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Birthday of Gerhard Fieseler
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From April 30th 2014 at  06:00 GMT to May 1st 2014 06:00 GMT

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Gerhard Fieseler was born on April the 15th, 1896 in the town of Glesch. He joined the German Air Force at the age of 19 in 1915. In 1916, he was injured during training and was appointed to an observation pilot role with the Jasta 25 on the Romanian front. However, in 1917, he became a fighter pilot, and was sent to Macedonia. There, he became known as the ‘Tiger of Macedonia’, due to having fought and won most the of the battles almost single-handedly, with over 20 confirmed victories. In September 1918, he was decorated with the Iron Cross and the Golden Military Merit Cross, the highest award for bravery for noncommissioned officers, and he was subsequently promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

Following the war, Fieseler started a printing shop. His business was going fairly well, however he was still drawn to flying as much as he was before.  In 1926, he closed his print shop in Eschweiler and became a flight instructor with the Raab-Katzenstein aircraft company in Kassel. He continued to practice his flying skills, he became a stunt pilot and in 1927 he performed a particularly daring routine in  Zürich. After this, he started commanding higher fees for his appearances. During this time, he became a designer at Raab-Katzenstein, and helped develop the Fieseler F1 and the RK-26 Tigerschwalbe.

In 1930, Raab-Katzenstien went bankrupt, and Fieseler decided to strike out on his own. Using money he had been saving from his aerobatics, he bought the Segelflugzeugbau Kassel sailplane factory and renamed it Fieseler Flugzeugbau. Although he continued with some sailplane manufacturing, from 1932, he started manufacturing sports planes of his own design.  In one of these aircraft, he went on to win the inaugural World Aerobatic Championship in Paris in 1934, skyrocketing his fame as both a plane designer and stunt pilot.

Shortly after, Fieseler won a design contest for an STOL (short takeoff and landing) reconnaissance airplane, beating both Messerschmitt and Siebel. This plane was named the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch (english: Stork). During World War II, they continued to make aircraft for the Luftwaffe, mostly under license from another company, such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190.  In 1941 however, a Fieseler project for an unpiloted flying bomb attracted the attention of the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium - "Reich Aviation Ministry"). This went into production as the Fieseler FZG-76 (flakzielgerät, antiaircraft targeting device), better known as the V-1 smart bomb.

Following the war, Fieseler spent some time in US custody. When he was released, he re-opened part of this factory and spent some years building automotive components. He also published an autobiography, Meine Bahn am Himmel (My Road in the Sky). Fieseler died in kassel, aged 91.

The War Thunder Team

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