Nobility in war

Nobility in war.

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0_18ba57_7201cb75_origFokker E.IV Bölke in flight

Somehow, in search of a photograph, an article about a pretty famous story accidentally caught my eye. At least I heard about it, albeit not so in the details as set out below, but rather close to the truth with minor inaccuracies.

This story happened on the fronts of the Great War in that distant time when the conduct of hostilities sometimes took place according to the unwritten law of chivalry and respect for the enemy. And it sometimes pushed enemies to act a little contrary to the charter and martial law. Here is the story and a few photos that we managed to find to illustrate this story about real knights of the sky.

This story is about the German pilot Oswald Bölk.

Oswald Belke near Fokker D.III
Oswald won the 1st official victory on August 19, and by the end of 1915 he had already 5 official victories in his account, thus becoming the 2nd ace in Germany (Max Immelman overtook his friend and here, having won the 5th victory on November 7 and the 7th victory - December 5, 1915). In January 1916, Kaiser Wilhelm II himself presented Lieutenant Bölke with the highest order of the pilots of the time for the 6th aerial victory - the Order of Pur le Merit. (Blue Max)

December 24, 1915He was awarded the very first in the history of awards honorary cup "For the victory in a dogfight."

Squadron commanded by Oswald Bölke

There they began a friendship with Crown Prince Wilhelm, whose stakes were located nearby. After the death of Bölke, the crown prince wrote to his parents for many years on the day of his death, right up to the Second World War.

Oswald Bölke in the cockpit D III

Only 11 pilots were able to surpass the 40 victories won by Bölka, although the war continued after two more years.

September 2, 1916 Hauptmann Belke won the twentieth victory.
Belke with mechanics near Fokker E.IV

In a letter to home, he told about it like this: "... one of the guys at Vickers thought he could get me ... Soon I knocked him down ... The Englishman was Captain Wilson. I invited him for a cup of coffee, showed airfield, and we are happy to talk "

Oswald Boelcke, (right), Robert Wilson (left), from the 32nd squadron of the Royal Air Corps,

HaveIlson, in turn, wrote: "... I was lucky to be shot down by the greatest German aviator - captain Oswald Belke ... I flew on a single" Vickers "and had the folly of pursuing the captain while he lured me into German territory. ..

Suddenly, he turned around and attacked me at breakneck speed.After a couple of shots, my machine gun was jammed ... I tried to fly away, but he [Belke] hung on my tail and shot through the fuel tank, riddled the entire plane. I completely lost control of the car ...

After a not too soft landing, I jumped out of a burning plane and barely managed to knock the flames off my clothes ... The next day, Belke invited me to their airfield.
We took pictures together. (photo above) He impressed me not only as an aviator, but also as an individual. I remember that day as the greatest event in my life, despite how ingloriously the battle ended for me.

October 28, he raised his plane into the air for the last time. He was accompanied by five pilots, among whom were Manfred von Richthofen and Erwin Böhme. Six of them attacked two British single-seater fighter Airco DH.2 from the 24th squadron of the British Royal Air Force. Before the attack, Bölke had wrongly fastened his belt.

During the battle, Böhme and Bölke did not notice each other, attacking one target, and collided - Böhme caught the upper wing of Bölke’s aircraft, which immediately began to fall and disappeared into the clouds. The upper wing was torn off, but Bölk managed to plant his Albatros D.II relatively well.And although the blow to the ground was not very strong, the wrong wearing of a belt and the fact that Bölke never wore a helmet before the flight caused the tragedy.

A minute later, the lifeless body of the pilot was removed from the wrecked plane. Hauptmann Oswald Bölke, the founder of the main tactical ideas of air combat, who shot down 40 enemy aircraft, died at the age of 25 years.

On the evening of his death, an English plane dropped a pennant on the airfield of the First Fighter Combat with the inscription: "In memory of Captain Bölk, our courageous and noble rival, from the British Royal Air Force."

Upon learning of the death of Belke, Captain Wilson sent a wreath at the funeral of his winner.

The last photo Bölke

Bölke was an absolute authority among fighter pilots. After his death, Jasta 2 was renamed Jasta Boelcke.

There is a story that on August 28, 1915, Bölk rescued a French boy who fell into a deep canal. He jumped into the water and saved the child. For this, he was awarded the medal "For Salvation", which he proudly wore next to military awards.
Oswald Böhlke was solemnly buried in the Ehrenfriedhof cemetery in Dessau.

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  • Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war

    Nobility in war