Airfields & Airmen Cambrai by Mike O'Connor

By Mike O'Connor

This newest publication at the Airfields & Airmen of the 1st international conflict covers the earliest days of the RFC with the retreat from Mons. We stopover at the graves of Fokker Eindecker aces and the airfields the place the 1st Jastas have been shaped. additionally lined are airfields from which Allied aces corresponding to Beauchamp Proctor VC flew and there's a stopover at to the yankee cemetery at Bony that features a variety of aviators.

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The former carried out long range reconnaissance for army headquarters and the latter the duties of infantry co-operation and artillery observation. Units were no longer responsible to individual Corps but allocated to each Army and as such were very similar to the shape and operation of the British Brigade system that had evolved a few months earlier. The head of each Army’s flying units was titled Kommandeur der Flieger (Kofl). The Amerikaprogamm With the entry of the United States into the war, Germany realised that American industry would soon be a deciding factor and a decision must be forced before this happened.

It was here that pilots were trained in fighter tactics and formation flying, prior to their posting to a Jagdstaffel or fighter unit. Experienced pilots were posted to the school as a rest from the fatigue of combat, and to pass on their knowledge to new pilots. In addition the Jastaschule had a selection of Allied machines for the new pilots to fly in order to assess the strengths or weaknesses of their opponents. Many of the famous German aces passed through Famars, either as students or instructors.

Using old photographs, maps and contemporary accounts I visited old aerodrome sites and was amazed how little many of them had changed. You can hold up an old photograph of some of them and the scene behind today appears only to lack the aeroplanes. In fact many of the farms associated with these aerodromes have probably changed little in two or three hundred years. For the military historian most of the First War has a convenient chronological and geographical sequence in that one can relate how far a battle progressed (or not as the case may be) on a day-by-day basis.

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Airfields & Airmen Cambrai by Mike O'Connor
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