Special Guests Coming to Indy for RBF XXIX
The Indy Squadron is delighted to learn that former Red Baron Fight champion Scott Campbell will make his eighth appearance in the squadron's annual spring classic when he returns for RBF XXIX next month.
He will be joined by, Brad Campbell (no relation), a local player from Wichita, who will also be a guest for the weekend of April 20th.
Scott's last appearance in Red Baron Fight was on April 17, 2004 (RBF XV). Six years prior, he won a hard-fought victory over Alice Skinner in RBF IX (see story below) to earn his only Silver Goblet. Since moving away from the Indianapolis area in the early 2000's, Scott has been recruiting players and building the new Wichita Spirit Squadron.
The Indy Squadron will hold a special gaming session in honor of our out of town guests on Friday afternoon and evening, April 20th. The venue and exact time are yet to be determined, but please mark this occasion on your calendar and be sure to join us. For most Indy Squadron members it will be the first time we've visited with Scott in person for at least a decade.
Once final travel details have been determined, a venue and exact starting time will be announced. Be sure to join us on Friday afternoon, April 20th!
Re-Living Red Baron Fight 20 Years Ago
When Volume 10, Number 7 of the Indy Squadron Dispatch was published in May 1998, it was still printed on paper and mailed through the postal service. The headlines screamed, "Red Baron Fight IX Turns to Bloodbath! Scott C. Takes Crystal Goblet in Thriller, Peabody Wins Posthumous DFC."
Held on the 17th of April, 1998, the ninth Red Baron Fight was indeed a thriller. The game started fast when Albatros double ace Vz Heiner Scheele (Stephen, 26/12) scored the final kill of his career by downing the Camel pilot of Scott Jones with a fatal pilot hit.
2LT Harold Peabody's Camel (Alice, 12/6) closed in on the Albatros' tail and fired a short burst that killed Scheele, and would later earn a Distinguished Flying Cross for the Sopwith pilot. Scott Campbell's Fokker DrI pilot then fired on Peabody's Camel and the engine exploded.
Scott Campbell narrowly edged Alice for the win, 103 points to 96. Neither of the aces in RBF IX survived the fight, and only two of the game's five pilots returned home.
The Role of Malta in the Mediterranean Theatre, 1940-1942
Pen & Sword Books
Hardback, 263 pages
While most of our reviews focus on personal memoirs and tactical analysis, “Malta Strikes Back” offers a unique strategic overview of the early years of the Second World War in the Mediterranean. Author Ken Delve makes a convincing case that logistically, the tiny island of Malta and its airstrips were a serious barrier to German and Italian success in North Africa.
Situated halfway between the southern coast of Italy and the harbors of Tunisia and Tripoli, Malta became the gateway to the bitter fighting between the British and the Axis powers in the sands of the Sahara.
The book begins with a handful of British pilots who were pressed into service against attacking Italian bombers in June 1940. Armed only with a single radar unit and a handful of obsolete Gloster Gladiator biplanes, Malta mounted an effective defense in what would become an escalating air war over the next two years.
The Luftwaffe joined the fight in 1941, and Delve's well-researched volume traces the air war throughout the heat of the North African conflict.
Although many strategic overviews read like a scholastic textbook, “Malta Strikes Back” is user friendly and engaging. The photographs are pertinent and well placed within the text to lead the reader through the story line. Copies of several original documents are reproduced within the book, and many more official records and data can be found in six appendices.
The book is handy for a backpack or briefcase, measuring 10 inches by 7 inches. The font is easily read. As with many British tomes, the paragraphs are a bit long and chapter divisions are widely spaced. But that is a small gripe against Delve's vast research and well-told story about a small but vital island that fought tenaciously in World War II.