- Title: KRIEGSFLIEGER AN DER WESTFRONT : Aufnahmen aus dem Weltkrieg [Main Title]
- Film Number: IWM 1004
- Other titles: PILOTS ON THE WESTERN FRONT : pictures from the World War [Translation]
- Summary: Compilation film of German fliers and planes on the Western Front, 1916-1918.
- Description: Poor quality film of a line of Aviatik CIIs taking off. The pilot and observer of an Aviatik CV (DFW?), with a prominent skull-and-crossbones design on its side, prepare for a sortie and take off. The plane is shown 'in flight'. The observer takes photographs, uses his machine gun to fight off an enemy, and drops a bomb by hand on the enemy below. (The plane 'in flight' resembles a LVG CII.) On the ground a Gotha GII is bombed up and takes off. It flies a bombing mission, hitting oil tanks on the ground which burst into flames. (The plane 'in flight' is an Italian Caproni CIII.) A line of Fokker DVIIs takes off, and engages British DH4s in a dogfight. One of the DH4s is 'shot down' (a model) and burns on the ground. A lorry-mounted German 77mm anti-aircraft gun fires at the British. A French Nieuport burns on the ground as a Fokker DVII taxies past it. Back in the dogfight, the observer bails out of an observation balloon by parachute as the balloon is shot down in flames. A portrait shot of Max Immelmann. Oswald Boelcke with pilots of Jagdstaffel 2. More of the dogfight (mainly fakes). Baron Manfred von Richthofen with the pilots of Jagdgeschwader 1, with his Great Dane 'Moritz', and joking with his father, Major (Freiherr) Albrecht von Richthofen. Von Richthofen prepares for a sortie in his Fokker DrI, putting on his flying clothes while his mechanics check the engine. He briefs his pilots with a map, and then takes off with them. Von Richthofen inspects the wreck of one of the aircraft he has shot down. He talks with an uninjured British pilot he has shot down. At a troop review near Courtrai in August 1917, von Richthofen (his head bandaged after a head wound) shakes hands with Kaiser Wilhelm and General von Hoeppner, commander of the German Army Air Service. Hermann Goering, who replaced von Richthofen as commander of the Jagdgeschwader, is shown by himself, with his pilots, and with his close friend Bruno Loerzer, commander of Jagdstaffel 11. Goering, in his plane's cockpit, removes his flying helmet after a sortie.
- Access Conditions: IWM Attribution: © IWM (IWM 1004)
- Featured Period: 1914-1918
- Production Date: 1940
- Production Country: Germany
- Production Details: Reichsanstalt fur Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (Production company)
- Personalities, Units and Organisations: Immelmann, Max (person) Boelcke, Oswald (person) Richthofen, Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von (person) Richthofen, Albrecht von (person) Hoeppner, Ernst Wilhelm von (person) Wilhelm II, Kaiser of Germany (person) Göring, Hermann Wilhelm (person) Loerzer, Bruno (person) German Army, Air Service & Jagdgeschwader 1 (regiment/service) German Army, Air Service & Jagdstaffel 2 (regiment/service) German Army, Air Service & Jagdstaffel 11 (regiment/service)
- Keywords: aircraft, German - combat: Aviatik CII (object name) aircraft, German - combat: Aviatik CV (object name) aircraft, German - combat: LVG CII (object name) aircraft, German - combat: Fokker DVII (object name) aircraft, German - combat: Gotha GII (object name) aircraft, British - combat: De Havilland DH4 & [wrecked] (object name) aircraft, French - combat: Nieuport 17 & [wrecked] (object name) weapons, German - gun [AA]: 77mm (object name) aircraft, German - balloon: observation kite balloon (object name) equipment, German air - personal: parachute (object name) animals, mammals: dog (object name) aircraft, German - combat: Fokker DrI (object name) combat, German air (object name) combat, German air - anti-balloon (object name) combat [simulated], German air (object name) operations, German air - preparation (object name) operations, German air - sortie (object name) operations, German air - return (object name) equipment, German air - navigational: map (object name) arts, German air - informal: skull-and-crossbones (object name) destruction, German military - area: air raid (object name) 01/3(4-15) (event) France (geography)
- Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W Sound format: Silent Soundtrack language: None Title language: German Subtitle language: German
- Technical Details: Format: 35mm Number of items/reels/tapes: 1 Footage: 557 ft; Running time: 18 mins
- Notes: Acquisition: for the Jarrett Museum, see IWM 1010 Summary: the sequence of the Caproni making its bombing attack is also found in IWM 484, Lawrence Stallings' THE FIRST WORLD WAR, made in 1934. Summary: the town over which the German aircraft makes its "bombing" mission in the first part of the film is in fact Laon, Picardy, France, which was under German occupation from very early on in the First World War, certainly at the time this film was shot. The large Romanesque /early Gothic cathedral seen at the beginning of the shot is unmistakeable, as is the street plan of this hilltop town. Summary: the British pilot seen with Manfred von Richthofen and other pilots is Lieutenant A F Bird of No 46 Squadron RFC, who von Richthofen shot down on 3 September 1917, and whose Sopwith Pup (B1795) he is seen examining where it was force-landed at Bousbecque, Nord, France, in the previous sequence. Bird was von Richthofen's 61st victim.
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