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Which alliance is this?
The picture is from a hand stitched post card around the time of WWI. Can't figure out when these five nations (assuming the black/yellow is some form of Germany), would have been allied together in that time period.
Clockwise from the top of the star (left side of the picture) - France, Belgium, Russia, Italy, UK
Which corresponds to the major Allied Powers in WW1 before the entry of the United States and the exit of Russia. The Russian Symbol is a bit hard to identify, but it was probably chosen to differentiate the Flag of Russia from the French Tricolor, since the orientations of the flags seem variable for this card.
The nations in question would appear to be (clockwise from the "S" in "Star") Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and (edit: Russia). The Russian symbol is based on the Imperial Standard, rather than the national flag, because the national flag had the same colours as France.
The colours of WWI Germany were black, white and red, rather than black, red and gold. The card presumably predates the USA joining the war. There were several other Allied countries at various times.
Kirby Star Allies
Kirby Star Allies [a] is a 2018 platform video game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. The sixteenth mainline installment in the Kirby series, the player controls Kirby in his quest to prevent a priest named Hyness from reviving a dark force to destroy the universe. Kirby must complete each level by jumping, inhaling enemies, and using his array of abilities to progress.
Development of the game began during the 25th anniversary of the Kirby series. The developers later added additional content for the game for the sake of adding more references from past games in the franchise. The game also features more emphasis on higher definition graphics by making the screen more spread out.
Star Allies initially received mixed reviews, with praise directed towards the game's graphics, mechanics and soundtrack, and criticism directed toward its lack of depth and easy difficulty. General reception was later re-evaluated as positive after free additional content was later added, being praised for adding a new layer of difficulty. The game has sold 3.15 million copies as of December 2019, making it one of the best-selling games on the Switch, and the highest-selling entry in the series since its debut with Kirby's Dream Land.
Nintendo is notoriously tight lipped about the development of their games, but we do have a few tidbits about the development of Kirby Star Allies. The title is being developed by longtime Kirby developers, HAL Laboratory, and was originally teased simply as ‘Kirby’ during Nintendo’s E3 Showcase 2017, alongside ‘Yoshi’.
While not outright confirmed, many elements of Kirby Star Allies are reminiscent of old gameplay shown for a previously planned Kirby title on the Nintendo Gamecube. That footage showed off elements more reminiscent of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards with multiple camera angles, but also allowed Kirby to recruit up to three enemies to fight alongside him. The Nintendo Gamecube game would eventually be reworked into the Wii title, Kirby’s Return To Dreamland, but the Friends Mechanic would not appear until Star Allies.
In a Nintendo Direct presentation that took place in September 2017, the final title of the game was announced and the March 16, 2018 release would be revealed in January 2018. This is the first Kirby title to have a world-wide simultaneous launch.
The “perfect” WWII U.S. and Allied STAR
Regulation sizing in circle DIAMETER, with the five-star points on a virtual clock at 12:00hrs, 12, 24, 36 and 48 min.
Early U.S. regulations says that the “early red dot” does NOT touch the inner star points.
It touches the inner pentagram lines between the five inner points!
For example, a 10 inch star has a 10 inch circle DIAMETER over its five points. Not 10 inches from point to point.
360 Degrees / 5 star points = a 72 degrees angle.
60 Min / 5 star points = every 12 minutes.
Modes [ edit ]
- Story Mode - The main game, where the player plays as Kirby.
- Guest Star . Star Allies Go! - An Extra Game unlocked after Story Mode is completed, which consists of a time attack run through the main game levels as a Friend or Dream Friend other than Kirby himself. However, this mode could have been played with Kirby using a glitch prior to Ver.3.0.0.
- The Ultimate Choice - A Boss Endurance mode, unlocked after Story Mode is completed, similar to The Arena with nine difficulty levels and a scoring mechanic.
- Heroes in Another Dimension - A challenge mode added in Ver.4.0.0 unlocked after Story Mode is completed. Kirby and the allies set off for a new adventure in Another Dimension.
- Chop Champs - A Sub-Game where Kirbys compete to log down trees as quickly as possible while avoiding caterpillars and Gordos at the same time.
- Star Slam Heroes - A Sub-Game where Kirbys have to hit an asteroid with a baseball bat as far as they can. - Where the player can watch the movies from the cutscenes. Unlocked after watching the opening movie in Story Mode. - (サウンドルーム Sound Room in the Japanese version) Where the player can listen to the game music. Unlocked after Guest Star . Star Allies Go! is completed.
Levels & Stages [ edit ]
Kirby Star Allies features a total of 40 stages in the Story Mode, not counting the Ability Planet or the final boss level. Additionally, the Heroes in Another Dimension mode contains another 5 stages of extended length.
Hyness' past is shrouded in mystery, but he does hint at it very much towards the end of the game. According to Hyness, he and the Jambastion Mages had helped put an end to a "repulsive nightmare of a galactic crisis" using their magic. It can be theorized the "repulsive nightmare of a galactic crisis" could be Galacta Knight, but this is merely a theory. However, they were later sealed away and banished to the edge of the galaxy seemingly for fear that they were too powerful. Although they have their existence erased from history, Hyness and his followers vowed to be restored and bring about the revival of their dark lord by the name of Void Termina.
Kirby: Star Allies
Hyness is seen in the opening cutscene of the game, where he is performing a ritual in an attempt to summon Void Termina from the Jamba Heart. This ritual goes wrong, causing shards of the Jamba Heart, both good and evil, to shower across the universe. Many evil Jamba Hearts land on Popstar, possessing the likes of Whispy Woods, Meta Knight, and King Dedede, while a single good Jamba Heart lands on Kirby, giving him the power to turn his enemies into allies. After Kirby defeats everyone who was possessed by the evil shards, one of Hyness' Jambastions arrives on Popstar to collect the heart shards, and Kirby has to fight his right-hand generals Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne, the latter of which destroys the station upon her defeat.
Hyness performing a ritual.
These mage generals are the ones that Hyness can be seen abusing throughout his appearance in the final world he slaps Zan Partizanne out of the way so he can deal with Kirby, and as a last resort in his boss fight he sucks out their life force to heal himself and uses them as shields and weapons. Despite being on the receiving end of constant abuse, the mage generals remain loyal to Hyness for he brought a new purpose to their lives.
When he is defeated in his boss fight, he decides to sacrifice himself and his generals to Void Termina in a final bid. It works, however, Void Termina absorbs him and the generals, being seen in the Core phase of his boss fight. After Kirby and friends open Void Termina's heart to expose his core, Hyness and his mages are ejected out of their dark lord into space.
Heroes in Another Dimension
Following Void Termina's defeat, Hyness and the Jambastion mages found themselves in another dimension. Using remaining Void of their fallen leader did Hyness try to resummon Void Termina, only for the Void to corrupt him instead, consumed by the evil within his heart. "Corrupt" Hyness finds himself sealed inside a giant Jamba Heart within the dimension, leaking Void that threatens the universe.
Kirby and his allies travel across four terrains of Another Dimension to gather four Heart Spears to shatter the Jamba Heart restraining Hyness, only for his corrupt form to battle them. After his defeat, the Mage-Sisters come to his aid and battle Kirby, but are also defeated.
If Kirby had collected at least 100 of the 120 hearts obtainable in the four Another Dimension levels, he can create a massive Friend Heart to purify the Mage-Sisters, who in return seal away the Void from Another Dimension. After Kirby and allies leave for their home dimension, a single Friend Heart then falls from their warp star and purifies Hyness. Once he awakens, the Mage-Sisters comfort him and explain to him what all happened, making him become an ally to Kirby and all of his friends.
Corrupt Hyness can later be fought within the Ultimate Choice at Soul Melter EX difficulty.
The Star Pilot of Africa in World War II
Had Hans-Joachim Marseille lived and fought today rather than in 1941 and ’42, there’s not a saloon in the country that would serve him a Bud Lite without carding this scrawny, baby-faced boy. And then they probably would reject the ID as fake. It is impossible to imagine that someone so young, and who looked even younger, could be arguably the finest stick-and-rudder fighter pilot the world will ever know. Jochen, as he was less formally known, shot down 26 airplanes while he was 21 and a further 132 at age 22. Only 18 months elapsed from first boy-pilot shoot-down to his own death as a weary, prematurely aged warrior.
Yes, there were German pilots who racked up higher scores, though no Allied aviator came within a country kilometer of Marseille’s 158 kills. But the victims of Luftwaffe pilots such as 352-victory Erich Hartmann were largely Soviet farmboys flying outmatched Yaks and clumsy Ilyushin bombers on the Eastern Front, easy meat for Germans who’d been flying since the Spanish Civil War aboard far better airplanes.
Hans-Joachim Marseille’s victories were entirely against capable Western pilots, for the most part flying airplanes reasonably matched against his Messerschmitt Me-109E, F and ultimately G. He was the highest-scoring Luftwaffe pilot on the Western Front, and to this day many Germans insist that despite his often having to force-land or bail out as the result of incidental battle damage, he was never beaten by an Allied pilot in a one-on-one dogfight. However, in his book Aces of the Reich, Luftwaffe historian Mike Spick writes, “…in April 1941…the Gruppe deployed to Libya. An area with a distinct lack of women helped Marseille keep his mind on his work. Not that his arrival was auspicious within days he was shot down by a Hawker Hurricane flown by an elderly Free French pilot [James Denis of No. 73 Squadron, RAF].” Marseille’s record against Hurricanes, Super marine Spitfires and Curtiss P-40s flown by British, Australian and South African pilots, first during the Battle of Britain and then in the North African desert campaign, was nevertheless unrivaled.
Marseille may have flown once or twice against American pilots attached to a British squadron, and possibly even shot down one. But had he met full U.S. Army Air Forces units, it would at least initially have been a horrible mismatch, with the Luftwaffe running roughshod over the Yanks. Marseille died little more than a month before U.S. forces landed in North Africa. When they did, the Luftwaffe easily continued to maintain near-total air superiority. It wasn’t difficult. Early on, American pilots in North Africa lost almost twice as many planes to crashes and accidents as they did to combat.
Marseille…what a strange name for a German. Former French Huguenots in fact made up a considerable portion of Germany’s population, having fled religious persecution by Catholics in 18th-century France. This was particularly true in Berlin, where Jochen was born. Still, some Germans pronounced his name phonetically, “Mar-SAIL,” rather than the more common “Mar-SAY.”
Tomayto tomahto, Marseille came from a military family, as did many Huguenots. So he enthusiastically started flight training in November 1938 but quickly proved to be a screw-up: He did a show-off first solo in a Focke Wulf Fw-44 Stieglitz (the Luftwaffe’s Stearman) by tossing the biplane around as though he was on the tail of an imaginary foe. Bad idea. For this and many other transgressions, Marseille remained a noncom until well into his combat career, while virtually every other pilot in his class, squadron and generation had been promoted to officership and was climbing in rank.
It didn’t help that while still a student pilot he landed on an empty stretch of autobahn during his second cross-country solo in order to take a pee. Some farmers working in a nearby field, being “good Germans,” got his tail number and reported him.
That Marseille wasn’t simply washed out probably could be attributed to the fact that his father was in line for promotion to flag rank, but apparently little of the family’s military tradition rubbed off on the prodigal son. Marseille was lazy, a skirt-chaser, a good drinker, a fan of American Negro jazz, and he abhorred what he considered pointless regulations. Being a Berliner didn’t help—that was like being a Manhattanite among rural Southerners. And that’s not an entirely unlikely metaphor. When Marseille was a high-scorer in Africa and had a privileged multi-tent compound, he somehow managed to get a handsome black South African POW named Mathias as his valet to reinforce his image of himself as a cool Jazz Age dude.
“Marseille’s love of jazz was a significant thing in Nazi Germany,” says Robert Tate, a 15-year U.S. Air Force KC-135 and AWACS pilot and currently a Delta first officer flying 757s and 767s. Tate’s book Hans-Joachim Marseille: An Illustrated Tribute to the Luftwaffe’s Star of Africa was released in July. “It was more than that he just liked the music. There were counterculture groups inside Germany like the Swing Kids [who were the antithesis of the Hitler Youth]. I can’t prove that Marseille was a member of the Swing Kids, but his hair, his dress, his scarf, the shag pipe he often had, the music, his mannerisms, his sexual promiscuity…if he was not a member of the German Swing Kids, he was at least sympathetic. Which was a big statement for a German officer. And Marseille’s friendship with Mathias flies counter to Nazi doctrine toward blacks.”
Marseille’s idea of a uniform was to add whatever seemed hip and Berlin-fashionable at the moment. Even after he was assigned as a squadron pilot he was derided for wearing colorful civvie scarves. Until he became an ace many times over, that is, when wearing scarves suddenly seemed the thing for other pilots to do as well.
Whatever gunnery training Luftwaffe pilots got, it seemed to have little effect on Marseille, who had his own ideas about how to attack and shoot. It took awhile, but he ultimately became a master of deflection shooting—the concept of leading a target and letting it fly into one’s bullets rather than simply hosing it from behind or even dead ahead. In fact he eventually learned that the optimum time to pull the trigger was just as the target disappeared under his Messerschmitt’s nose, if both airplanes were pulling Gs in a turning battle (which was normally the case among fighter pilots who knew what they were doing). Marseille understood that if he fired while turning hard, the course of his bullets was actually downward relative to the path of his own airplane they in effect “fell” somewhat from the gun barrel.
Interestingly, the only WWII air forces that seriously trained pilots in deflection shooting were those of the U.S. and Japanese navies. Both flew radial engine fighters with short noses and better over-the-cowling views. “With a long nose [like an Me-109’s], particularly if you’re sitting low in the cockpit, you can only see a degree or so below the longitudinal axis of the airplane,” says Robert Shaw, a former F-4 and F-14 pilot and author of the authoritative textbook Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering. “So you couldn’t pull a lot of lead in a turn, because if the target is turning, you have to turn too, to keep your nose out in front of him, and that puts him underneath your nose so you can’t see him.
“Marseille would most likely have established himself in the plane of his target’s turn and then dragged the pipper through and out in front of him,” Shaw opines, “and when the target disappeared below his nose, he knew he had about the right amount of lead and would start shooting. That worked as long as the target kept turning at the same rate, which apparently they mostly did.”
Unlike pilots who adhered to Manfred von Richthofen’s doctrine, which held that the best attacks were those the enemy never saw coming, Marseille preferred to mix it up with his opponents. He was like a boxer who jumped in and flailed away, a windmill of punches, the instant the round started. When attacked, groups of RAF airplanes often went into Lufbery circles, everybody orbiting so that each airplane had a buddy covering its tail while it covered the airplane ahead. Marseille dived right into the Lufberys, sometimes even joining them for several minutes at a time. (An Me-109 a quarter-mile ahead, seen from behind, doesn’t look all that different from a Hurricane.)
Marseille first saw combat in the Battle of Britain, and he got pummeled, constantly bringing home bullet-filigreed Messerschmitts and sometimes not bringing them home at all. He bailed out over the Channel six times, three of them near the same air-sea rescue base at Cape Griz Nez. The doctor in charge there once told him that next time he needed them, he should make a reservation. Marseille was not amused, seeing the casual joke as a slur on his ability.
Marseille claimed his 7th aerial victory on September 28, 1940 but had to crash land near Théville, France, due to engine failure. (Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-344-0741-30 Röder)
His squadron commander wasn’t amused either. Even though Marseille had shot down a Hurricane on his first-ever combat mission and had made five kills by the time he’d flown his fifth mission, he was costing the Luftwaffe valuable planes. He was the aerial equivalent of a Formula 1 driver who is incredibly fast but destroys his cars. In fighter pilot terms, he needed to work on his SA—situational awareness, that priceless eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head ability that allows a good combat pilot to simultaneously assimilate and process the positions and vectors of a variety of threats.
He was also a pain in the ass—disobedient, casual, a goof-off, a braggart who boasted openly of having nailed a well-known actress at a time when his squadron mates must have wondered if he’d ever actually nailed anybody. So what did his squadron commander do? He transferred Marseille to hot, dusty, miserable North Africa, where the pilots lived in tents and baked in the sun.
Jochen Marseille became a member of a vigorous fighter group, I Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 27, led by Eduard Neumann, himself so showy and eccentric that he lived in a big circus wagon he’d found in France and shipped to North Africa. Across one side was painted the legend Neumanns bunte Buhne (Neumann’s colorful stage), and here his pilots often gathered to drink and do what carousing North Africa afforded. Neumann was an old hand who had flown in the Spanish Civil War, and he saw in Marseille the bravery and stick-and-rudder talent to mold into a superb fighter pilot, if only he could calm Jochen’s youthful exuberance.
Neumann urged Marseille to slow down, to be patient, to stop simply trying to cheat death on every mission. At one point he even grounded Marseille for three days, exasperated by the endless parade of shot-up Messerschmitts the kid brought home.
Part of the problem seemed to be that in the early stages of his career, Marseille was a Rodney Dangerfield joke: He got no respect. He was a boy, and some of the older hands resented him for his flamboyance and sense of privilege. (The average age of his squadron mates typically was 26, and if you remember your own youth, a five-year age gap was nearly generational.) He really didn’t fit in as a fighter pilot. At least he didn’t think so. Marseille had what parlor psychologists used to call an “inferiority complex.” He wanted to be liked and admired, and he didn’t want to be the object of sarcasm from search-and-rescue medics, the butt of squadron mate practical jokes, the kid who never (at least during the Battle of Britain) got the praise he felt he deserved from his commanders.
While based in France, he once was ordered to fly a Messerschmitt demonstration for a visiting general, since there was no denying that he was the best aerobat in the squadron. He capped his flight off by picking up a handkerchief from a pole, with his wingtip just a meter above the runway. When he landed, he was not congratulated but instead grounded and confined to base for five days for violating the five-meter minimum altitude restriction. (Though it may well have been the general himself who ordered the punishment, nobody rescinded it after the visitor left.)
And Marseille was still a noncom well after he began mowing down Hurricanes and Bristol Blenheims over North Africa. “I’m the oldest Oberfähnrich [senior cadet, essentially] in the Luftwaffe,” he grimly joked. He was finally promoted to Leutnant [second lieutenant] in June 1941, when he had 11 kills.
One of the talents Marseille developed was the ability to quickly change his focus from one target to the next as soon as he fired. He rapidly developed a sense of situational awareness. When ground crews reloaded his magazines, they found that he’d used as few as 10 shots to down an airplane. He used an average of 15 rounds per kill, as recorded by the armorers who serviced his airplanes after missions, and his ability to avoid fixating on a target and hosing it led to a remarkable record of multiple victories. Marseille often shot down two planes on a single sortie and four in a day. On one mission he dispatched six P-40s in six minutes, and two weeks later he notched six kills within seven minutes. He once got seven kills in a day and another time seven in a single mission, but his most spectacular tally was 17 victories in one day (September 1, 1942) during three flights. Surprisingly, that’s not an all-time record: Focke Wulf Fw-190 ace Emil Lang downed 18 Soviet adversaries on November 3, 1943.
Lieutenant Marseille poses with a Hawker Hurricane of No. 213 Squadron he shot down. (Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-440-1313-03 Opitz)
Marseille’s end was sadly prosaic and clumsy. He was flying a new Me-109—the latest G model—on September 30, 1942. He’d been quite happy with his 109F and didn’t much like the Gs, as they had a reputation for engine failures. But Field Marshal Albert Kesselring himself had ordered Marseille to switch to the G after the young ace had ignored his squadron commander’s several requests that he do so.
Returning from a routine Stuka-escort mission that met no opposition, Marseille did indeed experience an engine failure, filling the cockpit with smoke. When the fumes and flames became unbearable, he performed the normal bailout procedure—he’d done it many times—of going inverted, opening the canopy, releasing his harness and falling out. The smoke and his stinging eyes had kept him from realizing, however, that the Messerschmitt was already in a shallow inverted dive, descending far more rapidly than its normal speed. (His wingmen estimated that it was doing a good 400 mph.) Marseille was blown straight back into the vertical stabilizer, which either killed him instantly or wounded him grievously enough that he never opened his parachute.
The first medical officer who reached the facedown body on the desert sand turned the dead German onto his back. The doctor wrote in his report: “The finely cut features of his face below a high forehead were nearly undisturbed. It was the face of a tired child.” Hans-Joachim Marseille was just 2l⁄2 months short of his 23rd birthday.
The elephant in the room during any discussion of Jochen Marseille is the big one asking: “Did the kid really shoot down 158 airplanes in a year and a half? Did he really gun 17 in a single day?” Fair questions, considering the most prolific American ace, Richard Bong, shot down a grand total of 40 Japanese, and when the best that David McCampbell, an experienced American pilot flying a 2,000- hp Grumman F6F, could do in the autumn of 1944 was nine victories in a day over 50-hour Japanese kids in aging Mitsubishi Zeros.
Marseille looks on as his mechanic adds the 50th victory marking to the rudder of the ace’s Me-109F-4/Trop “Yellow 14” at Martuba. (© Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource)
Were the Luftwaffe pilots that much better? Look at a listing of top World War II aerial victories by country—Great Britain, its highest-scoring aces with from 26 to 51 kills, Japan’s best 28 to 87, the U.S. 20 to 40 victories. And Germany? The Luftwaffe’s top 16 pilots shot down 192 to 352 enemy planes.
One explanation often offered is that while Allied pilots attacked in groups whenever possible, the Luftwaffe had specialist shooters—Experten, or what we’d have called aces. Pilots such as Marseille were given the chance to make kills as often as possible while their wingmen watched their backs. Hard to imagine an American pilot saying, “You take him, Chuck, you’re so much better than I am…”
Marseille also operated solo or with a single wingman as often as possible he didn’t want a Schwarm of bumbling squadron mates getting in his way. When there is just one witness to a shoot-down, or perhaps not even one, it’s fair to question the legitimacy of some confirmations.
“In the heat of combat, you can’t waste time verifying claims,” says Fighter Combat author Shaw. “You see pieces coming off the airplane or at least think you do, you think you see smoke coming out of the airplane…if you follow that airplane and watch him until he crashes, you’re going to get shot down by somebody else. Somebody’s going down and it looks like he’s out of control, you claim it. That was true of both sides.”
What set Luftwaffe pilots in particular apart from their Western Front adversaries, however, was the Germans’ “fly till you die” policy. There were no 100-mission tours for Luftwaffe pilots, no honorable retirement from battle to become instructors. They flew until the war was over, until they were injured too badly to fly any more, until they collapsed psychologically or were killed. Not many survived the war.
“One of the things that hurt the Germans was leaving the Experten to run up their numbers and eventually die,” Shaw points out. “It’s better to have a thousand guys making two or three kills each than to have a handful making a hundred.”
American pilots flew a specific number of missions, and if they survived, they were sent home. (The number varied according to the stage of the war, the area of operation and unit needs.) Pilots could volunteer for multiple tours, and many did, but the serious aces were usually denied this opportunity. The PR downside of having a national hero killed far outweighed the benefits of hoping he might rack up a Marseille-size score. If American aces made it to 20, 30 or Bong’s 40 kills, life for them became war-bond tours, publicity campaigns and serious instructorship.
Ground crewmen prepare Hans-Joachim Marseille’s Messerschmitt Me-109F/Trop for a mission in February 1942. (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource)
“The big reason the Germans scored more is that they flew more,” says Shaw. “They stayed in the cockpit forever. A lot of them had started flying before the war, they got good training, they had superior equipment and greater experience. They also fought over their own territory for the most part, and when they got shot down, they’d come back in another aircraft that afternoon.”
“Fly-till-you-die was the biggest single reason so many German aces scored the way they did,” says Marseille authority Robert Tate. “Erich Hartmann flew something like 1,250 combat sorties, and during that time, he engaged the enemy 800 times and fired his guns 500 times. And scored 352 kills. When you look at those numbers, [that kill ratio] is not that far-fetched.”
Apply the same percentages to an American ace who flew 100 combat missions, and he’d have engaged the enemy 64 times, fired his guns 40 times and scored 28 kills. Twenty-seven U.S. pilots scored 20 or more victories during World War II, so the comparative numbers hold even across the spectrum of great-to-superb fighter pilots, whether Ger – man or American.
Shaw thinks that the overclaiming rate “was typically between two and three times what was actually true, if you go back and look at the number of losses versus claims. And that was true on both sides.”
“Did Marseille overclaim?” Tate muses. “Yeah, he probably did. He’s been my hero for 30 years, but I can be honest and say he did overclaim. As did probably every fighter pilot in World War II. Marseille was especially susceptible to overclaiming, since he was more interested in using minimum ammunition rather than totally obliterating enemy aircraft.” Some planes that Marseille was convinced he’d finished off almost certainly made it home. “But even if Marseille did overclaim and other pilots did so at similar rates, he still destroyed seven and a half times as many aircraft as the highest-scoring Allied pilot in the desert theater and more than twice as many kills as the next-highest Luftwaffe pilot. Marseille was still the real deal.”
In a world in which air combat will never again experience enormous multi-aircraft dogfights, gunfighter Hans-Joachim Marseille may also have been the last of a unique breed.
For further reading, frequent contributor Stephan Wilkinson recommends: Hans-Joachim Marseille: The Life Story of the Star of Africa, by Franz Kurowski and Hans-Joachim Marseille: An Illustrated Tribute to the Luftwaffe’s Star of Africa, by Robert Tate.
Originally published in the November 2008 issue of Aviation History. To subscribe, click here.
Based on Deanna Troi's line in ENT : " These Are the Voyages. " "this alliance will give birth to the Federation", the signing ceremony shown could well be the signing of the Coalition of Planets' charter or for some other precursory alliance to the actual Federation. While that is a legitimate interpretation, the line itself is ambiguous and could easily refer to the present state of the Federation as its own nation rather than an alliance. Further, exactly the same scene was observed in ENT : " Zero Hour ", wherein it was explicitly identified as the signing of the Federation Charter.
The clipping It's Federation Day!, from the Picard family album created for Star Trek Generations , gives additional details about the founding of the Federation, including the names of the signatories, the exact date (October 11) and that the Human-settled Alpha Centauri system was the fifth founding member. However, that particular item did not appear on-screen.
Various other non-canon sources have given the exact date of the founding as May 8 (Last Full Measure), June 30 (Star Trek: Star Charts), and August 12 (Star Trek Online).
America’s Worst World War II Fighter Was the Star of the Russian Air Force
The P-39 Airacobra may be the least loved American fighter plane of World War II, deemed inadequate by military planners at the outset of hostilities and written off as nearly useless by many historians. Certainly, the P-39 could not match the high-altitude performance of classic American warbirds such as the dapper and agile P-51 Mustang, nor the hard-charging, hard-hitting P-47 Thunderbolt.
And yet it was pilots of the Airacobra, not the Thunderbolt or Mustang, that achieved the highest scores of any aviators flying an American war plane during World War II. That this fact is not better known maybe because those Airacobra pilots flew with red Soviet stars on their wings.
Founded in 1935, the Bell Aircraft Corporation was known for unconventional designs such as the Airacuda bomber-destroyer which would have been at home on the cover of a science fiction magazine. In 1939, Bell approached the designs of its prototype XP-39 single-engine interceptor from a revolutionary perspective: instead of designing guns to fit the airplane, Bell designed a plane to fit around its gun—an enormous Oldsmobile T9 37-millimeter automatic cannon shooting throw the propeller hub. This had a caliber commonly found on early World War II tank guns. It would only take a single direct hit to down an enemy airplane, and the P-39 also carried two additional .50 caliber machine guns in the nose and four .30 caliber weapons in the wings for a good measure.
To make room for the nose-mounted cannon and thirty rounds of ammunition, the P-39’s Allison 12-cylinder V-1710 inline engine was mounted behind the cockpit—you can even see the exhaust just below the rear canopy—with the propeller shaft passing between the pilot’s legs. The design was also the first single-seat fighter to boast a third extending landing gear under the nose in addition to one on each side of the fuselage in a more stable “tricycle” configuration which is now standard. A raised bubble canopy that opened from a side door offered the pilot excellent visibility, and self-sealing fuel tanks and around 200 pounds of armor plating added to initial P-39D production models improved the Airacobra’s survivability.
The XP-39 prototype exhibited a very decent top speed of 380 miles per hour in 1938. However, the Army Air Corps demanded that Bell increase speed even further by trimming away drag-producing elements. Ultimately, the designers settled on eliminating the Airacobra’s turbo-charger air scoop under the fuselage to deal with the drag problem.
This decision proved fatal to the Airacobra’s prospects as a frontline fighter, as aircraft without the turbochargers handled like a brick above altitudes over 15,000 feet. In a few years, the U.S. bombers would sally forth on raids against Nazi Germany conducted at altitudes of 25,000 feet, and German fighters would climb even higher to ambush them. Furthermore, the Airacobra’s slow climb rate made it terrible at its original role of intercepting high flying enemy bombers. The P-39 centrally-mounted engine also pushed the center of gravity to the rear, making it prone to vicious spins once cannon ammunition was expended from the nose. Though the P-39 was not generally disliked by its pilots, it would also never have its own pilot’s association, unlike the four other major fighter types of the Army Air Corps.
Prior to the U.S. entry in World War II, the United Kingdom received more than 200 export-model Airacobras known as P-400s, which were downgraded to a 20-millimeter cannon in the propeller hub. But Royal Air Force pilots had fought many high-altitude battles with the Luftwaffe, and hated the Airacobra. Only 601 Squadron operated the Airacobra, flying the American fighters on a single combat mission before the type was withdrawn from British service. When the first two U.S. Army Air Force fighter groups arrived in England in the summer of 1942, the RAF persuaded the Americans to leave their P-39s behind and use British Spitfires Mark Vs instead!
A few P-39 Army Air Force squadrons did eventually see action in North Africa and Italy. There, they rendered decent service largely in a ground attack role capitalizing on their hefty firepower and good low-altitude handling providing air support for the Allied force in North Africa and Italy, and amphibious landing at Anzio and Southern France. However, the Airacobra’s initial entry into action proved inauspicious as nearly a score of fighters of the 350th and 81st Fighter Group went off course while transiting from England to Morocco and made forced landings in Portugal. The Portuguese duly confiscated the planes for their own air force, though they were so courteous as to pay the U.S. government $20,000 for each airplane!
The P-39 played a briefer but more prominent role in the Pacific theater. In 1942, Airacobras and older P-40 Warhawks were the only modern Army Air Corps fighters available to hold the line against the initial Japanese onslaught into the South West Pacific. Airacobras engaged in intense air battles supporting marine and army troops on the islands of Guadalcanal and Papua New Guinea. The poorly regarded fighters traded off a 1:1 kill ratio against more maneuverable Japanese aircraft with more experienced pilots, including the dreaded A6M Zero. However, P-39s repeatedly struggled to climb fast enough to intercept Japanese bombers above 20,000 feet, and its short range of 500 miles limited its effectiveness across the far-flung Pacific Islands.
Nonetheless, Airacobras played a vital role in intercepting Japanese bombers diving down to low altitude to pound Allied shipping. Lieutenant Bill Fiedler became the only American P-39 ace when he scored five kills over New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, including three Zeros in a row, before tragically perishing in a runway collision. Airacobras also saw combat in the long-forgotten campaign to take back the Alaskan Islands of Attu and Kiska from Japanese forces, though cold, wet weather would prove a deadlier foe than Japanese cannon shells.
Spare P-39s were passed on to beef up the Australian Air Force (they never saw combat) the Free French (involved in close air support over Italy and Southern France) and the 4th Stormo of the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force (hitting targets in the Balkans). Unfortunately, these P-39s suffered numerous accidents, leading to the deaths of the Italian ace Teresio Martinoli and the French ace Pierre Le Gloan.
The Soviet Union’s Top American Fighter
Remember those P-400s the British couldn’t wait to get rid of? Well, the Brits packed off 212 of the fighters via risky Arctic convoys to Murmansk as hand-me-down military aid to a desperate Soviet Union in the winter of 1941–42. Wearily, Soviet pilots spent several months testing these fighters of ill-repute, doing their best to figure out the aircraft’s nasty spin problems.
And funnily enough, the Soviets loved them. Stalin even wrote a personal letter to Roosevelt asking for more! This fondness was not true of all Lend Lease equipment. The hulking M3 Grant medium tank was nicknamed the “Coffin for Seven Brothers” the Spitfire was deemed too sensitive to the cold. But the P-39 perfectly met Soviet requirements. In the Cobra’s first two months in Soviet service, the twenty Airacobras of the elite 153rd Guards Fighter Regiment operating out of Voronezh shot down eighteen bombers and forty-five fighters (mostly Junker 88s and Messerschmitt 109s), while only losing eight planes.
Unlike the high-altitude air battles of the strategic bombing campaigns in Western Europe, the majority of air operations over the Eastern Front occurred at low-altitude in support of troops on the ground—a domain in which the P-39’s deficiencies barely mattered. Furthermore, Soviet airfields were generally close to the frontlines, rendering the Airacobra’s short range irrelevant. Each P-39 also came with its own radio, a rarity amongst World War II Soviet fighters. Combined with more comfortable pilot’s seats and more generous armor plating compared to Soviet designs, the American fighter plane soon earned the affectionate nickname Kobrukshka (“Little Cobra”).
Around 5,000 P-39s were delivered into Soviet service, of which 1,000 were lost to all circumstances. 2,500 of the single-engine fighters were ferried by American and Russian pilots—many of them women—from Buffalo, New York to Alaska, from there across the Bering strait into Russia, and then completed a dangerous run across a chain of Siberian airfields to frontline units in Europe. Another 2,000 were shipped in crates via Allied-occupied Iran.
After the initial batch of P-400s, the Soviets primarily operated the P-39N variant with a more powerful V1070-85 engine that increased maximum speed to 390 miles per hour, and the P-39Q, which swapped the “paint scratching” underwing .30 caliber machine guns for two heftier .50 caliber weapons. However, Soviet mechanics often removed the wing-mounted machine guns entirely to improve performance, as VVS pilots preferred to fly with a smaller number of more accurate fuselage-mounted weapons.
Many histories single out the P-39’s cannon armament as making it an ideal ground attack plane. But in reality, the Soviets did not even acquire anti-tank rounds for the 37-millimeter cannon, and primarily tasked the Airacobra with shooting down enemy bombers and escorting Soviet Il-2 Sturmovik ground attack planes. Soviet Airacobra pilots were willing to ram German aircraft to take them out, and one P-39 ace even downed a German 109 by sawing its tail off with his propeller.
Challenge Room - Kirby: Star Allies
Challenge Room - Kirby: Star Allies is a screamer video uploaded by SilvaGunner on April 9, 2019.
The video starts with a spoof of this teaser for Daroach's inclusion as a Dream Friend in Kirby Star Allies, which uses the advertised track. Instead of Daroach, however, the silhouette is of Dark Matter Blade from Kirby's Dream Land 2. The silhouette then disappears and the music fades out,
Then returns as Life Jacket Kid zooms in and phases until 26 seconds, a flashing image of King Dedede's face with black scleras and white pupils pops up along with EarthBound explosions sound effect, after the screamer then fades out. Steve Harvey appears to multiple Xx__Eric_xX roast clips and videos playing over each other. Steve frowns and points a gun slowly fades into view. Toward the end of the video, you can also faintly hear Inspector Gadget saying: "Never had sex."