Junkers D-I Afrika 1919

In the spring of 1918 a number of dissatisfied corporals in the German army staged a coup disposing of the Emperor William III. The coup was led by the unknown corporal Adolf Hitler. Under the new leadership the tactics of the Army were radically changed placing much more emphasis on the air force. The Luftwaffe was established as a separate command in the German forces and adopted new markings.

New aircraft  models were introduced primarily among them the metal monoplanes of the Junkers company. The Junkers were used to attack the Allied ground forces in the trenches. Because of their metal skin they were better protected from ground fire. The Allied forces were slowly pushed back towards Paris.

To force the Allies to divert forces from the front in France, the new German army and Air force invaded Algeria and started to advance on Egypt, forcing the British forces there back towards the Red Sea.

One of the most succesful pilots on the African front was Siegfried Marseille who flew a Junkers D-I monoplane with the number 14. The scored 68 victories in the air before the armistice in 1920.

Of note is that when war broke out again between Germany and Britain in 1940, the son of this Siegfried Marseille, Hans-Joachim was also a fighter pilot in the German Luftwaffe and scored over 150 victories. In honor of his father he also flew with the yellow number 14, only this time first on a Messerschmitt Me-109 and later on a Me-309.


Last updated: 12/11/2011