Monday, January 9, 2017

Gamer History: Battlefield 1's Halberstadt CL.II

Returning to the enemy powers side of the coin, we’ll focus today on Germany’s equivalent Attack aircraft in Battlefield 1, the Halberstadt CL.II.

Photo via the Polish Aviation Museum

Introduced in 1917, the CL.II was designed primarily as an escort for reconnaissance aircraft. However, it found most of its success in the ground attack role, where its good maneuverability and payload capacity (ten stick grenades and up to five 10kg fragmentation bombs) made it a very capable early close air support aircraft.

Photo via
Similarly to the Bristol F2.B Fighter, the CL.II also found decent success against enemy single seat fighters, although kill data is somewhat difficult to find. The CL.II bore a strong similarity to the Albatross D.III and Pfalz D.III single seat fighters, and Allied pilots often only realized their error when the Halberstadt CL.II's rear gunner began to light them up.

The CL.II was used to particular success by German forces during the Battle of Cambrai, where its success in the CAS role influenced German tactics in the 1918 Spring Offensive.

There are no flying CL.IIs in existence, and only one known survivor. This aircraft, which was the personal aircraft of Commander of Lufsteitkräfte General Ernst von Hoeppner, is exhibited in the Polish Aviation Museum in Kraków, Poland.

Research information from Wikipedia and the Polish Aviation Museum. 

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