The Aerodrome Home Page
Aces of WWI
Aircraft of WWI
Books and Film
The Aerodrome Forum
Sign the Guestbook
Help
Links to Other Sites
Medals and Decorations
The Aerodrome News
Search The Aerodrome
Today in History


Learn how to remove ads

The Aerodrome Forum


Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > WWI Aviation > People


People Topics related to WWI aviation personnel

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10 June 2007, 02:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
Forum Ace
 
Kilian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 1,016
 
Balloon Buster vs. Dogfighter

Maybe this is a dumb question. But it came to my attention that some german pilots like Friedrich von Röth mainly killed baloons and earned the blue Max for number of wins. Can we see this as an abuse to win the medal or why did they specialize on them?

regards

K.
__________________
Kilian is offline  
Sponsored Links
Old 10 June 2007, 02:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Barrett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: The American West
Posts: 5,094
 
How would it be an abuse of the PlM to go after balloons?

1) Balloon busting was arguably THE most dangerous endeavor in WW I aviation.
2) the reason for the above is that balloons were strategic assets, unlike airplanes, and were defended accordingly. Artillery observation was directly linked to the ground war, and had the potential to kill large numbers of enemy troops and destroy or deter front-line logistics.

The reason that some pilots developed "balloon fever" would make an interesting psychological study, especially since about 30% of the balloon aces were killed, captured, or wounded.

Since one balloon observer and a handful of aircraft observers received the PlM, obviously the high command and the Kaiser approved of their actions.
__________________
You will not rise to the occasion: You will default to your level of training.
Barrett is offline  
Old 10 June 2007, 03:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
Forum Ace
 
Kilian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 1,016
 
Thanks for your input Barret. I dont know much about Baloons from the books i have read so far.

regards

K.
__________________
Kilian is offline  
Old 10 June 2007, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
Forum Ace of Aces
 
rammjaeger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Posts: 4,593
 
I think Ritter von Tutschek underlined that 6 of his first 13 victories were enemy pilots intending to attack balloons!
__________________
My homepage:
http://www.flugplatzgeschichte-grossenhain.de.tl/
rammjaeger is offline  
Old 10 June 2007, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
Forum Ace
 
Sreiko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Serbia
Posts: 2,313
Images: 12
 

My Gallery
Quote:
The reason that some pilots developed "balloon fever" would make an interesting psychological study, especially since about 30% of the balloon aces were killed, captured, or wounded.
This is very interesting statement and I agree with this. Thank you Barrett
__________________
Srecko Bradic
Owner: www.Letletlet-warplanes.com
Owner: www.Letletlet-warplanes.com/forum
Owner: www.sreckobradic.com
Email: [email protected]
Skype: sreckobradic
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/LetLet...s/308234397758
Sreiko is offline  
Old 12 June 2007, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
Two-seater Pilot
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 132
 
To give an idea of the danger involved in attacking balloons, these assets were bracketed by AA and machine guns. Unlike normal AA fire directed at a passing plane that had to estimate altitude, AA fire protecting a balloon knew your altitude (same as the balloon plus a bit more) and could put up a lethal curtain of fire that you had to fly through.

If you got through the high explosive AA then you were probably low enough to attract ground fire from machine guns and rifles. Very dangerous, probably more so than the HE.

Finally there was the fighter cover. If you attacked the balloon you exposed you rear end to enemy fighters and effectively handed them an altitude advantage to go along with it. Also very dangerous.

This is why IMHO the SPAD was the premier balloon buster. Tough enough to take abuse on the attack it was also fast enough to escape when the attack was completed.
JG1Schorner is offline  
Old 13 June 2007, 02:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
Two-seater Pilot
 
Bettors Pub's Avatar
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 129
 
Terrible shot ???

I don't have sources in front of me to cite but I believe that I've read on more than one occasion that Roth was a terrible marksman
Bettors Pub is offline  
Old 13 June 2007, 03:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
Forum Ace
 
Kilian's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cologne, Germany
Posts: 1,016
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettors Pub View Post
I don't have sources in front of me to cite but I believe that I've read on more than one occasion that Roth was a terrible marksman
Your are right. It is mentioned in Osprey Aircraft of the Aces #63 on page 10 in the paragraph about Jasta 16b.

[...]Röth was not considered a good marksman, and this apparently led him to specialize in balloons because they were larger targets. However, he still managed to shoot down eight aircraft. [...] (Van Wyngarden, Franks 2004)
__________________
Kilian is offline  
Old 13 June 2007, 04:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
Forum Ace of Aces
 
Gregvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: St. Charles, Iowa
Posts: 4,107
 
Hi,

You will read in some secondary sources that Fritz Röth was a terrible marksman because he had very poor eyesight, but I've never seen an original, primary source to confirm that he had vision problems. However, his close friend Max Gossner did imply that he wasn't the best marksman. He wrote that when they both served as novice fighter pilots in Jasta 23b in November 1917, they both had poor results when shooting at a stationary ground target from their airborne Albatrosse. Then, one day, Röth said thoughtfully, "You know, these "sausages", actually, you just have to hit one of them."

Later on, Gossner says, "If he had been as good a shot as he was a daring fighter pilot then he would have obtained even more successes."

(Wenn er ein ebenso guter Schütze wie schneidiger Jagdflieger gewesen wäre, dann hätte er noch weit mehr Erfolge errungen.)

Greg
__________________
Greg VanWyngarden

Gregvan is offline  
Old 21 June 2007, 04:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
Rest in Peace
 
Dan_San_Abbott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Ceres, California
Posts: 9,119
Images: 22
 

My Gallery
They are big and easier to hit!

Gentlemen:
In a visit to Willy Coppens in 1972, I asked Willy,"Why did you go after balloons?" He answer was, "As hard as I tried, I had been unsuccessful in shooting down German aircraft. I saw how big the German observation balloons were, and I thought, I could not miss a target that big. So I attacked a German balloon and shot it down. That Is why I shot down balloons."
Blue skies,
Dan-San
Dan_San_Abbott is offline  
Closed Thread

Bookmarks

Tags
balloon buster, roeth


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Arizona Balloon Buster Milorg Models 25 21 February 2005 05:29 PM
Balloon Buster Armorer People 0 10 May 2003 06:55 AM
"The Balloon Buster" Vigilant 2000 13 17 January 2000 03:12 PM
Balloon Buster Bullets Mark G 1999 2 11 October 1999 11:34 PM
Balloon Buster significance Peter Osterkamp 1999 7 3 October 1999 09:08 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright ©1997 - 2013 The Aerodrome