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The Longest Dogfight of WW1


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The longest dogfight of WW1 was between British Ace Major Lanoe George Hawker, and German Ace Manfred von Richthofen

on 23 November 1916.


Lanoe George Hawker born 30.12.1890 in Longparish Hampshire, was the 1st Ace of the British Commonwealth. An aggressive

combat pilot, his motto was "Attack Everything". Flying a B.E.2c ( Bierot Experimental 2 ) airoplane often called the Quirk and

armed with a few bombs and hand grenades, he successfully attacked the Zeppelin shed at Gontrode in April 1915 and received

the Distinguished Service Order for this action.

Hawker with mechanic Ernest Elton devised a mount for attaching a Lewis gun to a Bristol Scout in June 1915, while testing his

invention he chased off one German aircraft and drove down to the ground two others, for this action he became the first pilot to

receive the Victoria Cross for aerial combat.

Hawker was killed on the 23 November 1916 in the longest dogfight of the war, flying a Airco D.H.2. he engaged an Albatros D.II.

behind German lines flown by Manfred von Richthofen and was killed by a bullit in the head from Richtofen's guns .


Described by Richthofen himself as "The British Boelche" and his most famous adversary. Hawker with 7 kills to his credit became

Richthofen's 11th victim.


"I attacked together with two planes a D.H.2 one seater at 3,000 meters altitude, after a long curving fight of 3 to 5 minutes I had

forced down my adversary to 500 meters,he now tried to escape flying in front up and down and side to side, I pursued him and

brought him down after 900 shots". Manfred von Richthofen's combat report.


After this combat Richthofen was convinced he needed a fighter aircraft with more agility, even at a loss of speed. He switched

to the Albatros D.III in January 1917.



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Other British Aces shot down by Richthofen.


13th victim. Captain Arthur Gerald Knight ( DSO ) with 8 victories ( KIA ).in a D.H.2 of 29th Sq.

15th victim. Captain J.B. Quested ( MC ) and Lt HJH Dicksee gunner with 8 victories ( Pilot WIA/gunner unhurt ).in a F.E.2b of 11th Sq.

54th victim. Lieutenant Robert Wallace Farquhar with 6 victories ( unhurt ) in a SPAD VII of 23rd Sq killed 1 year later.

55th victim. Captain Norman George McNaughton ( MC ) Pilot with 5 victories ( KIA ).

and Lieutenant Angus Hughes Mearns gunner ( KIA ) in a D.H.4 bomber of 57th Sq.

71st victim. Captain Thomas Sydney Sharpe (DFC ) with 6 victories ( wounded / POW ). in a Sopwith Camel of 73rd Sq.

76th victim. Captain Sydney Philip Smith with 5 victories ( MIA ) body never found. in a Sopwith Camel of 46th Sq.

79th victim. Captain Richard Raymond-Baker ( MC ) with 6 victories ( KIA ). in a Sopwith Camel of 3rd Sq.



After his 1st confirmed victory, Richthofen ordered a silver cup engraved with date and type of aircraft from a jeweller in Berlin.

He continued this until he had 60 cups, by which time the dwindling supply of silver in Germany meant that silver cups like this

could no longer be supplied. Richthofen discontinued his orders rather than accept cups made of pewter or base metal.

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Very good article - I remember reading this many years ago in several books, good illustrations and photos. Another long dogfight was Werner Voss, aged 20, over Poellcapelle near Ypern, against seven British aces. In the end, Voss lost. He was never found. He had been a good personal friend of Richthofen, and had a very hgh score. He could have high-tailed out on time, but chose to carry on, regardless of all dangers. He had originally joined Husaren-Regiment 11 in Krefeld as a war volunteer, was soon promoted to officer and transferred to the flyers.


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Yes killed during a legendary dogfight with 7 British S.E.5s of No 56 squadron, In which Voss drove 2 planes to the ground

and damaged the rest before his Fokker DR.1 Tri-plane was shot down credited to British ace Arther Rhys Davids.



I shall never forget my admiration for that German pilot who single handed fought 7 of us for 10 minutes, I saw him go down

in a fairly steep dive and so I continued to watch, and then saw the tri-plane hit the ground and disappear into a thousand

fragments, for it seemed to me that it literally went to powder. (" James McCudden " Capt ).


His flying was wonderful, his courage magnificent and in my opinion he is the bravest German airman whom it has been my

privilege to see fight. (" James McCudden " ).


On 24 Sept 1917 the day after the air battle a British patrol reached the crash site, documents in Voss's pocket identified him

McCudden and the others had no idea who they had shot down up to this point.

A military doctor cursorily examined the corpse, he noted 3 bullet wounds, one upwards through the chest cavity from right to

left, consistant with pilot Hodge's angle of fire, it would have killed Voss in less than a minute.

The other two bullet wounds pierced Voss's abdomen from rear to front, coinciding with Rhys-Davids firing angle.


Werner Voss was buried like any other soldier near Plum Farm north of Frezenberg West Flanders, laid in a shell crater without

coffin or honours.

The field grave would be subsequently lost through the turmoil of ongoing ground fighting.post-3823-0-97342200-1456160704_thumb.jpgpost-3823-0-51241700-1456160719_thumb.jpg

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  • 4 years later...

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