[WWI] Albatros C.III 766/16 Bohme/Lademacher

Diego Fernetti dfernet0 at rosario.gov.ar
Wed Aug 3 11:53:55 EDT 2011

Let's start from a grim truth: no one can say with 100% accuracy what colour was anything from a black and white image.
However, take into account two known facts: A) Black and white were widely available at field aerodromes and perhaps "camouflage" green too, but this paint looked dark gray in contemporary pictures (orthochromatic or not). B) The dragodiles in the pictures were in some color almost -if not the exact same- hue than the white squares where the black crosses were painted.
I could dare to add: C) White markings on wooden fuselages can be picked from any distance out more easily than green or other colours, so logically, a big, bad white dragon can be seen from far away, as personal markings seem to be intended for easy recognition in quick glances and from the longest distance possible.
My theory (and this theory is mine) is that the dragodiles were white with black outlines.
Bohme might not have seen the need to describe in detail the dragodiles to his girlfriend: ..."you know, cutie dear, I now have my little airplane decorated with the cutest creatures ever! And I painted them in your favourite Methuen code! Smoochie smoochie!! I desperately crave for one of your special" ... I won't keep quoting as the rest of the letter was irrelevant about the aircraft markings.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Jim T 
  To: wwi at wwi-models.org 
  Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 12:14 PM
  Subject: [WWI] Albatros C.III 766/16 Bohme/Lademacher

  I have three photos of this well known Albatros. I also have the Datafile that emphatically describes the "Dragodiles" as being rendered in black and white. Every model or drawing I have seen accepts this description, and it may well be correct. I am now reading the orignal German version of the collection of letters Bohme wrote to his sweetheart during the war. So far it has been fascinating, but I have not yet found anything to confirm or alter the "B/W Dragodile" theory.

  I ask because every other dragon or crocodile I have ever seen or seen depicted, have been green or  shades of yellow green. (To be sure there have been some black and red dragons, but those are certainly another species entirely.)

  The artist who rendered the Dragodiles for Bohme and Lademacher was very talented. It seems at least possible, if not likely that he would have used a shade of green or green yellow, if those colors were available. Since green was a common color for camo, it does seem probably that it was available.

  Is there any evidence, apart from the 3 photos,  that bears on the Dragodile colors?

  Did Boeke describe them? How do we know that they were black and white?

  -- Jim Townsend

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