Sunday 4 June 2017

German Aircraft Rampant

An Albatross D-III

Monday 4th June 1917

The adjutant of 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, in camp north of Arras mentioned in passing today that German aircraft had dropped bombs on the transport lines at Écurie. He expressed himself forcefully in registerting annoyance at the seeming dominance of the German aeroplanes at the moment, which seem to be able to fly over the lines and attack targets at will. Readers may remember that the Battalion has mentioned hostile aircraft o two other occasions recently, the 24th and 31st May(1)

Source: X550/2/5

(1) At this point in the war the Germans were enjoying air superiority, April 1917 is often known as “Bloody April” because of the large numbers of Royal Flying Corps and other Allied aircraft shot down by the new Albatross fighters, which featured two forward-firing machine-guns, whereas British types such as the Sopwith Pup and Sopwith Triplane were only just entering the fray and, anyway, only had one machine-gun. In June the legendary Sopwith Camel, with two machine-guns would begin to make its presence felt and the tide begin to turn.

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