced along then the exhilaration of being one with the birds. We soon left ‘Gebogene-Winkel’ behind as we climbed and turned towards the front lines.

    Theodore looked back over his shoulder and gave me the cocked thumb and pointed finger sign that it was safe to check fire my gun. We did so at the same time. All were working perfectly.

    We were late getting to the patrol area. We were alerted to the fact that enemy aircraft were approaching the balloon line as we could see shrapnel bursts from the anti-aircraft batteries protecting the balloons exploding over the front line. A sure indication that there were enemy aircraft near.

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    As we got closer to our ‘charge’ I could see several enemy aircraft firing at the balloon.

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    More AA batteries were engaging the French aircraft. With little observable effect.

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    Theodore banked right and the balloon came into view on our left. Looking over his shoulder I could see the other two aircraft banking around the other balloon getting into position to engage the enemy.

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    I swung the machine gun as far forward as I could. A lumbering French twin engine aeroplane was passing the nose of the balloon, firing as it closed. I saw a whisp of smoke then flame dart along one of the ropes supporting the observation basket below.

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    In the far distance I could see a French scout blown upwards and catching fire as shrapnel from an AA gun blasted into the airframe.

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    I was pulled back into reality as we passed infront of the lumbering twin engine plane and as it passed in front of my sights I pulled the trigger. Bullet after bullet thudded into the French plane. I thought I saw someone, possibly the pilot, jerk forward, perhaps one of my bullets had found him.

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    I looked right and I saw my opposite number firing a steady stream of bullets into a single seat scout. Already aflame, it spouted smoke before plunging into the fields below.

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    I glanced forward and could only look on in horror as Lt Horst Freiherr von Althaus’ Eindecker suddenly dropped out of the sky and plummeted towards the ground. The rear observer in the French plane shaking his fist as his plane disappeared below.

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    I swung back to the twin engine and fired another burst as the French crew fired into the balloon.

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    Far back I saw ObLt Wingens engage the second French 2 seater and thumping the air with my fist as it turned over and plummeted into the ground.

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    As we followed the 1st French 2 seater around the balloon there was an almighty whoompf and an explosion that nearly blew us out of the air. The Balloon to our right, which had stood majestically in the air was now trailing flame and smoke as it dropped towards the ground below.

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    Theodore was rattling bullets into the French 2 seater and it slid towards the ground, the observer hanging on for dear life.

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    Our AA guns had engaged the other scout and nearly blasted it out of the sky. Luck was with this Frenchman, although his aircraft looked like a colander!

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    We were closing fast on the twin engine plane. I thought I’d get a last shot but it was not to be. Theodore. At close range, poured nearly a full belt into the front of the French plane and it too headed earthward.

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    Not to be outdone, Lt Georg Frankl claimed his second kill that day as he fired a last burst into the French scout and he followed the rest of his compatriots into the ground.

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    We completed our patrol and when relieving aircraft arrived we headed for home. It wasn’t until later we learned that the 2nd balloon had been destroyed by fire too.

    We still await news of Lt Horst Freiherr von Althaus.
    Last edited by Skafloc; 02-14-2019 at 16:41.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  3. #3

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    Butchers Bill:

    Victory Conditions


    German 13

    +4 2 x single-seat scout shot down.
    +6 2 x 2-seater shot down.
    +3 1 x 3-seater shot down.

    French 12

    +10 2 x balloons destroyed.
    +2 1 x single-seat scout shot down.


    Feldfleiger-Abteilungen 24

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    ObLtn Kurt Wingens (P): RTB/1 kill

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    Ltn Horst Freiherr von Althaus (P): SD-EXP-FT= 5 -3EXP = 2. KIA

    Artillerie-Feldfleiger-Abteilungen 204
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    ObLtn Karl Zeumer (P2): RTB
    Ltn Georg Frankl (O): RTB/2kills


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    Ltn Theodore Croneiss (P2): RTB/2 kills
    Ltn Simon Kafloc (O): RTB

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    Balloon 1: destroyed

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    Balloon 2: Destroyed

    The French Crews:
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    Lt Pierre Achard (P): Morane Saulnier
    SD/ET/FLM: 4-2= 2 KIA
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    S/Lt Albert Arnoux (P): Morane Saulnier
    SD/ET/2 WIA: 8-1-2 = 5 = injured Rolled 3 skip 2
    BEL: 8-2-1 =5 Rolled 4 Skip 2
    Total skip 4
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    Lt Auguste Blanc (P): Nieuport 12
    SD/ET: 7-1 =6 = injured Rolled 3 = skip 2
    BEL: 7-1-1 = 5 = in hiding Rolled 5 = skip 2
    Total Skip 4
    Sgt Georges Bloch (O):
    SD/ET/1 WIA/1 Kill: 5-1-1 = 3 = injured Rolled 5 = skip 5
    BEL: 3-1-1-1 = 0 = Captured


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    S/Lt Marcel Borzecki (P): Nieuport 12
    SD/ET: 10 -1 = 9 = Alls well when you land well
    BEL: 7-1 = 6 = in hiding Rolled 2 = skip 1
    Total skip 1
    Cpl Charles Buisson (O):
    SD/ET: 9-1 = 8 = injured rolled 6 = skip 2
    BEL: 10-1-1=8 almost home skip 1
    Total skip 2

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    S/Lt Maurice Arpheuil (P): Caudron GIV
    SD/ET/EXP/1 WIA: 3-1-3-1=KIA
    S/Lt Jean Barbaza (P/O): Caudron GIV
    SD/ET/EXP: 10-1-3 = 6 = Injured Rolled 1 = skip 1
    BEL: 8-1-1-1 = 5 = in hiding Rolled 1 = skip 1
    Total Skip 1
    Last edited by Skafloc; 02-15-2019 at 03:07. Reason: Tally Adjust
    See you on the Dark Side......

  4. #4

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    Well played Neil, squeaked a victory for the Eagles there by the annihilation of the French Bulldogs, they did well to flame that balloon early doors and Boom the other. Great action & good to see you back over the trenches.

    Onkel says:


    An odd victory, whilst we didn't stop the French in their aims we definitely stopped the French !
    Bad news from the hospital though, Ltn Horst Freiherr von Althaus has lost his battle for life.
    (whilst he has an inherent ace skill he is not an ace so no +1 modifier to the roll)
    ObLtn Kurt Wingens is awarded his PB
    Ltn Georg Frankl is awarded his OB & Iron cross second class for his victories/missions
    Fwbl Theodore Croneiss is awarded his PB & Iron cross second class for his victories/missions
    Congratulations to these men, we shall celebrate their success

    Let me have a name of a replacement for v.Althaus.

    Can I ask you if you are going to assign the names of your French Bulldogs from the roster & do their tallies ? Some have inherent ace skills too that may have a bearing on your games.
    Last edited by flash; 02-14-2019 at 01:41.

    "He is wise who watches"

  5. #5

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    Looking forward to the outcome.

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Well Neil your first effort was certainly full of HOT action! Fires, BOOMs, Crew wounds etc.
    Well done to your Eagles even though it was a pretty close result.
    I love your prequel & story line for your named Pilot. The Diary idea is just great.

    Rep Inbound.

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

  7. #7

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    Just stumbled on this, wondering when we would see the action.
    Because you edited the placeholder it wan't obvious that there was something to see.
    But there definitely was!

    As Baz pointed out, a lot of special damage of all kinds.

    Similar to my outcome in may ways, but your boys got the edge.

    .
    P.S. I like the flame effects of your blazing balloon

    P.P.S. Just skimming back over the Butcher's and am wondering how Althaus survived. Roll 4+1(Ace)-3(EXP)= 2 : KIA (?)
    Last edited by Stumptonian; 02-13-2019 at 22:52.

  8. #8

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    Excellent work getting two ballons.

  9. #9

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    I'll have to check my rolls from very late last night. I was scribbling on a note pad and may have cross read off 2 lines. The French butchers bill was just above but I decided in the end to leave those rolls to Dave. Or my math is just wrong.

    Cheers for pointing it out.

    Neil

    Quote Originally Posted by Stumptonian View Post
    Just stumbled on this, wondering when we would see the action.
    Because you edited the placeholder it wan't obvious that there was something to see.
    But there definitely was!

    As Baz pointed out, a lot of special damage of all kinds.

    Similar to my outcome in may ways, but your boys got the edge.

    .
    P.S. I like the flame effects of your blazing balloon

    P.P.S. Just skimming back over the Butcher's and am wondering how Althaus survived. Roll 4+1(Ace)-3(EXP)= 2 : KIA (?)
    Ill
    See you on the Dark Side......

  10. #10

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    Yep the line on the pad was 4+1+1(ace) the 2 dice rolled 4 and 1. Then I forgot to add the - 3EXP hence =3. It was a late night. Dice roll total amended.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  11. #11

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    Morning Neil, Onkel has reviewed, Althaus KIA. Not an ace
    I can roll for your French if you assign pilots.

    "He is wise who watches"

  12. #12

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    Pyrrhus of Epirus: "Another such victory, and I am undone." (or a rough translation).

    A salute to Leutnant von Althaus.

  13. #13

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    What a bloodbath Neil.

    Sorry to hear about von Althaus. Good chap. met him before the war one summer at Farnborough you know.
    Kyte.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  14. #14

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    Amended the Butchers Bill tally to include the named French crews and their fate.

    We welcome the arrival of Leutnant Jacob Freihoff, replacement for Leutnant v. Althaus.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  15. #15

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    Your Eagles dominated the fight but sadly could not protect the sausages. Their fighting skill squeezed out as narrow a win as possible, well done!

    I thought a Caudron G.4 was a 2 seater? I have a pair to fly so better sign up more observers if they are 3 seaters.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skafloc View Post
    Amended the Butchers Bill tally to include the named French crews and their fate.
    We welcome the arrival of Leutnant Jacob Freihoff, replacement for Leutnant v. Althaus.
    Nice one, I think to save a heavy draw on scout pilots we should keep the multi-engine/crew machines as unknowns from another squadron.
    Not sure but looks like you're giving -1 for ET, this does not apply in crash wound but -1 for BEL in E&E calculation.
    Crash/wound/escape results are now concurrent so the highest is the total number of games missed.
    I have the G.IV as a two seater too so took Barcat out of the equation.
    Herr Freihoff has found his billet & the French Bulldogs have some new staff !
    Last edited by flash; 02-15-2019 at 01:34.

    "He is wise who watches"

  17. #17

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flash View Post
    Nice one, I think to save a heavy draw on scout pilots we should keep the multi-engine/crew machines as unknowns from another squadron.
    Not sure but looks like you're giving -1 for ET, this does not apply in crash wound but -1 for BEL in E&E calculation.
    Crash/wound/escape results are now concurrent so the highest is the total number of games missed.
    I have the G.IV as a two seater too so took Barcat out of the equation.
    Herr Freihoff has found his billet & the French Bulldogs have some new staff !
    Roger Roger.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  18. #18

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    Neil I thoroughly enjoyed your report, very nice use of the diary to tell a fuller story and in my opinion a very well written one.

    I don't recognise the plane ObLtn Karl Zeumer was flying, do you mind letting me know what it is. Mind you I didn't recognise the Nieuport 12 which shows how much I know.

    I looks like you're lucky to be paired up with Ltn Theodore Croneiss, he should keep you safe, even if he does get all the glory. A close run thing which is the mark of a good scenario.
    Cheers

  19. #19

    Skafloc's Avatar Northern Command Squadron Leader.
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    Ltn. Zeumer was flying an Aviatic CI.
    Croneiss flying a Rumpler CI.
    See you on the Dark Side......

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skafloc View Post
    Ltn. Zeumer was flying an Aviatic CI.
    Croneiss flying a Rumpler CI.
    Thanks for the info.

  21. #21

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    Well Neil, that was one blood thirsty start to the campaign I must say. Congratulations on a hard fought victory for your Eagles. Thoroughly deserved I like the idea of S Kaflok keeping his diary for posterity, but I'm not sure I could use a variation of my own handle in the scenarios to come. Non survival might make me shudder a bit Well played and thanks for an excellent first mission. REP inbound.



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