Dicta Boelcke

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The Dicta Boelcke is a list of fundamental aerial maneuvers of aerial combat formulated by First World War German flying ace, Oswald Boelcke.[1]

The Dicta[edit]

There are various versions of the Dicta in both English and German. Boelcke may have personally authored more than one version. From a dual English language and German source, Google translate renders the German into the English version of the Dicta as follows:[1]

1. Secure the benefits of aerial combat (speed, altitude, numerical superiority, position) before attacking. Always attack from the sun.

2. If you start the attack, bring it to an end.

3. Fire the machine gun up close and only if you are sure to target your opponent.

4. Do not lose sight of the enemy.

5. In any form of attack, an approach to the opponent from behind is required.

6. If the enemy attacks you in a dive, do not try to dodge the attack, but turn to the attacker.

7. If you are above the enemy lines, always keep your own retreat in mind.

8. For squadrons: In principle attack only in groups of four to six. If the fight breaks up in noisy single battles, make sure that not many comrades pounce on an opponent.[1]

Alternate version[edit]

An English version of the Dicta Boelcke consists of a similar eight rules.[2]


The Luftwaffe fighter pilots studied the Boelcke Dicta. The Dicta still remain an important part of a fighter pilot's schooling.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Historic Wings The Online Magazine of Aviators, Pilots and Adventurers Since 1997 [1] Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  2. ^ The Air Up There, p. 62.