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The Albatros W.2 was a floatplane version of the Albatros C.III, the most numerous entry in Albatros' series of armed two-seater scouts, but only a single prototype was built. The centre struts were a little different, and the floats were simple and had clean lines but might not have been strong enough.
Engine: Mercedes D.III
How to: Make WWI Warbird Lozenge Camouflage Covering
Tackling this particular aspect of WW I warbirds can be both challenging and rewarding. It’s really not di cult to do, once you understand the system and have relatively good organizational skills and a healthy dose of patience. Let’s start with some history. Before the advent of camouflage, all German aircraft were finished using clear dope over linen, resulting in a buff or off white color. Camouflage was introduced during 1916, and these early schemes had large organic blotches of either green or reddish brown, or mauve and olive (Albatros D IIs are a good example). Undersurfaces were usually a pale sky blue, however, natural doped linen was also used. To save on weight due to multiple coats of dope and paint, pre-printed camouflage fabric was introduced. The patterns were polygons of slightly different sizes in many different colors — what has come to be known as “lozenge camouflage.” In a directive dated April 12, 1917, a mandate stated that all new aircraft would be covered with printed lozenge camouflage. The change to this new color scheme was gradual, as aircraft with old paint schemes were left as is. The two basic styles of lozenge camo were “Knowlton (Quebec)” and “Canberra (Australia)”— these names refer to the regions where samples were studied and recorded after the war. If you are building a model that predates April of 1917, you probably won’t have to worry about replicating lozenge camouflage. However, if you like late model Albatros DVas or Fokker D VIIs, you may have to bite the bullet, although there were exceptions that omitted this scheme.
This vintage photograph shows workers examining a lozenge-covered Fokker D.VII.
Several examples of lozenge camouflage found online and printed out using a home inkjet printer. Paint from A.C. Moore is near the top as is a printout of an image of an actual piece of lozenge camo in the permanent collection of the RAF Museum.
Tape down your frisket paper. Next tape down your lozenge pattern over it and mark which color you are cutting out in the margin. In this image I’m doing navy blue.
The first thing you’ll need to do is obtain a decent pattern for your lozenge camo. There are many fine examples online if you simply do an online search. You can then download and print these templates. Alternately, you can print a full-color version and use this as a template. You’ll want to get the scale of the lozenges correct and the way I usually work is to pick a point on the aircraft, say the side of the fuselage of a D VII right below the cockpit. Next, you simply count the number of lozenges from bottom up to give you the correct scale. For example, if the distance between the cockpit coaming and bottom of fuselage is 5 inches and six lozenges cover that distance in the full-size plane, you know you need six lozenges in a 5-inch span. You’ll then want to take your downloaded pattern and cut and paste to a Word document where you can adjust the size. Once you have the size you want, you can print out as many sheets as you want (I found I could get five templates out of two printouts). Next cut a piece of frisket paper for each color a little bit bigger than 8.5 × 11. Write the color in the margin. Tape the frisket paper and printout down using blue painter’s tape. Using a hobby knife, carefully cut out all the lozenges of the color marked on your sheet. Repeat with each different color taking care to maintain structural integrity of your printout. Make sure you have enough remaining lozenges so that the printout doesn’t fall apart! One way to ensure this is to cut the leg of the polygon that is adjacent to an already removed section first. This way, if you end up cutting loose an area, you do so with the final cut of the polygon. The beauty of making a set of templates is that you can use them on both the top and bottom wings, simply substituting different colors for the bottoms.
If a lozenge is helping hold the pattern together, start by cutting the free sides first. Then cut the sides that are attached to the rest of the pattern.
The khaki lozenges are nearly half-finished. As you progress, the pattern will get increasingly fragile, so be careful. I was able to get three different colors out of one pattern.
The finished set of masks for a five-color lozenge pattern.
Opinions vary regarding the authentic coloring of the lozenges. There have been studies on original samples by the Smithsonian and other museums. The result is a fairly accurate facsimile of the original colors, many of which are available online. However, you can personalize the colors to suite your taste and perhaps more importantly, to allow the bottom of the wings to be clearly different from the tops so that you don’t lose orientation while flying. You can experiment a bit to get a cache of colors that you like and that work well together.
Mix up a test set of colors on a scrap of covering material until satisfied with your color choices. Have some fun with this!
Beginning with the lightest color first (khaki), the tops of the bottom wings of a Fokker D-VII have been started.
I chose readily available acrylic paints from either Michael’s or A.C. Moore. These colors approximated the lozenge colors and can be intermixed to achieve the desired value and hue. They also adhere well to Solartex and various other covering films, dry flat, and are inexpensive. I also picked up some empty containers to hold my custom mixed colors.
Some of the available colors are a bit bright for my taste, so some mixing was needed. A quick lesson in color theory: if you want to dull a given color, simply add its complementary color. The complement of red is green, yellow is purple, and orange is blue. Using this simple formula will allow you to dull down stock colors to your liking. Adding white or black will lighten and darken a color, so you should be able to closely approximate a given color. Make up some test swatches on scrap covering until you achieve the desired color and value. Now, as if that’s not complicated enough, to make the five colors seem to work together you can add a little of a neighboring color to a given color (e.g. a little olive to the purple, a little khaki to the dark blue, etc.). Only a little is needed and will result in a more harmonious grouping of colors. Remember, choose colors that you like! If you think a purple is too bright or not bright enough, do what you want! There are so few authentic examples of actual lozenge camo available that you could get away with a lot of variety, within reason! Moreover, since these colors were printed on the fabric they faded a bit in sunlight and various weather conditions –– one more factor to consider! The colors I used were as follows: khaki, medium cornflower blue, dull olive, mauve, and a dark greyish navy. For the bottoms of the wings and fuselage I used: dusty rose, light ochre, light mauve, light greyish olive, and light cornflower blue. Remember, you’ll want the bottom to be markedly different from the top so that you don’t lose orientation of your plane when in the air!
You can use a sponge applicator to apply the paint to the masks, however it may stretch the covering material and tends to yield a rather thick coat of paint. Remember keep your paint thin as it adds weight!
You can see how easy it is to line up the subsequent masks after the first lozenges have been painted.
OK, so you have your templates and you have your colors: now it is time to paint! Before starting on your airplane make a sample on a scrap of covering. This way you can see how your colors work or don’t work together. After I finished by sample, I adjusted the colors to get a combination that I found pleasing. Choose any easy surface to start with, like a top or bottom wing. If it’s a top wing start in the center and work your way out on either side. If it’s a bottom wing you can start at the tip or the root. On the full-size planes, the wings were covered in strips (fore and aft or perpendicular to the leading edge) with the longitudinal axis of the lozenge running lengthwise down the wing. The actual bolts of printed fabric were approximately 50 and 54 inches wide. Therefore, you’ll want to stagger the lozenge on the next (adjacent) swath to give it an organic feel. Make an extra printout of the finished scheme for reference. You can use an airbrush (which is quickest), but for the benefit of readers who don’t have one, I’ll do it using a brush. You can also use stenciling sponges but this may stretch your covering a bit.
Carefully peel the backing off the frisket paper. It’s a good idea to stick it to your T-shirt or some other cotton surface to dull down the adhesive a bit you don’t want to have to struggle to pull off the masks. Now carefully line up the first mask and lightly tamp it down around the edge of each lozenge opening using your fingertip. Start with the lightest color, in this case the khaki. You always want to work lightest to darkest as dark colors will readily cover lighter ones the reverse is seldom true. Using a 1/2-inch brush, apply a light coat of paint to each lozenge opening taking care to brush the paint away from the mask edge this way to don’t force paint under the mask. Let dry and repeat. I needed two coats to get decent coverage. Keep those coats thin as paint adds weight! You may want to allow some of the Solartex to show through to add a worn or weathered effect.
After the khaki is dry, proceed to the olive color. Referring to the print-out, line up the green lozenges adjacent to the khaki ones where applicable. In some cases the point of the polygon will simply touch the point of another polygon. Carefully tamp down as before and apply your olive paint. You’ll repeat this process with the mauve and the cornflower blue ending up with the dark blue last. It’ll get easier as you go as it will be increasingly obvious where the next set of lozenges will go. Don’t be alarmed if all your lozenges don’t line up perfectly: you can touch them up after you’re finished. Repeat this process on all surfaces that require the dark lozenge color scheme. Repeat the process for the bottoms of the wings using the di erent set of colors mentioned earlier. Ultimately, I made a separate set of masks for the wing bottoms and I chose a four-color scheme as I simply liked the color combinations. If this process seems too daunting for your abilities, then thankfully there are some commercial coverings available (see sidebar).
There are three lozenge coverings available on the market: Arizona Model Crafters makes it in 1/12 on up Balsa USA makes it in light and dark for 1/4- and 1/8-scale aircraft and Glenn Torrance specializes in 1/4-, 1/8-, and larger scale models (he prints his on actual linen)! The advantage with these products is that you don’t have to paint and can simply cover your model with the product. The downside is the cost, and you’ll have to follow the application instructions carefully. So the following is an overview of the highlights of each product and a quick application guide.
Balsa USA’s Lozengetex
This 1/4- and 1/3-scale covering only comes in light and dark options, which are in strident contrast to each other. You won’t have any difficulty telling one surface from another in the air. If you’ve ever used Solartex, you won’t have any trouble applying Lozengetex as it handles in a very similar manner. It is resistant to glow, gas and diesel fuels. Even still, Balsa USA recommends coating the finishing airframe (after decals) with an oil-based polyurethane spray such as Minwax. Iron temperatures are as follows: for bonding covering to airframe: 100 to 120 degrees C for shrinking: 130 to 150 degrees C. To see if the claims met the reality I prepared a sample Fokker D-VII wing panel from scrap balsa. I applied the covering and — voila! — the results were as advertised. You’ll want to use a sock on your iron to avoid scuffing the colors but other than that, it handles just like regular Solartex. balsausa.com
Arizona Model Aircrafters Lozenge Camo
This company offers Lozenge camo in four and five colors as well as a night-fighter scheme. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, they’ll be happy to customize any of their patterns with colors you choose. They’ll also enlarge or reduce the patterns to fit any size model. For example, I had a 50-inch-span Albatros DVa wing in the racks for which they were able to generate a custom size lozenge camo for that particular wing. The printed covering is translucent, so for optimal results it is recommended that you paint your airframe a light gray or white to make the airframe less apparent through the covering. I chose to paint my wing frame gray-green on top, and a medium brown on the bottom, which resulted in the frames being nearly invisible when the covering was applied. Next, simply iron it on as you would any heat-activated covering. Two swaths of rib tape material are included with the covering that you can cut into strips and apply over the wings. If you are using nitro power, it is also recommended that you spray a clear coating of Butyrate dope over the finished covering in light coats to prevent bleeding or running of the printed pattern. arizonamodels.com
Glenn Torrance Models Linen Covering
Glenn Torrance offers coverings for 1/4- and 1/8-scale aircraft that’s actually printed on linen just like the original aircraft! They start with raw linen, then bleach it, then screen the colors on. Being that it is actual linen, you’ll also have to apply and shrink it differently from the heat-activated coverings. First, the fabric is adhered to the airframe using fabric glue or stitches. Next, a couple of coats of nitrate dope are applied to fill the weave of the fabric. Finally, the fabric is shrunk drum-tight using multiple coats of Butyrate dope, just like on the full-size plane! Since it is fabric you can also stitch/sew together panels as in the full-size and even lace the bottom of your Fokker fuselage if you want. flygtm.com
The olive and khaki colors have been applied. Don’t worry if your alignment isn’t perfect you can always touch it up later. Just be sure to mix enough paint to do your entire plane plus extra for touch-up.
The last set of lozenges! Be sure to brush away from the edges of the mask to prevent bleeding.
The finished top wing and bottom of the bottom wing. Notice how the two color schemes are markedly different — an important feature to maintain orientation when flying.
Any serious WW I enthusiast ought to try hand-painted lozenges at least once. It gets easier with practice and actually becomes a little addictive and fun! The touch up can be time-consuming, so align your templates carefully. After covering over a completely light-colored airframe, the one thing I would do differently next time would be to cover anything requiring the dark lozenge camo in a dark Solartex — olive drab or dark blue would be perfect as you may be able to use the olive or blue of the covering as one of the lozenges. It took about three or four busy days to cover an entire 1/6-scale model of a Fokker D VII. It’ll be less if you are covering a plane that only has partial lozenge covering such as a DVa or some of the Dr 1s there are a lot of D-VIIs that also have only partial lozenge covering. The cost of materials is negligible, but be prepared to spend some time with it. Also, you have the advantage of getting the exact colors you want as products vary in color as does opinions as to the right colors for this type of camouflage. Careful review of primary source materials (such as actual planes or actual lozenge camo sample fabric from actual aircraft) will point you in the right direction.
If you simply don’t want to bother with painting, then simply be prepared to budget in some extra money for a given project to buy whichever commercial covering you decide to use. As discussed, these all have different application methods, and some only cater to large-scale aircraft. All the coverings discussed in this article worked well and as advertised, and I found them a welcome break after hand-painting my lozenges! Finally, this is a fascinating aspect of WW I aircraft and done well really adds a tremendous amount of interest to a given aircraft. A final consideration would be to be sure and add some bright accents to your airplane as the lozenge camouflage will do its job in low-light conditions or against a backdrop of trees. Making sure there is a good amount of difference between tops and bottoms of wings is a good start, but also consider using bright-colored cowls, wheel hubs, or tail feathers to ensure good orientation when you are on your next Dawn Patrol!
The Solomon Islands Campaign: Guadalcanal
After the US strategic victories at the Battles of the Coral Sea (May 7–8, 1942) and Midway (June 4–7, 1942), the Japanese Imperial Navy was no longer capable of major offensive campaigns, which permitted the Allies to start their own offensive in the Pacific.
Primary Image: On Guadalcanal, American servicemembers battled heat, mosquitoes, disease, dense vegetation, and unfamiliar terrain along with a determined Japanese enemy in an all-consuming, round-the-clock battle. (Image: The National WWII Museum, 2002.069.144.)
Following its attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941), the Japanese Imperial Navy occupied islands throughout the western Pacific Ocean. Japan’s goal was to create a defensive buffer against attack from the United States and its allies—one that would ensure Japan mastery over east Asia and the southwest Pacific. After the US strategic victories at the Battles of the Coral Sea (May 7–8, 1942) and Midway (June 4–7, 1942), the Japanese Imperial Navy was no longer capable of major offensive campaigns, which permitted the Allies to start their own offensive in the Pacific.
In August 1942, America mounted its first major amphibious landing of World War II at Guadalcanal, using innovative landing craft built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans. By seizing a strategic airfield site on the island, the United States halted Japanese efforts to disrupt supply routes to Australia and New Zealand. The invasion ignited a ferocious struggle marked by
seven major naval battles, numerous clashes ashore, and almost continuous air combat. For six long months US forces fought to hold the island. In the end they prevailed, and the Allies took the first vital step in driving the Japanese back in the Pacific theater.
American forces first landed on the Solomon Islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and Florida on the morning of August 7,1942. After some fierce fighting, the US Marines cleared Tulagi and Florida by August 9. The main forces on Guadalcanal met little resistance on their way inland to secure the airfield at Lunga Point, which was soon renamed Henderson Field after Loy Henderson, an aviator killed at the Battle of Midway. Almost immediately, however, Japanese naval aircraft attacked transport and escort ships, and Japanese reinforcements arrived in the area.
Over the following days, the first of many deadly naval battles occurred—the Naval Battle of Savo Island. The fight for control of Guadalcanal, its critical airfield, and the seas around them continued for months with both sides losing men, ships, and aircraft and with neither side able to drive the other off the island.
During the first amphibious invasion in the Pacific, the United States made many initial mistakes, including not having the proper resources on the beaches to move men and matériel inland. The logistical challenges of transport and supply across the Pacific were also immense. Difficult jungle terrain, inhospitable weather, lack of infrastructure, and a foe that fought to the death gave the United States its first taste of what was to come throughout the Pacific war. It seemed that every time the United States inched closer to victory, the Japanese would resupply Guadalcanal by night and be ready for more fighting the next day.
On Guadalcanal, American servicemembers battled heat, mosquitoes, disease, dense vegetation, and unfamiliar terrain along with a determined Japanese enemy in an all-consuming, round-the-clock battle. (Image: The National WWII Museum, 2002.069.144.)
Members of the U.S. 11th Marines with a 75mm pack howitzer on Guadalcanal, 1942. (Image: National Archives and Records Administration.)
Determined to achieve a decisive victory, Japanese forces massed for an all-out attack in October 1942. Meanwhile, the Marines finally began receiving fresh reinforcements, including soldiers from the US Army. The Americans strengthened their defenses at Henderson Field and launched aggressive jabs to keep the Japanese off-balance. When the Japanese Seventeenth Army launched the assault on October 23, 1942, striking at multiple points along the airfield perimeter over four days, tenacious fighting by US Marines and soldiers threw back the attacks. American losses were significant, but Japanese losses were devastating.
The battle at sea also heated up in the fall of 1942. On October 26, American and Japanese naval forces clashed off the Santa Cruz Islands. Japan secured a tactical victory, sinking the carrier Hornet, but paid a severe price in aircraft and skilled aircrew. Then from November 12–15, in the frantic Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, American sailors and airmen blocked Japan’s last effort to knock out Henderson Field from the sea, at heavy cost. As one Japanese officer noted, “This was the fork in the road.” While fighting continued on the island, the Japanese withdrew their final men and left the island to the Allies in February 1943.
Albatros W.2 - History
The great success of offensive mine operations in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905, caused huge interest in mine warfare (and its counter measures) in most european countries. As a result, the Hochseeflotte ordered two special build mine layers - the official designation was "Minendampfer" - to replace the existing minelayers which were converted from other ships.
Although the two ordered ships were originally planned to be both of the same class, they differed so much that they could be seen as different ship classes. The first build Nautilus had the typical appearance of a yacht, while the half-sister Albatross looked more like a small cruiser.
Despite their later designation as a mine cruiser, the weak 8,8 cm guns as main artillery made those ships no real match for a real small cruiser. The maneuverable ships proved to be very sensitive to wind, especially at low speeds.
Albatross was laid down after some first experience with her half-sister was made, therefore several modifications were made which lead to complete different outer appearance. Like the Nautilus , the ships was first used in the mine training school and laid several mine fields during the war. After an engagement with a superior Russian cruiser force, the ship was beached in Swedish waters and returned to Germany after the war where it was scrapped.
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Albatros W.2 - History
LEDVANCE employees may review, save, print and download historical W2's using the link above
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Lessons From a 'Backyard Jungle'
The Secret World of 'Garbagemen'
Before the Kindle, Another Reading Revolution
But more than a denunciation of Mussolini's treachery and double-dealing, the speech finally gave a statement of American policy. It was time to "proclaim certain truths," the president said. Military and naval victories for the "gods of force and hate" would endanger all democracies in the western world. In this time of crisis, America could no longer pretend to be "a lone island in a world of force." Indeed, the nation could no longer cling to the fiction of neutrality. "Our sympathies lie with those nations that are giving their life blood in combat against these forces." Then he outlined his policy. America was simultaneously pursuing two courses of action. First, it was extending to the democratic Allies all the material resources of the nation and second, it was speeding up war production at home so that America would have the equipment and manpower "equal to the task of any emergency and every defense." There would be no slowdowns and no detours. Everything called for speed, "full speed ahead!" Concluding his remarks, he summoned, as he had in 1933 when he first took the oath of office, Americans' "effort, courage, sacrifice and devotion."
It was a "fighting speech," wrote Time magazine, "more powerful and more determined" than any the president had yet delivered about the war in Europe. But the reality was actually more complicated.
On the one hand, the president had taken sides in the European conflict. No more illusions of "neutrality." And he had delivered a straightforward statement of the course of action he would pursue. On the other hand, he was not free to make policy unilaterally he still had to contend with isolationists in Congress. On June 10, the day of his Charlottesville talk, with Germans about to cross the Marne southeast of Paris, it was clear that the French capital would soon fall. France's desperate prime minister, Paul Reynaud, asked Roosevelt to declare publicly that the United States would support the Allies "by all means short of an expeditionary force." But Roosevelt declined. He sent only a message of support labeled "secret" to Reynaud and in a letter to Winston Churchill, he explained that "in no sense" was he prepared to commit the American government to "military participation in support of the Allied governments." Only Congress, he added, had the authority to make such a commitment.
"We all listened to you last night," Churchill wired the president the day after the Charlottesville address, pleading, as he had done earlier in May, for more arms and equipment from America and paring down his request for destroyers from "forty or fifty" to "thirty or forty." "Nothing is so important," he wrote. In answer to Churchill's urgent appeal, the president arranged to send what he cleverly called "surplus" military equipment to Great Britain. Twelve ships sailed for Britain, loaded with seventy thousand tons of bomber planes, rifles, tanks, machine guns, and ammunition-- but no destroyers were included in the deal. Sending destroyers would be an act of war, claimed Senator David Walsh of Massachusetts, the isolationist chairman of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee. Walsh also discovered the president's plan to send twenty torpedo boats to Britain. Flying into a rage, he threatened legislation to prohibit such arms sales. Roosevelt backed down -- temporarily -- and called off the torpedo boat deal.
Even as Nazi troops, tanks, and planes chalked up more conquests in Europe, the contest between the shrimps and the White House was not over. On the contrary, the shrimps still occupied a position of formidable strength.
The glamorous public face and articulate voice of the isolationist movement belonged to the charismatic and courageous Charles Lindbergh. His solo flight across the Atlantic in May 1927 had catapulted the lanky, boyish, 25- year- old pilot onto the world stage. "Well, I made it," he said with a modest smile upon landing at Le Bourget airfield in Paris, as thousands of delirious French men and women broke through military and police lines and rushed toward his small plane. When he returned to New York two weeks later, flotillas of boats in the harbor, a squadron of twenty- one planes in the sky, and four million people roaring "Lindy! Lindy!" turned out to honor him in a joy-mad city, draped in flags and drenched in confetti and ticker tape. "No conqueror in the history of the world," wrote one newspaper, "ever received a welcome such as was accorded Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh yesterday."
On May 19, 1940, a week before the president gave his fireside chat denouncing isolationists and outlining plans to build up American defenses, Lindbergh had made the isolationist case in his own radio address. The United States was not in danger from a foreign invasion unless "American people bring it on" by meddling in the affairs of foreign countries. The only danger to America, the flier insisted, was an "internal" one.
Though the president had explained that the Atlantic and Pacific oceans could no longer provide safe boundaries and could not protect the American continent from attack, Lindbergh insisted that the two vast oceans did indeed guarantee the nation's safety. "There will be no invasion by foreign aircraft," he stated categorically in his reedy voice, "and no foreign navy will dare to approach within bombing range of our coasts." America's sole task, he underscored, lay in "building and guarding our own destiny." If the nation stuck to a unilateral course, avoided entanglements abroad, refrained from intervening in European affairs, and built up its own defenses, it would be impregnable to foreign incursions. In any case, he stressed, it was pointless for the United States to risk submerging its future in the wars of Europe, for the die had already been cast. "There is no longer time for us to enter this war successfully," he assured his radio audience.
Deriding all the "hysterical chatter of calamity and invasion," Lindbergh charged that President Roosevelt's angry words against Germany would lead to "neither friendship nor peace."
Friendship with Nazi Germany? Surely Lindbergh realized that friendship between nations signifies their mutual approval, trust, and assistance. But so starry- eyed was he about German dynamism, technology, and military might and so detached was he from the reality and consequences of German aggression and oppression that even on that day of May 19, when the headline in the Washington Post read, "NAZIS SMASH THROUGH BELGIUM, INTO FRANCE" and when tens of thousands of desperate Belgian refugees poured across the border into France, Lindbergh said he believed it would make no difference to the United States if Germany won the war and came to dominate all of Europe. "Regardless of which side wins this war," he stated in his May 19 speech without a whiff of hesitation or misgiving, "there is no reason . . . to prevent a continuation of peaceful relationships between America and the countries of Europe." The danger, in his opinion, was not that Germany might prevail but rather that Roosevelt's antifascist statements would make the United States "hated by victor and vanquished alike." The United States could and should maintain peaceful diplomatic and economic relations with whichever side won the war. Fascism, democracy-- six of one, half a dozen of the other. His defeatist speech could not have been "better put if it had been written by Goebbels himself," Franklin Roosevelt remarked two days later.
As the mighty German army broke through French defenses and thundered toward Paris, the dominance of Germany in Europe seemed obvious, inevitable, and justified to Lindbergh. Why, then, he wondered, did Roosevelt persist in his efforts to involve the nation in war? "The only reason that we are in danger of becoming involved in this war," he concluded in his May 19 speech, "is because there are powerful elements in America who desire us to take part. They represent a small minority of the American people, but they control much of the machinery of influence and propaganda." It was a veiled allusion to Jewish newspaper publishers and owners of major Hollywood movie studios. He counseled Americans to "strike down these elements of personal profit and foreign interest." While his recommendation seemed to border on violence, he was also reviving the centuries-old anti-Semitic myth of Jews as stateless foreigners, members of an international conspiratorial clique with no roots in the "soil" and interested only in "transportable" paper wealth.
"The Lindberghs and their friends laugh at the idea of Germany ever being able to attack the United States," wrote radio correspondent William Shirer, stationed in Berlin. "The Germans welcome their laughter and hope more Americans will laugh." Also heartened by Lindbergh's words was the German military attaché in Washington, General Friedrich von Boetticher. "The circle about Lindbergh," von Boetticher wrote in a dispatch to Berlin, "now tries at least to impede the fatal control of American policy by the Jews." The day after Lindbergh's speech, the defiant Hollywood studio heads, Jack and Harry Warner, wrote to Roosevelt to assure him that they would "do all in our power within the motion picture industry . . . to show the American people the worthiness of the cause for which the free peoples of Europe are making such tremendous sacrifices."
Who could have foreseen in 1927 that Lindbergh, whose flight inspired a sense of transatlantic community and raised idealistic hopes for international cooperation, would come to embody the fiercest, most virulent brand of isolationism? Two years after his feat, Lindbergh gained entrée to the Eastern social and financial elite when he married Anne Morrow, the daughter of Dwight Morrow. A former J. P. Morgan partner and the ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow would be elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1930, just before his death in 1931. Charles and Anne seemed to lead charmed lives-- until their 20- month- old son was snatched from his crib in their rural New Jersey home in March 1932. Muddy footprints trailed across the floor in the second-floor nursery to an open window, beneath which a ladder had stood. "The baby's been kidnapped!" cried the nurse as she ran downstairs. The governor of New York, Franklin Roosevelt, immediately placed all the resources of the state police at the disposal of the New Jersey authorities. Two months later, the small body was found in a shallow grave. A German- born carpenter who had served time in prison for burglary, Bruno Hauptmann, was charged with the crime Lindbergh identified his voice as the one he heard shouting in the darkness of a Bronx cemetery when he handed over $50,000 in ransom.
Carrying a pistol visible in a shoulder holster, Lindbergh attended the trial in January 1935, sitting just a few seats away from the accused. After Hauptmann's conviction and move for an appeal, Eleanor Roosevelt oddly and gratuitously weighed in, second- guessing the jury and announcing that she was a "little perturbed" that an innocent man might have been found guilty. But the conviction stood, and Hauptmann would be executed in the electric chair in April 1936.
In December 1935, in the wake of the trial, Charles and Anne, harassed and sometimes terrified by intrusive reporters as well as by would- be blackmailers, fled to Europe with their 3-year-old son, Jon. "America Shocked by Exile Forced on the Lindberghs" read the three-column headline on the front page of the New York Times.
Would the crowd- shy Lindbergh and his wife find a calm haven in Europe? The Old World also has its gangsters, commented a French newspaper columnist, adding that Europe "suffers from an additional disquieting force, for there everyone is saying, 'There is going to be war soon.'" The Nazi press, however, took a different stance. "As Germans," wrote the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung with an absence of irony, "we cannot understand that a civilized nation is not able to guarantee the safety of the bodies and lives of its citizens."
For several years the Lindberghs enjoyed life in Europe, first in England, in a house in the hills near Kent, and later on a small, rocky island off the coast of Brittany. In the summer of 1936, the couple visited Germany, where they were wined and dined by Hermann Goering, second only to Hitler in the Nazi hierarchy, and other members of the party elite. Goering personally led Lindbergh on an inspection tour of aircraft factories, an elite Luftwaffe squadron, and research facilities. The American examined new engines for dive bombers and combat planes and even took a bomber up in the air. It was a "privilege" to visit modern Germany, the awestruck Lindbergh said afterward, showering praise on "the genius this country has shown in developing airships." Photographers snapped pictures of Charles and his wife, relaxed and smiling in Goering's home. Lindbergh's reports on German aviation overflowed with superlatives about "the astounding growth of German air power," "this miraculous outburst of national energy in the air field," and the "scientific skill of the race ." The aviator, however, showed no interest in speaking with foreign correspondents in Germany, "who have a perverse liking for enlightening visitors on the Third Reich," William Shirer dryly noted.
In Berlin, Lindbergh's wife, Anne, was blinded by the glittering façade of a Potemkin village. She was enchanted by "the sense of festivity, flags hung out, the Nazi flag, red with a swastika on it, everywhere, and the Olympic flag, five rings on white." The Reich's dynamism was so impressive. "There is no question of the power, unity and purposefulness of Germany," she wrote effusively to her mother, adding that Americans surely needed to overcome their knee-jerk, "puritanical" view that dictatorships were "of necessity wrong, evil, unstable." The enthusiasm and pride of the people were "thrilling." Hitler himself, she added on a dreamy, romantic note, "is a very great man, like an inspired religious leader-- and as such rather fanatical-- but not scheming, not selfish, not greedy for power, but a mystic, a visionary who really wants the best for his country and on the whole has rather a broad view."
On August 1, 1936, Charles and Anne attended the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Berlin, sitting a few feet away from Adolf Hitler. As the band played "Deutschland über alles," blond- haired little girls offered bouquets of roses to the Führer, the delighted host of the international games. Theodore Lewald, the head of the German Organizing Committee, declared the games open, hailing the "real and spiritual bond of fi re between our German fatherland and the sacred places of Greece founded nearly 4,000 years ago by Nordic immigrants." Leaving the following day for Copenhagen, Lindbergh told reporters at the airport that he was "intensely pleased" by what he had observed. His presence in the Olympic Stadium and his warm words about Germany helpfully added to the luster and pride of the Nazis. Also present at the Olympic games, William Shirer overheard people in Nazi circles crow that they had succeeded in "making the Lindberghs 'understand' Nazi Germany."
In truth, Lindbergh had glimpsed a certain unsettling fanaticism in Germany, but, as he reasoned to a friend, given the chaotic situation in Germany after World War I, Hitler's achievements "could hardly have been accomplished without some fanaticism." Not only did he judge that the Führer was "undoubtedly a great man," but that Germany, too, "has more than her share of the elements which make strength and greatness among nations." Despite some reservations about the Nazi regime, Lindbergh believed that the Reich was a "stabilizing factor" in Europe in the 1930s. Another visit to Germany in 1937 confirmed his earlier impressions. German aviation was "without parallel in history" Hitler's policies "seem laid out with great intelligence and foresight" and any fanaticism he had glimpsed was offset by a German "sense of decency and value which in many ways is far ahead of our own."
In the late spring of 1938, Lindbergh and his wife moved to the tiny Breton island of Illiec, where Charles could carry on lengthy conversations with his neighbor and mentor, Dr. Alexis Carrel, an award-winning French scientist and eugenicist who instructed the flier in his scientific racism. In his 1935 book Man, the Unknown, Carrel had laid out his theories, his criticism of parliamentary democracy and racial equality. Asserting that the West was a "crumbling civilization," he called for the "gigantic strength of science" to help eliminate "defective" individuals and breeds and prevent "the degeneration of the [white] race." In the introduction to the German edition of his book, he praised Germany's "energetic measures against the propagation of retarded individuals, mental patients, and criminals."
In the fall of 1938, Charles and Anne returned to Germany. In October, at a stag dinner in Berlin hosted by the American ambassador and attended by the Italian and Belgian ambassadors as well as by German aircraft designers and engineers, Goering surprised the aviator by bestowing on him, "in the name of the Führer," Germany's second- highest decoration, a medal-- the Service Cross of the Order of the German Eagle-- embellished with a golden cross and four small swastikas. Lindbergh wore it proudly that evening. Afterward, when he returned from the embassy, he showed the medal to Anne, who correctly predicted that it would become an "albatross."
The Lindberghs wanted to spend the winter in Berlin, and Anne even found a suitable house in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. They returned to Illiec to pack up for the move, but changed their plans when they learned of Kristallnacht. "My admiration for the Germans is constantly being dashed against some rock such as this," Lindbergh lamented in his diary, expressing dismay at the persecution of Jews at the hands of Nazi thugs. Concerned that their taking up residence in Berlin might cause "embarrassment" to the German and American governments, he and Anne rented an apartment in Paris instead. And yet, Lindbergh's deep admiration for Germany was not seriously dampened. On the contrary, crossing the border from Belgium into Germany in December 1938, Lindbergh was captivated by the fine-looking young German immigration officer whose "air of discipline and precision," he wrote, was "in sharp contrast to the easygoing pleasantness of Belgium and France." Germany still offered the striking image of the virility and modern technology he prized. The spirit of the German people, he told John Slessor, a deputy director in Britain's Air Ministry, was "magnificent" he especially admired their refusal to admit that anything was impossible or that any obstacle was too great to overcome. Americans, he sighed, had lost that strength and optimism. Strength was the key to the future. It appeared eminently rational and fair to Charles Lindbergh that Germany should dominate Europe because, as he wrote, "no system . . . can succeed in which the voice of weakness is equal to the voice of strength."
In April 1939, Lindbergh returned to the United States, his wife and two young sons following two weeks later. A few years earlier he had discussed with his British friends the possibility of relinquishing his American citizenship, but now he decided that if there was going to be a war, he would remain loyal to America. Even so, on the same day that he and Anne discussed moving back to America, he confessed in his diary that, of all the countries he had lived in, he had "found the most personal freedom in Germany." Moreover, he still harbored "misgivings" about the United States critical of the shortsightedness and vacillation" of democratic statesmen, he was convinced that, in order to survive in the new totalitarian world, American democracy would have to make "great changes in its present practices."
Back on American soil in April, Lindbergh immediately launched into a tireless round of meetings with scientists, generals, and government officials, spreading the word about the remarkable advances in aviation he had seen in Germany and pushing for more research and development of American air and military power. Though he believed in American isolation, he also believed in American preparedness.
On April 20, 1939, Lindbergh had a busy day in Washington: first a meeting with Secretary of War Harry Woodring and then one with President Roosevelt at the White House. After waiting for forty-five minutes, the aviator entered the president's office. "He is an accomplished, suave, interesting conversationalist," Lindbergh wrote later that day in his diary. "I liked him and feel that I could get along with him well." But he suspected that they would never agree on "many fundamentals" and moreover sensed that there was "something about him I did not trust, something a little too suave, too pleasant, too easy. . . . Still, he is our President," Lindbergh concluded. He would try to work with him, he noted, cautiously adding that "I have a feeling that it may not be for long."
Emerging after half an hour from a side exit of the executive mansion, Lindbergh found himself besieged by photographers and reporters. The boisterous scene was "disgraceful," the camera- shy aviator bitterly judged. "There would be more dignity and self-respect among African Savages." After their meeting, neither Lindbergh nor the White House would shed any light on what had been discussed. Rumors would later surface that, at that April meeting or several months later, the president had offered the aviator a cabinet appointment, but such rumors were never substantiated.
From the White House that April day, Lindbergh went to a session of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and spoke about the importance of establishing a program to develop technologically advanced aircraft. While he backed the NACA's recommendation that the government allocate $10 million for a West Coast research center, not even that represented sufficient progress in Lindbergh's mind. It would still leave the United States "far behind a country like Germany in research facilities," he wrote in his diary. "We could not expect to keep up with the production of European airplanes as long as we were on a peacetime basis."
Lindbergh was unrelenting in his message about military preparedness. One scientist who listened carefully to him was Vannevar Bush, the chairman of the NACA and head of the Carnegie Institution, a research organization in Washington. After several more meetings that spring, the two men agreed that a plan was needed to revive the NACA. Bush "soaked up" Lindbergh's opinions, wrote Bush's biographer G. Pascal Zachary. Indeed, so impressed was Bush that he offered Lindbergh the chairmanship or vice chairmanship of the NACA-- an offer he aviator declined. Early in 1940 Bush received another report from Lindbergh that repeated his alarm about a serious lack of engine research facilities in the United States and called for "immediate steps to remedy this deficiency."
Deeply concerned after reading Lindbergh's recommendations, Bush drafted a proposal for the creation of a National Defense Research Council (NDRC), an organization that would supervise and fund the work of American engineers and scientists. On June 12, 1940, Bush met for the first time with President Roosevelt in the Oval Office. He handed him his memo--four short paragraphs on a single sheet of paper. It was enough, one of Bush's colleagues later wrote, to convince the president of the need to harness technology for possible war. Taking out his pen, he wrote on the memo the magical words, "OK-- FDR."
During the war, two thirds of the nation's physicists would be working under Vannevar Bush. One of the secret projects he supervised until 1943, when it was turned over to the army, was known as Section S1. The S1 physicists sought to unlock energy from the fission of atoms of a rare isotope of uranium. And among the starting places for that work as well as for Bush's creation of the NDRC were his informative and disturbing conversations with Charles Lindbergh.
In June 1940, as France fell to Nazi troops and planes, Lindbergh turned to memories of his father for reassurance and wisdom. "Spent the evening reading Father's Why Is Your Country at War?" he wrote in his diary. That 1917 book justified the son's alarm at the prospect of America's entry into another European war. Charles Lindbergh, Sr., a progressive Minnesota Republican who died in 1924, had served in the House of Representatives from 1907 to 1917. His young son, Charles, ran errands and addressed letters for him and occasionally was seen in the House gallery, watching his father on the floor below. Although Lindbergh, Sr., had been a follower of Theodore Roosevelt, on the question of American participation in the First World War, he and the bellicose TR parted company.
Why Is Your Country at War? was a long- winded, turgid antiwar tract, arguing that the United States had been drawn into the war by the machinations of "cowardly politicians," wealthy bankers, and the Federal Reserve Bank. The senior Lindbergh did not oppose the violence of war per se. Rather, this midwestern agrarian railed against the injustice of a war organized and promoted as a for-profit enterprise by the "wealth grabbers" of Wall Street, people like the Morgans and the Rockefellers. Ironically, the men of the "power elite" whom he most despised might have included his son's future father- in-law, Dwight Morrow, a Morgan partner-- though Lindbergh, Jr., later told an interviewer that he believed that his father and Dwight Morrow would probably have liked each other. At bottom, the elder Lindbergh's screed was a rambling, populist, socialist primer that offered radical remedies for the twin evils of war and capitalism.
When his book appeared in print, Lindbergh, Sr., had to defend himself--not against the charge that he was anticapitalist, which would have been true, but rather against the charge that he was pro- German. He was hung in effigy and taunted as a "friend of the Kaiser." Though there was nothing pro-German in the book, the accusations contributed to his defeat when he ran for governor of Minnesota in 1918. "If you are really for America first," he wrote in his own defense, "then you are classed as pro-German by the big press[es] which are supported by the speculators."
Like his father, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., would also face allegations that he was pro-German. But in his case the indictment rang true.
In the aviator's mind, Germany had it made. In England there was "organization without spirit," he would tell a radio audience in August 1940. "In France there was spirit without organization in Germany there were both." Indeed, the more Lindbergh had lived among the English people, the less confidence he had in them. They struck him, he wrote, as unable to connect to a "modern world working on a modern tempo." And sadly, he judged that it was too late for them to catch up, "to bring back lost opportunity." Britain's only hope, as he once mentioned to his wife, was to learn from the Germans and to adopt their methods in order to survive. Nor did he have confidence or respect for democracy in the United States. On the American continent, he felt surrounded by mediocrity. Writing in his diary in the summer of 1940, he bemoaned the decline of American society--"the superficiality, the cheapness, the lack of understanding of, or interest in, fundamental problems." And making the problems worse were the Jews. "There are too many places like New York already," he wrote, alluding to that city's Jewish population. "A few Jews add strength and character to a country, but too many create chaos. And we are getting too many."
Was Lindbergh a Nazi? He was "transparently honest and sincere," remarked Sir John Slessor, the Royal Air Force marshal who met several times with Lindbergh. It was Lindbergh's very "decency and naiveté," Slessor later said, that convinced him that the aviator was simply "a striking example of the effect of German propaganda." One of Lindbergh's acquaintances, the journalist and poet Selden Rodman, also tried to explain the aviator's affinity for Nazi Germany. "Perhaps it is the conservatism of his friends and the aristocratic racial doctrines of Carrel that have made him sympathetic to Nazism," Rodman wrote. "Perhaps it is the symbolism of his lonely flight and the terrible denouement of mass-worship and the kidnapping that have driven him to the unpopular cause because it is unpopular that always makes the Byronic hero spurn fame and fortune for guilt and solitary persecution."
For his part, Lindbergh knew that many of his views were unpopular in certain circles, but, as he told a nationwide radio audience in 1940, "I would far rather have your respect for the sincerity of what I say than attempt to win your applause by confining my discussion to popular concepts." Mistaking sincerity for intelligence and insight, he considered himself a realist who grasped that German technological advances had profoundly and irrevocably altered the balance of power in Europe. The only issue, he once explained to Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, was "whether this change will be peaceably accepted, or whether it must be tested by war." Priding himself on his clear- eyed understanding of military strength, he darkly predicted in June 1940, before the Battle of Britain had even begun, that the end for England "will come fast." The playwright Robert Sherwood, whom FDR would draft in the summer of 1940 to join his speechwriting team, may have come closest to the truth about Lindbergh. The aviator, he dryly commented, had "an exceptional understanding of the power of machines as opposed to the principles which animate free men." As Sherwood suggested, Lindbergh may simply have been naive about politics, ignorant about history, uneducated in foreign policy and national security, and deluded by his infatuation with German technology and vigor. Perhaps he did not fully appreciate, Sherwood said, the extent to which the German people "are now doped up with the cocaine of world revolution and the dream of world domination."
Despite his exuberant enthusiasm for Germany, his disenchantment with democracy, the zealous applause he received from fascists in the United States and in Germany, his admiration for the racial ideas of Alexis Carrel, his increasingly extremist and anti- Semitic speeches, and the fact that his simplistic views mirrored Nazi propaganda in the United States, Lindbergh seemed to want what he believed was best for America. And yet Franklin Roosevelt may have been instinctively correct in his own less nuanced view.
"I am absolutely convinced that Lindbergh is a Nazi," FDR said melodramatically to his secretary of the treasury and old Dutchess County neighbor and friend, Henry Morgenthau, in May 1940, two days after Lindbergh's May 19 speech. "If I should die tomorrow, I want you to know this." The president lamented that the 38-year-old flier "has completely abandoned his belief in our form of government and has accepted Nazi methods because apparently they are efficient."
Others in the White House shared that assessment. Lindbergh, Harold Ickes sneered, pretentiously posed as a "heavy thinker" but never uttered "a word for democracy itself." The aviator was the "Number 1 Nazi fellow traveler," Ickes said. The delighted German embassy wholeheartedly agreed. "What Lindbergh proclaims with great courage," wrote the German military attaché to his home office in Berlin, "is certainly the highest and most effective form of propaganda." In other words, why would Germany need a fifth column in the United States when it had in its camp the nation's hero, Charles Lindbergh?
This is an excerpt from 1940: FDR, Willkie, Lindbergh, Hitler--the Election amid the Storm, by Susan Dunn, published by Yale University Press, 2013.
World War II Overcoats, Wool, Roll Collar
The "Overcoat, Wool, Roll Collar" was first issued in 1939 with brass buttons, similar to a design in use since 1927. It featured an olive drab, double breasted, wollen overcoat made with a convertible roll collar with notched lapels.
This overcoat was issued to every soldier along with his service uniform to provide sufficient warmth for winter campaigns. The 1939 revisions included action pleats in the back, a more square look to the shoulders, and a straight front opening. Other features included a long bottom split up the back and two slash pockets. A 1942 modification introduced green plastic buttons to replace the brass, a metal in shortage.
Labels in this overcoat will read "Overcoats, Wool, Roll Collar" or may say Wool Melton instead of just Wool. The Spec. is PQD No. 164 and will have a range of stock numbers for sizes similar to 55-Q-8910 or 55-Q-8950
Although the overcoat had been an essential clothing item in past wars, and was expected to be the same in World War II, the development of more funtional clothing, especially the 1943 Field Jacket and other components of the winter combat uniform, made the overcoat obsolete. It was relatively heavy to carry in combat and was often discarded. Although soldiers were seen with the overcoat through the end of the war, it gradually became used for dress wear over the service uniform rather than field gear.
Major Thomas M. Williams (L) of San Antonio, TX, Commanding Officer, 2018th Prisoner of War Detachment, wearing Overcoat, Short, Officer's, M-1926, an uncommon coat. S/Sgt. Jack N. Cobb (R) of Holland, MI, 5th Medical Bn, attached to the 5th Infantry Division, wearing Overcoat, Wool, Melton, OD, Roll Collar, 32 oz., with post-1942 plastic buttons. Photo dated 15 February 1945.
The albatross is inspiring tomorrow’s aircraft wings
T he albatross sea bird can soar hundreds of kilometres without flapping its wings. Imitating this flight technique just might help engineers design lighter and more fuel-efficient aircraft.
Of all feathered creatures, the albatross enjoys a legendary status. To bird enthusiasts, it is a majestic animal with the largest wingspan of any living bird. To golfers, it is a score of three-under-par on a single hole. To poetry majors, it is a centuries-old metaphor for a curse or burden. And to many engineers, the albatross is synonymous with the next generation of aircraft wings.
It is not hard to see why the albatross has captured the imagination of engineers: this remarkable sea bird can soar for several hundred kilometres—without flapping its wings! No other bird or winged creature is capable of doing the same. The secret of the albatross’ flight techniques lies in its capacity to “lock” its wing at the shoulder when travelling over long distances. In fact, the albatross can spend up to half of its time facing the wind and using it to fly upward on long trips, thereby covering long distances with very little effort. On the other hand, when faced with wind gusts, the albatross can quickly unlock its wings to better navigate the sudden, brief increase in wind speed.
AlbatrossOne is the first aircraft to trial in-flight, freely flapping wing-tips—which account for up to a third of the length of the wing.
Tom Wilson, Airbus engineer, Filton, UK
AlbatrossOne: Revolutionising Aircraft Wing Design
Inspired by the albatross seabird, Airbus engineers in Filton, UK have developed a remote-controlled aircraft demonstrator that has semi-aeroelastic hinged wing-tips. It is the first aircraft demonstrator to trial in-flight, freely flapping wing-tips that can react and flex to wind gusts, thereby significantly reducing load and drag for a lighter, more fuel-efficient aircraft. Read less Read more
Semi-aeroelastic hinged wing-tips for greater efficiency
Taking inspiration from the albatross, Airbus engineers in Filton, UK, with the support of Airbus ProtoSpace, have developed AlbatrossOne, a small-scale, remote-controlled aircraft demonstrator that has “semi-aeroelastic” hinged wing-tips. “The concept of hinged wing-tips is not new,” explains Airbus engineer Tom Wilson. “Military jets employ them to allow greater storage capacity on aircraft carriers. However, AlbatrossOne is the first aircraft to trial in-flight, freely flapping wing-tips—which account for up to a third of the length of the wing.”
In comparison to freely flapping wing-tips, a conventional wing on an aircraft transmits huge loads to the fuselage during turbulence. This requires the base of the wing to be heavily strengthened, thus adding weight to the aircraft as a result of the heavily reinforced wing boxes. By allowing the wing-tips to react and flex to wind gusts, load is significantly reduced. At the same time, the technique can reduce drag and combat the effects of turbulence and wind gusts.
For access to fossil specimens, we thank Samuel A. McLeod and Vanessa Rhue (both LACM). David Bohaska (USNM) kindly provided photos of the Diomedavus fossils in USNM. Gail H. Goedert assisted with fieldwork. Meredith Rivin (UWBM) provided specimen and locality numbers. Howell Thomas (LACM) furnished information on the referred tarsometatarsus of “Diomedea” milleri. We are furthermore indebted to Olaf Vogel (SMF) for the time-consuming preparation of the bones from the Astoria Formation and to Sven Tränkner (SMF) for taking photos of the Astoria Formation albatross and the extant species. Comments by Vanesa De Pietri and an anonymous reviewer improved the manuscript.
Author contributions: JLG collected the fossils and performed initial comparisons. GM and JLG analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript.