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On English air tactics

Event ID: 534

01 March 1917

50.367639, 3.03435
Near Douai
La Brayelle

Source ID: 43

The Red Knight of Germany, the story of Baron von Richthofen, Floyd Gibbons, 1927, 1959 Bantam Books

The English single-seater pilots always fly in squad formation when on pursuit work. Reconnoitering and artillery fire is also now carried on by squads of two-seater machines, sometimes containing as many as twenty machines. Many English airmen try to win advantages by flying tricks while engaged in fighting, but, as a rule, it is just these reckless and useless stunts that lead them to their deaths.

When flying in large squads, the English planes keep close together in order to be able to come one another’s assistance at any given moment. When attacked, they maintain even closer formation. If an English plane which has fallen behind is attacked, the first planes of the enemy formation make left and right turns and hurry to its assistance. After the rest of the formation has passed them, they close up the rear as the last planes.

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