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Newly captured German machine at a Flying Corps depot near the front

Captured German fighter plane with some Flying Corps members, France. This photograph was taken at a Royal Flying Corps base near the front line on the Western Front, and shows a recently captured German fighter plane. Judging by the fact that the aeroplane has lost its wings and is being transported on a trailer, it would appear that the fighter plane might well have been shot down. Certainly, these members of the Royal Flying Corps seem to be getting a lot of fun out of their war booty, as they clamber over it like soldier ants.


Probably the most famous German fighter pilot was Manfred von Richthofen, known as 'The Red Baron'. Originally a cavalry officer, von Richthofen took to the skies in May 1915 after joining the German Army Air Service. In June 1917 he became commander of the German Flying Circus, which was a unit of top fighter pilots. His nickname was coined after he painted his Albatross D-III plane bright red. 'The Red Baron' shot down 80 allied aircraft, before he was killed, in April 1918, when his plane crashed after being hit by ground fire.


[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. A newly captured German machine at a Flying Corps Depot near the front.']

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Taken circa 1918