KNIGHTS OF THE SKIES
Albatros D.III (OAW),
D.2576/17, Jasta 46,
Ascq. February 1918
The Albatros D.III was a biplanefighter aircraft used by
the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte) during World War I.
A modified licence model was built by Oeffag for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen).
It was the preeminent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as "Bloody April" 1917.
Early D.IIIs featured a Teves und Braun airfoil-shaped radiator
in the center of the upper wing, where it tended to scald the pilot if punctured.
From the 290th D.III onward,
the radiator was offset to the right on production machines
while others were soon moved to the right as a field modification.
Aircraft deployed in Palestine used two wing radiators,
to cope with the warmer climate.
Von Richthofen and most other German aces won the majority of their victories on the D.III,
and it even turned out to be more successful than its alleged successor,
and continued in production for several months after the introduction of the D.V.
As late as March 1918,
there were still nearly 200 D.IIIs in service on the Western Front,
eight months after the introduction of its successor.
The WW1 German lozenge patterns are some of the most interesting and distinctive camouflage schemes ever devised.
During the early stages of the Great War,
the Germans were looking for a way to effectively camouflage
the aircraft of the Luftstreitkräfte to inhibit enemy observation of the aircraft
while it was in the air as well as when at rest on the ground.
VLarge, irregular blotches with two or three colors were used on the
upper surfaces of the wing which led to the development of the Buntfarbenanstrich,
the lozenge camouflage made up of repeating patterns of irregularly shaped four-,
five- or six-sided polygons. Because painting such a pattern was very time consuming,
and the paint added considerably to the weight of the aircraft,
the patterns were printed on fabric,
and the fabric was then used to cover the aircraft.
This printed fabric was used in various forms and colors from late 1916 until the end of the war.
Lozenge camouflage was a German military camouflage scheme
in the form of patterned cloth or painted designs,
used by some aircraft in the last two years of World War I.
It takes its name from the repeated polygon shapes incorporated in the designs,
many of which resembled lozenges.
In Germany it was called Buntfarbenaufdruck (multi-colored print)
but this designation includes other camouflage designs such as Splittermuster and Leibermuster,
and does not include hand-painted camouflage.
Some modern German sources refer to lozenge camouflage as Lozenge-Tarnung,
as tarnung means concealment, cloaking or camouflage.
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