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Dawn Of The Dogfight
In July 1915, the Fokker  E.I coupled with a  machine gun that could  fire through its propellor  (interrupter gear) gave  the Germans the ability to  achieve air superiority. Until the British  developed an interrupter gear to match the  Germans, "pusher" type aircraft were fitted  with machine guns. The DH.2 was the first  effectively armed British single-seat fighter,  it was more than a match for the Eindecker  and enabled Royal Flying Corps (RFC)  pilots to counter the "Fokker Scourge". This painting is based on the following  report by Capt. A. M. Wilkinson, No. 24  Squadron, commander C flight, dated May  16, 1916, describing a 'dawn patrol' over the Somme.  "On reaching the lines saw much activity of  our AA up North but found no HA. Later,  when going south, observed a hostile  biplane proceeding Westwards at 12000ft.  Attacked from behind, getting in very close,  it promptly turned West towards Peronne, 
Dawn Patrol over the Somme - DH.2 v Eindecker
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apparently hit. The observer did not  return fire. While pursuing it again a  two-engined machine passed over me  going west. I turned and climbed to  attack. It turned and opened fire, to  which I replied. I then noticed a Fokker  just above me coming onto my tail, but  he sheered off when I turned towards  him. I then attacked two-tails (twin  engine machine) again. Again the  Fokker returned with the same result.  The third time I allowed the Fokker to  come within 220 yards and then turned  sharply causing him to shoot straight  past me. I turned again to get (my)  nose onto him. Apparently he thought I  had turned to attack two-tails again, for  he turned in front of me, presenting a  splendid target (and) at this moment I  got a burst (in) and he promptly went  down vertically. I followed, HA did not  flatten out to my knowledge. I left him  to attend to two-tails which made off in  a NE direction. I pursued him a short  distance but was unable to overtake  him. The two machines were  apparently acting in co-operation."
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