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Old 8 February 2005, 11:22 PM   #1
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German or British????

This is a snap that my grandfather took of an avro Rhone-He notes it has a broken under carriage.
My question is this.Why does it have both german and brit decals?
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File Type: jpg swastika.JPG (31.7 KB, 111 views)

Last edited by RORYLUYT; 8 February 2005 at 11:26 PM.
Old 8 February 2005, 11:27 PM   #2
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Hi Rory

There does not appear to be any image attached?

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Old 8 February 2005, 11:28 PM   #3
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Hi Rory

Image now on line

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Old 8 February 2005, 11:37 PM   #4
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The swastika (from Sanskrit, meaning prosperity) is an ancient symbol of good luck. The image can be displayed clockwise or anti clockwise. Many Asian cultures still use it as do North European.
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Old 8 February 2005, 11:43 PM   #5
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This may have been a captured 504 that the Germans took up in order to check it out. The makeshift cross possibly to alert other German airmen, so that they would not fire upon it.
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Old 9 February 2005, 12:23 AM   #6
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My granfather flew for thr RFC.He took the photo.Since it's a brit plane- it cant be a captured plane?Unless it was captured by german forces,then recaptured by the brits...Highly unlikely! Surely the brits wouldn't paint a "good luck" swastika on their planes.It would surely lead to mistaken identities or possible friendly fire accidents etc.

Anyone else got any ideas?
Old 9 February 2005, 03:14 AM   #7
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Sadly that old good luck symbol is now forever linked to Hitler and his thugs, your Grandfather took that photo long before the symbol got 'hijacked'.
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Old 9 February 2005, 04:47 AM   #8
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in WWI the Swastika was used as a personal symbol of british, french, american and german planes alike. It wasnt connected to german insignia in any way. Look at this example of another allied plane with a swastika:

Long after the war this Symbol was used by the Nazis, and since then it is connected with them and germany.

No allied pilot would fire at a plane carrying such swastikas, but only on planes with the well known iron crosses and with the "Balkenkreuz".

Best Greetings,

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Old 9 February 2005, 05:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by RORYLUYT
Surely the brits wouldn't paint a "good luck" swastika on their planes.It would surely lead to mistaken identities or possible friendly fire accidents etc.

Anyone else got any ideas?
The swastika has been used for millennia by many different cultures world-wide. It is especially significant to the Hindus, but was used by the ancient Greeks, Romans, Native American tribes and even prehistoric cultures, among others. It is a great shame and disgrace that the symbol, which even today retains its original meaning to millions of people, became iconographic of the Nazi movement. A leading Hindu cleric in Britain was recently interviewed about his efforts to reclaim it, and explained that Hindus not using the swastika today as a symbol of faith and prosperity because of the Nazis is analogous to Christians no longer using the cross because the KKK used it as a symbol of hate.

In WWI, of course, the swastika had yet to suffer from association and was used by pilots and units on all sides. One of the best known is Voss' Albratros D III, where it was combined with a heart and laurel wreath in what is clearly a "good luck" or victory motif:

The swastika (in blue) was also used by the fledgling Finnish Air Force as a national marking, appearing in all the usual locations on this Thulin D:

Several American pilots also used it, I believe Lufbery among them. Check Osprey's American Aces of World War I for at least two different SPADs carrying red swastikas as personal markings.

At this point in history, the swastika had none of the negative connotation it carries now. Amongst the warring parties, it had no national association. A swastika would not have been mistaken for German crosses, and had no more or less significance than Guynemer's black heart, Hantleman's totenkopf, the French storks or American Sioux and Seminole heads.
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Old 9 February 2005, 05:44 AM   #10
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The proper name for this plane is an Avro 504k with a Le Rhône rotary engine. The white swastika symbol was only a personal ID marking on this plane and had nothing to do with the German National markings of World War I. The person or training unit (the Avro was used as a training plane for most of the war) must've liked the symbol. The symbol wouldn't have attracted fire from the British or French at this time... since it wasn't a German National marking. You have to wait until 1933-45 for it to become a German National marking.
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