skip to Main Content

Going over tactics

Event ID: 516

13 February 1917

50.367639, 3.03435
Near Douai
La Brayelle

Source ID: 29

The dramatic true story of the Red Baron, Wiliam E Burrows, 1972, Mayflower Books

The army might be on the defensive, and the Air Service, too, but not Richthofen. He spent the first two weeks of February going over tactics with his squadron and meeting with its members one at the time to discuss their mistakes. He was developing Bölcke’s ability to see almost everything around him during a fight, even when he was engaged, and he remembered what he saw. There was no excuse for not continuously looking behind, he warned Jasta 11, and any pilot returning with holes in his tail had to have a good explanation. There was no truth, however, to stories circulated later that even a single hole in a scout’s tale was reason for Richthofen to have its pilot transferred. He was nonetheless taken at his word. Returning from one fight, a Jasta 11 pilot with a generous scattering of bullet holes faked engine trouble and landed at another squadron’s field, where the holes were patched before he continue home. Pilots did not generally adore Richthofen the way they had Bölcke, and he knew it. But he also knew that they respected him, and his schooling told him that that was enough. He made it a rule never to ask pilots to do something that he would not do, and he took satisfaction in knowing that they knew that, too.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top