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Go Back   The Aerodrome Forum > Archives > 2000


2000 Closed threads from 2000 (read only)

 
 
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Old 6 June 2000, 06:14 AM   #1
Paul Reece
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All,
While grubbing around in a antique shop, I stumbled across an old book dated 1918. It's titled "Thrilling Deeds of British Airmen", (cheesy title I know), by a man called Eric Wood....It cost me all of 3 quid (that's about 5 bucks to you colonials..<G>)
One of the chapters is called "The man who killed Immelmann", which I thought might be of interest to the Forum.
It details the fight, and on the Allied side who did the dirty deed, a Lt. M'Cubbin.
It also mentions a Lt.Savage whom Immelmann shot down immediately prior to his own death. I've checked the CWGC site and there is indeed a J.R.B. Savage, 25 Sqdn, who was killed on 18th June 1916. Can any one confirm this through their copies of UTG or ATL?
It also carries some interesting details of British fighter tactics when dealing with Fokker Eindeckers.
Anyhow, have a look and see what you think, come back here and discuss it if you wish.
The URL is:
http://web.bham.ac.uk/P.R.Reece/Immelmann
It should contan JPG's numbering 1 thro' 8...Look at 'em or download 'em, I don't mind which.
Cheers
Paul
P.S. Barrett, if you are there, I've just found a few pages describing Mottershead's demise...Let me know if you are interested and I'll scan 'em for you as soon as I get the chance....
 
Old 6 June 2000, 09:40 AM   #2
moritz
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Immelmann was killed, because his MG shot away his propeller... There was no Alliied soldier involved!
 
Old 6 June 2000, 10:32 AM   #3
Bob G-G
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If Immelmann was shooting at you, then you would be involved I recon.
 
Old 6 June 2000, 10:45 AM   #4
Chris
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Just read Immelmann's bio by his brother Franz Immelmann: The Eagle of Lille. His interrupter gear malfunctioned, and his propeller was shot away. Some how or another, his plane broke appart in mid air, and he fell to his death. No enemy airman involved.
 
Old 6 June 2000, 10:50 AM   #5
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I have read this facinating account brought to our attention by Paul Reece. It is an account of an event confirming (entirely truthfull or not) British claims. However, has a satisfactory explaination ever been given in the cause of Immelmann's death? Does the Anthony Fokker report have no validity? Do we dismiss British claims outright? IMHO the faulty interrupter gear theory, when logically approached, contains two uncertainties.
1) What prevented Immelmann from blipping his engine once the prop started shaking his eindecker?
2) Were the Germans looking for a scapegoat in Fokker, the "auslander"? The invincible kampfflieger had died in combat; It would be unthinkable to accept that an Englander was responsible.

Moritz, we may never know the truth. However, in exploring and sharing new information when it becomes available, we will never be accused of not looking for it.

Thanks for the interesting read Paul.

VBR
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Old 6 June 2000, 11:49 AM   #6
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<<<<Just read Immelmann's bio by his brother Franz Immelmann: The Eagle of Lille. His interrupter gear malfunctioned, and his propeller was shot away. Some how or another, his plane broke appart in mid air, and he fell to his death. No enemy airman involved. >>>>>

My question, why was Immelmann shooting his gun if there were no enemy airmen involved?
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Old 6 June 2000, 11:57 AM   #7
Bob G-G
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with one blade of the prop shot away on an Eindecker there would probably be, within a second or two, catastrophic failure of the airframe. That prevented Imalmann from blipping his engine.

Was he testing his guns or was sombody else involved????
 
Old 6 June 2000, 01:22 PM   #8
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The book, Who Downed the Aces in WWI, by N. Franks gives the following regarding Immelmann's last flight: Two FEs of 25 Squadron had left their airfield at Lozinghem, west of Bethune, at 19:47 hours, which was 20:47 hours German time, for a recce sortie to the Lens area. Lt. GR McCubbin and his observer, Corporal JH Waller, were in 6346, the other crew by Lt. JRB Savage adn 2AM TNO Robinson was 4909. By 21:05 British time, the FEs were in the vicinity of Loos, and the three Fokkers were spotted behind the lines, McCubbin turning towards them. One Fokker dived away while the other two headed towards Lens, they having seen Savage's FE. It seems as if the two German pilots had not yet seen McCubbin, for one was intent on diving on Savage's machine while the other circled slightly above. McCubbin dived after the attacker, Waller opening fire as soon as he was in range. No sooner had he done so than both men saw the Fokker immediately turn to the right and dive perpendicularly towards the ground, seen to crash by the British 22nd AA Battery. But what of Immelmann? His Fokker had continued down and apparently began to break up, losing its tail and then wings. Ever since that moment, controversy has reigned over how Immelmann met his death. There had been some problems with the interrupter gun gear on some Fokkers, and it was believed that Immelmann had on this even shot off his own propeller-presumably one blade-which caused enough vibration to tear the machine apart in the air. This was later adopted as the official line by the Germans. However, the British credited the Fokker to McCubbin and Waller, and their combat report seems quite clear on the subject with no suggestion that their fire did not find the target. Was Immelmann himself hit? The Germans make no mention publicly, so one has to wonder, if he had indeed smashed or damaged his propeller, why did he not switch off the engine immediately, which would have stopped the vibration? He could then have glided down to a safe landing....... It appears that von Mulzer took credit for Savage's FE, the machine having the name "Baby Mine" on the nacelle. It was to be his fourth victory, and was photographed next to the disassembled machine the next day.... ``````````` Fokker concludes a different scenario: "...Immelmann's plane suddenly fell tot he ground as he was flying near the German front lines. It was first given out that his Fokker fighter had failed in midair. This explanation naturally did not satisfy me, and I insisted on examining the remains of the wreck, and establishing thei facts of his death. What I saw convinced me and others that the fuselage had been shot in two by shrapnel fire. The control wires were cut as by shrapnel, the severed ends bent in, not stretched as they would have been in an ordinary crash. The tail of the fuselage was found a considerable distance from the plane itself. As he was flying over the German lines there was a strong opinion in the air force that his comparatively still unknown monoplane type-which somewhat resembled a Morane-Solnier-had been mistaken for a French plane. I was finally able to convince air headquarters sufficiently so that, while it was not stated that he had been shot down by German artillery-which would have horrified his millions of admireers-neither was the disaster blamed on the weakness of his Fokker plane unofficially, although as far as the public was concerned the whole episode was hushed up. Because of this investigation, however, silhouettes of all German types were sent to all artillery commanders to prevent a repetition of the Immelmann catastrophe. ````````` So, now there's three views 1) McCubbin shot him down. 2) Immelmann, without any E.A., shot his own propeller off 3) German artillery mistakenly shot him down.
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Old 6 June 2000, 01:32 PM   #9
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The book, Who Downed the Aces in WWI, by N. Franks gives the following regarding Immelmann's last flight:

Two FEs of 25 Squadron had left their airfield at Lozinghem, west of Bethune, at 19:47 hours, which was 20:47 hours German time, for a recce sortie to the Lens area. Lt. GR McCubbin and his observer, Corporal JH Waller, were in 6346, the other crew by Lt. JRB Savage adn 2AM TNO Robinson was 4909. By 21:05 British time, the FEs were in the vicinity of Loos, and the three Fokkers were spotted behind the lines, McCubbin turning towards them. One Fokker dived away while the other two headed towards Lens, they having seen Savage's FE. It seems as if the two German pilots had not yet seen McCubbin, for one was intent on diving on Savage's machine while the other circled slightly above. McCubbin dived after the attacker, Waller opening fire as soon as he was in range. No sooner had he done so than both men saw the Fokker immediately turn to the right and dive perpendicularly towards the ground, seen to crash by the British 22nd AA Battery.

But what of Immelmann? His Fokker had continued down and apparently began to break up, losing its tail and then wings. Ever since that moment, controversy has reigned over how Immelmann met his death. There had been some problems with the interrupter gun gear on some Fokkers, and it was believed that Immelmann had on this even shot off his own propeller-presumably one blade-which caused enough vibration to tear the machine apart in the air. This was later adopted as the official line by the Germans. However, the British credited the Fokker to McCubbin and Waller, and their combat report seems quite clear on the subject with no suggestion that their fire did not find the target. Was Immelmann himself hit? The Germans make no mention publicly, so one has to wonder, if he had indeed smashed or damaged his propeller, why did he not switch off the engine immediately, which would have stopped the vibration? He could then have glided down to a safe landing.......

It appears that von Mulzer took credit for Savage's FE, the machine having the name "Baby Mine" on the nacelle. It was to be his fourth victory, and was photographed next to the disassembled machine the next day....

```````````

Fokker concludes a different scenario:

"...Immelmann's plane suddenly fell tot he ground as he was flying near the German front lines. It was first given out that his Fokker fighter had failed in midair. This explanation naturally did not satisfy me, and I insisted on examining the remains of the wreck, and establishing the facts of his death.

What I saw convinced me and others that the fuselage had been shot in two by shrapnel fire. The control wires were cut as by shrapnel, the severed ends bent in, not stretched as they would have been in an ordinary crash. The tail of the fuselage was found a considerable distance from the plane itself. As he was flying over the German lines there was a strong opinion in the air force that his comparatively still unknown monoplane type-which somewhat resembled a Morane-Solnier-had been mistaken for a French plane. I was finally able to convince air headquarters sufficiently so that, while it was not stated that he had been shot down by German artillery-which would have horrified his millions of admirers-neither was the disaster blamed on the weakness of his Fokker plane. The air corps exonerated the Fokker plane unofficially, although as far as the public was concerned the whole episode was hushed up. Because of this investigation, however, silhouettes of all German types were sent to all artillery commanders to prevent a repetition of the Immelmann catastrophe."

`````````

So, now there's three views:
1) McCubbin shot Immelmann down.
2) Immelmann, without any E.A. around, shot his own propeller off.
3) German artillery mistakenly shot Immelmann down.
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Old 6 June 2000, 03:25 PM   #10
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Paul, many thanks for your kind offer. Amazing coincidence in that my po-leece firearms instructor pal from AZ is here in OR helping our local sheriff's office. Bill was born in Sgt. M's home town, where there's a Mottershead Lane.
I have the VC Airmen volume describing the indomitable sergeant's career.
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