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"100 Years Ago Today" Topic

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640 hits since 29 Oct 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Sailor Steve29 Oct 2016 1:15 a.m. PST

Oswald Boelcke died.

Well, technically it was now yesterday, but I was busy all day with other things and couldn't post until now.

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member29 Oct 2016 3:28 a.m. PST

thanks. interesting to think about these men.

14Bore29 Oct 2016 4:45 a.m. PST

At the University library I'm working at has a poster presentation of WWI. A time line puts Nov 20 as the first time aircraft are used in combat. Have some doubt it would be that late so want to check out.

rmaker29 Oct 2016 10:06 a.m. PST

November 20 what year? And what's their definition of "used in combat"?

Parzival29 Oct 2016 11:30 a.m. PST

The question is one requiring consideration. After all, "use in war" differs from "use in battle" which potentially differs from "use in combat."
For example, a reconnaissance mission is not inherently combat. But what if ground troops fire at a plane? Is that "combat" even if the plane cannot shoot back? Is a bombing mission "combat"? What if the target is undefended? What if the "bomb" is just a rock or other hard object tossed at the enemy? What about if the pilot or a crewman fires a rifle or pistol at a target, even though the weapon itself is not an integral part of the plane, nor the attack an assumed part of the mission? ("Hey, look, there's an enemy. See if you can hit him with your pistol!")

But setting the above aside, and assuming the time line refers instead to the first aerial dogfight involving at least one fixed weapon installed for that purpose, the following article is of interest:

14Bore29 Oct 2016 12:09 p.m. PST

Sorry this 100th anniversary year so 1916.
So reading the link I was right to be sceptical. I thought the Mexican war or at least the hunt for Pancho Villa was first use of aircraft if I remembered correctly.

Parzival30 Oct 2016 1:38 p.m. PST

The article does mention the pistol-fire exchange over Mexico, though it apparently (and unsurprisingly) had no result.

kustenjaeger30 Oct 2016 2:32 p.m. PST


23 October 1911 – Italian recce flight over Turkish lines in Libya. 1 November 1911 first bomb dropped on Turkish lines.

8 February 1913 first pilot shot down (by ground fire) during 1st Ballkan War.

November 1913 – two American pilots in Mexican Revolution exchange revolver shots (missing).

25 August 1914 first loss in air to air combat – a Russian plane destroys an Austrian machine – eventually by ramming!

5 October 1914. French aircraft shoots down German Aviatik.





jefritrout31 Oct 2016 11:53 a.m. PST

I forgot about the Italian bombing. I was going to post about the Balkan War combat; however, I was beaten to it.

Sailor Steve31 Oct 2016 1:21 p.m. PST

Unfortunately the August 25th date for the Russian ramming is only partially correct. Pyotor Nesterov used his Morane H to ram an Austro-Hungarian plane, killing both enemy crew members as well has himself. Sources disagree as to whether it was the 25th or 26th of that month, but only the sources claiming the 26th also mention that Russia was still using the Julian calendar, so for the rest of the world it was actually September 8th.

The French pilots on October 5th were sergeant Joseph Franz and corporal Louis Quenault, who had mounted a Hotchkiss gun to their Voisin. Surprisingly they both survived the war.

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