The death of von Tutschek hit the pilots and staff of JG II hard, particularly those of his cherished,Jasta 12. The Geschwader had lost a popular and inspirational leader, but a more urgent issue existed – who would replace him?
On the evening of the day after von Tutschek’s death, a slim figure with his bandaged right arm in a sling arrived at Toulis – Hptm Rudolf Berthold had brought his stern and demanding guidance to JG II. The 26-year-old Berthold was already a legendary character in the ranks of German fighter aviation, commander of Jasta 18 with 27 victories and the Pour le Mérite. He had previously asked Kogenluft for a Jagdgeschwader command, but was still in recovery from his latest injuries suffered in October 1917. A festering wound rendered his right arm virtually useless, and he was forbidden to fly, but was a highly capable and aggressive CO. On 17 March JG II began the move to Guise under his leadership, which became official the next day. Great changes were in the making.
Title: Jagdgeschwader Nr II Geschwader ‘Berthold’
Author: Greg VanWyngarden
Illustrator: Harry Dempsey
Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Military History Books
Date Published: February 2005
Paperback; 128 pages