Air Aces of World War One


Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke – Father of German Air Fighting – Part 3

The Dicta Boelcke

( 1 ) Secure the benefits of Aerial Combat, Speed, Altitude, Numerical Superiority and Position before attacking, Always attack from the sun.

( 2 ) If you start the attack, bring it to an end.

( 3 ) Fire the machine-gun up close and only if you are sure that you are targeting your opponent.

( 4 ) Do not lose sight of the enemy.

( 5 ) In any form of attack, an approach to the opponent from behind is required.

( 6 ) If the enemy attacks you in a dive, do not try to dodge the attack, but turn to the attacker.

( 7 ) If you are above the enemy lines, always keep your own retreat in mind.

( 8 ) For Squadrons: In principle attack only in groups of four to six. If the fight breaks up in to noisy single battles, make sure that not many comrades pounce on a single opponent.

These basic principle of Air fighting are still referred to even now.

In mid 1916, Boelcke was given permission to choose his own pilots, for a newly – formed Fighter squadron. From among the interviewees he selected both Manfred Von Richtofen and Erwin Bohme. Boelcke was appointed Commander of his hand-Picked group of pilots on the 30th August 1916.

There were Three Fighter Squadrons formed initially, Jasta 2 ( Boelcke ) being by far the most successful. It ended the war, with a total of 20 Aces, 336 Victories, with only 44 casualties. This was mainly due to the encouragement and training that Boelcke as the leader instilled in his novice pilots.

(C) Damian Grange 2018




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