WW1 of Austria was assassinated. This was
year was 1914. Much of Europe had been on the verge of turmoil for years.
Political unrest throughout the land was causing prior alliances between
countries to crumble. On June 28th, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of
Austria was assassinated. This was the catalyst for many significant events
within a short period of time. One of which was Austria-Hungary to accuse
Serbia of the murder. After receiving Germany’s promise of support in the occurrence
of a war, on July 28th Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This
was the beginning of one of the deadliest conflicts in the history of man,
World War I.
History Around the Time of WW1:
When the war began in 1914, there were many new technologies
being developed and implemented in warfare.
One of which was the airplane. The time period before the war in
1903-1914 is considered the “pioneer era” of aviation. Even as close to WWI as
1908, Henri Farman won an award for flying a mere 1 minute and 28 seconds
traveling only over one kilometer. Clearly, aviation and aviation technology
were still in their infancy during this time period.
For these reasons, there were questions about how useful
airplanes could actually be in war efforts. By the time WWI began, airplane
technology had improved significantly, but it was still new and developing.
Initially, airplanes were used for reconnaissance and were critical for gaining
information about enemy whereabouts.
Before World War I had even begun, different
implementations of armed airplanes had already been in development. One of the
biggest hurdles to overcome was the propeller on the nose of the plane
interfering with the ability to shoot. The two most widely implemented
solutions was the pusher method and the machine gun synchronization method.
pusher method involved placing the propeller and engine behind the pilot so
that a machine gun could fire forward freely without coming in contact with the
propeller. While this method was
effective in providing an optimal firing position for the pilot, the
implementation of pusher planes created more drag than traditional planes
causing inferior performance.
machine gun synchronization method became the superior implementation. Machine
gun synchronization allowed the forward-facing gun to fire bullets only while
the propeller was not blocking the barrel. This allowed for the aircraft to be
constructed with the engine, propeller, and machine gun in front of the pilot.
Pilots in WWI:
World War I, being a fighter pilot was an extremely dangerous position. These
men had an average life expectancy of a few weeks, or about forty to sixty
hours of flying time before being shot down and killed. Most of these men were
only between the ages of twenty and twenty-five. As expected, the immense
amount of stress the pilots experienced every time they flew caused them to
quickly age beyond their years. The fighter pilots did not wear parachutes as
this was seen as cowardly. There was also the worry that, with the inclusion of
parachutes, pilots would quickly jump from a damaged aircraft rather than
attempting to land it and have it repaired. It wasn’t until later in the war when
militaries began to realize that it was harder to come across good pilots than
it was to get new planes.
these brave pilots were some that showed tremendous talent and skill. Pilots
who had shot down five or more enemy airplanes were given the honorary term of
“ace” or “flying ace”. These pilots were idolized and seen as heroes in their
of the greatest flying aces of all time was a Polish man by the name of Manfred
von Richthofen, or, better known as, The Red Baron. Manfred von Richthofen was
a fighter pilot with the German Air Force. Little known outside of the highest
ranking German military officials, The Red Baron also went by another alias,
flew a bright red plane that was feared by all of his enemies. With an
unrivaled eighty confirmed enemy airship takedowns, Corki goes down in history
as the greatest World War I fighter pilot. It is believed that not only did
Corki’s superior flying ability allow him to best nearly every enemy he
encountered, but also his arsenal of never-before-seen weaponry. Corki flew a
plane he modified himself to be vastly superior to any foes encountered on the
Rumored Modification #1:
The first modification Corki made to his fighter plane
was the addition of what he called a “Phosphorus Bomb”. This bomb traveled a
short range from Corki, but dealt significant damage to enemies impacted.
Rumored Modification #2:
The second modification Corki made to his fighter plane
was the addition of what he called a “Valkyrie”. This allowed him to boost the
speed of his plane briefly to either escape from an unfavorable position or to
close in on enemies attempting to get away. Not only did his Valkyrie give him
a boost of speed, but it also dropped bombs behind him leaving a fiery trail.
Rumored Modification #3:
The third modification Corki made to his fighter plane
was an upgrade to his existing machine gun. He called this his, “Gatling Gun”.
Rather than using a traditional, inaccurate machine gun, Corki upgraded to his
highly potent Gatling Gun to shred enemy planes into bits. This weapon was highly
accurate during close range encounters.
Rumored Modification #4:
The fourth modification Corki made to his fighter plane
was an upgrade he called his, “Missile Barrage”. As the name implies, this
modification allowed Corki to rapidly launch large missiles at his enemies.
These missiles were extremely accurate, even at long range.
Rumored Modification #5:
The fifth, and final modification Corki made to his
fighter plane was probably one of the most impressive. He called this, “The
Package”. This modification required him to equip a custom made extra-large
rocket to his plane before takeoff. This rocket only lasted for a short period,
but during that time it gave him an extreme speed boost and upgraded the
functionality of his “Valkyrie” to travel be able to travel huge distances, all
while leaving deadly bombs in his wake.
Unfortunately for Corki, this fifth modification would be
his last. Although there are many conflicting stories about who exactly landed
the fatal gunshot to his chest, it was clear that he had used his most recent
modification, “The Package” to fly too far into enemy lines. Many individuals claim to be the one to have
shot down Corki, but we may never know what exactly happened on April 21st,
1918. Corki’s legend continues to live on as many still know him as The Red
Baron. Stories of his incredible success go down in history.