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Old 10 August 2006, 10:43 AM   #1
PFFF
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Hatred of the Enemy-query?

One account I've read on British Ace Mannock is that he had such a obessive hatred from the enemy he is alleged to have hoped the Red Baron went down in flames. On the other hand another account claims that Mannock after he shot down a Lt. Berthold {Wounded and captured} that he was glad he didn't kill him. Are both accounts of the same man?
Did the German Pilots have a person who had a obessive hatred of Allied Pilots as well?
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Old 10 August 2006, 11:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PFFF
One account I've read on British Ace Mannock is that he had such a obessive hatred from the enemy he is alleged to have hoped the Red Baron went down in flames. On the other hand another account claims that Mannock after he shot down a Lt. Berthold {Wounded and captured} that he was glad he didn't kill him. Are both accounts of the same man?
Did the German Pilots have a person who had a obessive hatred of Allied Pilots as well?
Interesting. I'd read somewhere that he was so terrified of going down in flames and burning to death that he carried a revolver to shoot himself rather than suffer that fate. Not to say he wouldn't wish it on his enemies...

Which Berthold?
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Old 10 August 2006, 11:35 AM   #3
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I think PFFF means Joachim von Bertrab and not Berthold

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Old 10 August 2006, 12:13 PM   #4
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Red face reply

I stand corrected!!
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Old 10 August 2006, 12:43 PM   #5
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I'm certainly not an authority on Mannock but I believe his reputation suffers from bad press. I believe that he wasn't of the traditional officer social class and was raised by Socialists so there was little lost love between him and the social elite on either side. He also took a very workman-like view of his job and resisted the romantic view the propaganda machine was casting the air war in. He was too successful to ignore and so was resented, attracting every barb that Colonel Blimp could throw.
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Old 10 August 2006, 01:54 PM   #6
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You need to be very careful about what is accepted around the district about WW1 pilots. It's extraordinary how much guff is peddled around about these blokes and accepted uncritically. A lot of it seems to have arisen in books written in the '20's and '30's rather than from research. Whether Mannock ever did make the sizzle comment or not is debatable.
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Old 10 August 2006, 02:39 PM   #7
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Hi,

If Mannock did suffer from a "bad press", it is due in large part to statements he made himself and those who knew him, in my opinion. I will quote from Alex Revell's superb new book, "British Single-Seater Fighter Squadrons on the Western Front in WWI", pages 254-255:

" 'Grid' Caldwell had witnessed the fight with the Halberstadt (April 30, 1918 - a Halberstadt CL. II from Schlasta 28b which came down behind the British lines) and later wrote:

"The Hun crashed but not badly and most people would have been content with this - but not Mick Mannock, who dived half a dozen times at the machine, spraying bullets at the pilot and observer, who were still showing signs of life. I witnessed this business and flew alongside to Mick, yelling at the top of my voice (which was rather useless) and warning him to stop. On being questioned as to his wild behaviour after we landed, he repeatedly replied, "the swines are better dead - no prisoners for me."

In his footnote to this passage, Alex says, "This side of Mannock's nature, an almost pathological hatred of Germans, so at variance with his usual quiet and kindly nature, was incomprehensible to his family and those who knew him well, and startled his fellow pilots. As a civilian, Mannock had been interned in Turkey at the outbreak of war and he and his fellow internees had been extremly badly treated. Mannock blamed Germany for the war and his first biographer, Ira Jones, felt that his hatred was intensified by the fear that Germany might win the war; an understandable fear in the March and April of 1918 when the German offesnives were going so well."

By the way, the crew of the Halberstadt survived in spite of Mannock's attacks, and were taken prisoner...quoting Alex again: "Mannock and Dolan took a lorry and a trailer with some mechanics out to the scene of the crash. When they arrived the area was being shelled with mustard gas, but with the aid of some infantry they got the remains of the Halberstadt onto the trailer. However, as they were leaving the trailer took a direct hit from a shell, killing two of the troops and demolishing the rest of the Halberstadt. The lorry carrying the squadron mechanics and Dolan was not hit and got away safely."

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Old 10 August 2006, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Hi,

If Mannock did suffer from a "bad press", it is due in large part to statements he made himself and those who knew him, in my opinion.
If ‘On being questioned as to his wild behaviour after we landed, he repeatedly replied, "the swines are better dead - no prisoners for me."’ means that Grid Caldwell heard the questions asked, heard the repeated responses, recorded his account and that account was given to Alex Revell from a reliable source then it’s credible. But, with no disrespect to either of Alex Revell or you, Greg, intended, the footnote is an opinion only, uses the emotive adjective pathalogical and then supports that opinion with that of an earlier biographer, Ira Jones who, writing after Mannock’s death when he can’t respond, explains Mannock’s “hatred” by speculating that Mannock was afraid that the Germans might win the war. Jones’ credibility is in question, ironically, by his bumping up of Mannock’s “score”. I wonder whether Mannock’s bad press is a result of self fulfilling prophecy. Having been labled a bad egg, perhaps part bad egg, early, subsequent writers interpret their material in that light.

We reading about WW1 pilots 90 years after the event need to be careful about accepting uncritically what we read. Just because it’s in a book or because it’s repeated doesn’t mean it’s true.
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Old 11 August 2006, 03:16 AM   #9
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Greg. Many thanks for the kind word about the new book.
Vin. I'm afraid that I must disagree re the footnote being an opinion only. It states that Mannock's behaviour was incomprehensible to those who knew him well, which is a fact. That he was interned early in the war and he and his fellow prisoners were badly treated, is also a fact. If Taffy Jones, who knew Mannock well in the period in question, stated that Mannock was frightened that the Germans might win the war, then why should we not believe that this was an impression he gained through daily contact. I don't think Taffy Jones should be always castigated because he allegedly 'bumped' up Mannock's score. Plenty of old RFC/RAF pilots believed it was far in excess of 75. And after all, Taffy was no slouch himself when it comes to airfighting and was very popular in the post WW2 RAF, if not without a little amusement at his very forthright patriotism.
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Old 11 August 2006, 08:38 PM   #10
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The issue of Mannock's hatred of Germans is well documented and supported by several pilots who knew him personally. And most of these pilots thought the world of Mannock.

Ira Jones is a good example. To him Mannock was the best combat leader he flew with, and a outstanding fellow to boot. Therefore it's most unlikely that he would print something that is likely to be considered less than deserving. And in point of fact Ira attributes his own 'hate' of the hun to Mannocks influence, which he fully endorsed, in both World Wars.
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