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Remembered Today:

A rare dogfight over Anzac?


jay26thBn
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The following extract reveals the anti-aircraft machine gun positions at Anzac during late September 1915 (source: AWM4 Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, 1914-18 War, Formation Headquarters, Item number: 1/53/6, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, General Staff, Headquarters War Diary, September 1915, Part 4, page 21.)

I decided to include it in this thread as it fits into the "aeroplane" theme of my discussion.

Lieutenant Neil Stuart Boyle was detached from the 26th AI Bn and attached to the 7th AI Bde during September 1915.  

456188124_LocationofAntiAircraftmachineguns.JPG.df5919abb60f4fd119f486a3fa8748cb.JPG

Edited by jay26thBn
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I also found this entry in the:

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, General Staff, Headquarters War Diary, September 1915, Part 3, page 83.

"Anzac. Intelligence Summary, 29th September 1915.  54th Division report. General - ...Hostile aeroplane flew over Indian lines about 1000 and fired a machine gun, apparently at one of our aeroplanes at very long range.  This aeroplane was fired at by machine guns in the 161 Subsection without effect."  

The 54th Division was the 54th (East Anglian) Division.  

This begs the question: was this another aerial battle, or does the report refer to the battle of 27 Sep 1915 (assuming there was a delay in the report finding its way to HQ)?

 

Edited by jay26thBn
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Mate,

The LH officers I know

Lt prom T/Capt Warren Melville Anderson had been prom in Aug 1915 when attached as bodyguard to the GOC he returned to the Regt as Adjt in Oct 1915

So while at GOC he must have been MG officer at Bolton's?

Sorry called away.

The other officer John Bagot was the MG officer for the 13 LHR and served a such during the Dardenelles, he also would become Adjt of the 1 Anzac LHR in France.

In the ALH aircraft were not taken seriously until in the Sinai, when a German plane dropped a bomb on the !st LH Bde around Romani killing and wounding a large number of men and horses.

S.B

 

Edited by stevebecker
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8 hours ago, jay26thBn said:

This begs the question: was this another aerial battle, or does the report refer to the battle of 27 Sep 1915 (assuming there was a delay in the report finding its way to HQ)?

Could be! But there were lots of encounters (relatively speaking).

Nice find there with the AA machine-guns at Anzac. The excellent book on artillery at Anzac by Chris Roberts and Paul Stevens details the two anti-aircraft guns manned by the artillerymen. One was taken off at the evacuation, the other employed up to the last day to disrupt enemy observation. (I've reviewed the book in the August newsletter of the aero historians society.)

The Ottoman forces were more effective with their air defence, at least in terms of aircraft downed. But it may be due to the nature of the RNAS and French air operations, the greater number of aircraft, etc.

PS There's a great sketch by Leslie Hore that shows, in the background, shrapnel chasing a plane over Suvla. 

https://collection.sl.nsw.gov.au/record/9gkGe3D9/ZBw62ab3NylZv (scroll down)

 

Edited by b3rn
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3 hours ago, b3rn said:

PS There's a great sketch by Leslie Hore that shows, in the background, shrapnel chasing a plane over Suvla. 

https://collection.sl.nsw.gov.au/record/9gkGe3D9/ZBw62ab3NylZv (scroll down)

 

Many thanks for including this link.  That certainly was a great sketch of the aeroplane being "chased by shrapnel.  Some of the sketches cover the period when my wife's GF was "doing his time" at Gallipoli (Sep/Oct 1915), so they add a "visual" depth to my research. 

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I found these today in the... 

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, General Staff, Headquarters War Diary, October 1915, Part 1.

Page 18 - 9 October 1915: The NZ & A Div made suggestion that aeroplane observers spend longer time in their lines to get familiar with ground from artillery new points. They were instructed to detail their own observer to go to Naval Flying Wing.

Page 25 - 13 October 1915: 1st Australian Division: A 12 pdr ante [s/be anti ?] aircraft gun has been landed here and will shortly emplaced.  NZ & A Division: 5th Battery effectively stopped firing of enemy's guns near 93.v.5 which opened on our aeroplane at SALT LAKE.

Page 41: 20 October 1915: An officer of 69th RFA Bde was sent to the RNAS as aeroplane observer for the NZ & A Divisional Artillery as it has been found that the best results are obtained from aerial reconnaissance if the same observer goes up each time. It is an added advantage if he knows the ground from the points of view of the people for whom he is observing.

Page 42/43: 21 October 1915 [OP: a lot of enemy plane activity on the day my wife's GF was evacuated from Anzac]: 

1st Australian Division: Our anti-aircraft machine guns fired on a hostile aeroplane at 0945 and caused it to turn away from our lines.

2nd Australian Division, General: 600 rounds were fired from the anti-aircraft machine gun with the Division at a hostile aeroplane without effect.

54th Division: General - A hostile aeroplane passed many times over the whole of the Division area and was engaged by our anti-aircraft machine guns without effect.

Edited by jay26thBn
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6 hours ago, b3rn said:

 

The Ottoman forces were more effective with their air defence, at least in terms of aircraft downed. But it may be due to the nature of the RNAS and French air operations, the greater number of aircraft, etc.

 

 

They certainly were on the 13th October!  But you've already written much on this.  

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Mate,

 

In the Camel Corps the Bing Boys 10Pdr and later 2.75's were used as AA guns during the Sinai and Palestine fighting.

They I believe never hit anything, but keep to planes away, neither side scoring any hit until July 1917 when the Germans scored a hit killing and wounding a number of men and animals.


S.B

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11 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Lt prom T/Capt Warren Melville Anderson had been prom in Aug 1915 when attached as bodyguard to the GOC he returned to the Regt as Adjt in Oct 1915

So while at GOC he must have been MG officer at Bolton's?

 

 

Steve, thanks for identifying the men.  

Just need someone to identify the other three... as I'm too busy perusing the Anzac war diaries.

Edited by jay26thBn
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Mate,

 

That's interesting as most if not all officers and Rank and file never know what types were flying above them?

I have a number of accounts that saw Arial fights over them but none ever gave a correct call on what types were involved?

Clearly Aircraft ID was not big in WWI, and I can't see these being shown lower down to the men?

That's why I believe most call all enemy aircraft "Taubes" as they were the first generic German planes in service at the start of the war

 

S.B

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2 hours ago, stevebecker said:

That's interesting as most if not all officers and Rank and file never know what types were flying above them?

The intent was most likely to prevent firing on friendly aircraft. When the Morane Parasol came into action with the French squadron, there was quite a bit of correspondence, including a profile sketch, distributed among headquarters staff. Don't know if it made it to the frontline!

Nice find, Jay. Thanks for sharing.

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4 hours ago, b3rn said:

Don't know if it made it to the frontline!

 

This will require a perusal of Bn war diaries to locate the key statement, eg "distributed sketch of aeroplane silhouettes to the men", or the lucky find in a personal letter eg "I was provided with a sketch of the different types of aircraft today..."

I'll let you know if I find anything...

Edited by jay26thBn
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Mates,

 

Of cause this also goes for most RFC and AFC, not to forget the GAS on the other side.

Most give incorrect types they are firing at, or claim shot down?

Aircraft ID seams to be a little on the short side here, when say compared to the 2nd World War?

S.B

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On 21/07/2021 at 07:30, b3rn said:

 

The Ottoman forces were more effective with their air defence, at least in terms of aircraft downed. But it may be due to the nature of the RNAS and French air operations, the greater number of aircraft, etc.

 

 

The following letter by David Miller Clark, No. 1933, 13th Bn, 5th rf, indicates that the Allies brought down an "enemy aeroplane" sometime during late July 1915.  I'm sure you have the means to confirm or deny the two claims.

Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser (NSW), Friday 19 November 1915, page 4

Letters from the Front.

Private Dave Clark, in a letter to his mother writes from Gallipoli on the 31st July:— We have been here three weeks now, and have got quite used to the roar of cannon and bullets flying about. When we hear a shell coming we get well under cover. The Turks are not very good at picking the range. I have watched them firing at our aeroplanes, but their shells go wide every time. A German taube flew over us a few nights ago and, dropped two bombs, but they both dropped in the water. When they, exploded they sent a sheet of water about 100 feet in the air. Some of our machine gunners fired a volley at the Taube, and it is reported here that it was brought down.

 

There is also another entry in the 2nd Brigade Headquarters war diary, Royal Naval Division (Cape Helles), that alludes to a hostile aeroplane being brought down on 5th Oct 1915:

0941 - Hostile aeroplane passed over RIGHT area our MG's and trench AA guns fired on her and she was seen to come down very rapidly in the Turkish lines.

Edited by jay26thBn
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Mate,

Just more propergander, where we always shot down theirs but they never hit anything.

No we didn't hit any thing either, these claims are just that.

I have accounts by us they claim enemy aircraft shot down, but in fact they were our own. I have an account at 2nd Gaza where they watched a encounter and saw the plane shot down and cheered over the pilots death. It was later found the pilot was a Capt Beven from 14 Sqn RFC not a German?

Like I said ID was not all that good in WWI

 

S.B

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