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Victory 78

Event ID: 274

07 April 1918

49.878200014750455, 2.510568989517456
500m E of Hill 104, N of Villers-Bretonneux.

Source ID: 13

Under the guns of the Red Baron, Norman Franks, Hal Giblin and Nigel McCrery

ISBN: 9781898697275

1205 hrs, 500 metres east of Hill 104, north of Villers-Bretonneux. Spad, fell down; Englishman. I was observing, and noted that a Kette (three) of German planes pursuing an English plane was being attacked from the rear. I dashed to their aid and attacked an English plane. After putting myself behind him several times, the adversary fell. The plane crashed into the ground and I saw that it smashed to pieces. This happened 500 metres east of Hill 104. Possibly a different Camel from 73 Sqn; three were lost.

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  1. source: Inside the victories of Manfred von richthofen – Volume 2, James F. Miller, Aeronaut Books, 2016

    The confusion with the previous victory identity continues with this one. Richthofen identified his claim as a “Spad” but British Spads were absent the front and no French Spads were lost that day. Presuming Jasta 11 was still or again fighting No. 73 Sqn Camels, two Camels were shot up but returned to base and one, flown by Adams, was shot down, the victory credited to Ltn Hans Kirschstein of Jasta 6. Under the Guns of the Red Baron authors Franks, Giblin and McCrery have postulated the possibility that Richthofen attacked and damaged either of the two Camels that returned to base but witnessed Adams crash, after he had been shot down by
    Kirchstein, and confused Adams’s crashing Camel with one he had attacked, in which case he should not have received credit for the claim. Yet they further state “The bulk of the evidence, however, is that Richthofen was in combat with Adams and was involved in his being brought down, but it was credited to Kirschstein.” Regardless of the identify of Richthofen’s 78th victory, if this and his 77th involved Camels of No. 73 Sqn, Richthofen and Kirchstein were credited with a combined three victories but only two Camels were lost.

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