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Old 15 September 2006, 07:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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René Fonck WWI Ace of Aces with 127 Kills?

IIRC René Fonck was credited with 75 Victories, but with unconfirmed claims may have shot down 127??? Has anyone done an analysis of his claims to see if he indeed was the WWI ace of aces?

Thanx Rob ‘not Romeor’ Romero
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Old 15 September 2006, 10:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is an old rule here, Rob:

Unconfirmed is unconfirmed - already the confirmed victory scores are in general overclaimed scores in nearly every air war. Add the unconfirmed victories and you will get very unrealistic inflated numbers of victories.

To my knowledge nobody came up (until now) with this kind of research for Fonck. It seems also questionable if anybody can succeed with this project.
You are needing date, time, location and aircraft type of all his claims and you need an equally good record of German losses. Both is not available.

As well do not forget to check the other high-ranking French aces - they claim often a number of dozens of unconfirmed victories too. So it could happen that another French ace could get more real (means verified with German data) victories than Fonck.

I think the whole precedure is not fair to the German aces too who had other rules for victories and was not allowed to claim victories in situations when an Allied pilots would get confirmation. Or are you able to tell us: How often did the Red Baron (or others) give up claims because they thought they have no chance for confirmation according to the rules? As well the German pilots in their memoirs did question the high number of Allied vitory claims in general.

Nevertheless the French pilots suffer from the lacking knowledge and somtimes even ignorance of todays enthusiasts and historians.
As well the Britons do love to share the bias of German pilots in this case.
If Frenchmen would publish in English language or if english-speaking publishers would care for translation of French books, articles etc. then the situation could change.

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Last edited by rammjaeger; 16 September 2006 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 16 September 2006, 04:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Rene Fonck is the enigma of WW1 aviation. Usually described as a boastful opportunist unpopular with his comrades he also has been characterized as a man of high intelligence and quiet to the point of seeming shy. My guess is that these are probably two sides of the same coin. A matter of perspective. It has been suggested that on occasion Fonck bullied other pilots out of claims. Fact? Fiction born out of dislike and/or jealousy? I certainly don't know and from what I have been able to read, discuss, and not least glean from the forum I am not sure any living person has the answer.

Fonck's autobiography, published in the U.S. with the title "Ace of Ace's" is thin on detail and large on ME. From what I understand it was written (ghost-written?) as self-promotional material at a point in which Fonck was dabbling in politics.

Look in the forum's aces section and see the signature descriptions attributed to Fonck by his flying peers and himself to get an idea of the complexity of the man.

Fonck would make an excellent research project that attempted to clear up the confusion related to his place in Great War aviation as well as to who exactly was this man. Unfortunately as rammjaeger pointed out that opportunity, if it ever exsisted may have been lost.
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Last edited by retread; 16 September 2006 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 17 September 2006, 12:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi Rob,

Here is a link to a recent biography written on Fonck:

http://www.livre-aviation.com/RENE_F...1200_1202.html

Also, here is a link to a past thread concerning this very topic:

Rene Fonck

Enjoy,

Darren
 
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