S u m m a r y
||Osprey Aviation Elite
Units 19 - Jagdgeschwader Nr II Geschwader ‘Berthold’ by
||Soft cover, 128 pages
GB£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
||Easy to read style,
well researched, superb colour artwork
"Jagdgeschwader Nr II Geschwader ‘Berthold’”
is available online from Squadron.com
The forming of the first Jagdgeschwader proved to be so successful
that a decision was made to form more such groupings. JG II was the
coming together of Jasta 12, 13, 15, and 19.
The combining of these units was to provide a mobile force that could
maintain aerial supremacy over certain sectors at a moments notice.
Its first leader was the well-liked Adolf Ritter von Tutschek. At the
time of taking command he was a 23 victory with Jasta 12 and went to
score a total of 27 before his death just over a month later. An
excellent replacement was found in the energetic, if not fanatical,
Rudolph Berthold. It was under his command that JG II really excelled.
The book begins by tracing these events and also describes the forming
of each component Jasta. First hand accounts vividly illustrate what is
was like in those first few months and of the initial tasks undertaken
in Operation Michael.
Especially gripping are the accounts told by Hermann Becker and Joachim
von Ziegesar. Here the reader is exposed to the drama associated with
the attack on the Geschwader airfield and what it’s like to be a pilot
cowering in a trench during the incessant bombing and shelling. The
latter gives a fascinating insight into Jasta 15’s foray with their new
SSW D.III aircraft and Veltjens’s subsequent “bagging” of a Bréguet in
It is not just from the German side that these accounts come from.
Descriptions from the Allied side are also given and it makes
fascinating reading to hear the combats from the “other side”. One
example being Thomas Buffum’s description of himself being shot down in
flames by Hans Pippart.
As you would expect, the artwork is sensational, Harry Dempsey always
seems to do his best work when replicating the schemes of the German
machines. Forty aircraft are produced with an additional eight top views
where further explanation is needed. There is a mixture of types drawn
and they range from the expected Albatros D.V, Fokker DR.I and D.VII to
the Pfalz D.III, D.IIIa, and Siemens Schuckert D.III, D.IV.
Fans of the Osprey series will have seen some of these before but there
is still a tasty sprinkling of new profiles. To the publisher’s credit,
only a quarter have been repeated from previous volumes.
The book continues with the telling of problems with the SSW D.III and
battle weary Fokker triplanes. This took its toll on the effectiveness
of JG.II, and it wasn’t until an adequate supply of the Fokker D.VII
came its way that the pilots were able to function properly as a unit
Later chapters see JG II moving to Armee Abteilung C where they manage
to score heavily against their inexperienced American opponents,
September 1918 being a particularly successful month.
At this late stage of the war, petrol was in short supply and the enemy
was arriving in droves. Soon the armistice would come and JG II would be
More than 125 black and white photographs punctuate the book and are
reproduced to an excellent standard. They are well chosen and the
accompanied captions are most informative.
Also included in the 128 pages are appendices that give details on JG
II’s commanders, awards and aircraft used.
Skilful use has been made by the author to tell the tale of JG II in an
entertaining and easy to read style. The selected first hand accounts
are excellent and create an eerie atmosphere around the event being
This book was hard to put down and when I did, it was to head straight
to the kit stash for the inevitable build.
Osprey Publishing for the
Jagdgeschwader Nr II Geschwader ‘Berthold’
Elite Units 19)
Illustrator: Harry Dempsey
US Price: $21.95
UK Price: £13.99
Publish Date: February 5, 2005
Details: 128 pages; ISBN:
Review Copyright © 2005 by
Page Created 10 March, 2005
10 March, 2005
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