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Bloody April- A Fight of the Sky
Transcript of Bloody April- A Fight of the Sky
A Fight in the Sky
Backround information on German Aviation
Germany suffered a great loss at the Battle of the Somme which established a sense of urgency in German military planners. They realized that gainng air superiority back was of utmost importance. Oswald Boelke was entrusted with how to go about achieving this...
Boelke and the Creation of the Jastas
Oswald Boelke, Germany's premier ace, proposed an innovative and daring strategy to attaining superiority of the skies. His plan for rebirth of the Imperial German Air Services included rearranging all air combat forces into ideal groups of 4 to 6 planes. They were called Jagdstaffeln. These "hunting squads", generally referred to as Jastas were out to seek enemy aircrafts and destroy them. Boelke's plan was offensive and proved to be highly effective.
French Military Air Forces
During the time before the battle had commenced tension continued to rise but French military air squadrons withdrew in order to recover from the difficult previous months of battle.
Although France decided to pull out their air squadrons for the time being, Britain was not stunted in any way from continuing to fight. They believed that their sheer number- 385 fighters over the 114 German fighters was sufficient to ensure victory. Unfortunately for the British, they ended up losing nearly a third of their forces however they were still able to continue its primary role in the ground offensive.
The Battle of Arras
The Battle of Arras, more commonly known as Bloody April, took place in 1917. Military airforces were finally becoming advantageous and they took a central role in this war.
Before the Battle
German Influence During the Battle
During the Battle
French Influence During the Battle
British Influence During the Battle
Since September 1916, the Germans had held the upper hand in the contest for air control of Western Front. When the Allies, near Arras in France, German planes performed exceptionally well. They were far more advanced, than the French and British aviation but they were greatly outnumbered. In the end, The German Air Services lost 66 aircraft from all causes. They certainly held superiority of the air, however they were unable to prevent the British and French from achieving their prime goals.
In April, the France and Britain launched a joint ground offensive. France's played its part in this by launching its Nivelle Offensive on the Aisne.
The British began the battle by attacking near Arras which is a part of northern France. As well, the Royal Flying Corps deployed 25 squadrons, which equaled approximately 385 aircraft. During this bloody month in 1917, Britain lost 245 planes, 211 aircrew were killed or missing and 108 prisoners of war were taken.