Fokker Scourge

The Fokker Scourge (also sometimes called the Fokker Scare) was the period during which the Fokker Eindecker monoplane fighter aircraft of the Imperial German Fliegertruppen, with their synchronised machine-gun armament, exerted an ascendency over the poorly armed Allied aircraft then in service. Significant as the technical advantage of the new fighter was, the psychological effect of its unheralded introduction was also a major factor. The period is usually considered to have begun in July/August 1915 and ended in early 1916, with the arrival in numbers of the Allied Nieuport 11 and DH.2 fighters; less accurately, it is sometimes extended to the whole period of service of the Fokker monoplanes on the Western Front – from the arrival of the first two Fokker E. I fighters at FA62 in June 1915, until the final disappearance of the last Eindeckers from the early Jagdstaffeln in August/September 1916. The term Fokker Scourge was coined in retrospect by the British press in mid-1916, after the German monoplane fighters had been largely neutralised by the new Allied types. This was not unconnected with the political campaign launched by (among others) the pioneering aviation journalist C. G. Grey and Noel Pemberton Billing M.P. , the founder of the Supermarine company and a great enthusiast of aerial warfare – the main object of which was to end a perceived dominance of the Royal Aircraft Factory in the supply of aircraft to the Royal Flying Corps.

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