The artwork featuring the duel between the
black and white striped German aircraft
and the French Spad appeared on the cover of the Albatros D.V kit in the ProfiPACK
edition in 2002 and became one of the most
iconic illustrations in Eduard's history.
It was created by our friend Martin Novotný,
who tragically died on June 12, 2009. Martin
created a series of beautiful illustrations
for Eduard, characterized by his distinctive
style and flair for history and aviation design.
When the kit was first released, the black
and white striped machine was attributed
to Oblt. Bruno Loerzer, commander of Jasta 26. This pilot achieved 44 victories during
World War I and became commander of Jagdgeschwader III and holder of the prestigious Pour le Mérite order. Before World
War II he was Kommodore of JG 53, shortly
after the outbreak of the war he became
commander of the II. Fliegerkorps and
in 1940 was awarded the Knight's Cross.
In recent years, the interpretation of the
pattern of this Albatros has shifted. It is
highly probable that its pilot was not Loerzer, but the Bavarian officer Lt. Dannhuber.
He is sometimes listed as Xavier Dannhuber, but in contemporary documents
his real name is recorded as Franz Xaver Dannhuber. Sometimes his first name
is even written in the archaic form Haver
instead of Xaver. When he died in Hamburg
in 1960, his name was listed on the funeral
notice as Franz Danhuber. The family did
not forget to mention that he was a Knight
Text: Jan Bobek
Illustration: Martin Novotný
of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
with Crown and Swords.
Dannhuber was born on January 27, 1891,
in Gars am Inn, Bavaria. Before WW I he
served in the Königlich Bayerisches 1.
Infanterie-Regiment “König” and Kgl. Bayer. 3. IR “Prinz Karl von Bayern”. After the
start of the fighting, he was assigned with
the rank of Unteroffizier to the newly established Ersatz-Bataillon in Munich within
the Kgl. Bayer. 1. Reserve IR. He went to the
front with this unit as soon as August 1914,
but soon fell ill and did not get to the front
again until September of the following year.
In July 1916 he began his flying training
and at the end of October he was assigned to Kampfstaffel 35b within Kagohl 6.
In February 1917 he was promoted to the
rank of Leutnant and began fighter training
on 8th May. After its completion on 25th
May he was assigned to Jasta 26, whose
commander at the time was Oblt. Bruno
Since June, Jasta 26 fought in Belgium
mainly against British and Belgian airmen. But there were also clashes with the
French. An example of this was Loerzer's
successful engagement on August 16, 1917,
near Langemarck, when he managed to
shoot down a Spad from Escadrille SPA
3 “Cigognes”. Just a few days earlier, on
August 12, 1917, Dannhuber had scored his
first kill, claiming the destruction of a British balloon at Vlamertinghe. On the morning of August 17, he than achieved his first
aerial victory over enemy airplane as he
managed to shoot down an FE.2d of No. 20
Sqn. RFC near St. Julien. The Canadian pilot Lt. W. H. Joslyn and his Scottish gunner
were killed. Joslyn had seven victories
to his credit, including the five-victory ace
Lt. Alfred Ulmer of Jasta 8.
A second enemy ace fell victim to Dannhuber on October 1, 1917. South African Lt. Robert Hugh Sloley of No. 56. Sqn. RFC fell in
a dogfight between twenty German fighters
and a group of SE.5 and Bristol Fighters.
The legendary James McCudden watched
Sloley's SE.5 circling amidst four Albatros
scouts with the black and white markings
of Jasta 26. One of them was Dannhuber,
who got 25 yards behind the British machine and shot off its tail surfaces. The helpless Sloley spinned to the ground near
A week later, on October 9, Dannhuber
managed to shoot down yet another ace.
In an afternoon engagement at Zonnebeke,
he claimed a Spad, in fact a Nieuport XXVII
of No. 1 Sqn RFC piloted by Capt. W. T. V. Rooper, who had eight victories to his credit.
Dannhuber brought his tally up to ten kills
in October 1917 but had to be hospitalized
at the end of the month and was assigned
to Jasta 76b in mid-November. In mid-January 1918 he took command of Jasta 79b,
but a month later he was injured in a crash
and did not enter combat with this unit until early October 1918, when he achieved his
eleventh and last victory.