The Red Baron, shot down by a grunt

This is a discussion on The Red Baron, shot down by a grunt within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; In my channel surfing last night, saw a show on WWI air planes, and the Pilots. They followed the Germans changes in tactics and equipment ...

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Thread: The Red Baron, shot down by a grunt

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array 4my son's Avatar
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    The Red Baron, shot down by a grunt

    In my channel surfing last night, saw a show on WWI air planes, and the Pilots. They followed the Germans changes in tactics and equipment through the war. It was interesting when they began to analyze the shooting down of the Red Baron.

    The Baron was chasing what would have been his 81st kill. Sorry, but WOW. and then was shot at by another plain. This pilot was credited with killing the Baron, but, the medical examinations done on the Baron showed one bullet, .303 caliber, entered his chest from an upward angle, and from the right. Modern medical experts gave him 15 - 20 seconds of life after such an injury.

    The Baron landed his plane in a field, and died. He must have been hit immediately before breaking off his attack and landing. The attacking allied aircraft had already broken off his attack at this point.

    This left only a handful of ground troops as possibilities. Both Machine guns were firing the .303 round. Who would have thunk it. The most successful flying Ace of WWI was brought down by a single bullet, that was fired from a grunt on the ground.

    Because he was so well respected by both sides, he was buried by the Allies with full Military Honors in the same cemetery as the Allied Pilots.

    Just a tidbit for any history buffs.
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    I remember seeing some sleuthing program on that a ways back and yeah - it was after much trajectory analysis reckoned to have been a good ol grunt!!

    No fighter ace is immortal!!
    Chris - P95
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    That's what they called the "Magic BB" during the Viet Nam war.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

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    Terry

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    Vary cool, thanks for the info.
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    An old saying goes like this "Even a blind hog finds an acorn every once in a while." The machinegunner on the ground just got lucky.

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    I LOVE air combat. I play some multi-player games online like that. Not the most realistic thing, but its a lot of fun.... "The Reb Baron" was truely an ace, though. Its no surprise that the Allies buried him with honors. Back then, air combat was considered a gentlemans sport and there was a lot of gallantry and mutual respect given to both sides. But if you think 80 is a lot, check out Colonel Eric "Bubi" Hartmann of the World War II GAF. He is the world's leading ace at 352 kills. And probably always will be.

    Other aces to look up:
    -Major Erich Rudorffer - 7th Leading Ace. 222 Kills. 13 in one mission.
    -Captain Hans-Joachim Marseille - 158 kills. 17 in one day.
    -Commander Randy "Duke" Cunningham - One of two U.S. aces of the Vietnam War. Not a world's leading ace, but his final kill is one of the most harrowing stories ever told.
    -Major Gunther Rall - 275 kills.
    -Also look up any Israeli pilots that you can find. Some of these guys have three times more combat time than career U.S. pilots. And they are GOOOOOOOD, and some consider them to be better at pushing aircraft across the sky than USAF boys.

    If anyone else is REALLY interested in air combat and all of its inner-workings, check out "Fighter Combat: Tactics & Maneuvering" by Robert L. Shaw. It's considered the air combat bible.
    Some of the material in the book is rather dry unless you are really into it (talking about how pulse-doppler radar works). But it discusses tactics, aircraft, has interviews with some long-dead aces, excellent qoutes, and incredible stories.

    Also, the site listed below is a gold mine for air combat info.
    http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/cat_index_9.shtml

    Sorry for the long post. haha This stuff gets my blood goin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch View Post
    That's what they called the "Magic BB" during the Viet Nam war.
    ....we used to call it the "golden BB" when I first got into the USAF.

    Several factors make up the very high German kill ratios during WW2:
    - their initial opponents weren't as highly trained, flew aircraft not as good as the BF/ME-109 (and later FW-190), and/or flew in air forces that observed a "support of ground forces" doctrine instead of air interdiction/superiority doctrine,
    - a small number of Germans were "bloodied" as part of the pre-WW2 Spanish Civil War "Condor Legion,"
    - the Luftwaffe, unlike U.S. AAC (and probably RAF) pilots did not have a 50 mission rotation cycle; their pilots flew until they were KIA, so severely WIA that it would preclude them from getting into a cockpit again, or were shot-down and captured or unable to reach their lines, and
    - they were very well trained...but their losses in experienced aircrew, material and air superiority; lack of stores (like fuel) and training time; and eventual loss of operational facilities simply ground the Luftwaffe down.

    Can you imagine if the Luftwaffe had operational ME-262's in wing strength by 1943, combined with an adequate four-engined strategic bomber (prior to 1943) able to reach "Tankograd" and other critical Soviet facilities hidden beyond the Ural Mountains? Germany still might not have won the war, but it certainly would have gone beyond 1945.

    About the Israeli Air Force (IAF), I recall reading an open source after-action report describing a USAF/IAF training exercise. Despite flying the same aircraft (with mods to allow for export purposes), our guys were getting schwacked left and right by the IAF. I also recall seeing a documentary about the IAF. While we in the U.S. consider our special operations personnel the cream of the crop, the Israelis consider their IAF fighter pilots (especially their F-15 drivers), and not their SOF personnel, to be the cream of the crop. I think their pilot washout rate hovered in the low to mid 90%.
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    Distinguished Member Array Anubis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfl View Post
    Germany still might not have won the war, but it certainly would have gone beyond 1945.
    Not with the application of a few more Little Boys and Fat Men.

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    Never truer words, srfl. I remember hearing a stat that the IAF had never lost an F-15 or F-16 in combat to another aircraft. It wouldn't surprise me if that were true.

    Another reason for the high kill-ratios of the Luftwaffe - a lot of their pilots were World War One pilots who had earned their keep dancing with the Sopwith Camel. They had started their careers and kills early and it carried over to the 2nd War, teaching the next generation about the art of aerial warfare. I think that the Luftwaffe's pilots actually hold the top 70-or so slots of the top 100 Leading aces.
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    ....hmm....interesting....I think the German WW1 vets would have mostly been too old for WW2; Goering was a WW1 ace and he ended up looking as big as Das Hindenburg! LOL....das ist gut!!!!

    I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the IAF has only lost one or two aircraft in air-to-air combat....out of 100+ combined Arab air forces losses.
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    Pretty amazing how those old aces did shoot down so many planes.
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfl View Post
    ....we used to call it the "golden BB" when I first got into the USAF.
    Magic, Golden, same difference.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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