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Born in Algeria Boyau came to the First World War with a set of skills in an entirely different arena – he was a popular and well-regarded pre-war captain of the French rugby team. However he did also serve with the French infantry prior to the outbreak of war and was employed as a driver in the Army Service Corps in 1915.
Having requested a transfer to the nascent French Air Service Boyau emerged with his pilot’s brevet in November the same year, and was initially assigned to instructor duties. The following September – 1916 – saw Boyau assigned however to active unit N77.
Specialising as something of a balloon buster, i.e. as one of those pilots who chiefly engaged in the notably dangerous practice of bringing down enemy observation balloons (invariably heavily protected by anti-aircraft artillery and patrol flights) Boyau quickly established himself as an ace.
Killed in action on 16 September 1918 while attempting to down yet another German balloon, Boyau – then aged 30 – had to that date attained a total of some 35 air successes of which 21 were comprised of enemy balloons. He was the recipient of both the Medaille Militaire and the prestigious Legion d’Honneur, both achieved for his aerial activities in 1917 and 1918.
The Battle of Shiala essentially comprised an action intended to rescue isolated and outnumbered British cavalry during the March-April 1917 Samarrah Offensive. With British Commander-in-Chief Sir Frederick Maude’s determination to prevent a Turkish force of 15,000 under Ali Ishan Bey, retreating from the Russians in Persia to the north of Baghdad, meeting up with regional Turkish Commander-in-Chief Khalil Pasha, he despatched cavalry under to assist with infantry attacks.
In the event the cavalry found themselves outnumbered and consequently required two infantry brigades under General Marshall to provide relief. To the surprise of both British and Turkish commanders the relieving force unexpectedly encountered part of the Turkish 2nd Division – the latter fresh from its defeat of the British at Jebel Hamlin and currently engaged in a flank attack at Shiala on the River Diyala, around 30km west of the River Tigris.
A scramble for the high ground ensued, with the British reaching it first, and with the arrival shortly thereafter of heavy 18-pounder guns successive Turkish infantry attacks were handily beaten off.
In due course the Turkish force withdrew to a temporary haven in the Jebel Hamlin mountains, and General Marshall rejoined the main advance upon the railway at Samarrah.
No one says that a Black interested in Black rights is being a “Mugabe.” No one says that an Asian interested in Asian rights is being a “Pol Pot.” But there are many well-funded mainstream organizations whose sole purpose is to call White people interested in White rights “Hitlers” or a bunch of naziswhowanttokillsixmillionjews. Only White people are called racist if they don’t want to marry non-Whites. That’s why I can say anti-racist is just a code word for anti-White.