Austro-Hungarian Albatros Aces of World War 1 by Paolo Varriale

By Paolo Varriale

Austro-Hungarian produced a chain of negative fighter forms comparable to the Phönix D I and Hansa-Brandenburg D I throughout the early levels of the conflict, and it used to be now not until eventually licence-built examples of the battle-proven Albatros and D II and D III started to achieve Fliegerkompagnien, or Fliks, in may possibly 1917 that the fortunes of pilots started to lookup. in contrast to the German-built Albatrosen, which at the beginning suffered wing disasters in flight, the Oeffag plane have been way more powerful than German D IIs and D IIIs. in addition they displayed better velocity, climb, manoeuvrability and infinitely more secure flight features. Such attributes have been used to the complete via the entire prime Austro-Hungarian aces, together with Brumowski, Arigi, Kiss and Linke-Crawford, who fought Italian pilots in Hanriots and SPADs, in addition to British pilots in Camels and Bristol warring parties. The exploits of Austro-Hungarian aces have been in the beginning delivered to the eye of English-speaking readers within the Nineteen Eighties throughout the pioneering paintings of Martin O'Connor. an extra 30 years of extra learn has allowed Paolo Varriale to combine and replace his paintings, rectifying a few inaccuracies and including new information and lots of unpublished pictures. The cautious crosschecking of Allied resources with Austrian and German files shape the root for an in depth reconstruction of the dogfights fought through the best aces. This painstaking examine permits many myths to be uncovered and error to be corrected. The booklet will hide using Albatros opponents at the Italian and japanese Fronts, from the opponents' preliminary arrival in mid 1917 via to the final days of conflict. it's going to additionally chart the careers of the Austro-Hungarian aces that flew the D II and D III, their successes and their defeats, with more information approximately their own heritage and their post-war lives within the international locations born from the cave in of the Hapsburg Empire. a few forty nine pilots accomplished acedom in the course of global conflict 1, and the majority of those pilots made their claims flying the 586 Oeffag-built Albatrosen.

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On that date they hit troops that were marching westwards and clashed with disorganised formations of Italian aircraft, whose crews fought with the courage of desperation. From 25 October to 7 November 1917, when the Italian Army established new lines of defence on the Piave River, LFT airmen flying single-seaters claimed 19 victories – 12 with the Albatros, three on Aviatik D Is, two with the old KDs still in service and two on unknown types. During the morning of 25 October Strohschneider shared his seventh victory with Ltn Franz Gräser, claiming a seaplane near the mouth of the Piave River.

Tahy scored again the following day to gain his seventh victory, shooting down, again with Bönsch, the SPAD VII of Sergente Giuseppe Tesio of 77a Squadriglia near Plava. In this period, just before what would become known as the 12th Isonzo Battle, the LFT’s fighter units increased their attacks against Italian observation balloons, and on 9 October Brumowski, Linke and StFw Kurt Gruber destroyed the 10a Sezione Aerostatica kite balloon moored near Isola Morosini. Skilfully taking advantage of fog in the area, the three Albatros pilots came inland from Panzano Gulf in spite of the barrage of fire from the 76 mm guns of the Navy Alberoni battery, which was immediately targeted by Austro-Hungarian artillery, wounding two sailors.

Single-seat fighter aircraft are particularly needed. Given the violent enemy action, each reconnaissance aircraft must be escorted by two fighters. ’ This did not mean that the war had become an easy task for the Italian airmen when they launched their attack on 17 August for what would be known as the 11th Isonzo Battle. The following day, Ltn Josef Friedrich obtained his eighth victory – the first in an Albatros fighter – when he claimed an Italian single-seater over Grigno. His opponent was probably a Nieuport of 79a Squadriglia, because two pilots from this unit, Tenente Umberto Mazzini and Sergente Antonio Reali (a future 11-victory ace) had combats in that area, but both returned to their airfield.

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