Sharks among Minnows: The Fokker Eindecker Period, July 1915 to September 1916

Overview

In early 1915, with the world war in its infancy, the attention of Allied and German air strategists was focussed on trying to stop each other making reconnaissances and artillery observation sorties over the lines. Various ingenious schemes met with limited success, then suddenly in the summer of 1915 there was a breakthrough for the Germans -- the arrival at the front of the Fokker Eindecker.

Its advantage was the synchronised machine gun firing through the whirling blades of ...

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Overview

In early 1915, with the world war in its infancy, the attention of Allied and German air strategists was focussed on trying to stop each other making reconnaissances and artillery observation sorties over the lines. Various ingenious schemes met with limited success, then suddenly in the summer of 1915 there was a breakthrough for the Germans -- the arrival at the front of the Fokker Eindecker.

Its advantage was the synchronised machine gun firing through the whirling blades of the propeller -- a revolution in contemporary air fighting. Those German pilots disposed to flying these first single-seat aeroplanes, if successful, soon became famous and the first aces. Names such as Boelcke, Immelmann, Wintgens, Parschau, Mulzer, Hohndorf, Frankl and von Althaus quickly became the first heroes to the German public and the first winners of the coveted Pour le Merite -- the famed Blue Max.

These men and others caused havoc amongst British and French airmen over the Western Front for just over a year, something history has called the 'Fokker Scourge'. Although comparatively small in numbers, they were deadly when attacking lightly armed, almost defenceless British and French aeroplanes; truly 'sharks among minnows'.

Norman Franks has covered this period in detail, bringing to light new information and insights, and explaining how these early German fighter pilots achieved their kills, who they shot down, when and where. Contains many rare and previously unpublished photos.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781902304922
  • Publisher: Grub Street
  • Publication date: 3/31/2002
  • Edition description: 16 pages of b&w photographs
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 182
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vi
Introduction vii
Chapter 1 The First Great Air War Begins 1
Chapter 2 The Beginning of the 'Fokker Scourge' 12
Chapter 3 Winter 1915 30
Chapter 4 1916 43
Chapter 5 February--March 1916 53
Chapter 6 April and May 1916 79
Chapter 7 June 1916 96
Chapter 8 The Battle of the Somme 111
Chapter 9 August, and the Coming of the Jastas 127
Chapter 10 Fokker Finale 136
Chapter 11 The Twilight of the Gods 146
Appendix A Fokker Pilots on Other Fronts 154
Appendix B Fokker Eindecker Aces 160
Appendix C Two-seater Claims, July 1915--September 1916 165
Appendix D Victory Locations for Immelmann and Mulzer 170
Bibliography 172
Index of Names 173
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