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Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > Archives > 2001


2001 Closed threads from 2001 (read only)

 
 
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Old 19 June 2001, 05:42 AM   #21 (permalink)
Kory Clark
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I see well, in brown's case I honesly think He thought he got MvR(probably not) and really did feel bad about actually seeing someone he thought he killed.

In Barker's case, he felt shame for actually getting surprised. Probably embarrased about his wounds too. Well that's my take on it and most author's take too.

 
Old 19 June 2001, 07:09 AM   #22 (permalink)
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<<I see well, in brown's case I honesly think He thought he got MvR(probably not) and really did feel bad about actually seeing someone he thought he killed.

In Barker's case, he felt shame for actually getting surprised. Probably embarrased about his wounds too. Well that's my take on it and most author's take too.>>

These are pretty close to what I've read about the two men. Added to it is the fact that they were probably hounded to some extent for things that they were tired of talking about. Alec Guinness felt the same way about his role in "Star Wars"--after an unsurpassed career of screen acting, he was always being hounded by strangers about a minor role.
Brown earned his DSC when he took off that morning, sick as a dog, and did all he wanted to do when he saved his friend Wop May. Killing Von Richthofen seemed to give him no satisfaction.
Barker was an exemplary leader in the air. His men admired him for it. He got all his "notice" for a fight that he thought reflected little professional credit on himself.

 
Old 19 June 2001, 07:10 AM   #23 (permalink)
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For Brown I recommend the book "The Red Barons Last Flight" in which the authors make the point that it was an open secret in the RFC that Brown did not shoot down MvR. Browns answers, whenever questioned, show a tacit understanding that he did not deserve the claim. Furthermore the book shows that there can never be an identification of who the "shooter" was, but that if you have to give out a credit, Sgt. Popkins is the best choice. As far as Barkers VC claim is concerned, I'm not saying it didn"t happen, I'm saying that the occurence was far more prosaic and reasonable than reported. Lets try this on as a theory that fits all the known facts. Barker has climbed up to 20,000 feet. He is suffering a mild form of Anoxia, as were the pilots in the two seater. Barker has not seen the 4 Fokker D-vII escorts that are still climbing to rendevous with two seater because of this and because he is eager to get another kill. It's possible that he did see them but discounted their being close enough to be dangerous (remember Anoxia also causes Euphoria). He gets the two seater but doesn't know that while he traded bullets with that machine the others are now within striking range of his aircraft. One of the German pilots gets a burst into the belly of the Snipe. The bullets hit Barker in the left elbow, left hip and right Femural artery. It's well reported that such wounds are not normally immediately incapacitating. Barkers body does spasm (again medically normal reaction) and Barker loses control of his aircraft. He could have lost conciousness, but not necessarily. His plane goes into either a spin or a falling leaf manuever. The german pilots follow the Snipe down to make sure it is not a "Ruse". Barker regains control of the plane after falling several thousand feet, sees one or more Fokkers and lets off a quick burst in the hope of keeping them away. Due to the stress of recovery he "blanks out and loses control again losing several more thousand feet. He regains control, looks around and sees the Observation Ballon position and no Fokkers. He crash lands at that position. In the meantime the German pilots aware that they have gotten close to the enemy lines (they may have been attracting ground fire) decide to head back to base with the equivalent of a "Driven down" claim. This theory would satisfy all the information available. Barker was the sort of person who enjoyed talking about his victories. All of them except this one; since the victory of the two seater not only ended in a defeat, but that he recieved a VC for that defeat. No wonder he was glum about the subject.
 
Old 19 June 2001, 08:04 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Well Tony, you're story worked out ok, except for a few minor details.

1. The Germans didn't give credit for "driven Down". The enemy had to be destroyed or captured, as far as I know. There was no other category.

2. Brown obviously didn't write his combat report. It was witnessed by at least the General who made the recommendation, and if he saw Barker fall through more than one formation of Fokkers, who are we to say he didn't?

Were you there? I wasn't.

As for the 15,000 who didn't come forward and say it happened, how about just ONE who was there to come forward and say it didn't?

Just food for thought.

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Old 19 June 2001, 09:49 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Tony your post goes against all reports on the subject, you really are reaching. Three planes were seen "in flames", since Barker's snipe did not light up...they were German planes. 60 planes total, is probably not the case, but a reasonable number that is numerous but hard to count accurately(due to joining..then re-joining attack on Barker) could be 16-24. 2-3 Jastas.

As Al said, did anyone come forward after the incident was made public and say "I was there
on the morning of the 27 October 1918, Foret de Mormal and i saw no such garbage." Or something to that effect? Are all 10000+ soldiers to fill out a frigging report on some action they watched? If the observation unit was french they would have been required to do so..but they were english, so tough, there is no other report. You might have to dig up some old trench boy's 82 year old letters to his sweatheart to debunk this action but it won't happen just on your speculation.


 
Old 19 June 2001, 11:20 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Gosh, it was just a theory. At least, that's how I saw it.

Any comment from anyone who isn't reflexively pro-RFC? I am obviously not, and I think that this probably - PROBABLY - happened pretty much as reported, with a little hair added later. The reservations thet persist are:

An inherent distrust of the brass, propaganda-meisters and hero-makers.

The RFC scoring record: as recorded vs. reality (or even CLOSE, for Pete's sake)

Barker's reticence on the subject is only partially explained away by the "embarrassed to have been shot up" argument.

Notice that I don't mention The Holiest of Holy German Records? This argument, as well as the "overclaiming" question, are only partially dependent on them. And they were lost entirely for October 1918.
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Old 19 June 2001, 11:49 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Well having beat to death Bishop's easy target VC incident, you guys are moving on to Barker's. Sorry if i'm the only one who feels like argueing, all the real historians have looked at this thread rolled their eyes and moved on, I suspect.

From what I can gather, you guys want to cut out the three "in flames" victories from this incident. I think that it would be more worth your time to try to debunk another RFC ace, with no quite so much evidence backing him.

I know Collie's name got dragged through the mud on the forum a few weeks ago(wait no, just last week) but no one bothered much to defend him. Well Collishaw was a bit of a glory hound i'll give ya that so, I shut my keyboard down for that.

Barker, i'm here to say, put up or shut up.


 
Old 19 June 2001, 12:11 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Doubt = Hero Debunkage? No wonder they "all rolled their eyes".

Bye, Kory.
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Old 19 June 2001, 01:03 PM   #29 (permalink)
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What I've always wondered is: what the blazes were *60* D.VIIs doing in one place at the same time? It's extremely doubtful that such concentration EVER occurred, especially in the closing days when the Germans were short of everything including fuel. (Some jastas didn't even top off the tanks in order to generate more sorties per day.)
So:
What was happening in that area which would have warranted such a commitment of scarce assets?
Whether it was 60 or 30 or 20, what was going on? Certainly they weren't all escorting the 2-seater.
After all, if it was important enough to saturate that particular airspace, much of the rest of the front was left without coverage.
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Old 19 June 2001, 04:19 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I would be absolutely fascinated to hear someone explain what possible motive Gen Andy McNaughton, a brilliant artillery officer (some say the best in either army at war's end) , who had absolutely no connection with the RFC, would have to make up this incredible story? What, he just sat down at his desk one day after the war and decided to make up a story about Barker? Absurd.
 
 

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