View Full Version : Boelcke's rules ideal for lots of things

28th Oct 2005, 23:23
Pardon the aeronautical subject matter :rolleyes: but...

I've been cleaning up and found Oswald Boelcke's 8 Rules of Aerial Combat, formulated in WWI but actually ideal (when paraphrased to suit the venture) for most enterprises.

I reproduce them here for the general edification:

1. Secure as many advantages for yourself as possible before entering a fight.
2. Be decisive. If you start an attack, carry it through to its conclusion.
3. Firing at long range at indistinct targets wastes ammunition and effort; fire a well-aimed burst from close range.
4. Be ever on the alert for ruses; keep your eyes constantly on your opponent.
5. The best method of attack is a diving approach from behind.
6. If attacked by a diving opponent, do not try to dive away or engage in unnecessary and useless aerobatics such as looping or rolling; turn into the attacker, and keep turning, being careful not to lose height during the turns relative to the attacker, and try to close on the attacker's tail.
7. Never forget the line of retreat, especially if over enemy territory.
8. Attack as a team, taking care that several do not dive after one opponent.

jon s gull
29th Oct 2005, 03:09
Not forgetting , from the winning team.......
Sailor Malans 10 Rules for Air fighting
wait till you see the whites of his eyes.fire short bursts of 1 to 2 secs and only when your sights are definitely 'ON'
Whilst shooting think of nothing else, brace the whole of the body, have both hands on the stick,concentrate on your ring sight.
Always keep a sharp lookout ."KEEP YOUR FINGER OUT'
Height gives you the initiative
Always turn and face the attack
Make your decisions promptly . It is better to act quickly even though your tactics are not the best.
Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area
When diving to attack always leave a proportion of your formation above to act as top gaurd.
INITIATIVE,AGGRESSION,AIR DISCIPLINE, ANDTEAM WORK are words that mean something in Air Fighting.
Go in quickly - Punch hard - Get out!

Onan the Clumsy
29th Oct 2005, 03:41
Never fly straight and level for more than 30 seconds in the combat area30 seconds?!?!??! in combat??!??!!?

I wouldn't fly s+l for 30 seconds within 20 miles of DFW on a sunny day.

29th Oct 2005, 04:11
Ah yes, those would be the Dicta Boelcke, Mr. M. Wise words, indeed.

And while we're at it, here are a few more pearls of wisdom for the combat-oriented, in regard to Gun-Fighting.

The absolute First Rule of a Gunfight, in Mark Moritz' brilliantly enunciated aphorism, is "Have a gun!" The rest will supplement that first rule....

- Have a gun.

- Preferably, have at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who also have guns.

- Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.

("Why did you shoot only once? There's no additional paperwork for shooting someone twice!" -- Firearms Instructor P.O.J.D., MOS debriefing after a shooting.)

- Bring ammo. The right ammo. Lots of it.

- Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

- If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

- Proximity negates skill. Distance is your friend.

- If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun... and a friend who also has a long gun.

- In 5 years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

- If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading and running.

- Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works every time.

("All skill is in vain when an Angel pisses in the flintlock of your musket.")

- Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

- Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

("If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly.")

- The purpose of fighting is to win.

- Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

- Flank your adversary when possible. Protect your own flank.

- Always perform a tactical reload and then threat scan 360 degrees.

- Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.)

- The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

- Be polite. Be professional. But... have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

- Do not attend a gun fight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a "4."

- Nothing handheld is a reliable stopper.

- Carry the same gun in the same place all the time.

Farmer 1
29th Oct 2005, 07:45
I think I'll settle for an office job.

29th Oct 2005, 11:30
But look out the window every now and then, Farmer 1 - throughout history there have been some fairly lethal guys sitting behind other desks...

The Dicta Boelcke still seem more succinct, though not as succinct as the bon mots on war of John A Fisher (Admiral 'Jacky' Fisher):

'The essence of war is violence; moderation in war is imbecility.'

'Hit first, hit hard and keep hitting.'

A short bloke, but frightening in his intensity.

29th Oct 2005, 13:21
De Burcs:
"Be polite. Be professional. But ... have a plan to kill everyone you meet."

Just after the Suez campaign in 1956 a British soldier was interviewed on TV. He had found himself on or near a flat roof in Cairo, as I recall, on which stood an Egyptian soldier or at least an armed Egyptian, his back towards the Brit.

Interviewer: "...... and what did you do then?"
Brit: "I shouted: 'Hoy!'".
Interviewer: " ... and then?"
Brit: "He turned".
Interviewer: "... and then?"
Brit: "I shot him".
Interviewer: "But why did you shout?"
Brit: "Can't shoot a man in the back".

Farmer 1
29th Oct 2005, 18:30
I think I'll settle for a bunker office job.

29th Oct 2005, 18:45
And Onan:
I wouldn't fly s+l for 30 seconds within 20 miles of DFW on a sunny day

you would be very wise.

I knew a gentleman, at the material time mid-upper gunner in a Lancaster, who was returning from an outing over Germany. He looked up saw a FW 190 bubbling along in the moonlight, just above, same heading, same speed, straight and level. He called the captain to throttle back gently, not to make flashes from the exhausts, and to break hard to port when he gave the call. The FW pulled slowly ahead. My man sprayed it with his guns, called Break! Break! Down it went in flames.

They had been briefed just before take-off on the latest Luftwaffe trick, fighter A to approach bomber from port, drop a flare. Everyone would look left, and fighter B would zip in from starboard and blast them.

On that same sortie that is exactly what happened, save that when the flare was dropped to port my man swung his guns to starboard. Sure enough, there was B, flew right into a stream of tracer.

My friend took off on that sortie a sergeant and came back a pilot officer.

30th Oct 2005, 11:08
re the Suez, I found myself in a similar position during some paintball "fun" for a mate's buck's shindig.

I did feel a brief twinge of guilt over the prospect of shooting someone in the back but then I thought, WTF... it's only a paintball.

So, with glee, I shot him square in the back. I figure there's something about someone else's pain that brings out the caveman instincts in (some of) us.