Georges Guynemer eBook

Henry Bordeaux
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 183 pages of information about Georges Guynemer.
seemed impressed and began to descend again.  I placed myself at a distance of 10 meters, but every time I showed my nose the passenger aimed at me.  The road to Compiegne:  1000 ... 800 meters.  When I showed my nose, the passenger, standing, stopped aiming and made a sign that he gave himself up.  All right!  I saw under his belly that four shells had struck the mark. 400 meters:  the Boche slowed up his “moulin” (motor). 200 meters, 20 meters.  I let him go and watched him land.  At 100 meters I circled and found I was over an aerodrome.  But, having no more cartridges, I could not prevent them from setting fire to their “taxi,” a magnificent 200 H.P.  Albatros.  When I saw they had been surrounded, I landed and showed the Boches my broken machine-gun.  Sensation.  They had fired at me two hundred times:  my bullets, before the breakdown, had gone through their altimeter and their tachometer, which had caused their excitement.  The pilot said that an airplane had been forced down two days before at Goyancourt:  passenger killed, pilot wounded in legs—­had to have one amputated above the knee.  I hope this original confirmation will be accepted, which will make 30.

Thirty victories, twenty or twenty-one of which occurred on the Somme:  such is the schedule of these extraordinary flights.  The last one surpassed all the rest.  He fought unarmed, with nothing but his machine, like a knight who, with sword broken, manages his horse and brings his adversary to bay.  What a scene it was when the German pilot and passenger, prisoners, became aware that Guynemer’s machine-gun had been out of action!  Once more he had imposed his will upon others, and his power of domination had fascinated his enemies.

In the beginning of February, 1917, the Storks Escadrille left the Somme after six months’ fighting, and flew into Lorraine.

CANTO III

AT THE ZENITH

I. ON THE 25TH OF MAY, 1917

The destiny of a Guynemer is to surpass himself.  Part of his power, however, must lie in the perfection of his weapons.  Why could he not forge them himself?  In him, the mechanician and the gunsmith were impatient to serve the pilot and the fighter.  Nothing in the science of aviation was unknown to him, and Guynemer in the factory was always the same Guynemer.  He worked with the same nervous tension when he overhauled his machine-guns to avoid the too frequent and too troublesome jamming, or when he improved the arrangement of the instruments and tools in his airplane in accordance with his superior practical experience, as when he chased an enemy.  He wanted to compel the obedience of matter, as he compelled the enemy to surrender.

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Georges Guynemer from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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