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

. (page 24 of 44)
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 24 of 44)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

increase the safety of the troops." During the course of the fighting, units available for anti-aircraft
defence, even those operating in conjunction with aviation jinits, will, in spite of their undeniable usefuln;ss,
be unable to protect the troops absolutely, especially in rear. In quiet sectors, this protection is naturally
even more uncertain. It is, therefore, necessary even during a period of quiet, that the resting troops
protect themselves with machine gun fire against low-flying airplanes.

Organization of Anti-Aircraft Defence During the Offensive.

Anti-aircraft defence will be entrusted, during the period of the concentration marches, to the machine-
gun and anti-aircraft artillery units having fixed positions and strongly echeloned in depth.
As the advance progresses, the depth of the zone will be increased toward the front.
The following partial zones will be distinguished :

(a) First zone of Defence : This is the combat zone of the first-line defence, and extends from the
firing line back as far as the division P. C. The defence here is assured by special sections from themachine-
gun companies and detachments of picked machine-gunners, as well as mobile anti-aircraft artillery units
attached to the division especially for this purpose.

(b) Second zone of Defence : This is the zone of the second-line divisions. The defence here falls
especially upon the machine-guns and to some extent upon the army corps anti-aircraft units and the
machine-guns of the columns.

(c) Rear zone : It extends from the supply railheads to the detraining stations inclusive, ani is
defended by Army Corps anti-aircraft units.

As the offensive develops, zones (a) and (b) move forward leaving between zone (b) and the rear zone
an intermediate zone having little protection and very dangerous for supply columns.

For want of available anti-aircraft artillery units, the troops in this region will probably have to provide
their own protection with their own machine-guns or those which they will receive for this purpose.

In the first and second line divisions the machine-guns assigned to anti-aircraft defence will be placed
under the command of a special officer (the orderly officer of division headquarters) who will maintain
liaison withj the anti-aircraft artillery sub-groups. In the regiment, the machine-gun officer will be re-
sponsible for anti-aircraft protection.

In fighting against the battle aviators who take part in the combat with bombs and machine-guns, it
will not be sufficient merely to assure an immediate and direct defence ; we must ourselves take the ini-
tiative and be the aggressor in the attack.

Besides machine-gun fire, infantry fire executed by several squads, methodically and in volleys, may
give good results.

Anti-Aircraft Protection During the Defensive Battle.

The defence will be organized into zones as in the offensive ; especial attention will be given to the
systematic distribution in depth of the machine-gun nests within the sector of each division.

Conclusion, the memorandum calls attention to the necessity for a strict fire discipline and good
observation. It also establishes the rule that airplane flying higher than 1,000 meters must not be fired
upon. German airplanes attacked by mistake will identify themselves at night by firing a white starrocket.
To request a suspected airplane to make known its nationality, a white rocket with one star will be fired
from the ground.

— 147

No. 42.

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

Second Section, General Staff
September 8, 1918



Flanders Region.

15th Protective Flight Doc, R. A. F., Aug. nth In Combles-Noyon Region, April 25, 1918.

Note. — The 15th Protective (Battle) Flight bombed Dunkerque area the night of August nth.


3rd Pursuit Squadron Doc, R. A. F. Sept. 2nd In Noyon-Rheims Region, July 10, 1918.

Note.— This squadron is believed to consist of the 27th, 34th and 77th Pursuit Flights. These flights were reported
in Vosges-Switzerland Region in August, 191 8, but confirmation is lacking.

252nd Reconnaissance Flight. .
284th Reconnaissance Flight .
288th Reconnaissance Flight. .

Doc, R. A. F„ Sept. 1st

Doc, R. A. F., July 24 and Aug. 23 . . .
Report, R. A. F., Aug. 26


1st Bombing-Squadron Doc, French source, Aug. 8th. .

(1st, 2nd 3rd Bombing Flights).

57th Protective Flight Machine down, French, Aug. 20.

2nd Reconnaissance Flight. . . French source, Aug. 20

243rd Reconnaissance Flight. French Source, Apr. 2

In Rheims-Argonne Reg., Aug. 13, 191S
In Noyon-Rheims R., May 20, 1918.
In Flanders Region, June 6, 191S

In Rheims-Argonne Reg., July 24, 1918.

Not previously identified.

In Vimy-Combles Reg., April 26, 1918.

At Colmar, Vosges-Switz. Reg., Mar. 25.

Noyon-Rheims Region.

21st Pursuit Flight Doc. R. A. F. Aug. 8 , In Rheims-Argonne Region, July 27, 1918.

39th Pursuit Flight French Source, June 16 In Rheims-Argonne Reg., May 25, 1918.

225th Reconnaissance Flight. . Machine down, French, Sept. 2 In Combles-Noyon Region, May 23.

234th Reconnaissance Flight. French Source, Sept. 3 In Vimy-Combles Region, Aug. 19th.

274th Reconnaissance Flight. Mach. down, French, end August . In Flanders Region, July 5.

This flight was reported in Argonne-Moselle region, Aug. 14, but was probably in error.

Note. — The 24th Reconnaissance Flight, reported in Vimy-Combles region in S. A. I. No. 41, was incorrect. This
flight was last identified in Noyon-Rheims Region, Feb. 1918.

Rheims-Argonne Region.

2nd Protective Flight Doc, R. A. F., July 6th

25th Protective Flight Doc. R. A. F., Aug. 5 th

7th Pursuit Flight Doc, R. A. F., Aug. 13th

This transfer probably took place prior to July 15th.

33rd Pursuit Flight Doc. R. A. F., July*i7th

57th Pursuit Flight Doc. R. A. F., Aug. 10th

63rd Pursuit Flight Doc, R. A. F., July 23 and Aug. 9.

229th Reconnaissance Flight. Report, R. A. F

Transfer may have occurred some time ago.
252nd Reconnaissance Flight. Doc, R. A. F., Aug. 13th

(See above later identification in Vimy-Combles Region) .

Argonne-Moselle Region.
246th Reconnaissance Flight. French source, Aug. 1918 at Briey


36th Reconnaissance Flight. Doc, French source, July nth, at Metz.
7th Home Defence Flight. French source, July, 1918, at Sarrebruck.


76th Pursuit Flight French source, July 9th at Habsheim.

Exterior Fronts.

22nd Reconnaissance Flight. Doc, R. A. F., Aug. 7, in Ukraine

Identification in Vimy-Combles may have been incorrect.

In Combles-Noyon Region, April 25, 191 8.

In Lys-Vimy Region, June nth.

In Combles-Noyon Region, June 15, 1918.

In Lys-Vimy Region, April 1, 1918.
In Combles Noyon Region, June 26, 1918.
In Combles-Noycn Region, June 27th.
In Argonne-Moselle Region, Feb., 1918.

In Noyon-Rheims Region, July 28th.

On Solonika front, June 25.

At Karlsruhe, Vosges-Switzerland Region .

June 27th, 1918.
At Crefeld (Interior) May iotb.

In Combles-Noyon Region, June 30th.
In Vimy-Combles Region, Jan. 1.

67th Pursuit Flight

31st Reconnaissance Flight.
279th Reconnaissance Flight.

1 2th Reconnaissance Flight.
281st Reconnaissance Flight.. .
2nd Home Defence Flight...

276th Reconnaissance Flight.
4th Mosaic Section


Argonne-Moselle Region.

French source, Sept. 2nd, with 5 th German Identified in same area, August 20th.

Pris. Stat., R. A. F„ Aug. 27th, at Marim- Identified at same place, August 14th.

French source, Aug. 4 th, at Porcher. . . . Identified same place, June 15th.


Pris. Stat., R. A P., Aug. :.',, at Many.. At Morhan R e, same region, June 3rd

trench source, July, 1918 U Forqum In Sarrebourg area, same region Tune 8th

French source, Aug. 23, at barreguemines. At Sarrebruck, same region Jun eIIt h."

Vosges-Switzerland Region.

French source, Aug. 6, at Altdorf . At same place. July 7 th

French source, Aug. 1, at Altdorf At Schlestadt, same region, Apr. i 9l8 .

148 -

Summary of Air Information, No. 42, September 8, 1918.

New Airdromes.



Changes in accommodation.
Hangars. Sheds. Capacity.

Present accommodation.
Hangars. Sheds. Capacity.






no Arlon o o o

Landing field is under construction.

2. Changes in existing airdromes.

10 Puxieux o o o

Concrete base is now camouflaged.
58 Lantefontaine o o o

{Briey N.) Airdrome is now occupied. "■

76 Jametz 4- 1 .. 4-2

increase since 2-7-18.

3. Photographs of the following airdromes show no changes.

9 Mars-la-Tour. U. S. photo 2-9-18

30 Marville. French photo 23-8-18

72 Doncourt. British photo 30-8-18 _

4. Reported airdrome photographed and found not to exist.

128. Avril.

Moselle -Vosges.

1. New Airdromes. Hangars. Sheds. Capacity.

86. Lellingen 4-6 +6 +6

Hangars for bombing machines.

2. Changes in existing airdromes.

6. Buhl — 5 . . — 10

Destroyed by British bombing units since 27-8-18.

8. Morhange — 10 — 1 — 28

Destroyed by British bombing units 3-9-18. The losses in machines will probably be considcrableless
than 28 because there were only two flights with seven machines each identified there at the time of
the raid.








12. Lorquin

Increase since 22-8-18.
79. Biedesdorf

Increase since 28-6-18.
98. Hattigny

Increase since 23-3-18.
104. Nitting

Increase since 22-8-18.

+ 3
+ z
+ 3
+ 3

+ 4

+ 6
+ 4
+ 8
+ 6

3. Photographs of the following airdromes show no changes.

47 Marimont French photo 21-8-18

61 Boulay British " 2-9-18

66 Mittlebronne 2-9-18

78 Vatimont 2-9-18










New Airdromes. Hangars. Sheds. Capacity.

112 Miestratzheim +3 .. +9

French photo 2-9-18.

Changes in existing airdromes.

22. Colmar N +5 — 4 +10

Photo shows that some hangars were reported as sheds.
33. Schlestadt N — 5 . . — 10

19 hutments have been constructed and five hangars removed since 10-8-18.
51. Germersheim + 15 .. +3° 15

First information available concerning the accommodation of this airdrome.
64. Ostheim +2 . . 4- 6 32

May not be a change. Previous photo n-8-18 does not show complete airdrome.

88. Altdorf —2 . . —4 14

Decrease since 15-8-18.

89. Stolzheim +1 .. +2 16

Increase since 30-7-18.

Photographs of the following airdromes show no changes.

4 Schlestadt French photo 2-9-18. 9 1

21 Strasbourg British " 14-8-18. 1 4

28 Colmar S. French " 2-9-18. 2^

34 Hambourg French " 23-8-18. 5 1













home defence flights

From British Summary of Air Intelligence, August 30, 1918.

During a raid on Mannheim on the 22nd August, our machines were attacked over the objective
by 15 E. A., the majority of which were Halberstadt two-seaters.'

These machines have been encountered in small numbers for some time past, during raids into Ger-
many, but this is the first occasion on which they have engaged at close quarters.

As the only home defence units known to be operating in the Rhine area arc the single-seater fighter
flights (Kamftfeinsitzerstaffeln), would seem probable that either a new series of home defence flights,
equipped with two-seater fighters, has been formed, or that a certain number of the Kampfeiusilzcrs-
taffeln have been re-equipped with two-seater machines, in which case it would appear necessary to rename
these units.


From. British Summary of Air Intelligence. August 30, 1918.

Two new protective flights have been identified, viz. Nos. 52 and 57. In addition, there are indica-
tions of the existence of No. 47, which was formerly a reconnaissance flight on the Russian front. (Vide
Summary of Air Intelligence, Serial No. 185, of 24-8-18.)


Summary of Air Information, No. 42, September 8, 1918,

The highest numbered protective flight hitherto identified is the 38th, and it thus appears probably
that at least 19 additional flights have been formed, giving a total of 114 new machines. (Hannoveraner
and Halberstadt.)

duties of contact patrol flights

From British Summary of Air Intelligence, August 31, 1918.

A captured document, issued on the 4th July, 1918, by the 13th Division, then in line opposite Villers-
Bretoneux, prescribes minutely the duties of the contact patrol flight allotted to the division.

The flight must keep the division constantly posted as to the front line, and generally as to its own
and the enemy's positions. The area on both sides of the front line should be photographed once a week
when the situation is quiet, and it is invariably to be specially photographed after a British or a German
attack. The air photographs taken of the enemy's and of the German positions are to be transferred to
1/10,000 maps.

A contact patrol machine, when in action, carries two streamers on its lower planes and fires a white
light bursting into stars (the usual recognition signal of a German machine), as well as a special red and
white light and an occasional burst of machine-gun fire. The infantry burn flares and also make use
of a white light signal to indicate the position of their front line. The former signal is also to be used
"when the infantry are being fired on by our own machines".

During an infantry action, the flight is to fly at a height of 50 to 800 metres, and to obtain situation
reports from battalion headquarters and convey them to higher formations. (Note : — Infantry in front
line are only to lay out signs to show their position, and are not to transmit messages regarding the tactical

When the division is in a quiet part of the line, the machines of the flight should make a point of
communicating with the infantry from the air at least once a week, but when fighting is in progress this
should be done every time they go up. (After each patrol the flight is to report to the division, and is
not to deal direct with the brigade.)

Great stress is laid on the necessity of "propaganda" when the division is at rest. The flight should
arrange illustrated lectures to explain its work to the infantry, there is to be close liaison between the
officers of either arm, practice flights are to be carried out and infantry officers and other ranks are to -be
attached for instruction to the flight.


From Independent Force, R. A. F., Weekly Summary of Air Intelligence, September i, 1918.

A prisoner captured by the French confirms the increase of the hostile aviation in Alsace.

Hostile reconnaissance squadrons have received orders to watch the rear of the Allied front. These
reconnaissances do not appear to have satisfied the nervous German Higher Command, and, in spite
of the negative information that the Squadrons have reported, the Army Headquarters persists in sending
out reconnaissances.


From Independent Force, R. A. F., Weekly Summary of Air Intelligence, Sept. i, 1918.

A German daily paper, dated the 1st August, reports increased (precautionary measures against
air attacks. Besides the blowing of a siren, alarm bombs, exploding at height of 300 metres, will be
fired from various quarters of the town.

The procedure of signalling will be as follows: — •

1. Three twenty-second blasts on the sirens with pauses of twenty seconds.

2. The discharge of two bombs at the various centres, at intervals of a minute.

3. Tramways cease running.

4. At night extinguishing of the electric street lamps.
On termination of the air raid the "all-clear" will be given by :-

1. A long-drawn blast on the alarm sirens.

2. Resumption of the tramway service.

3. At night, relighting of the streets by the electric light.

protection against enemy aeroplanes

From Annexe to British Summary of Air Intelligence, Sept. i, 1918.

(Translation of a German Document).
Ill Corps Headquarters, Corps Headquarters,

Ia/Qu/Ic. No. 164. , IQ . 7 . IQl8 .

1. During our offensives, losses through the action of enemy aviators have proved to be extra-
ordinarily high. In order to avoid such losses in future, and to accustom the troops to take advantage
of effective methods of protection against aviators, measures must be taken during quiet periods continu-
ously to improve the protection of the troops against enemy air attacks.

During operations on a large scale, the available anti-aircraft units, even through working in close
co-operation with aircraft units, will not be able to undertake continuous protection of the troops more
especially in rear areas, althrough they will be of undeniable value. Anti-aircraft defence on quiet 'fronts
naturally shows still wider gaps. Above all, protection during quiet periods is necessary in rear areas
against enemy long-distance raids. The troops must themselves create this with their own machine-
guns, and organize their own arrangements for interference with the enemy's intentions.

2. To ensure the safety of the troops on the march (especially at night) and during training, and the
prevention of enemy air reconnaissance, the following points must be noted :—

(1) Avoid main roads ; march as far as possible on by-roads and in small columns. In order

— 150 —

Summary of Air Information, No. 42, September 8, 1918.

to avoid crowding and blocks, every march must be arranged according to a regular time-table,
and allotted a definite route. Troops must not collect at stations, or in villages.

(ii) A look-out for enemy machines must be kept at every halt and during the march itself,
On the approach of enemy aviators, troops must clear the road and get under cover from air observa-
tion (in ditches, or in groups underneath the trees). Horses and vehicles must, if possible, be drawn
up close underneath the trees on one side of the road. No movement. If the route is illuminated
at night by parachute flares, halt immediately, clear the road, lie down. Pull in vehicles and horses
close to the trees.

(m) All troops provided with machine-guns, and especially the machine-guns detailed for
anti-aircraft defence during the march, must come into action ; the latter should be mounted upon
the vehicles, or otherwise disposed, so as to be immediately ready for action.

(iv) At all training exercises, at reviews and in assembly positions, especially during fine
weather, look-outs and machine-guns are to be installed for observation and protective purposes.
Horses must not be grouped in large numbers. Vehicles, when halted, must be placed under cover
or dispersed.

Artillery must take with them to all practices the machine guns allotted for anti-aircraft defence.

(v) Ammunition columns are already provided with machine guns for their protection. Bag-
gage and other transport columns, when moving by march route, will also be allotted machine guns.

The order goes on to prescribe further detailed measures of protection, among them the
following : —

In billets, entrance of all suitable cellars will be marked by white luminous figures showing
the accommodation available.

Zig-zag trenches will be dug round all houses, huts and tents, and their location shown by lumi-
nous arrows, on the sides of the buildings.

Every locality will be provided with sufficient dugout accommodation for the whole of the
troops quartered in it.

Along the main roads, short lengths of zig-zag trenches, running obliquely from the side of
the road, will be made at intervals of 100-200 metres, especially in area where an offensive is intended.

During a battle, machine-gun nests echelonned in depth must be organized in each divisional

In conclusion, the order calls attention to the necessity for strict fire discipline and a good
look-out system.

Aeroplanes flying at over 3,000 feet are not to be fired at

new type of aeroplane engine

From Brjtish Summary of Air Intelligence, September i, 1918.

A Fokker D. 7 biplane, brought down south of the Scarpe on the 23rd August, has been found to
contain a new type of engine, made in Munich, and apparently called the "Bayern" (Bavarian).

It is a six-cylinder vertical water-cooled engine with 150 mm. bore and 185 mm. strokh, and it deve-
lopes approximately 180 h. p.

It comprises features derived both from the Mercedes and from the Benz engines. The chief points
worthy of note are : —

(1) The carburetter, which is fitted with a new type of adjustment for high altitudes.

(2) Facilities for interchange of parts ; for instance the inlet and exhaust systems are interchange-

Detailed notes on the engine are being issued to all concerned"


From Independent Force, R. A. F.. Weekly Summary of Air Information, September i, 1918.

(a) During a bomb raid pilots reported that an arrow was displayed on the ground at Morhange
aerodrome (No. 8) pointing north. This arrow was seen by the Second Formation, and possibly was
intended to indicate the direction taken by the First Formation. This tends to confirm paragraph 8
of Summary of Aeronautical Information No. 2, dated 18th August.

(b) A U. S. A. photograph (B. 1148), taken by 91st Squadron on the 22-8-18, shows an arrow
pointing West on Montoy aerodrome (No. 49). On a later photograph (No. 4,1490) French) dated
30-6-18, a cross is shown on the ground.

(c) A British photograph No. 55 D. A. 2080, dated 23-8-18, shows on Sarrebruck aerodrome a cross
and a straight line.

It is possible that different signs are used for showing the enemy's airmen the direction taken by
the Allied airmen in each Aviation Group. Any information on this point would be interesting.


The propaganda of the Allied aviators is beginning to bear fruit among both the military and civilian
classes, as is instanced by the following example :

Two German soldiers showed me a proclamation (signed Deutsche Frauen) which had been dropped
by an Allied aviator. I asked permission to buy it as a souvenir, but they would not part with it at
any price. They attached so much importance to it that they had folded it up carefully and put it back
of the band in the inside of their helmets.

They said that their comrades also had some and that they read them through carefully and dis-
cussed them among themselves.

Neustadt: Laaech and Co. Machine Shop, Aeroplane Factory.

^ Located near Neustrasse at the corner of the grade crossing on the right as you go from Madgebourg

— 151 —

Summary of ait? Information. II

Summary of Air Information, Nd. 42, September 8, 1918.

to Neustadt. (Probably opposite the Neustadt railroad station,) It has a very tall chimney, located
near the station of Madgebufg-Neiistadt.

Before the War, fanning machinery used to be manufactured here by a force of 800 workmen. Now
2,600 people work there, among whom are 1,200 Russians, and 800 French prisoners. The rest are
Germans, including 130 women. They only manufacture "scouting planes" here of 125 to 150 horse

The factory produces at least 12 aeroplanes a month. There are now six ready in the hartg'ars, which
are located behind the factory. When the painters shall have finished their work on them, they will
be shipped by night towards Aix-la-Chapelle.

They work both night and day at this factory ; up to this time there has been no shortage of raw

In case of an air raid they are ordered to leave the factory and flee to the fields,

Aviation. Essen.

German aviators fly over the city every afternoon between 2 and % o'clock. They never fly in the
monung. They come from a large aviation field at Gelsenkirchen, where there are hundreds of aeroplanes.

Red Cross on Hangars^

All the aeroplane sheds in the above mentioned aeroplane fields have the red cross painted on them
to deceive the Allies.

m —

No. 43.

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

Second Section, General Staff
September t2, 1918


5th Reconnaissance Flight. . . .

221st Reconnaissance Flight. .
228th Reconnaissance Flight. .

34th Protective (Battle) Flight.
251st Reconnaissance Flight. .


Lys-Vimy Region.

Pris. Stat., French Source, June 5 and Previously identified at Habsheim
July 27 .' March 14.


Document, R. A. F., Aug. 20 - In Vimy-Combles region, Aug. 18.

Document, R. A. F., Aug. 23 In Lys-Vimy Region, June 24.

Noyon-Rheims Region.

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 24 of 44)