Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Explorers' Club, № DLV

Operation AXIOM: The World War
24 June 1917: "The Red Baron," Manfred von Richthofen, was given command of Jagdgeschwader 1 (J.G. 1), a new formation nicknamed "the Flying Circus" not only for its gaily colored aeroplanes but also because it traveled by train all along the Western Front, providing mission-specific, on-the-spot air superiority for the Germans, who were broadly outnumbered by the combined Entente air forces.

Lest we forget.

Commentary: We here at "The Explorers' Club" strive for accuracy. The images that accompany the real-time centenary of the World War are fraught with opportunities for anachronism, the example par excellence being a photo that popped up during a search for images of the Christmas truce of 1914 showing a British or Imperial soldier wearing a Brodie helmet & a German soldier wearing a Stahlhelm, even though neither helmet would be in front-line service 'til 1916, over a year after the Christmas truce (Wayback Machine). This is germane to today's episode in that Richthofen's Flying Circus is chiefly & most famously depicted flying the Fokker Dr.I triplane, yet at this point that would be anachronistic, since the Dreidecker was not introduced 'til August 1917, two months from "now," when Richthofen himself was away from the front recovering from a head wound. So, finding period-appropriate imagery of the Flying Circus is not quite so easy as one might otherwise suppose.

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