Jagdstaffel 2 'Boelcke': Von Richthofen's Mentor
by Greg VanWyngarden
By August 1916, the German Air Service was fighting a losing struggle in the skies over the Battle of the Somme. Royal Flying Corps aircraft reigned almost supreme over the battlefront, and the vaunted Fokker monoplanes had been hounded from the air. In response, an entirely new type of fighting formation came into being - the Jagdstaffel, which was a unit designed solely as a fighting squadron. One of the first, and undoubtedly the most famous, was Jasta 2, formed and led by Germany's premiere fighter ace Oswald Boelcke. Renamed Jasta "Boelcke" by Imperial Decree, the unit would carry its first commander's legacy to spectacular success in late 1918.
This title examines the tactics, personalities and achievements of this ace squadron which finished the war with a record of 336 victories, second only to Richthofen's own unit in confirmed kills.
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