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Farlis

Aerial Archeology: WW I Edition

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Posted (edited)

I wanted to share this little story of what is possible with flying a sim that has actual satelite and aerial photography of the world.

Recently I got into all kinds of interactive ways of exploring the history of WWI.

I believe that was probably initiated by reading Stefan Zweig's memoires and how he testifies to how Europe was before 1914 and how it and the world changed after WW I.

A much more interesting approach than learning raw historical facts like you do in school, which is always very dry and lacks a human perspective.

So I looked at maps, played "1914-18 Verdun" and "Tannenberg" (and died hundreds of gruesome death in the trenches).

Then I tried to find resources with a map overlay for the entire western front. The plan was to build a flightplan with Littlenavmap that follows the front from the sea to the Vosges mountains.

I ended up using this map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Front_(World_War_I)#/media/File:Western_front_1915-16.jpg

and built the first leg to Reims, hopped into a plane and flew the whole plan by hand.

Sometimes it was impossible to know whether I was on the right track but other times you can see stuff from the air that you wouldn't on the ground. The fields on the hills near the Somme Valley are littered with old scorch marks where trenches used to be and artillery shells exploded. A surreal experience.

If you want to see that for yourselves without flying 90 minutes from Ostend to Prunay along the entire front just hop over to Bray (LFAQ) and take a look around. You can't miss it.

What a titanic and bloody nightmare this must have been.

And how the earth still carries scars from it after almost 110 years.

Anyway, that is most certainly a fascinating way to use a sim.  Looking for patterns in fields that point to long lost structures.

Edited by Farlis
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Posted (edited)

I love doing stuff like this, I recently did an easy one which was a flight along all of the Normandy beaches where troops landed on D-Day.  Also paid a visit to the monument to Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge that was added in the latest update.  Somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit in real life to pay my respects, but at least I’ve been there virtually now.

Edited by regis9
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Dave

Current System (Running at 4k): ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Z490, i9 10900k @ 5.3Ghz, RTX2080ti, 55" Samsung Q80T, 32GB DDR4 3600 RAM, EVGA CLC 280mm AIO Cooler, Brunner CLS-E NG Yoke, Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS, VirtualFly Ruddo+ and TQ6+

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1 hour ago, Farlis said:

 

 

What a titanic and bloody nightmare this must have been.

 

 

Finish your flight at the Ossuary in Douaumont which contains the remains of  130 000 unidentified German and French soldiers who died in die Hölle von Verdun/l'Enfer de Verdun.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Screenshot 2021.04.16 - 15.30.54.63

 


Dominique

Simming since 1981 -  4770k@3.7 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 1080 with 8 GB VRAM running a 27" @ 2560*1440 - Warthog HOTAS - MFG pedals - MFS Standard version with Steam

 

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Hi Farlis,


Thanks for the map and the impetus for learning our history.


From the archaeological side, I'd like to be able to, say, helicopter to Pompeii and then "walk" through the town. Carthage, Rome, Herculaneum, Athens, etc., are other examples. I think the broader possibilities exist with this MSFS technology. More recent history or current situations are also interesting.


I love to fly, but I also like to explore.


Jim Morgan

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Dominique_K said:

 

Finish your flight at the Ossuary in Douaumont which contains the remains of  130 000 unidentified German and French soldiers who died in die Hölle von Verdun/l'Enfer de Verdun.

 

I will overfly it on my next leg which I'm about to start in 10 minutes. It be interesting to see how good the mesh is.

I remember seeing drone footage of the fields in the vicinity that are littered with craters. Only now they are covered with green grass. Nature reclaims everything, but some marks remain eternal.

The most pointless wars among the pointless wars.

Edited by Farlis

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Great idea! I wonder if the mine crater is there at Beaumont Hamel. I'll check it out...

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Posted (edited)

The mesh is insane! I was surprised to see the Hawthorne minecrater is actually there under the trees! And it is huge! must have been some exploison...

Edit:

Sorry jarmstro, didn't mean to spoil the surprise

Edited by DunRingill

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And another thing that strikes me when looking from the air is how small some of the battlefields actually were. Just a few minutes in the air from La Boiselle to Bapuame...

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, DunRingill said:

The mesh is insane! I was surprised to see the Hawthorne minecrater is actually there under the trees! And it is huge! must have been some exploison...

Edit:

Sorry jarmstro, didn't mean to spoil the surprise

Well no surprise because I found it😀 A pity it's covered in trees because it isn't. Now... is the Theipval memorial present...

On the 1st July 1916 The British suffered 60,000 casualties of which nearly 20,000 died. For absolutely no result whatsoever. The lesson learnt? Repeat ad nauseum.

Edited by jarmstro

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59 minutes ago, jarmstro said:

A pity it's covered in trees because it isn't.

Yes it is. Lochnagar crater isn't.

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1 hour ago, DunRingill said:

And another thing that strikes me when looking from the air is how small some of the battlefields actually were. Just a few minutes in the air from La Boiselle to Bapuame...

I sometimes go to Omaha Beach in Google Maps and situate at 2000 feet. It's amazing how much of the battlefield you can see from that height, practically the entire Normandy peninsula. Then to imagine hundreds of aircraft dropping parachutes, searchlights all over the sky, it must have been quite a sight.

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Farlis said:

Yes it is. Lochnagar crater isn't.

Ah yes. La Boisselle. The one you can walk round. Need to find it. I believe there's a couple of unexploded ones still underground which must be a bit of a worry!

Edited by jarmstro

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I did as Dominique suggested and flew over the Ossuary in Douaumont. Very nicely modeled. The onyl thing that was a tiny letdown is that the actual fort just east of it is not modeled.

By the way can someone shed some light on the rectangular field right north to the fort?

To my non military trained eyes it looks like an old artillery firing range where you can practice calibrating. 

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2 hours ago, jarmstro said:

Well no surprise because I found it😀 A pity it's covered in trees because it isn't. Now... is the Theipval memorial present...

On the 1st July 1916 The British suffered 60,000 casualties of which nearly 20,000 died. For absolutely no result whatsoever. The lesson learnt? Repeat ad nauseum.

There is a very good addon for the Thiepval Memorial and also Ulster Tower over at Flightsim.to:

https://flightsim.to/file/5517/memorial-de-thiepval

https://flightsim.to/file/5581/ulster-tower

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