aerial dogfights

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The Bloody Red Baron’s traumatic brain injury,

 The issue of head trauma and brain injury has been in the spotlight a lot lately, especially when it comes to sports and athletic injury, as well as auto accidents, job accidents, and of course, soldiers returning home from war.  Perhaps one recently recognized case of traumatic brain injury in history is Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the “Red Baron”.  One of the greatest combat fighter pilots of all time, the German ace helped form the foundation of aerial dogfighting.  He wasn’t the most skilled pilot, but he utilized tactics which made him the most dangerous airman of World War I, earning him 80 kills, making him the highest scoring and most decorated pilot of the war. Richthofen’s incredible success was mostly due to his strict adherence to a set rules governing dogfighting called the “Boelcke Dictums”, written by German flying ace Oswald Boelcke.  Today the Boelcke Dictums are holy gospel among fighter pilots, still taught to trainees in air forces around the world.

On July 6th, 1917, Richthofen suffered a gunshot wound to the head, damaging the frontal lobe of his brain.  Amazingly, the wound didn’t kill him, and he was able to land in friendly territory. He had to undergo several operations to remove bone fragments from his damaged brain, and was temporarily blinded and paralyzed. Amazingly, Richthofen made a quick comeback, spending only three months convalescing and healing, attempting to return to active duty in August but finally returning to the air on October 23rd.

Richthofen wasn’t the same after his head injury, and modern medical professionals  have looked over his case and determined that he could have suffered from a serious traumatic brain injury. He become disinhibited and compulsive, often making snap judgments and irrational decisions.  He also had less control over his emotions, becoming moody and depressed.  In his journals, his writing became more simplistic, disorganized, and nonsensical.  In the air, he became more and more reckless, taking more dangerous risks and ignoring the Boelcke Dictums which he had rigidly adhered to before.  It is was quite clear that Richthofen was suffering from head trauma (and perhaps battle fatigue) resulting in decreased cognitive ability. It is a good possibility that the Bloody Red Baron had lost his edge due to his injury.

On April 21st, 1918 Richthofen broke formation with his squadron to chase an Allied plane.  Flying mere hundreds of feet above the ground, Richthofen pursued the fighter deep into enemy territory, totally oblivious of enemy fighters diving on his six and a mass of anti aircraft fire rising from the ground.  Neurologists call this “target fixation”, a habit common among those suffering brain injuries where a person will fixate on a particular object or thing while losing awareness of his or her surroundings.   Richthofen sustained a mortal gunshot wound to the chest, going down and crashing.  He was buried with honors by British forces.  Today, most medical and military experts agree that the Red Baron would have never been allowed to fly again in any modern air force.

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Hello my friends, this morning I was thinking about Storm Hawks and how it’s a really good show.

There’s a lot of episodes that are really good but the best episode is still Gale Force Winds. Episodes 1+2 are good, but too long if you’re on the fence about watching.

If you just want to jump right in you should watch this episode. (And then go back and watch the pilot because it’s SICK and Cyclonis makes me… feel things.)

Gale Force Winds establishes the characters, their relationships, there’s humor, the story is really nice and tight but leaves you curious about the world, there’s like at least 3 aerial dogfights, Piper is gay, and a toilet falls through a window, it’s good and you should watch it today if you have time

and then you should talk to me about it because I love Storm Hawks

Lieutenant Warneford’s Great Exploit: The first Zeppelin to be brought down by Allied aircraft, 7th June 1915 - F. Gordon Crosby

More military aviation-themed posts (mostly art, some history/aircraft) here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Fic: What You Don’t Know

In 1941, two strangers meet in a bar. And then Captain America meets Iron Man. And then Steve Rogers meets Tony Stark. They get it right. Eventually. And also they fall out of an airplane.

For Marinarusalka, in gratitude for the inestimable joy that Look here, look back, look ahead has given me. I thought I would repay Marvel Noir action-adventure identity porn with more Marvel Noir action-adventure identity porn. Also features aerial dogfights and a surprising amount of actual porn! Thanks to @beckydawolf for beta.

Read What You Don’t Know on AO3 (9808 words)

thepurplemadness  asked:

Your OQ Crusades fanfic made me tear up. That is very difficult to accomplish in me. You're very talented with your historical knowledge and intense descriptions of the fics you write!!! Wow!! Could I please ask you to do a prompt on OutlawQueen during WWII?? If you don't want to, I would understand, though. :-)

Regina does not want the boy to come to Briargate Manor.

She and her son have lived alone for eleven years in the wild, rustic Yorkshire countryside, in the sprawling old ivy-crawling house that she inherited from her father, Sir Henry Mills. Theirs is an ancient and wealthy family line dating back to the Conquest, but they’ve fallen on hard times during the war (like everyone else) and the promise of being paid to take in a child from London, escaping the Blitz, is one she can’t pass up. She can only imagine what her mother would say. Lady Cora’s shade haunts these old halls, stalking her daughter whenever Regina thinks she’ll find a moment’s peace. A relentless social climber, always thinking her husband was a buffoon to stop at settling for a knighthood, a heartless, diamond-bedecked matron who somehow arranged for Regina’s youthful love, a manservant at the estate named Daniel, to meet a conveniently tragic end. She married Lord Leopold Whitesnow soon after, a properly pedigreed match. Loveless. She was profoundly grateful when he died after catching a chill during a fox hunt.

Regina adopted her son, Henry, soon after. He is the only person who has ever loved her, since Daniel. She’s never seen the need to remarry. She’ll never give up her position and power. Yet it’s only a dream now. Only a dream.

The boy’s name is Roland. He’s five years old. His mother is dead. His father is a pilot in the RAF, flying bombing runs on the war machines of Nazi Germany, engaging in aerial dogfights with the Luftwaffe, quickly becoming so infamous for his kill count that it’s rumored Hitler will personally pay a bounty for his head. They call him Robin Hood, after another legendary English hero. The troops need anything to keep up morale. Britain is being pummeled. America refuses to enter the war.

Regina keeps Roland in a spare garret room. It’s drafty up there, but she supposes he can endure a bit of privation in exchange for not being bombed. She’s fine with the arrangement until Henry complains; he’s befriended the boy, despite her best efforts to impress on her son that Roland is something lower than a guest and certainly not part of the family. Henry calls her an evil stepmother, which stings. But she lets Roland move his bedroom closer to the main house; there are countless unused rooms in Briargate, dusty and closed off and cold. There’s plenty of space to run on the moors, though she gets nervous when Henry’s out of her sight too long. This place is still wild, she knows. She can’t shake the fear he might be snatched under a faerie barrow, even though it’s ridiculous. He will grow up and go to Oxford or Cambridge, become a barrister or a MP or something else suitable.

She’s become more like her mother than she thought.

She wonders if there will even be an Oxford or a Cambridge for Henry to go to. She wonders if there will even be a future.

Sometimes she dreams of the bombs falling in London. Imagines Roland’s father flying over the Channel in a tiny screaming Spitfire. Can see her whole world crumbling to ashes, and doesn’t know how to fly.

Time passes. America is bombed by the Japanese, and finally enters the war. Italy surrenders. Erwin Rommel, Hitler’s Desert Fox, proves too honorable for his Nazi superiors and is quietly taken out of action (it is rumored) by the Reich itself, after whispers that he was linked to the plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. The D-Day landings stun the world. The Pacific theater remains a bloodbath. Victory in Europe inches closer.

Somewhere along the way, Regina has started to hope that there is a future for herself and her son after all.

Somewhere along the way, she’s started to care so intensely for her foster child, the one she used to force to sleep in the drafty attic, that she knows it will break her in half when Roland leaves.

They celebrate with half of Yorkshire when the news crackles over the radio that Germany has surrendered.

A few weeks later, Roland’s father arrives to claim his son. His name turns out to be Robin after all. He is tall, scarred, blonde, rugged, with eyes that always seem to see through her, relieving his years in the war. He doesn’t talk about what he’s seen or where he’s been. Yet his smile is still enough to light up the drafty halls of Briargate. Henry takes an instant shine to him. Robin means to stay a week and then leave, but somehow it gets delayed once and then again. He plays with both Henry and Roland; he has an effortless manner with them that Regina can’t help but admire. He completes their lonely little household. He walks her to evensong on Wednesday night, along the country lane to the tiny Norman church; it’s the first time Regina has gone in years.

When they sing the Magnificat, she weeps so hard her heart breaks.

Robin quietly gives her his handkerchief. Squeezes her hand.

She cannot stand to let him go either.

Now or ever.

As they’re walking home in the warm summer twilight, she blurts it out. Asks him if he wants to stay. Him and Roland both. For as long as they want. She can’t believe she made herself so vulnerable, can’t believe she’s such an idiot. Now he’ll go. Of course he will.

They’re married in the same church six months later.

The world will go on after all.

A burning airplane falls from the sky.  A British army chaplain recalled how both sides stopped fighting to watch an aerial dogfight on July 20, 1916, during the Battle of Fromelles: 

“The only occasion when we have heard troops in battle break into a spontaneous and whole-hearted cheer was when after a half-hour’s single combat on July 20, 1916, a German aeroplane crashed behind out lines, with the full glory of a blood-red sky in the background.  The excitement had been so intense that on both sides the gunners had stopped firing to watch.”

Aerial dogfights are almost as well-remembered about First World War combat as the trenches. Advances in this field of warfare increased dramatically during the four years of war. Originally, fighter pilots would only have items such as bricks to drop onto the heads of enemy fighter pilots. Germans would even drop steel darts; they could split a man in half! By the end of the war, machine guns were mounted on the front and had timers so bullets would be shot through the gaps in the propeller. 

If you had a weapons research budget and all the latitude in the world, you’d build robot-killin’ lasers too.

5 Sci-Fi Weapons (That Already Exist)

#5. Lasers on Everything

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is experimenting with mounting laser cannons on planes, if for no other reason than to give those awful people who shine laser pointers at airborne planes a taste of their own medicine. But then again, when you think about it, pilots are such a thing of the past. Drones are the future. We’ve already put bombs and machine guns on them, why not lasers? Recently U.S. Air Force captain and drone pilot Michael Byrnes explained in a military magazine how unmanned laser drones could be the future of aerial dogfighting. So, soon every air battle will be like Top Gun, but if Maverick was a robot and the planes burned up mysteriously because technically you won’t even be able to see the laser.

But what if we create this technology and it falls into enemy hands? Simple: Just equip Hummers with anti-drone lasers. That way when our creation comes back to kill us like some Frankenstein monster made out of pure energy, we can take it out with EVEN MORE LASERS.

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