Información

Mick Mannock


Edward 'Mick' Mannock, hijo de Edward y Julia Mannock, nació en Preston Barracks, Brighton el 24 de mayo de 1887. Edward Mannock era cabo en el regimiento Royal Scots y la familia estaba en constante movimiento. Cuando era niño, Mick vivió en Inglaterra, Escocia, Irlanda e India.

Mientras estaba en India, Mick contrajo una infección y se quedó ciego. Finalmente recuperó la vista, pero durante el resto de su vida tuvo dificultades para ver con el ojo izquierdo. Después de que Edward Mannock regresara de la Guerra de los Bóers, abandonó a su esposa y sus cuatro hijos. Mick, que había sufrido la ira de su padre por la borrachera, reveló más tarde que se alegró cuando se enteró de que su padre había dejado la casa familiar. Sin embargo, la familia ahora era muy pobre y Mick tuvo que abandonar sus estudios en la primera oportunidad para poder traer el dinero que tanto necesitaba. Después de una serie de trabajos serviles, Mick encontró trabajo como ingeniero telefónico.

Mick se interesó por la política y de joven se convirtió en un socialista comprometido. Jim Eyles, un amigo cercano, dijo más tarde que: "Mick les dijo a todos los que conocía que todos los hombres deberían prepararse para la nueva era. Los oprimidos del mundo estaban a punto de tener su oportunidad al fin; era un deber para los hombres hacer el lo mejor de esta oportunidad por la que los líderes emergentes de las nuevas ideas habían sufrido tanto ". Mick habló en reuniones políticas y Jim Eyes comentó más tarde lo sorprendido que estaba de que este joven "que había sido arrastrado a la miseria más terrible, pudiera igualar el ingenio con estas clases de alta cuna y educación".

En febrero de 1914, los empleadores de Mick Mannock, la National Telephone Company, lo enviaron a trabajar a Turquía. Cuando se declaró la guerra el 4 de agosto de 1914, Mick intentó regresar a Inglaterra. Turquía había formado una alianza de defensa con Alemania y Mick se dio cuenta de que estaba en peligro. Sin embargo, antes de que pudiera organizar el transporte, las autoridades turcas arrestaron a Mick y lo llevaron a un campo de concentración. Después de varios intentos de fuga, que resultaron en largos períodos de confinamiento solitario en un 6ft. jaula, a Mick finalmente se le permitió irse a Inglaterra en abril de 1915.

Tan pronto como Mick Mannock regresó a casa, se unió al ejército británico. Pronto fue ascendido al rango de sargento mayor, pero su salud era mala y el ejército lo consideró inadecuado para los deberes militares. En marzo de 1916 logró obtener un traslado a los Royal Engineers como oficial cadete. Aunque tenía muy poca educación formal, Mick descubrió que podía competir con sus compañeros bien educados y no pasó mucho tiempo antes de que alcanzara el rango de segundo teniente.

En el verano de 1916, Mannock comenzó a leer en los periódicos sobre las hazañas de Albert Ball, el principal as de vuelo de Gran Bretaña. Ball, que aún no tenía veinte años, ya había derribado once aviones alemanes. Mannock solicitó un traslado al Royal Flying Corps y, en agosto de 1916, fue enviado a la Escuela de Aeronáutica Militar de Reading.

Mannock tenía una aptitud natural para volar. El capitán Chapman, uno de los hombres responsables de entrenar a Mick, informó más tarde que: "Hizo su primer vuelo en solitario con solo unas pocas horas de instrucción, ya que parecía dominar los rudimentos de volar con su primera hora en el aire y desde entonces en arrojó la máquina sobre lo que le agradó ". El capitán James McCudden, que más tarde se convertiría en uno de los principales ases de vuelo de Gran Bretaña, fue otro instructor que quedó impresionado con las habilidades de piloto de Mick Mannock.

En marzo de 1917, se decidió que Mannock estaba listo para ser enviado al Frente Occidental. Mannock llegó a St. Omer en Francia el 6 de abril de 1917. Al principio, la personalidad y las opiniones políticas de Mannock molestaron a los demás pilotos. El teniente Lional Blaxland recordó más tarde su primera impresión de Mannock: "Era diferente. Sus modales, habla y familiaridad no eran del agrado. Los hombres nuevos generalmente se tomaban su tiempo y escuchaban a las manos más experimentadas; Mannock era todo lo contrario. Ofreció ideas sobre todo: cómo iba la guerra, cómo debía librarse, el papel de los pilotos exploradores, lo que estaba mal o bien con nuestras máquinas. "

Poco después de llegar a Francia, Mannock escuchó la noticia de que Albert Ball, el hombre cuyo ejemplo lo había inspirado a unirse al Royal Flying Corps, había sido abatido y asesinado. El mismo día, el capitán Nixon, el líder de la patrulla de Mannock, también murió durante una misión para destruir globos de observación alemanes.

Mannock tuvo dificultades para adaptarse a las tareas de combate y tuvo que esperar hasta el 7 de junio de 1917 antes de realizar su primera "muerte" confirmada. Antes de que pudiera sumar a su total, recibió una herida en la cabeza durante una pelea de perros con dos pilotos alemanes.

Mannock fue enviado de regreso a Inglaterra para recuperarse. Mick fue a quedarse con su madre, pero se sintió consternado al descubrir que su madre, como su padre, ahora era alcohólica. También descubrió que su hermana, Jessie, trabajaba como prostituta en Birmingham. Molesto por el estado de su familia, Mick estaba ansioso por regresar a Francia, y desesperadamente corto de pilotos entrenados, el RFC acordó que podría regresar al servicio.

Después de regresar a Francia en julio, Mannock desarrolló rápidamente una reputación como uno de los pilotos más talentosos del RFC. En las dos primeras semanas después de regresar al Frente Occidental, ganó cuatro combates aéreos en su SE-5a. Esto le dio una nueva confianza y el 16 de agosto derribó cuatro aviones en un día. A la mañana siguiente sumó dos victorias más a su total. El 17 de septiembre ganó la Cruz Militar por ahuyentar a varios aviones enemigos mientras destruía tres globos de observación alemanes. Al mes siguiente le concedieron una barra de su Cruz Militar. La cita oficial decía: "Atacó una formación de cinco máquinas enemigas con una sola mano y derribó una fuera de control; mientras se enfrentaba a una máquina enemiga, fue atacado por otras dos, una de las cuales arrojó al suelo".

Mannock estaba profundamente afectado por la cantidad de hombres que estaba matando. En su diario registró una visita al lugar donde una de sus víctimas se había estrellado cerca de la línea del frente: "El viaje a las trincheras fue bastante nauseabundo: las piernas de los hombres muertos se asomaban por los costados con puttees y botas todavía puestas, trozos de huesos y calaveras". con el pelo despeinado y toneladas de equipo y ropa tirados. Este tipo de cosas, junto con el fuerte hedor del cementerio y el cuerpo muerto y destrozado del piloto, se combinaron para disgustarme durante unos días ".

Mannock se molestó especialmente cuando vio a una de sus víctimas incendiarse camino al suelo. A partir de esa fecha, Mick Mannock siempre llevaba consigo un revólver en su cabina. Como le dijo a su amigo el teniente MacLanachan: "Los otros muchachos se ríen de mí por llevar un revólver. Creen que voy a derribar una máquina con él, pero se equivocan. La razón por la que lo compré fue para terminar yo mismo. tan pronto como veo los primeros signos de llamas ".

El miedo al fuego de Mannock se vio agravado por la decisión del Alto Mando británico de no permitir que los pilotos del Royal Flying Corps llevaran paracaídas. Mannock creía que era injusto negar a los aviadores británicos el derecho a tener paracaídas cuando los pilotos alemanes los habían estado usando con éxito durante varios meses. Estaba especialmente enojado por la razón principal dada para esta decisión: "Es la opinión de la junta que la presencia de un aparato de este tipo podría dañar el espíritu de lucha de los pilotos y hacer que abandonen las máquinas que de otro modo podrían volver a la base. Para reparar."

El 22 de julio de 1917, Mannock fue ascendido a capitán. Como comandante de vuelo, pudo introducir un nuevo enfoque para el vuelo de combate. Mannock creía que "los días del caza solitario habían pasado y la lucha aérea era ahora un asunto de unidades de combate coordinadas y planificadas que podían infligir el máximo daño y las mínimas pérdidas".

En febrero de 1918, Mannock se convirtió en comandante de vuelo del Escuadrón 74. Los siguientes tres meses vieron treinta y seis victorias más. Mannock había superado el total de cuarenta y cuatro asesinatos de Albert Ball y el 20 de julio derribó un Albatros que le dio cincuenta y ocho victorias, una más que el récord británico que ostentaba James McCudden. En junio fue ascendido al rango de mayor y al mes siguiente se convirtió en comandante del Escuadrón 85.

El 26 de julio, el comandante Mannock se ofreció a ayudar a un recién llegado, Donald Inglis, a obtener su primera victoria. Después de derribar un Albatros detrás de la primera línea alemana, los dos hombres se dirigieron a casa. Mientras cruzaban las trincheras, los combatientes se encontraron con una descarga masiva de fuego desde el suelo. El motor del avión de Mannock fue alcanzado e inmediatamente se incendió y se estrelló detrás de las líneas alemanas. El cuerpo de Mannock fue encontrado a 250 yardas de los restos de su máquina. No disparó su revólver, pero se cree que podría haber saltado de su avión en llamas justo antes de que se estrellara.

Después de su muerte, Mick Mannock fue galardonado con la Victoria Cross por: "un ejemplo sobresaliente de valentía intrépida, habilidad notable, devoción al deber y abnegación que nunca ha sido superada". La Victoria Cross de Mannock fue presentada a su padre en el Palacio de Buckingham en julio de 1919. Edward Mannock también recibió las otras medallas de su hijo, aunque Mick había estipulado en su testamento que su padre no debería recibir nada de su patrimonio. Poco después, las medallas de Mannock se vendieron por £ 5. Desde entonces se han recuperado y se pueden ver en el Museo de la Royal Air Force en Hendon.

Conocí a Mick en un partido de cricket en Wellingborough. Me impresionó de inmediato. Era un joven pulcro, aunque no lo que uno llamaría bien vestido; de hecho, estaba un poco raído. Le pregunté si le gustaría irse a vivir con mi esposa y conmigo, y estaba muy contento con la idea. Después de que él se mudó, nuestra casa nunca volvió a ser la misma, nuestra vida normalmente tranquila se fue para siempre. Realmente fue maravilloso. Hablaba hasta altas horas de la madrugada si se lo permitía, todo tipo de temas: política, sociedad, lo que sea y estaba interesado. Estaba claro desde el principio que era socialista. También era profundamente patriota. Un hombre más amable y reflexivo que nunca podrías conocer.

Cuando llegó, parecía no tener la menor concepción de un avión. La primera vez que despegamos del suelo, Mannock, a diferencia de muchos alumnos, en lugar de atascar el timón y agarrar el joystick con un puño hercúleo, miró por encima del costado del avión hacia la tierra, que se alejaba rápidamente de él, con un expresión que delataba el más leve interés. Hizo su primer vuelo en solitario con sólo unas pocas horas de instrucción, ya que parecía dominar los rudimentos del vuelo con su primera hora en el aire y desde entonces lanzó la máquina sobre lo que le agradaba.

Mannock era un tirador extraordinariamente bueno y un muy buen estratega, podía colocar a su equipo de vuelo en lo alto contra el sol y llevarlos a una posición favorable donde tendrían la máxima ventaja. Luego iría rápidamente hacia el enemigo, reduciendo la velocidad en el último momento posible para asegurarse de que cada uno de sus seguidores se colocara en una buena posición de disparo.

El hecho de que siga vivo se debe al alto nivel de liderazgo de Mick y a la estricta disciplina en la que insistió. Se esperaba que todos lo siguiéramos y lo cubriéramos lo más lejos posible durante un compromiso y luego nos uniéramos a la formación tan pronto como ese compromiso terminara. Ninguno de los pilotos de Mick habría soñado con perseguir solo al enemigo en retirada o cualquier otro acto temerario. Nos formó en un equipo, y gracias a su hábil liderazgo nos convertimos en un equipo altamente eficiente. Nuestro líder de escuadrón dijo que Mannock fue el líder de patrulla más hábil en la Primera Guerra Mundial, lo que explicaría las relativamente pocas bajas en su equipo de vuelo en comparación con la gran cantidad de aviones enemigos destruidos.

Mick tenía veintiocho o veintinueve cuando lo conocí por primera vez. Luego había estado dos meses en Francia. Todo en él demostraba su vitalidad, un hombre fuerte y varonil. Su cerebro alerta era rápido, y un coraje inquebrantable y un carácter directo lo obligaron a actuar donde otros se sentaban sin comprender. Su personalidad me asombró.

Recuerdo bien su último permiso. Atrás quedó la vieja chispa que conocíamos tan bien; se había ido el incesante ingenio. Podía verlo retorcerse las manos para ocultar el temblor y los espasmos, y luego salía de la habitación cuando le resultaba imposible controlarlo. En una ocasión estábamos sentados al frente hablando en voz baja cuando sus ojos se posaron en el suelo y empezó a temblar violentamente. Lloró incontrolablemente. Su rostro, cuando lo levantó, fue un espectáculo terrible. Más tarde me dijo que solo había sido un 'poco de nervios' y que se sentía mejor por un buen llanto. No estaba en condiciones de volver a Francia, pero en aquellos días no se tenían en cuenta esas cosas.

Siento que no vale la pena aferrarse a la vida. Tenía esperanzas de casarme, pero no ahora.

Mick disparó contra un biplaza. Debe haber atrapado al observador, ya que el huno dejó de disparar. Disparé y golpeé el tanque de gasolina del Hun. Poniéndonos detrás de Mick de nuevo, hicimos un par de vueltas sobre los restos del naufragio en llamas y luego nos dirigimos a casa. Estábamos bastante bajos, luego vi una llama salir del costado de su máquina; se hizo más y más grande. Dio un giro lento a la derecha, aproximadamente dos veces, y golpeó el suelo en una explosión de llamas.

Hubo muchos disparos de rifles desde las trincheras de Jerry, y se abrió una ametralladora cerca de Robecq, utilizando trazadores. Vi que estos golpeaban el motor de Mannock. Una llama de color blanco azulado apareció y se extendió rápidamente; el humo y las llamas envolvieron el motor y la cabina.


Edward "Mick" Mannock

Edward 'Mick' Mannock fue uno de los ases de combate más famosos de la Primera Guerra Mundial. A Mannock se le atribuye ser el piloto de combate más exitoso de Royal Flying Corp en la Primera Guerra Mundial. A pesar de los grandes avances en los aviones hasta 1939, las "Quince Reglas" de Mannock para volar en combate se utilizaron en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, tal fue su importancia para los pilotos de combate.

Mick Mannock pudo haber nacido en Brighton, Sussex, el 24 de mayo de 1887. Sin embargo, no hay constancia de esto y algunos piensan que pudo haber nacido en Irlanda, de ahí su apodo. Su padre había servido en los Royal Scots y, como resultado de los cargos de su padre (que incluían a Irlanda), Mannock pasó mucho tiempo siguiéndolo. El padre de Mannock era un borracho y tuvo una infancia menos que feliz. Mannock contó más tarde que cuando su padre se fue de casa estaba muy feliz. Sin embargo, sin un ingreso estable, la familia vivía en la pobreza. Mannock tuvo que dejar su educación y tomó el trabajo que pudo encontrar. Más bien amargado, se volvió hacia el socialismo y habló en mítines en apoyo de lo que se convertiría en el Partido Laborista.

Cuando se declaró la Primera Guerra Mundial en agosto de 1914, Mannock estaba en Turquía trabajando para una compañía telefónica. Turquía estaba aliada de Alemania y Mannock se dio cuenta de que, como inglés, estaba en peligro por el simple hecho de estar allí. Pero antes de que pudiera irse, los turcos internaron a Mannock. Después de varias sesiones en régimen de aislamiento, resultado de sus persistentes intentos de fuga, se le permitió a Mannock regresar a Inglaterra en abril de 1915 debido a problemas de salud.

No cabe duda de que las experiencias de Mannock en un campo de internamiento lo cambiaron. Los socialistas habían sido muy elocuentes al comienzo de la Primera Guerra Mundial en el sentido de que los capitalistas estaban llevando a cabo la guerra en su propio beneficio a expensas de los trabajadores. A pesar de su lealtad anterior al socialismo, Mannock ignoró esta protesta e inmediatamente se inscribió en el ejército británico a su regreso.

Sin embargo, el tiempo de internamiento de Mannock había sido agotador y el ejército lo consideró inadecuado para el servicio militar. También cuando era niño, Mannock había sido cegado temporalmente por una enfermedad. Aunque se recuperó de esto, tuvo poca visión en su ojo izquierdo por el resto de su vida. Sin inmutarse por esto, Mannock se transfirió a los Ingenieros Reales en marzo de 1916. Quedaron tan impresionados por su habilidad que le concedieron una comisión y se convirtió en segundo teniente.

En agosto de 1916, inspirado por los cuentos de Albert Ball, Mannock se transfirió al Royal Flying Corps. James McCudden, un compañero as, fue uno de sus instructores y notó que Mannock era un volador natural que necesitaba poco aliento o instrucción. Mannock fue enviado al frente occidental en abril de 1917. No se hizo querer por otros pilotos ya que desde el principio Mannock sintió que tenía derecho a dar consejos a los pilotos que habían estado allí durante algún tiempo. Muchos aparentemente sintieron que debería haberse quedado en un segundo plano y escuchar lo que tenían que decir.

Mannock hizo su primera "muerte" el 7 de junio de 1917.

A pesar de la reputación inicial que Mannock adquirió por su arrogancia, pronto ganó una reputación diferente por ser un piloto altamente calificado. El 16 de agosto de 1917 derribó cuatro aviones alemanes en un día. Al día siguiente derribó otros dos aviones alemanes. El 17 de septiembre, Mannock recibió la Cruz Militar. En octubre le concedieron un bar a su MC.

A pesar de su éxito y su creciente fama, Mannock no abandonó por completo su apoyo a la "personita". Hizo visitas al frente y fue testigo de lo que vivieron las tropas en las trincheras. Estaba consternado por su sufrimiento e hizo anotaciones gráficas en su diario sobre lo que vio. Mannock también se enfrentó a altos mandos de la RFC con respecto a los paracaídas. Los pilotos del Servicio Aéreo Alemán recibieron paracaídas y Mannock argumentó que los pilotos del RFC también deberían recibir uno. Sin embargo, los oficiales superiores de la RFC creían que el lanzamiento de paracaídas diluiría el fervor de lucha y el espíritu de un piloto.

El 22 de julio de 1917, Mannock fue ascendido a capitán y se convirtió en comandante de vuelo. Quería inculcar a sus hombres ciertas reglas sobre volar durante el combate. Hasta cierto punto, sus '15 reglas 'se convirtieron en la piedra angular no solo para el RFC sino también para los pilotos de combate de la RAF del futuro.

El 20 de julio de 1918, Mannock derribó su 58ª "muerte", superando la figura de James McCudden, convirtiéndolo en el as con mayor puntuación de Gran Bretaña en la Primera Guerra Mundial. Su total final, más de 70 "muertes", ha sido cuestionado debido a la dificultad de vincular un avión derribado con un piloto específico. Sin embargo, ese enfoque también podría funcionar a su favor en el sentido de que podría haber sido responsable de más "asesinatos", pero nunca se registraron a su nombre simplemente porque ese "asesinato" no se le pudo acreditar. Tal fue la confusión del combate aéreo en la Primera Guerra Mundial.

El 26 de julio de 1918, Mannock, ahora mayor, fue derribado por fuego desde tierra y murió. Su cuerpo fue encontrado a unos 250 metros de su avión condenado, lo que sugiere que Mannock pudo haber saltado de su avión siniestrado. Temía mucho morir quemado durante el vuelo y esto podría explicar por qué su cuerpo fue encontrado tan lejos del avión cuando se estrelló.

En reconocimiento al trabajo que había realizado para el RFC, Mannock recibió una Cruz Victoria póstuma.


Edward 'Mick' Mannock

Edward "Mick" Mannock fue uno de los "ases" voladores más famosos de la Primera Guerra Mundial, y se le atribuye ser el piloto de combate más exitoso de Royal Flying Corp. Mannock también desarrolló sus "Quince reglas" para volar en combate, que todavía se usaban en la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Se cree que Mick Mannock nació en Brighton el 24 de mayo de 1887, pero no hay constancia de ello y algunos creen que pudo haber nacido en Irlanda. Después de haber pasado por una infancia infeliz, Mick se volvió hacia el socialismo y comenzó a hablar en mítines a favor de lo que se convertiría en el Partido Laborista.

Cuando se declaró la guerra, Mick estaba trabajando en Turquía, que estaba aliada con Alemania, y se dio cuenta de que estaba en peligro. Antes de que pudiera irse, fue puesto en confinamiento solitario en un campo de internamiento, pero finalmente se le permitió regresar a Inglaterra en abril de 1915 debido a problemas de salud.

Los historiadores creen que el internamiento tuvo un gran impacto en Mannock, quien antes era socialista pero rápidamente se inscribió en el ejército a su regreso de Turquía. Sin embargo, el ejército sintió que su experiencia lo debilitó y lo etiquetó como no apto para el servicio. Sin inmutarse, Mannock se trasladó a los Royal Engineers en marzo de 1916, y quedaron tan impresionados que le otorgaron una comisión y lo nombraron segundo teniente.

Inspirado por los cuentos de Albert Ball, Mannock se transfirió al Royal Flying Corps en agosto de 1916 y recibió instrucciones del futuro compañero "as" James McCudden. McCudden señaló que Mannock era un volador natural que necesitaba muy poca instrucción o estímulo.

Mannock fue enviado al frente occidental en abril de 1917 y desde el principio sintió que estaba en condiciones de dar consejos a los pilotos que llevaban allí mucho más tiempo que él. A pesar de esto, siguió volando bien y el 7 de junio de 1917 realizó su primera matanza.

A pesar de su reputación de arrogante, pronto se vio ensombrecida por su nueva reputación como piloto altamente calificado. Esto solo fue ayudado el 16 de agosto de 1917 cuando derribó cuatro aviones alemanes en un día. Al día siguiente derribó a otros dos, y el 17 de septiembre le concedieron una Cruz Militar por sus servicios. También fue galardonado con un bar para su MC el mes siguiente.

A pesar de su fama, Mannock sintió que era importante interactuar con la "personita" e hizo frecuentes visitas al frente para experimentar cómo era en las trincheras. También chocaba con frecuencia con los comandantes superiores de la RFC con respecto a los paracaídas, mientras que los pilotos del Servicio Aéreo Alemán tenían paracaídas, los pilotos de la RFC no. Mannock no estuvo de acuerdo, pero los oficiales superiores argumentaron que el uso de paracaídas diluiría el espíritu de lucha de un piloto.

El 22 de julio, Mannock fue ascendido a capitán y comandante de vuelo. Fue entonces cuando decidió que era importante inculcar ciertas reglas sobre volar en combate a todos los pilotos y creó sus "Quince Reglas" de vuelo de combate. Esto se convirtió en la piedra angular de la RFC y los futuros pilotos de la Royal Air Force.

El 20 de julio de 1918, Mannock derribó su 58 ° asesinato, superando a James McCudden y convirtiéndolo en el as volador con mayor puntuación en la Primera Guerra Mundial. Sin embargo, su total final, más de 70, sigue siendo cuestionable, ya que no es muy fácil vincular un avión derribado con un solo piloto.

Lamentablemente, el 26 de julio de 1918, Mannock fue derribado por fuego terrestre y murió. Su cuerpo fue encontrado a unos 250 metros de su avión, lo que sugiere que pudo haber saltado. En reconocimiento a su trabajo, recibió una Cruz Victoria póstuma.


La pasión y la furia: Mick Mannock

En una agradable tarde de abril en lo alto del noroeste de Francia en 1918, los SE.5as del Escuadrón No. 74 de A Flight, Royal Air Force, estaban en su segunda patrulla. Era el primer día de combate de la unidad y todos los pilotos, excepto su líder, el capitán Edward "Mick" Mannock, eran novatos. Mientras sus hombres miraban con los ojos muy abiertos, Mannock de repente agitó sus alas, alertándolos de que el enemigo estaba cerca, luego cayó como un halcón sobre una formación de cazas Albatros alemanes. Mannock centró un Albatros D.V negro y amarillo en su mira Aldis, tomó aliento y apretó suavemente el botón de disparo, soltando una corriente letal de trazadores blancos sedosos. El Albatros estalló en el aire. De vuelta en tierra, los pilotos felicitaron a su capitán por su segunda victoria del día, pero lo que los dejó llenos de admiración eterna por él fue el informe de combate de Mannock, en el que escribió: “Todo el vuelo debería compartir el crédito de la EA [ aviones enemigos], ya que todos contribuyeron a su destrucción ".

Ese descargo de responsabilidad fue indicativo de la intensa y desinteresada devoción a sus camaradas que caracterizó la vida de Edward Mannock, uno de los mejores pilotos de combate y líderes de hombres de todos los tiempos de Gran Bretaña. En cualquier medida, era un hombre de dones extraordinarios, un hombre que seguramente habría tenido un impacto tan grande en el mundo de la posguerra como lo hizo en aquellos que lo conocieron y amaron durante su brillante carrera como piloto de combate.

Mannock nació en Cork, Irlanda, el 24 de mayo de 1887, hijo de un soldado de la Guardia Real Escocesa que luchó en las guerras imperiales de Gran Bretaña. Un hombre rudo, golpeó a Edward y sus hermanos y bebió mucho. Mientras su padre estaba destinado a la India, Mannock contrajo una infestación amebiana que debilitó su ojo izquierdo. Esa desgracia se transformaría posteriormente en el repetido mito de que Mannock es el "as con un ojo". A pesar de las primeras dificultades, el joven Edward poseía una mente analítica aguda. Odiaba la desigualdad y más tarde se convirtió en un ferviente socialista.

Cuando Mannock estaba en su adolescencia, su padre abandonó a la familia y Edward tuvo que trabajar para mantenerlos. Salió de casa y se alojó con la familia Eyles. Jim Eyles escribió más tarde que Mannock era una persona “con altos ideales y con un gran amor por sus compañeros mortales. Odiaba la crueldad y la pobreza & # 8230. Un hombre más amable y reflexivo que nunca podrías conocer ". Parece probable que Mannock se hubiera alzado en el Partido Laborista, porque era un excelente orador. Pero la inminente conflagración mundial pronto haría añicos sus grandes ambiciones.

Cuando se declaró la guerra en agosto de 1914, Mannock trabajaba para una empresa británica en Constantinopla. Dado que el imperio otomano se puso del lado de Alemania, él y otros ciudadanos británicos fueron enviados a campos de prisioneros, donde soportaron condiciones espantosas. Mannock desarrolló rápidamente un odio por los turcos y los alemanes. En abril de 1915, con la ayuda de Jim Eyles, fue repatriado. Poco después, Mannock se unió al Cuerpo Médico del Ejército Real y luego a los Ingenieros Reales, donde fue nombrado segundo teniente. Pero inmediatamente se trasladó al Royal Flying Corps (RFC) en agosto de 1916, por lo que podría estar más involucrado en la lucha.

A pesar de su débil ojo izquierdo, Mannock pasó el examen médico. Aparentemente, era un piloto nato con un excelente conocimiento de su máquina. Uno de sus instructores, que acababa de regresar de un vuelo de combate en Francia, era el as del capitán James McCudden. Los dos se llevaban bien y McCudden tuvo un gran impacto en su alumno. "Mannock", escribió McCudden, "era un ejemplo típico del impetuoso joven irlandés, y siempre pensé que era el tipo de persona que se muere o muere". Haría ambas cosas en Francia.

Con su entrenamiento de vuelo completado, el 6 de abril de 1917, Mannock fue destinado al Vuelo C en el Escuadrón No. 40, que volaba el altamente maniobrable caza Nieuport 17 de fabricación francesa armado con una ametralladora Lewis montada sobre el ala superior. Había comenzado una nueva etapa en la vida de Mannock y, como siempre para él, estaba llena de desafíos. Él causó una primera impresión terrible en su nuevo hogar y frotó a casi todo el mundo de la manera equivocada, sin poder apreciar el ambiente de escuela pública de club de un escuadrón de RFC. El teniente Lionel A. Blaxland, un compañero de escuadrón, recordó que Mannock “parecía demasiado arrogante para su experiencia, que era nula & # 8230. Los hombres nuevos por lo general se tomaban su tiempo y escuchaban las manos más experimentadas. Mannock era todo lo contrario. Ofreció ideas sobre todo: cómo iba la guerra, cómo debería librarse, el papel de los pilotos exploradores ”. También rompió varias reglas no escritas de la etiqueta de los pilotos, preguntando a los camaradas cuántos "hunos" habían derribado y, un terrible paso en falso, sentado en el asiento que antes ocupaba un piloto que acababa de ser asesinado.


Mannock se sienta en la cabina de su Nieuport 17 del Escuadrón No. 40, Royal Flying Corps, que lucía una ruleta pintada de amarillo para burlarse de los compañeros de escuadrón que lo consideraban tímido en combate. (Cortesía de O'Brien Browne)

Para empeorar las cosas, Mannock pasó horas practicando tiro al blanco, pero pareció vacilante cuando se enfrentó a aviones enemigos sobre las líneas. Él registró sus emociones en su primera patrulla de combate en su diario el 13 de abril de 1917: “Pasé las líneas por primera vez, escoltando a los FEs [aviones de reconocimiento Farman Experimental F.E.2b]. Muy 'archivado'. Mis sentimientos son muy divertidos ". De hecho, el piloto novato que había hablado tanto en el lío había tenido mucho miedo. En vuelos subsiguientes, Mannock fue visto como tímido frente al enemigo: "ventoso" o "tener viento", en la jerga del piloto. Algunos de sus compañeros de escuadrón comenzaron a evitarlo y a hablar de él a sus espaldas. El escuadrón pronto se dividió en partidarios y detractores.

Sus detractores solo podían ser silenciados por hechos. Pudieron probar el temple de Mannock el 19 de abril cuando, mientras practicaban zambullirse en un objetivo terrestre desde 2,000 pies, el ala inferior derecha de su Nieuport se rompió y el avión se precipitó hacia abajo. Mannock de alguna manera se las arregló para hacer aterrizar la embarcación paralizada de manera segura. Después de esa demostración de sangre fría y habilidad de vuelo, los otros pilotos comenzaron a reconsiderar sus opiniones sobre él.

Quedaron aún más impresionados el 7 de mayo cuando Mannock se unió a un vuelo de otros cinco para un ataque contra globos de observación alemanes. Mannock destruyó un globo para su primera victoria ese día. Pero escribió en su diario: “Mi fuselaje tenía agujeros de bala, uno muy cerca de mi cabeza, y las alas estaban más o menos acribilladas. No quiero volver a pasar por una experiencia así ".

Aún así, movido con renovada confianza, Mannock se volvió más agresivo en el aire y ahora fue aceptado en el escuadrón de hombres que antes le habían dado la espalda y ahora le compraban bebidas en el lío. A veces dirigió patrullas de combate y, al menos en dos ocasiones, creyó que había derribado un avión alemán, pero no lo reclamó, ya que no había testigos. Su gran deseo en ese momento era obtener una victoria "real" sobre un avión enemigo, pero esto lo eludió.

Su persistencia finalmente dio sus frutos. El 7 de junio, volando Nieuport B1552 al norte de Lille, Mannock fue tras un Albatros D.III a 13.000 pies. Había estado volando escolta para un escuadrón de bombarderos F.E.2b. Viniendo desde atrás, Mannock disparó 60 rondas hacia el luchador alemán a 10 yardas, y se salió de control, una acción que informó con júbilo en la base.

Poco después, Mannock sufrió una lesión en el ojo y fue enviado a casa con una licencia de dos semanas. Usó su tiempo en casa para pensar en tácticas de combate, y cuando se reincorporó a su unidad, estaba convencido de sus habilidades de combate. El 12 de julio, Mannock derribó un DFW C.V biplaza que se estrelló dentro de las líneas británicas. Encantado con la oportunidad de examinar su "trabajo" de cerca, Mannock condujo hasta el lugar del accidente. El observador había sobrevivido, pero el piloto estaba muerto. Al regresar a la base, le habló de esto a su amigo el teniente William Maclanachan. “Me enfermó”, le dijo Mannock, “pero quería ver adónde habían ido mis disparos. ¿Sabes ?, había tres pequeños agujeros de bala aquí mismo ”—Mannock señaló un lado de su cabeza. En su diario, Mannock agregó un detalle adicional, un "pequeño terrier negro y fuego, muerto, en el asiento del observador". Me sentí exactamente como un asesino ". Sin embargo, envió otro DFW fuera de control al día siguiente.

Julio de 1917 sería importante para Mannock de muchas maneras. Not only did he score his first concrete kill, but a squadron mate, Captain George L. “Zulu” Lloyd, spoke privately with him, telling him that a few men still doubted his fighting spirit.

“Of course, I’ve been frightened against my will—nervous reaction,” Mannock forthrightly explained. “I’ve now conquered this physical defect and, having conquered myself, I will now conquer the Hun. Air fighting is a science. I have been studying it and have not been unduly worried at not getting Huns at the expense of being reckless.” Lloyd was more than satisfied with this answer. When some men still questioned Mannock’s abilities, it was put down to jealousy.


Mannock's piercing gaze hints at the complex and contradictory personality that lay beneath the surface of the World War I ace. (Courtesy of O'Brien Browne)

Another event that same month was to have a profound effect on Mannock. On the 21st he watched in horror as 2nd Lt. F.W. Rook, a well-liked squadron member, plummeted to earth in flames after being attacked by 1st Lt. Adolf Ritter von Tutschek of Jasta 12. Maclanachan remembered that Mannock later came into his hut, speaking about what was to become an obsession with him. “That’s the way they’re going to get me in the end—flames and finish,” Mannock said with tears in his eyes. Then he explained why he had started to carry his service revolver with him on flights: “to finish myself as soon as I see the first sign of flames.”

The next day Mannock was awarded the Military Cross for his “very fine offensive spirit and great fearlessness attacking the enemy at close range and low altitudes under heavy fire from the ground.” Major General Hugh M. Trenchard, commander of the RFC, even sent his personal congratulations. Soon after that Mannock was made leader of A Flight.

Although taking responsibility did not come easily to Mannock, his score now rose dramatically. He had sharp eyesight and was a magnificent shot. In August alone he was credited with four Albatros D.Vs and one DFW. By the end of 1917, he had 15 confirmed victories under his belt and had received a Bar to his MC. He was becoming an excellent flight leader, fighting with tactics rather than sheer audacity. He also had a sense of humor he once used a pair of women’s silk stockings on his struts for leader’s streamers.

Mannock looked after the men who flew with him with fatherly compassion and patience, helping them develop into successful combat pilots. If a man was killed, Mannock took it very hard, often retiring to his hut, sobbing and “keening”—mourning by rocking back and forth, as was done in ancient Ireland. Although combat intensified his hatred for the Germans, he was revolted on September 4 when he flamed a DFW. “It was a horrible sight,” Mannock wrote in his diary, “and made me feel sick.”

But that same flight illustrated Mannock’s superb tactics. As noted in his diary, he had had trouble recognizing the two-seater’s national markings at first. “So I turned my tail towards him,” Mannock related, “and went in the same direction, thinking that if he were British he wouldn’t take notice of me, and if a Hun I felt sure he would put his nose down and have a shot (thinking I hadn’t seen him). The ruse worked beautifully. His nose went (pointing at me), and I immediately whipped round, dived and ‘zoomed’ up behind him before you could say ‘knife.’ He tried to turn but he was much too slow for the Nieuport. I got in about 50 rounds in short bursts whilst on the turn and he went down in flames.”

On October 17, 1917, the squadron was delighted to receive the RFC’s new British-made fighter, the Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a. This was a powerful aircraft, faster and tougher than the nimble Nieuport. The pilots loved them at first, especially their double armament—a synchronized Vickers machine gun and an over-wing Lewis—which at long last put them on a par with the Germans. They soon found out that this machine was having teething troubles, however, including gun jams and engine failures. The squadron suffered more than 20 such incidents in a two-week period.

By December, after 10 months of continuous air fighting, Mannock was worn out. Maclanachan described him as tense and noted that he often “brought up the subject of catching fire in the air.” On January 1, 1918, Mannock shot down another DFW and was informed that he was being sent back to England to serve as a flight trainer. That night at his farewell party, Lieutenant W. Douglas remembered, Mannock rose and “entertained us to one of his marvelous speeches,” full of giving the Hun hell and injecting “jokes about one or other of his comrades going down in flames or crashing in some other horrible way.” The commander of No. 40 Squadron, Major L.A. Tilney, wrote in the unit’s diary, “His leadership and general ability will never be forgotten by those who had the good fortune to serve under him.”

Back in England, Mannock was posted on February 2 to London Colney as a flight commander at No. 74 Squadron, which was in training. The unit was suffering from low morale, apparently due to unmotivated instructors. Mannock electrified the disheartened pilots. He was a natural teacher and a powerful speaker, and his lectures on aerial combat were always fully attended. “Gentlemen,” he told his men, “always above seldom on the same level never underneath.” His practical advice was priceless and would save lives at the front. “Don’t ever attempt to dog-fight a triplane on anything like equal terms as regards height,” he warned, “otherwise he will get on your tail and stay there until he shoots you down.” He also told his pilots never to follow a victim too close to the ground, because they might be hit by fire from the trenches.

To motivate his men, Mannock—much like a football coach—affected a “kill-all-the-bloody-Huns” persona that later gave birth to another hoary myth about his being a “Hun-hater,” which would have appalled him. In fact his diary reveals his respect for his opponents. Concerning a two-seater that escaped him in early September 1917, Mannock wrote, “He deserved to get away really, as he must have been a brave Hun.” In an earlier dogfight in which the British outnumbered the Germans 2-to-1 but could not bring one down, Mannock noted, “I shall always maintain an unsullied admiration for those Huns.” Major Keith L. “Grid” Caldwell, No. 74 Squadron’s New Zealand–born commanding officer, recalled that “Mick was a very human, sensitive sort of chap he did not hate people or things at all….I believe that this hatred was calculated or assumed to boost his own morale and that of the squadron in general.”

In April 1918, Mannock and No. 74 Squadron landed their S.E.5as at their new aerodrome in France, Clairmarais North. Mannock was eager to fight. Leading A Flight on April 12, he scored a double kill over Albatros D.Vs, the unit’s first victories. In the next three months or so, he would increase his victory list by an amazing 33, not counting those he did not claim or gave away to fellow pilots to pump up their self-confidence—a habit with him. Under his leadership, No. 74 came to be known as the “Tiger Squadron,” and his men reverently called him the “Iron Man.”

Mannock took it as his responsibility to protect the members of his flight and often guided them over the lines. “It was wonderful to be in his Flight” remembered one young pilot, “to him his Flight was everything and he lived for it. Every member had his special thought and care.” Mannock gave them vital advice on how best to deal with the enemy. “He placed gunnery before flying,” recalled Lieutenant Ira “Taffy” Jones, a close friend. “Good flying has never killed a Hun yet,” Mannock pointed out. Moreover, he would set up kills for inexperienced pilots. Lieutenant Henry E. Dolan related how Mannock had shot up a German two-seater and then “nodded at me to get it. I went down on the Hun’s tail and saw that Mick had killed the gunner, and I could attack safely.”

With his piercing blue eyes and his trademark affectations, a long-stemmed pipe and a cane, Mannock was famous along the front. He had, recalled Jones, “an intriguingly complex nature. It fluctuated so,” for Mannock could be ruthless as a fighter, boyish in the mess, harsh with his pilots’ mistakes, gentle and complimentary for good work, morbid when depressed. Once Mannock dived repeatedly on a crashed German two-seater, firing at the crew. Asked about this later, he growled, “The swines are better dead—no prisoners for me.”

On May 21, Mannock brought down four German planes—three Pfalz D.IIIs and a Hannover two-seater—and the next day was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Before the month was out, he flamed eight new victims. After such victories, he would burst into the mess shouting, “Sizzle, sizzle, sizzle, wonk woof!” to boost morale. But privately he expressed darker thoughts. By the middle of June, Jones noticed that Mannock’s nerves were “noticeably fraying. He was now continually talking about being shot down in flames.” Writing to his sister, Mannock said, “I am supposed to be going on leave, (if I live long enough)….” He was fighting depression and plagued by dreams of burning aircraft.

On June 18, Mannock sailed home for leave in England. Upon his arrival he was informed that he had been promoted to major and given command of No. 85 Squadron, previously led by Canadian ace Major William A. “Billy” Bishop, and that he also had been awarded a Bar to his DSO. He reacted with indifference to the news.

After spending a brief but painful time with his mother, an alcoholic, Mannock went to stay with his friend Jim Eyles, who saw that he “had changed dramatically. Gone was the old sparkle we knew so well gone was the incessant wit. I could see him wring his hands together to conceal the shaking and twitching.” One day, as the time approached for Mannock to return to the war, “he started to tremble violently. This grew into a convulsive straining. He cried uncontrollably….His face, when he lifted it, was a terrible sight. Saliva and tears were running down his face he couldn’t stop it.” Given his condition, 31-year-old Mannock should never have been sent back to the front. But back he went.

Back in France again, Mannock took command of No. 85 Squadron on July 5, 1918, and his arrival was seen as a godsend. He immediately set to work teaching his new men about aerial tactics. Two days after his arrival he got two Fokker D.VIIs as his new squadron mates, infected by his enthusiasm, brought down an additional three. Within a matter of days, Mannock’s personality had completely transformed the unit. He threw himself into his work and even enjoyed a respite from the nightmares and depression. It would not last long.


Members of No. 85 Squadron who Mannock mentored to greater exploits included New Zealander Malcolm C. McGregor (11 victories, fifth from left) and Americans Lawrence K. Callahan (5 victories, seventh) and Elliott White Springs (12 victories, eighth). New Zealander Donald C. Inglis (sixth from right), the last man to see Mannock alive, afterward lamented­, “The bastards killed my major.” (IWM Q 12050)

On July 10, Mannock heard that his friend James McCudden had been killed in a flying accident, news that hurled Mannock back into depression but also spurred him to a furious killing spree. He shot down six aircraft between July 14 and 26. But he was also taking risks and ignoring his own teachings. Often he followed a victim down to spray the wreckage with bullets. He led his flights with rage and flew solo patrols in his hunt for Germans. Premonitions of death haunted him. In his last letter to his sister he wrote, “I feel that life is not worth hanging on to.” And Ira Jones found him unstable, noting: “One minute, he’s full out. The next he gives the impression of being morbid and keeps bringing up his pet subject of being shot down in flames.”

Early in the morning of July 26, 1918, Lieutenant Donald Inglis walked into the mess where Mannock was smoking his pipe and playing “Londonderry Air” on the gramophone. The two were to fly a morning patrol together. Earlier, Mannock had asked the rookie pilot, “Have you got a Hun yet, Inglis?” and to his negative answer replied, “Well come on out and we will get one.” Mannock told Inglis that they would hunt for a two-seater. Once it was located, Mannock would attack first, with Inglis coming in behind to finish the enemy off and thus get his first kill.

At 5:30 a.m. over Merville, Mannock dived on a two-seater at about 5,000 feet. He knocked out the observer and pulled away, letting Inglis come from underneath, firing into the gas tank. The German plane burst into flame, with the two S.E.5as very low over the ground. Violating his own teaching, Mannock circled the burning wreck twice. Then, as Inglis later wrote in his combat report, “I saw Mick start to kick his rudder and realized we were fairly low, then I saw a flame come out of the side of his machine it grew bigger and bigger. Mick was no longer kicking his rudder his nose dropped slightly, and he went into a slow right-hand turn round, about twice, and hit the ground in a burst of flame.” Mannock’s S.E.5a had been brought down by groundfire. Inglis’ plane was shot up, too, and he crash-landed in the British lines, sputtering: “The bastards killed my major. They killed Mick.”

It is impossible to know if Mannock shot himself as he had always threatened to do. Most likely, given the way his plane flew after he was hit, he was either wounded, unconscious or dead. In any event, some unknown German soldier buried the ace after first retrieving Mannock’s ID discs, pistol, notebook and other personal effects, which were returned to his family after the war. These items had all been on Mannock’s body, and they showed no signs of fire.

Back at the airfield, the awful news spread quickly. Jones scribbled in his diary: “26th July—Mick is dead. Everyone stunned. No one can believe it. I can write no more today. It is too terrible.”

In the years after the war, Eyles and others attempted to locate Mannock’s grave, which had been obliterated by shelling. Some researchers believe he lies in the grave of an unknown British aviator near La Pierre-au-Beure. In addition, his friends campaigned for him to be awarded Britain’s highest decoration, the Victoria Cross, which was conferred on July 18, 1919.

A final apocrypha is Mannock’s victory score, which most books give as 73—a number dreamed up by his admirers (above all Jones), many of whom disliked Billy Bishop, who finished the war with 72 kills. According to the most reliable estimates, Mannock brought down 61 enemy aircraft—not counting, of course, the many victories he gave away or did not claim—which makes him Britain’s second-highest scoring ace of the war.

Mannock’s deeply felt emotions, the immense fears and obstacles he faced and the manner in which he overcame them, his achievements, his unconventionality and his great promise all make him vividly human and bring home the tragedy of the lives lost in World War I. The way Mannock touched people was extraordinary. “I was awed by his personality,” wrote Maclanachan after first meeting Mannock. “He was idolized by all who came into intimate contact with him,” recalled another pilot. “He was a man among men,” added a third, while long after the war another remembered Mannock as “a warm, lovable individual of many moods and characteristics. I shall always salute his memory.”

O’Brien Browne writes from Heidelberg, Germany. Otras lecturas: Mick: The Story of Major Edward Mannock, by James M. Dudgeon or Victoria Cross: WWI Airmen and Their Aircraft, by Alex Revell.

This article by O’Brien Browne was originally published in the July 2007 issue of Historia de la aviación. Para obtener más artículos excelentes, suscríbase a Historia de la aviación revista hoy!


The Open University has enlisted the help of a photograph restoration expert, to 'colourise' some of the unique and interesting photos that were taken during the time. Although the original images were only available in black and white, colour has been added retrospectively to help bring them to life. http://www.openuniversity.edu/news/news/world-war-1-in-colour-photos

Photos issued by the Open University of a coloured in and the original picture showing a group of soldiers advance from a trench, over a protective sandbag wall (circa 1915). To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of war, The Open University has enlisted the help of a photograph restoration expert, to 'colourise' some of the unique and interesting photos that were taken during the time. Although the original images were only available in black and white, colour has been added retrospectively to help bring them to life

On another occasion Mannock started crying uncontrollably, although he later dismissed it as just "a bit of nerves".

On July 24, 1918 he told his friend Ira Jones by telephone: "I've caught up with [Billy] Bishop's score now - 72 [including unofficial "kills"]."

Around 5am, two days later, Mannock, flying alongside Lieutenant Donald Inglis, made his final "kill" above French skies. He considered this to be his 73rd (which would have made him Britain's highest-scoring fighter ace of the war) but his official confirmed tally was 61.

Disregarding his own strict rule Mannock then made a couple of low passes over the wreckage of his victim, leading the inexperienced Inglis into a storm of small-gun fire.

As they zig-zagged away, Inglis noticed a small bluish flame on his major's engine cowling and then the left wing of Mannock's aircraft fell away and he plunged into a death spin. Mannock had died aged 31.

Exactly what happened to Mannock is a mystery. He was buried in an unmarked grave by a German soldier, who also returned Mannock's identity discs, notebooks and personal effects to his family through the Red Cross.

Edward 'Mick' Mannock's medals

His identity discs are displayed alongside his VC, which is now part of my gallantry medal collection. It may be that he jumped clear or he may even have fulfilled his pledge to shoot himself at the first sign of flames, falling dead from his machine.

By the time of his demise Mannock had been awarded his third DSO but this too, along with his earlier awards, was only "gazetted" after his death.

After the war it was decided that Mannock's incredible and sustained courage had still not been fully recognised. After much lobbying, largely by those who had served with and under him, The London Gazette announced his VC on July 18, 1919, nearly a year after his death.

IT CONCLUDED: "This highly distinguished officer, during the whole of his career in the Royal Air Force, was an outstanding example of fearless courage, remarkable skill, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice, which has never been surpassed."

Major "Mick" Mannock VC, DSO & two Bars, MC & Bar remains a true RAF legend and his courage, like that of his fellow airmen, must never be forgotten.


Modeling Mannock’s S.E.5a

The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5a was considered superior to any Ger­man aircraft over the trenches from the fall of 1917 until the Fokker D.VII began opposing it in May 1918. What gave the British fighter its edge was a redesigned upper wing and the newly introduced 200-hp Wolseley Viper engine (a replacement for the S.E.5’s 150-hp Hispano Suiza). Roden’s 1/48th scale kit features the markings carried by Britain’s number two ace, Major Edward “Mick” Mannock.

Construction starts with painting the inside fuselage sidewalls with Poly Scale’s “clear doped linen.” (Roden’s instructions call for this area to be painted “natural wood,” but this is incorrect.) The instrument panel should be painted Model Master’s “wood,” with additional parts of the cockpit picked out in flat black and silver. The completed cockpit parts need to be finished with a wash of dark brown to simulate wartime wear. Brush the seat with “leather,” and then dress it up with belts made from paper strips dipped in black coffee and, while still wet, draped over the frame for realism.

Spray the Viper’s radiator gloss black and pick out the cooling shutters with Floquil’s “bright silver.” A dot of brass paint on the radiator cap finishes this subassembly, which should be set aside to dry. Glue together the multipiece landing gear and paint in “British brown drab,” PC-10. Brush the tires with British “dark sea gray,” not black. (World War I rubber was not dyed with lampblack.)

Trap the finished cockpit into the fuselage and glue the right and left sections together, making sure the floor is level. Attach the upper forward section of the fuselage, cylinder head covers and radiator. You can also glue the horizontal stabilizer, elevators and lower wing pointing position on the fuselage at this point. Paint the underside of the fuselage and the lower wing using Poly Scale’s clear doped linen. Next paint upper surfaces with PC-10. When the paint is dry, flip the partially assembled model over and attach the landing gear subassembly with white glue.

Set the model aside and let the landing gear dry thoroughly. Then paint the upper surfaces of the top wing with PC-10 and apply clear doped linen to the underside. Set it aside to dry. Remove and clean up all the wing struts from the modeling sprues. Paint the cabane struts with PC-10 and the interplane supports with wood. Note the steel “collars” on the top and bottom of each interplane strut, which should be brushed with silver. Apply a coat of Future floor wax on the model to provide a smooth, glossy surface for the decals. The Roden kit, No. 416, provides all of the markings for Mannock’s aircraft as it looked in April 1918. The kit decals are somewhat thick and need extra soaking in warm water before they will release from their paper backing. You’ll also need to use a softening agent, such as Super Sol extra strength decal setting solution, to allow the markings to settle neatly over the kit’s raised details. Discard the decal rudder stripes, which don’t fit properly. Instead, paint the entire rudder insignia white (FS-17925), and when it’s dry, mask and paint equal-width stripes of insignia red (FS-31136) and true blue (FS-15102).

Glue the interplane struts to the bottom wing with white glue. When those are dry, flip the model over and position and glue the top wing onto these struts. Support the wing with paint bottles until the adhesive has set up. You can now cement the cabane struts into place.

The S.E.5a boasted a lot of rigging wires. Re-creating those requires a steady hand and patience. Several products can be used to rig biplanes, but I think the best option for this job is Minimeca (Ref. 107) .3 X 250mm stainless steel wire. Use a pair of draftsman’s dividers to measure the wires before cutting. Last, cut out and attach the acetate windscreen to the front frames of the cockpit. Your S.E.5a is now ready for display.


Mick Mannock

Edward 'Mick' Mannock, the son of Edward and Julia Mannock, was born at Preston Barracks, Brighton on 24th May 1887. Edward Mannock was a corporal in the Royal Scots regiment and the family was constantly on the move. As a child Mick lived in England, Scotland, Ireland and India. While in India, Mick picked up an infection and went blind.

Eventually Mick recovered his sight but for the rest of his life he had difficulty seeing out of his left eye. After Edward Mannock returned from the Boer War he deserted his wife and four children. Mick, who had suffered from his father's drunken rages, later revealed that he was pleased when he heard that his father had left the family home. However, the family were now very poor and Mick had to abandon his schooling at the earliest opportunity in order to bring in some much needed money. After a series of menial jobs, Mick found work as a telephone engineer.

Mick became interested in politics and as a young man became a committed socialist. Jim Eyles, a close friend later said that: "Mick told everyone he met that every man should prepare himself for the new age. The downtrodden of the world were about to get their chance at last it was a duty for men to make the best of this opportunity for which the up-and-coming leaders of the new ideas had suffered so much." Mick spoke at political meetings and Jim Eyes later remarked how surprised he was that this young man "who had been dragged up in the most awful squalor, could match wits with these high-born and well-educated classes."

In February 1914, Mick Mannock's employers, the National Telephone Company, sent him to work in Turkey. When war was declared on 4th August 1914, Mick attempted to get back to England. Turkey had formed a defence alliance with Germany and Mick realised he was in danger. However, before he could arrange transport, Mick was arrested by the Turkish authorities and put into a concentration camp. After several attempts at escape, which resulted in long periods of solitary-confinement in a 6ft. cage, Mick was eventually allowed to leave for England in April 1915.

As soon as Mick Mannock arrived back home he joined the British Army. He was soon promoted to the rank of sergeant-major, but his health was poor and the army considered him unfit for military duties. In March 1916 he managed to obtain a transfer to the Royal Engineers as an officer cadet. Although he had very little formal schooling, Mick found he could compete with his well educated companions and was not long before he achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant.

In the summer of 1916, Mannock began reading in the newspapers about the exploits of Albert Ball, Britain's leading flying ace. Ball, who was not yet twenty years old, had already shot down eleven German aircraft. Mannock asked for a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps and in August 1916, he was sent to the School of Military Aeronautics in Reading.

Mannock had a natural aptitude for flying. Captain Chapman, one of the men responsible for training Mick, later reported that: " He made his first solo flight with but a few hours' instruction, for he seemed to master the rudiments of flying with his first hour in the air and from then on threw the machine about how he pleased." Captain James McCudden, who was later to become one of Britain's leading flying aces, was another instructor who was impressed with Mick Mannock's skills as a pilot.

In March 1917, it was decided that Mannock was ready to be sent to the Western Front. Mannock arrived at St. Omer in France on 6th April 1917. At first Mannock's personality and political opinions upset the other pilots. Lieutenant Lional Blaxland later recalled his first impression of Mannock: "He was different. His manner, speech and familiarity were not liked. New men usually took their time and listened to the more experienced hands Mannock was the complete opposite. He offered ideas about everything: how the war was going, how it should be fought, the role of scout pilots, what was wrong or right with our machines. Most men in his position, by that I mean a man with his background, would have shut up."

Soon after arriving in France, Mannock heard the news that Albert Ball, the man whose example had inspired him to join the Royal Flying Corps, had been shot down and killed. The same day, Captain Nixon, Mannock's patrol leader, was also killed during a mission to destroy German observation balloons.

Mannock had difficulty adjusting to combat duties and he had to wait until the 7th June 1917 before he made his first confirmed 'kill'. Before he could add to his total he received a wound to the head during a dogfight with two German pilots.

Mannock was sent back to England to recover. Mick went to stay with his mother but was dismayed to find that his mother, like his father, was now an alcoholic. He also discovered that his sister, Jessie, was working as a prostitute in Birmingham. Upset by the state of his family, Mick was anxious to get back to France, and desperately short of trained pilots, the RFC agreed that he could return to duty.

After returning to France in July, Mannock quickly developed a reputation as one of the most talented pilots in the RFC. In the first two weeks after arriving back at the Western Front he won four dogfights in his SE-5a. This gave him new confidence and on the 16th August he shot down four aircraft in a day. The following morning he added two more victories to his total. On the 17th September he won the Military Cross for driving off several enemy aircraft while destroying three German observation balloons. The following month he was awarded a bar to his Military Cross. The official citation read: "He attacked a formation of five enemy machines single-handed and shot one down out of control while engaged with an enemy machine, he was attacked by two others, one of which he forced down to the ground."

Mannock was deeply affected by the amount of men he was killing. In his diary he recorded visiting the site where one of his victims had crashed near the front-line: "The journey to the trenches was rather nauseating - dead men's legs sticking through the sides with puttees and boots still on - bits of bones and skulls with the hair peeling off, and tons of equipment and clothing lying about. This sort of thing, together with the strong graveyard stench and the dead and mangled body of the pilot combined to upset me for a few days."

Mannock was especially upset when he saw one of his victims catch fire on its way to the ground. From that date on, Mick Mannock always carried a revolver with him in his cockpit. As he told his friend Lieutenant MacLanachan: "The other fellows all laugh at me for carrying a revolver. They think I'm going to shoot down a machine with it, but they're wrong. The reason I bought it was to finish myself as soon as I see the first signs of flames."

Mannock's fear of fire was made worse by the British High Command's decision not to allow pilots in the Royal Flying Corps to carry parachutes. Mannock believed it was unfair to deny British airman to right to have parachutes when German pilots had been using them successfully for several months. He was especially angry about the main reason given for this decision: "It is the opinion of the board that the presence of such an apparatus might impair the fighting spirit of pilots and cause them to abandon machines which might otherwise be capable of returning to base for repair."

On 22nd July 1917, Mannock was promoted to captain. As flight commander he was able to introduce a new approach to combat flying. Mannock believed that the "days of the lone fighter was past and air fighting was now a matter for co-ordinated and planned fighting units which could inflict maximum damage and minimum losses."

In February 1918, Mannock became flight commander of 74 Squadron. The next three months saw thirty-six more victories. Mannock had now overtaken Albert Ball's total of forty-four kills and on 20th July he shot down a Albatros giving him fifty-eight victories, one more than the British record held by James McCudden. In June he was promoted to the rank of major and the following month became commander of 85 Squadron.

On 26th July, Major Mannock offered to help a new arrival, Donald Inglis, obtain his first victory. After shooting down an Albatros behind the German front-line, the two men headed for home. While crossing the trenches, the fighters were met with a massive volley of ground-fire. The engine of Mannock's aircraft was hit and immediately caught fire and crashed behind German lines. Mannock's body was found 250 yards from the wreck of his machine. He did not fire his revolver but it is believed he might have jumped from his blazing plane just before it crashed.

After his death, Mick Mannock was awarded the Victoria Cross for: "an outstanding example of fearless courage, remarkable skill, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice which has never been surpassed". Mannock's Victoria Cross was presented to his father at Buckingham Palace in July 1919. Edward Mannock was also given his son's other medals, even though Mick had stipulated in his will that his father should receive nothing from his estate. Soon afterwards Mannock's medals were sold for ?5. They have since been recovered and can be seen at the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon.


Some 240,000 Irish served in World War One and almost 40,000 died. There was just 6,000, however, who joined the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. Some 500 Irish died in the flying services.

"Irish Aviators of World War I: Volume I" by Joe Gleeson details the heroism of Irish pilots such as Edward "Mick’"Mannock.

Mannock who had 61 ‘kills’ was known as an ace, which means he had scored five or more aerial victories during the war.

The son of a Scottish corporal in the British army, his Mother, Julia O’Sullivan, came from Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock was born on May 24, 1887.

Although there is some doubt about where he was born, his service papers list Ballincollig as his place of birth.

Mannock had a curious accent with an Irish, English and Indian lilt. When the war started he found himself in Turkey, where he worked on cable laying for a telephone company.

In the Royal Flying Corps, Mannock was not popular with his fellow pilots at the start of his career with No 40 Squadron due to his outspoken nature.

On May 7, 1917, Mannock barely escaped with his life when his plane was badly shot up. He had his first victory by shooting down a German observation balloon.

He showed his humility after he shot down a German two-seater, killing one of the crew.

"The machine was completely smashed and rather interesting also was the little black and tan terrier – dead – in the observer's seat. I felt exactly like a murderer,” he wrote in his biography of his visit to the crash site.

"The journey to the trenches was rather nauseating – dead men's legs sticking through the sides with putties and boots still on – bits of bones and skulls with the hair peeling off and tons of equipment and clothing lying about.

"This sort of thing, combined with the graveyard stench and the dead and mangled body of the pilot combined to upset me for a few days," he wrote.

On July 26, 1918, he took a rookie New Zealand pilot out to train him for his first kill, but he flew too low and was hit by rifle and machine gun fire and was killed. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain's highest award for valor.

"Overall, Mannock accounted for at least 61 enemy aircraft and remains one of the RAF's highest ever scoring aces," Dublin author Joe Gleeson writes.

"He is Ireland's greatest fighter pilot ever.

"In all likelihood, Mannock was the greatest RAF pilot of all time," adds the author, who wrote Volume 1 of a three-part series while on a career break.

"Irish Aviators of World War 1, Volume 1, Irish Aces" is self-published by Joe C Gleeson at CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, North Carolina. It is available on Amazon, Kindle and other online retailers.


Irish RAF pilot Major Edward &lsquoMick&rsquo Mannock remembered in Glasnevin

Edward Corringham Mannock, better known as Mick, was an Irish nationalist, a Home-Ruler, a trade unionist and socialist who believed that the end of World War One would finally give the “downtrodden their chance.”

It was a war that he would not see end. Instead, Major Mannock, holder of the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order and Two Bars, the Military Cross and One Bar, was to die in July 1918.

On Friday, members of the Irish Air Corps marched solemnly past a line of plaques in Glasnevin Cemetery commemorating Mannock, as a new stone plaque was unveiled to mark another of Ireland’s Victoria Cross holders.

As they did, a small ray of sunshine emerged from a largely overcast sky. Later, the boom of a drumbeat echoed through the Dublin cemetery, followed by a piper’s lament, as a small crowd stood to remember the Irish airman.

Two wreathes were placed at the foot of the Cross of Sacrifice to remember Mannock, who was born in 1887 to his mother, Julia, born in Ballincollig, Co. Cork, and his English father.

Atípico

“It wasn’t just the severe astigmatism in his left eye which made him atypical of his flying officers,” John Green, chairman of the Glasnevin Trust told the gathered audience.

Mannock, who served with the Royal Flying Corps and then the Royal Air Force, was killed on July 26th in Northern France after his aircraft was hit by ground-fire. By then, he had shot down 73 enemy aircraft.

“He was a natural born leader. He was a pioneer in fighter pilot tactics. But he was also modest and humble, acknowledging that he had to overcome his own fears and his own nerves,” Green continued.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe, who unveiled the plaque, said it was a chance to “reflect on the shared history of our peoples and the responsibility that we share to maintain peace and stability”.

Respectful

Commemorations must remember “the full context of our history” and be “inclusive and respectful of all traditions”, said the Minister of State, adding that “all narratives” should be heard in the years to come.

Speaking of the Irish who fought with British forces during the First World War, Corporal Michael Whelan from the Irish Air Corps said: “It does not matter where these men and women served, where they fell or where they rest.

“The only recourse that falls to us after this passing of time is to try to understand.

“We cannot judge,” said Corporal Whelan. “These men and women are part of the Irish story.”

Also in attendance were British Ambassador Robin Barnett, RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hiller, Brigadier General Sean Clancy, and senior officers from the RAF and Aer Corps, and the Organisation of National Ex-Servicemen and Women.


Pages: Check them out

July 26: TODAY in Irish History:

Chicago Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

__________________________________________________________________________

BUY Author signed copy of For the Love of Being Irish For a unique perspective on Ireland featuring History and Humor.

July 26: TODAY in Irish History:

1914: Irish Citizen Army members led by Countess Markievicz bring guns into Howth Harbour aboard the Asgard, in what some saw as purely a publicity stunt to rival a much heralded arms importation by the Ulster Volunteer Force. A much larger consignment was smuggled into Ireland the following month in the Wicklow area. The Howth gun running exercise developed into a level of tragic farce. British forces confiscated a limited number of guns which astonishingly were later returned because they had been confiscated illegally. Tragedy occurred when the British troops returning to barracks opened fire on a hostile crowd killing three civilians in Bachelor’s Walk, Dublin.

Howth gun runner Countess_Markievicz

1918: World War I Air Ace Edward “Mick” Mannock is killed when his plane is brought down by enemy fire. The Ballincollig, Co. Cork born pilot was probably the highest scoring British air ace of the war with 61 confirmed “kills” and some sources suggesting he brought down 73 German planes.

Mannock did not join the Royal Flying Corp (later RAF) until 1917. He was a conflicted character who although almost blind in one eye managed to pass an eye test! His early days in aviation were difficult even initially it seems, being tainted with cowardice by his colleagues, a perception he soon laid to rest as he developed fierce anti-German feelings. “I wish Kaiser Bill could have seen him sizzle.” Mannock was a gifted pilot and teacher who probably was suffering from severe combat stress during the latter months of his life.

Mannock won the Military Cross twice, three Distinguished Service Orders, and posthumously the Victoria Cross.

Edward “Mick” Mannock 1887-1918

1927: Entertainer Danny La Rue is born Daniel Patrick Carroll in Cork. La Rue would become one of the biggest stars of British stage and TV, performing in drag mimicking almost every high profile female star and politician of the day including Margaret Thatcher, Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Collins. He died in 2009.

His accolades included: OBE, Royal Variety Performance appearances, Variety Club of Great Britain Showbiz Personality of the Year (1969), Theatre Personality of the Year (1970), Entertainer of the Decade (1979).

Want to learn more about Ireland? Ver these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish

Mirar For the Love of Being Irish author Conor Cunneen – IrishmanSpeaks on his Youtube channel IrishmanSpeaks. Laugh and Learn.

This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)


Ver el vídeo: WWI Aces Falling BBC (Diciembre 2021).