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G-2 United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.

Summary of air information. Second Section, General Staff. General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces. March, April, May-[October-November] 1918 .. online

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SUMMARY OF AIR INFORMATION

SECOND SECTION, GENERAL STAFF

GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCES



MARCH, APRIL, MAY 1918



-1



NUMBERS

TO SERIAL No 9
1 TO 22

INCLUSIVE

Note :

In this re-print of the Intelligence Summaries in order to retain the original form in which they were
published and that the reference numbers may be utilized, no attempt has been made to re-number the
issues. The Summaries may be traced by the dSte of publication.






;>. r, :l V IM u



CONFIDENTIAL



G. H. Q.

Si-coND Section



A. E. F.

General Staff
March 2<X, 1918



SUMMARY OF AIR INFORMATION

AIR INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN



NEW IDENTIFICATIONS



3 Pursuit flights St. Quentin region

1 Pursuit flight St. Quentin region

1 Pursuit flight Cambrai region

1 Art. Ob. Flight St. Quentin region

1 Protective Flight Laon region

3 Pursuit flights Champagne region

1 Pursuit flight Western front



Xewly formed units.
From Laon region.
Formerly Flanders.
Formerly in Champagne.
Formerly in Flanders.
Xewly formed unit.
Formerly in Italy.



Sector.



Flanders... .

Lille

Lens

Cambrai
St. Quentin
Laon



AIRDROMES

Confirmed :
Sheds. Hangars.
12



6

2 7



19



104



Removed :
Sheds. Hangars.



ACTIVITY MARCH 20-24

Visibility generally poor March 20, 21 and 22 ; fair March 23 and 24. Outside of the area covered
by the present offensive the most aggressive attitude has been south of the La Bassee canal, and in the
Woevre and Lorraine sectors. The use of airplanes in the present offensive for bombing and delivering
machine gun fire against massed reserves has been quite marked.

DISTRIBUTION OF GERMAN AIR FORCES, MARCH 24, 1918

Above identifications are included: —

Flights by Class.

Sector. Pursuit. Bombing. Protective. Art. Oe. Reconnaissance. Total.

Flanders 8 6 7 6 7 34

Lille . . 3 2 3 - IO

Artois 13 7 4 12 6 42

Picardy 4 3 7 14 11 39

Laon 10 3 6 17 3 39

Rheims 1 . . . . 5 3 9

Champagne .. .. 6 .. 12

Argonne . . . . . . 1 , . 1

Verdun 2 1 4 13 3 z^

Woevre 5 2 1 4 6 18

Lorraine 1 .. .. 6 1 8

Alsace 2 ., .. 8 5 13

E. Europe 1 . . 1 5 25 32

Italy 3 . . . . 3 6 12

Asia .. .. 6 3 9

Interior ,. . . . . 1 1 2

Not located 3 . . 2 3 6 14

Total Flights 59 23 34 113 88 319

Total Machines 1,062 200 204 ' 678 528 2 672

INCREASE OF GERMAN AIR FORCES

From statements of prisoners and identifications the French conclude that the previous reports in the
effect that the Germans expected to put 50 new pursuit flights on the front this spring were correct.
Fourteen such flights have been identified since February 1st, bringing the total of such new flights to
about 30.

It is also learned that protective flights are to be increased to 12 machines, thereby relieving the
pursuit flights of all protective duty. A prisoner states that protective flights were withdrawn from the
front for a course of instruction in combat, and that they would be expected to undertake low-flying duties
in battle — preceding the infantry attack.

Bombardment flights according to the same prisoner will shortly be increased from 8 to 12 machines.

The increase in the number of units seems to be somewhat handicapped by a shortage of personnel
despite the recent increases of the training establishments. At the end of February, the greater part of
the pursuit flights had only a dozen pilots, and there were constant changes, vacancies being filled after
considerable delay.



Note. — Air Intelligence Bulletin will te published as frequently as justified. Requests to be placed on mailing
list for one or more copies are in order. Present distribution of single copies is as follows:

Chief, Air Service, A. E. F.

C O., A S. Zone of Advance.

Chief, A. S. 1st Corps, A. E. F.

Chief, Technical Section, A. S , A. K F

Colonel Day.

Lieutenant Col. Hilling.

Lieutenant Col. Gorroll.

2nd Aviation Instruction Center.

3rd Aviation Instruction Center.

;th Aviation Instruction ('enter

Assistant Chief, Air Service, Balloon Section.



— I



CONFIDENTIAL Secoxd f^JJ; £.* ^ Staff

March 29, 1918

SUMMARY OF AIR INFORMATION

AIR INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN

NEW IDENTIFICATIONS

51st Pursuit Flight Flanders Newly formed unit.

36th Pursuit Flight St. Quentin region Formerly in Flanders.

1st Protective Flight Flanders Formerly St. Quentin region.

AIRDROMES

Confirmed: Removed:

Sector. Sheds. Hangars. Sheds. Hangars.

Lens region 2 8

St. Quentin region 2 11 .. 2

Laon region 11 3

MEASURES TAKEN TO PREVENT INFORMATION BY AERIAL ACTIVITY

General Ludendorf recently issued a series of secret orders concerning means to be employed by
different kinds of airplanes in deceiving the enemy.

Airplanes undertaking long distance reconnaissances, or special missions to important sectors are
always to return alone, without being accompanied by protective machines. This is in order not to
reveal the importance of their mission ; and so as to be able to say, if captured, that they had mistaken
their direction and erred in crossing the lines. It is understood that this procedure is constantly employed
by captured hostile airmen.

THE ROLE OF AVIATION IN A GREAT BATTLE

From several sources the French have learned that the probable uses of German airplanes in a large
offensive will be as follows:

(a) On the eve of the offensives, night attacks on the airdromes of the enemy by bombing flights.
During the battle bombing by these flights of the enemy's rear, on assembled troops, cantonments, muni-
tion and food stores, important railroad centers, and villages behind the lines.

(b) Attacks on hostile infantry by pursuit planes. Pursuit flights also protect the operation of
mopping-up flights composed of 12 or 13 planes of a new model. (Probably reorganized protective
flights.) The purpose of the flights is to paralyze the observation system of the enemy by the destruction
of their captive balloons, and observation and reconnaissance airplanes. Also by this action observation
for German artillery is facilitated.

(c) The infantry is accompanied in its attack by combat airplanes (Schlachterflieger) and infantry
airplanes (Infanterieflieger). These combat airplanes are of recent construction. They drop bombs
and use their machine-guns against the hostile lines from a considerable height. After exhausting their
ammunition, they return to their base for replenishment, and then return to the battle-field. They can
carry either provisions or ammunition to the front line. The infantry airplanes are especially charged
with liason, and must keep in close touch with the liason group (Nachrichtengruppen) with attack divi-
sions.

Aside from these three principles of aviation, the Germans place a great importance on their tank
airplanes (Tankflieger), charged with the duty of locating the points of assembly of hostile tanks and
signalling them to the infantry. When the tanks cannot be brought under artillery fire, the tank airplanes
put themselves in liason with the detachments charged with attacking tanks with grenades.

It is noteworthy that the Germans aim to employ both their observation flights, and protective
flights furnished with new planes to bomb during the day.

Flight A 253 received special orders to bomb Lure.

Flight 262 at Le Sourd (17th German Army) was to be assigned the task of revictualing bodies of
infantry.



— 2 —



G. H. Q. A. E. F.

CONFIDENTIAL Second Section, General Staff

March 30, 1918



SUMMARY OF AIR INFORMATION

AIR INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN

IDENTIFICATIONS

245th Artillery Observation Flight, St. Quentin reg. From Verdun reg.

AIRDROMES

Confirmed: Removed:

Section. Sheds. Hangars. Sheds. Hangars

Flanders 2 .. 13

Lille 3 24

Lens 2

St. Quentin i 38

Laon 1 17

New airdromes are also reported near Menin and Halluin (Lille Sector), but have not been confirmed.

ORGANIZATION OF GERMAN BALLOONS

(French B. R. A. March 15, 1918)

(a) A section is composed of two balloons. Four sections usually make up a balloon detachment,
the headquarters of which is usually at the headquarters of the group (corps). At the headquarters of
an army there is a commander of balloons.

(b) According to an order captured from the 1st German Army 15/4/17, a section of balloons serves
permanently in each division for artillery observation, and is subject to the orders of the commander
of the divisional artillery for tactical purposes. All balloons in excess of the requirements of divisional
artillery may be held for special work such as long distance observation, or may be distributed to the
divisions. In each group area all balloons, except those assigned to the divisional artillery, are under
the orders of the detachment commander.

(c) The headquarters of the balloon detachment constitutes an intelligence center for the group.
It consolidates results of reconnaissances, and sends the report to the commander of balloons, or other
designated person at the headquarters of the army. When the enemy attacks on a wide front the staff
of the detachment observes the progress of the attack, and transmits intelligence to the staff of the artil-
lery.

(d) The commander of balloons with the staff of the army: —

1. Informs the staff of the army concerning all matters pertaining to balloons.

2. Remains in contact with the intelligence section and the commander of artillery at the head-
quarters of the army.

3. Organizes the protection of balloons.

4. Exchanges results of balloon reconnaissances with neighboring armies.

5. Supervises the work of balloon detachments.

ATTACKS ON OBSERVATION BALLOONS BY ENEMY AIRPLANES

(French B. R. A. March 15, 1918)

The following observations have been gathered concerning procedure employed by German airmen
in attacking captive balloons: —

The attack is sometimes made by one airplane, but this is becoming rather exceptional (About 15 %).
In such cases the pilots use the following methods :

(a) They take advantage of the clouds to approach the balloon unobserved, and then dive at the
last moment (about 50 %).

(b) They assure themselves of the advantage of the sun and dive on the balloon (about 40 %).

(c) They wait until the moment the balloon leaves its station to return to its shelter. It is then
at a disadvantage as to defensive powers and rapidity of movement (about 10 %).



Note. — To encourage attacks on balloons the Germans of.er money rewards and also give credit at the rate of
three airplanes for two balloons.

material in service or on trail

Single-Seaters for Combat.

Albatros D.3 is considered as decidedly superior to D.5.

Albatros D.5. On March 5, 1918, a Albatros D.5 was brought down within the French lines. It
did not offer any new peculiarity. The motor was a 160-175 H. P. Mercedes of 1,500 revolutions. The
propeller was a Garuda. It appeared to be made of sheets of pine, mahogany, and walnut joined and
fitted together against the grain. The airplane had about 400 perforating, 400 incendiary balls, and
500 cartridges for machine guns.

Pfalz Monoplane D. 3. A machine of this type was brought down by the English on December 27
1917.

— 3 —



Summary of Air Information, March 30, 1918.

Spread of wings: 8 m. 90 ; length: 7 m. 10 ; weight empty (approximate): 695 kilos ; total weight
ready for action: 962 kilos ; giving a total of about 40 kilos a square meter. The [principal reservoir
at pilot's feet: 65 litres. A reservoir on the right of the central element of the upper plane: 40 litres.

Upper plane: The same shape as on the "Albatros". It is constructed of wooden longerons and ribs,
braced on the inside by wire, and strengthened here and there by metal plates. The edge on the side of
attack and the edge in rear are of wood. The central section is entirely covered with three thicknesses
of counter plate.

Lower plane The construction of the wings is similar to that of the upper plane. They are each
reinforced by four metal plates. The two center plates are tougher than the other two. 1 he third plate
from the carling supports the upright which joins the two planes. „j;„„ ir, Q

Uprights: They are somewhat the same V type as on the Nieuport, but instead of ending in a
point at the base, they are rounded and present a U'form. There are a pair of them tor each wing. 1 ne
uprights of the central section are also U form, but are reversed, and of a mere square type, iney are
different from the uprights of the previous Pfalz captured by the English.

Ailerons : They are for the upper plane only, and are counter-balanced. The controls pass through
the lower planes, and from there to the upper plane. The guignols are similar to these of the D.5 Albatros.

Drift plane and rudder : The drift plane is made of a counter-plate of triple thickness, as on the
Albatros. The rudder is counter-balanced and has the same form as that of the L. V. G.

Stabilizers : They are made in one piece, and have the same form as these of the Fokker tnplane.
They are not counter-balanced, and are of wood.

It has a radiator of tubular type provided with a shutter operated from the pilot's seat in such man-
ner as to reduce the cooling surface.

A. E. G. Although this machine has never been seen at the front, its existence is no longer to be
doubted. It is due to appear there shortly. It is provided with a 200 H. P. motor and two machine guns,
firing through the propeller. The first model was constructed at the end of August 1917, by the A. E. G.
Society, from the plans of Lieutenant Hoehndorf. This officer belonged to the 14th Pursuit Flight.
The plane proved to be very easy to handle in the air, but difficult on landing. Lt. Hoehndorf was killed
in the early part of September during the testing, the machine having been put in a spiral.

Another plane was built by the A. E. G. Society. One of the modifications consisted in lengthening
the fusilage about 15 cm. and in proportionately increasing the tail plane surface. This new machine
was tried in November, 1917, at the flying field af the 14th Flight by Lt. Werner and found to be very
satisfactory.

A prisoner declared that he had seen an A. E. G. fly side by side with a D.5 Albatros and hold its
own. He also said that he had seen this A. E. G. do air liaison work between two patrols of Albatros
machines which would seem to prove that it is more rapid than they are. He states that its speed at
3,500 meters should be at least 170 km. an hour ; and that it should raise to 3,000 m. in 14', and to 5,000 in 35'.
These figures appear very unreliable.

Details: Total weight ready for action: 965 kilos: resevoirs for 1 1/2 hecto-liters of gasoline. Wolf
Propellor with a diameter of 2 m. 78, and a pace of 2 m. 20: maximum width of the propellor, 19 c/m 5.

Berg (Austrian). A plane of this type has been brought down on the Italian Front. It has a
200 H. P. Austro-Daimler motor: the fusilage and the upper surface of the planes are camouflaged with
stripes of a green and yellow mixture, giving it the appearance of burnt sand-stone: the total weight
ready for action is about 873 kilos: the spread is 8 m. 15. The fusilage is counter-plated, supported on
the inside by vertical uprights. The cross-bar work is done by wooden stays placed diagonally across
the fusilage. There are ailerons only on the upper plane, and they are not counter balanced. The motor
is a 6-cylinder vertical 200 H. P. Austro-Daimler, number 19.218, water-cooled. The 2 magnetos are
Bosch, and the starting magneto is also a Bosch. The magneto control is connected with the gas control.
The propellor is a Heiduk, number 2,796, and consists of 9 sheets of ash. According to the number on
the nave, the pace is 2 m. and the diameter 2 m. 80. The principal reservoir is a pressure reservoir. It
is located immediately behind the motor. It has a capacity of about 80 litres. A charging reservoir
is situated behind the motor on the upper part of the fusilage, and has a capacity of 17 litres. The arma-
ment consists of 2 fixed machine guns, on either side of the motor, firing through the propellor. They
bear the trade mark : Waff en-Fab rik, Steyer 1917, M. G. (Schwarzlose) M. 7/12. Armament by Bowden
(R. F. C. 8/3/18).



~f-



O. H. Q. A. E. F.

CONFIDENTIAL Second Section, General Staff

April i, 1918



SUMMARY OF AIR INFORMATION

AIR INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN

NEW IDENTIFICATIONS

49th Reconnaissance Flight Lille region Formerly Eastern Front.

22nd Pursuit Flight St. Quentin region Formerly in Lorraine.

247th "A" Ob. Flight St. Quentin region Formerly Verdun region.

34th Protective Flight Laon region Newly formed unit.

234th Art. Ob. Flight Champagne region Formerly Laon region.

32nd Reconnaissance Flight Verdun region Formerly in Flanders.

215th Art. Ob. Flight Verdun region Formerly Eastern Front.

77th Pursuit Flight Alsace Newly formed unit.

5th Reconnaissance Flight Alsace Formerly Lille region

20th Reconnaissance Flight Turkey Formerly in Italy.

HOSTILE ENEMY MATERIEL IN USE AND IN COURSE OF TRIAL

(French B. R. A., March 15, 1918)
Combat Two-Seaters.

Fokker possesses engine of 240 to 260 H. P. (probably Mercedes 260 H. P.). The length is 8 to q
meters. It is armed with three machine guns, two of which fire across its propeller.

Halberstadt has Mercedes engine, 160 H. P. Its speed is 180 km. at 2.000 m., but it will not climb
rapidly. It allows good visibility and has two machine guns, one firing across propellor.

Numerous machines of this type will be distributed among protective nights.

Bombing Airplanes.

Friedrichshafen G3. One of this type, destroyed by British A. A. A. February 16, presented no
novel peculiarities. The control is not double, but the controls are placed in such a way that the passen-
ger who is beside the pilot can handle the airplane. A lever situated on the right side of the pilot's seat
moves a wire which itself controls two springs mounted on the wings. The pilot in turning the lever from
left to right pushes the wings back by means of the springs and the plane takes the position of rising with-
out its being necessary to hold the wings in this position. The contrary movement of the lever causes the
airplane to descend. This airplane is equipped with wireless. Its wings are of metal. It is provided with
a heating system in which the generator is controlled by the left motor.

There are two turrets — one overhead and one behind. The front turret is 1 m. in diameter and
weighs 15 kilos ; the rear turret is 1 m. in diameter and weighs 10 kilos.

Bombing Triplanes. The Schuckbert Company of Berlin is making trials of a triplane with three
Mercedes engines.

Giant Airplanes.

Equipped with 4 Engines. They have two types of engines of 250 to 260 H. P. ; carry four passen-
gers and 15 to 20 bombs of 50 kilos. Petrol for 7 or 6 hours is carried in 3 reservoirs. Each engine requires
70 liters an hour. The cloth is replaced by a material known as Aero. The fusilage is of wood interlined
the pilot's position being protected by nickel plates of 8 % thickness.

Engines:

Argus engine. Experiments are being made with an Argus engine of 260 H. P. The cylinders have
the same drilling and the same working as the old Argus engine ; number of revolutions per minute 1500 ;
number of cylinders increased from 8 to 12. The engine with the shaft of the propellor weighs 300 kilos.

Benz Engine 500 H. P. The Benz Works are studying a motor of 500 H. P.

Daimler Austrian Engine. This was found on an Austrian plane, the type of Berg, shot down in
Italy. It had 6 vertical cylinders with a bore of 150 % and stroke of 173 %. It can develop about
220 H. P., and weighs 341 kilos without oil and water.

EXTRACTS FROM DIARY OF GERMAN OFFICER AVIATOR

This officer, who was a member of a bombing flight, was brought down on February 18 th . The follow-
ing'are extracts from the information obtained from his- diary.

"All German aviation units on the Italian front will be replaced by Austrian units."

"The A. E. G. is of the best type of German bombing airplane. It has two 260 H. P. Mercedes engines,
two Parabellum machine guns, and carries three aviators and 600 to 800 kilograms of projectiles."

"The most powerful type of bombing machine is the R (Riesen). It has six engines and can carry
nine men."

"Zeppelins are giving way to airplanes, and though the production of airplanes in Germany is intense,
the intervention of America is causing the authorities considerable worry. It is feared that production
will hardly more than compensate for losses and deterioration of material. In order to decrease the num-
ber of losses only night bombing is allowed, but the anti-aircraft fire of the Allies has so improved that
hardly a night passes without at least damage to one airplane."

"In bombing the pilot glides from a height of about 2500 meters at an angle of about 30 degrees,
against the wind and toward the objective. The bombs are dropped at very short intervals, after which
the pilot makes a rapid ascent to escape from the zone of anti-aircraft fire."



Summary of Air Information, April i, 1918.

"Lately German aviators have been experimenting with a new parachute. It was tried first with
bags of cement, and then with excellent results from a height of 1 000 meters, by an officer.

PRECAUTIONS AGAINST BOMBARDMENT

(French B. R. A., March 15, 1918)

A barrage by balloons will protect the cities of Sarrebruck, Malstatt-Burbach, Brebach and all the line
as far as Sarreguemines.

The Badische Anilin and Soda Factory at Ludwigshafen is being camouflaged for the purpose of escap-
ing damage from night raids. At some distance from the factory there are installed electric lights, which
by use of shades give the appearance of the factory. In the real factory, every light is put out as soon as
the approach of planes is observed.

In order to deceive the hostile planes, the Bismarck column situated on the heights of Stuttgart has
been painted gray.

Posters have been seen in Berlin announcing refuge in case of air raids.



— 6 —



Q. H. Q. A. E. F.

confidential second section, general staff

April 2, 1918



SUMMARY OF AIR INFORMATION

AIR INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN
new identifications

(From French and British Intelligence Summaries)

211th Art. Ob. Flight Flanders Formerly in Lens region.

86th Pursuit Flight Lille region Newly formed unit.

221st Art. Ob. Flight Lens region Formerly in Flanders.

21st Protective Flight Lens region Formerly in St. Quentin Region.

266th Art. Ob. Flight Lens region Formerly in Lille region.

248th Art. Ob. Flight St. Quentin region Formerly in Champagne.

41st Reconnaissance Flight Laon region Formerly on Eastern front.

293rd Art. Ob. Flight Laon region Formerly in Lens region.

64th Pursuit Flight Verdun region Newly formed unit.

292nd Art, Ob. Flight Verdun region Formerly in Lens region,

airdromes * '

(From French and British Intelligence Summaries).

Sector. Confirmed: Removed:

Sheds. Hangars. Sheds. Hangars.

Flanders 10

Lille region i 4

EQUIPMENT OF PURSUIT FLIGHTS

(British S. of A. I.)

A prisoner of the 86th Protective Flight states that his flight is equipped with 16 D.3 type Albatross
scouts. This is a type of machine which had practically become obsolete on the Western front ; it would



Online LibraryG-2 United States. Army. American Expeditionary ForcesSummary of air information. Second Section, General Staff. General Headquarters, American Expeditionary Forces. March, April, May-[October-November] 1918 .. → online text (page 1 of 44)