Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke were awarded the Orden Pour le Mérite on 12 January 1916. Later that year, Immelmann was killed in a dogfight with seven British aircraft. His death, like that of many other aces, was controversial. While the British credited the pilot of an F.E.2b with his loss, the Germans proclaimed that the synchronized machine gun on Immelmann's Fokker E.III malfunctioned and he shot his own propellor off. However, after examining the wreckage, Anthony Fokker concluded that Immelmann's aircraft was brought down by German anti-aircraft fire.
With the introduction of aircraft armed with forward firing machine guns, the "Eagle of Lille" laid the foundation for single seat fighter tactics in World War I. Today, Max Immelmann is best remembered for the "Immelmann turn," a half-loop followed by a half-roll.