BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

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J5_Bäumer
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BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Bäumer » 31 Mar 2020, 03:16

Post them or link to them here! Relive the triumphs and the tragedies!
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by -332FG-REDMAN » 08 Apr 2020, 17:23

Salute! REDMAN

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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Winkelmann » 03 May 2020, 14:52

Bloody april X, Dawn Patrol. A short story.

Gefreiter J5_Zeredbaronn looked irritated at the leaden overcast sky. It had been raining all morning and the chances of executing the issued orders looked very slim indeed. He had just finished the Jasta5 briefing and was strapping himself in his Albatross. "Fly as a a sentry between 3000 and 4000 meters and report any allied artillery spotter south-west of Bapaume"... Those were his orders. "I'm lucky if I can climb to 2000 meters and see anything in this weather" he mumbled as the Mercedes D-III engine roared to life. His green scarf was already wet from the pooring rain. As he checked his instruments and controls he saw the other sentry's of Jagdstaffel Fuenf of the Imperial German Air Forces one by one take off and disappear into the murk. "Be safe boys", he thought and applied full throttle to his machine. The Albatross bumped over the rough grass at Epinoy aerodrome and climbed slowly towards the south-west, he looked back and only after a few minutes he could no longer see the field at where he took off from. "Horrible weather", he muttered again.
The staff-officers who had planned this mission obviously had not checked the weather. Flying in this weather was anything but easy, but finding an opponent in this visibility looked near impossible to the German flyer in his lone Albi. "Thank god we have this new device called 'air-to-air radio'" he reassured himself, at least he could hear the other eight pilots of his kette report their positions, so he roughly knew where they were. His sentry position was the most southern position of the line of sentry's that were supposed te search for and report enemy arty-spotters operating close to the German frontline. Flying at 1000 meters he spotted two barges lying in the canal that ran from Cambrai in the north-east to Peronne in the south where it ended in the river Somme. "Probably nice targets for British Bristol-Fighters", he remarked and called the position of the barges on his radio. The enemy used the Bristol not only as a fighter, but also as a recon-plane and as a bomber. The allied planes were more multi-role than the German ones. Only the Halberstadt two-seater carried bombs. The Albatross just had the two 08-15 Spandau machineguns, with 500 rounds per gun. Effective weapons for air-to-air combat, but in the groundattack-role useless against larger targets then infantry in the open field.
The Albatross reached the cloudbase at 2100 meters. Immediatly the visibility deteriated to almost zero. J5_Zeredbaronn cursed and tried to climb above the murky clouds. He tried to concentrate on his artificial horizon but his compass told him that he was not able to fly a steady course. After a minute he gave up and decended back to below the clouds. Slowly because of the headwind he reached his assigned position south-west of the city of Bapaume. On his radio-reciever he heard the voices of some of his Jasta5-fellow fliers. The mission-commander was Hauptmann J5_Mueller. Before todays mission-briefing J5_Mueller had expressed himself in a very explicit way on the subject of the Spanish Flu that was devestating the German armed forces. A pilot of JG1 had not agreed with him and the argument became a little like a row. "I can see an enemy above the mud near Arras!" The unmistakable Yorkshire accent of J5_Deadalus snapped the gefreiter out of his daydreaming. The Yorkshireman was flying for the German Lueftstreitkrafte because of his adversity with the British Broadcasting Corporation. "Bloody liers", he used to call them.
Now he was the first one to spot the enemy. J5_Zeredbaronn checked his position on his wet map and realised he had no chance to see the enemy this far from Arras. He hardly could see Bapaume, and he was quite close to this French regional city. Arras however lay almost 30 kilometers to the north-west of his position on the allied side of the frontline.
One by one the other pilots also started to report targets between the cities of Lens and Arras. The lone Albatross was way to far south to see any of them but he realised that something was brewing on the allied side. They were up to something and he wanted to join the action. Checking his map and his position again he called the kette-leader if he could proceed north to join the others of the kette. To his disgust Hauptmann J5_Mueller denied his request. 'Stay on your assigned position and report targets in your sector!" his kette-fuehrer ordered. Being a well disciplined German soldier the gefreiter confirmed and resumed his patrolling along the front-line. Reports sounded from several pilots indicating that Allied planes had ventured behind the German line near Bullecourt. Bullecourt was not far from Bapaume, but still too far north for J5_Zeredbaronn. "They probably go for those barges in the canal, and I'm here stuck guarding a piece of wasteland where nothing happens…" Before he could finish his thoughts however, he suddenly saw a slight movement in the clouds at his two oclock, a little higher then himself.. "An aircraft?, Yes, an aircraft for sure……"

To be continued.
“You don’t win maps or wars by shooting down enemy fighters.... you win by destroying their infrastructure on the ground!”

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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Gamecock » 03 May 2020, 15:28

Good story Baron... I like this.
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Winkelmann » 03 May 2020, 16:28

Tnx Gamecock!
“You don’t win maps or wars by shooting down enemy fighters.... you win by destroying their infrastructure on the ground!”

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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by US93_Larner » 03 May 2020, 17:30

Love novelistic write-ups like this, Baron!
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Karl_Loppnow » 03 May 2020, 17:48

Great job Baron. Can't wait for the rest. Hurry it up please. :mrgreen:
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Winkelmann » 03 May 2020, 23:02

Part Two of Bloody April X Dawn patrol.

The approaching aircraft was hardly visible through the swirling vapors of the cloud-base. Steering direct for the unknown flying-machine, J5_Zeredbaronn peered through his fogged-up goggles at the emerging shape. A rounded fuselage, dove-shaped wings, the other aircraft was clearly an Albatross, not an enemy. The gefreiter relaxed and called out “Albi in sight just west of Bapaume”. The voice of his kette-leader responded; “Yeah that I’ll be me, I’m heading north again, stay in your sector..” “
The bloody Schweinhund was probably checking up on me…, seeing if I am still in my assigned position..”, the frustrated pilot thought as he again turned his nose towards the south to search for the expected British artillery-spotters. But none appeared. The rain fell in a constant stream, the visibility remained awful and the wet green-colored scarf around his neck gave him a nasty tingling feeling down his spine. By the time he again was ready to turn his plane north, his radio suddenly erupted with the commanding voice of his leader; ”Baronn, join the rest of the Jasta at our line near the river Scarpe”. “Finally, were in business” he thought, and turned his ship towards the river that flows from the east to the west, crossing the frontline at the medieval city of Arras. It was still a good 20 kilometers flying before he could reach the junction between the German frontline and the river and all the while he heard the calls from his fellow pilots who were in contact with the enemy. One of them was Unteroffizier J5_Ste1n. His soft, mannered voice informed J5_Zeredbaronn that he was flying just south of the junction at the river and the frontline.
Peering downward through the rain, his face outside of the windscreen he felt the drops hitting him with an amazing force, caused by the airspeed of his machine and augmented by the rotating propeller a few feet in front of him. On the ground he saw yellow flares rise up from the trenches below. “Poor sods”, he thought, life in the infantry was not very pleasant, to say the least.
And J5_Zeredbaronn knew from his own experience. He had started the war in August 1914 as a private. His thoughts went back to those days when he marched in the sunshine to the station, flowers stuck in the barrel of his Gewehr-98 service-rifle. People were cheering him and his comrades, pretty girls kissed him on the lips and everything seemed allright. It was going to be a ‘Ein frischer und froelicher Krieg’, a fresh and happy war, that’s wat everybody had said. On the 4th of August he had crossed into Belgium, a small neutral country that surely would not really fight against the might of the German Imperial Army. The Belgians possessed six weak divisions, the Germans numbered close to a hundred, all well armed and in good spirits. But the Belgians did fight, and on the second day of his stay in enemy territory his company was ordered to attack a Belgian fort near the city of Liege. As he and the other men of his platoon emerged from the woods into the meadows surrounding the fortifications, the Belgians held their fire until the Germans soldiers were out in the open. The next thing Zeredbaronn heard were strange crackling sounds, things whizzed by and the suddenly the felt a thump in his left shoulder and the world became grey and then pitch-black.
“Zered, I see you, turn north-west”. The soft voice of J5_Ste1n brought him back to the present. “Stay concentrated, you fool”, he said to himself. Daydreaming is a sure way to get yourself killed, when you’re in a sky full of angry British and French pilots, he realized. It took him a few seconds to spot the kite of Ste1n. Ste1n was about a kilometer ahead of him and was following a German Halberstadt that was flying west, close to the deck, just above the river Ancre. “He’s going to bomb the bridge at Arras”, Ste1n informed him, “I’m going to cover him, follow-me”. J5_Zeredbaronn pushed the nose of his Albatross down to pick up speed, he was a long way back, but the German bomber pilot could use all the help that he could get because on the western side of the front, several aircraft, painted in dark green upper surfaces and buff-coloured undersides could be seen, swinging left to right and back again. British fighters… If they could catch that lonely Halberstadt, they would make mince-meat out of him. There were other Germans around however, but none to near to help. As his plane picked up speed, Zebaronn heard the voice of J5_Deadalos say; “I’m dead, they got me, I’m out…” With the blood pumping in his veins he swore to avenge the death of the Yorkshireman. Suddenly the radio emitted the voice of the kette-leader again. “All pilots, rendez-vouz at our side of the line, disengage, turn back!” J5_Ste1n answered; “I’m engaging to help that bomber, Zered is with me..” “OK, Red Baronn, what do you want to do?” The leader asked for his opinion, and J5_Zeredbaronn gave it on the spot; “I’m going to help that bomber, otherwise he stands no chance, I’m going to engage”. The kette-leader agreed, told them to regress after the action and both German fighter pilots raced for the outskirts of the city of Arras. The bomber, who had been following the river, swung 90 degrees south, then turned turned sharp to the north to line up with the bridge. As the two German fighters neared the western edge of the mud they saw a flash and J5_Ste1n exclaimed; “The bridge is down, he did it!” The Brits had obviously also seen the destruction of their bridge and two SE5a’s were diving to intercept the German bomber who by now was racing to the east, hugging the deck. The two Albi’s were now also diving, the wind singing in their bracing-wires, their Mercedes-engines howling under full power… “You take the one on the right, I’ll go for the left one”, Zeredbaronn shouted. The response of J5_Ste1n was inaudible, and throttling back a little to prevent overrevving his engine, J5_Zeredbaronn aimed the nose of his aircraft just in front of the left SE5a….

To be continued.
Last edited by J5_Winkelmann on 27 Sep 2020, 10:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Karl_Loppnow » 04 May 2020, 01:33

Totally awesome dude! :mrgreen:
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Mueller » 04 May 2020, 04:18

Good storytelling HerrBaron, you did very well ,but your writing is better than your gunnery eh?

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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Winkelmann » 04 May 2020, 06:16

Tnx, my real problem is PLANE RECOGNITION I think. The unfortunate incident that happened yesterday was a stupid mistake on my part. I saw a plane being chased east. I thought it was German, so without a good look I took aim and fired at the chasing plane. I used no more then 35 rounds per gun and hit it. I would not call that bad gunnery, I would call this BAD SA. I am very sorry about it. I’m glad that you made it home.
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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by BA_HotWaffle » 04 May 2020, 07:45

A few photos from the past weeks:

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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Winkelmann » 04 May 2020, 13:12

Part 3 of Bloody April X, Dawn Patrol.

At exactly that moment the rear gunner of the Halberstadt opened fire at the SE5a. The SE-pilot also opened up and a string of tracer-bullets seemed to connect the two aircraft. Zeredbaronn realized he was still to far away for a good shot but assessed he had to distract the British pilot from his prey to make sure that the Halberstadt had a chance to get away. He pressed his triggers and both Spandau’s blasted a quick burst at the enemy machine… The British pilot’s head snapped up at the sight of the approaching Albatross and he pulled up in a very sharp turn to starboard. To sharp, because as he turned, his left-upper wing seemed to disintegrate and then completely broke away from it’s struts and fluttered away in the wind. The remaining part of the British fighter spun out of control and went straight down into no-mans land. “Death from above!”; Zeredbaronn shouted in joy. He had not hit the enemy machine, but he had saved the bomber from destruction and that was a good feeling.
A quick look behind showed there were no other aircraft in sight. He did not see Unteroffizier Ste1n’s Albi. The only other aircraft visible was the Halberstadt, still steering due east to get to the German side of the front-line. Gefreiter J5_Zeredbaronn closed with the bomber and shortly flew in close formation with the two-seater. The gunner raised his arms and joined his hands in a ball above his body in a gesture of thanks. The pilot looked over his right shoulder an gave a quick nod with his head. “Yeah, you should thank me for saving your asses…”, Zered snapped a quick salute to the bomber crew, applied full throttle and climbed back up to search for his formation.
The rain was still falling. In the east there were signs of better weather, but the visibility was still very bad when he arrived at 2000 meters, just below the clouds. The Jasta-leader, Hauptmann J5_Mueller ordered all Jasta5- planes still flying to converge on the German side of the front. It took some searching but finally he saw the others, there were six of them. He recognized the ‘winged bird on fire’-logo of Hauptmann J5_Sturm’s Albatross. Flieger J5_ Konnecke was also there, his green fuselage with the black and white checkerboard clearly visible, despite the appalling weather. The logo’s of J5_Gurke, J5_Hippel and J5_Cremer were present, but these Jasta5_pilots had not been at the mission-briefing, so Zeredbaronn assumed that there were other pilots flying those machines.
The formation turned to the west again, still flying just below cloud-level. Seven Albatrosses in a wide staggered formation, searching for targets of opportunity. Nobody seemed to mind that they were no longer searching for British artillery-spotters, they just wanted a piece of the action and the Jasta-leader was determined that they were going to do their bit. As they crossed the front again they knew from the briefing that there should be two British observation-balloons floating over the enemy side of the front. One north of Arras and one a few kilometers south of the city.
J5_Zeredbaronn checked his fuel status on his Morell petrol-clock, he was down to about 25 minutes flying-time. “Just enough for a quick hop over the front, but not enough for a long stay if I am to get home”, he thought. At that moment someone in the formation called out: “the north balloon is going down!” It was true, a faint flame with a wake of smoke behind it was slowly spiralling to the earth, a few kilometers north of Arras. Two white objects floated next to the flame. “Observers are out”, Zered concluded. He never could understand why the allies did not equip their pilots with parachutes. But at least they gave their balloon-crews the option of saving themselves. “Baronn, you and Sturm take out the south balloon!”

The order was short and snappy. No time to make an argument. But Zeredbaronn did not have a balloon in sight. He acknowledged the order and started flying southwest to find the floating bag of gas. These balloons were of high value, floating at a tether, at an altitude of about 1500 meters it gave two enemy artillery observers a permanent clear view of the battlefield. J5_Sturm’s Albi followed J5_Zeredbaronn’s machine at his five o’clock. Both pilots were scanning low because the Brits usually winched their balloons down to ground-level when enemy fighters were around. But there were no balloons to be seen near the ground. Zered checked his map again, “the ruddy balloon must be here somewhere”, he muttered, and then he looked up and there it was, shining it’s wet surface in the morning-light, the RFC-roundel clearly visible with it’s red-white and blue concentric rings. A quick look back, the rest of the Jasta was behind them, as he lined up for his pass at the balloon he saw a low SE5a, coming from the right, racing to save the balloon. But the enemy machine was too low to intercept both Albi’s who had the energy advantage. Both machines opened up on the balloon, four Spandau’s spat out bullets towards the floating behemoth. Nothing happened. The big bag of gas just swallowed the bullets. The enemy Anti-Aircraft Artillery now opened up on the two attacking German fighters. These balloons were very well defended. On the ground there was a 13-pounder Quick Firing cannon firing about twenty 3-inch shells per minute at the Germans. Next to this gun were two Model 1914 Hotchkiss heavy machine guns, firing like mad. Zered heard the zipping sound of machine-gun bullets striking his machine. “Move, move, move!”, he shouted to himself.
He snap-turned to line up on the balloon again. The monster was being winched down really fast now and the machine-gunners on the ground had a field-day. From the corner of his eye he saw that J5_Sturm’s Albi had been hit in the right wing by an AA-shell and was going down. No time to see what happened to the pilot, side-slipping he brought his guns to bear again. Both Spandau’s firing short bursts, the bullets disappearing into the canvas, but again nothing happened. By this time the balloon was almost on the ground. Swearing like mad, Zeredbaronn threw his plane around in another sharp turn, but he was too close to the floating object and could not take a shot. The air around the aerostat seemed to be full of turning and fighting aircraft and he knew that the chances of surviving this duel were very slim indeed. Pushing the nose of his kite down to conserve the energy he made another sharp turn and managed to hit the balloon on it’s front part. This time the balloon erupted in flames. “Finally, you burn, you sucker…” There was no time to enjoy the victory. He was flying for his life, there were at least three SE5a’s and several Bristol Fighters trying to shoot him down.

To be continued...
“You don’t win maps or wars by shooting down enemy fighters.... you win by destroying their infrastructure on the ground!”

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Re: BA X PIctures, Videos, After Action Reports

Unread post by J5_Karl_Loppnow » 04 May 2020, 23:06

:mrgreen: Nicely done!
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