S u m m a r y
||Osprey Aces series #73
- Early German Aces of World War 1 by Greg VanWyngarden
||Soft cover, 96 pages
GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
||Excellent coverage of
the early aces, easy to read text, superb artwork and well
chosen collection of photographs.
Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner
Early German Aces of World War 1 is available online from Squadron.com
When thinking of World War I German Aces, one
immediately thinks of such luminaries as Richthofen, Udet, Lowenhardt,
Jacobs and Voss, just to name a few.
There were however, many other pilots that had distinguished and
interesting careers in their own right. Todayís enthusiast may have
trouble recalling them but in their day, they were the heroes of their
This book brings these characters to life as the author discusses the
early aviators that made ďacedomĒ for the fledgling German Air Service.
He does it in the usual format for this series, which is via a healthy
Contained therein are 100 photographs, 32 colour
profiles, and general arrangement drawings for both the Fokker E.III,
and Halberstadt D.V.
The above images are an interesting collection with material that will
be new to all but the most avid student.
A consistent theme with books written by this author is the relaxed way
in which he goes about his work. The style used is easy to read and
absorbs the reader into the tale being told. One does not get bogged
down trying to comprehend a procession of facts and figures, but instead
is introduced to a more personal side of the aviatorís life.
There are plenty of accounts from the pilots themselves and these are
scattered throughout the text. Itís refreshing to read those that were
written in the early years as it adds a different perspective to the
more familiar published material of later times.
Amongst the obvious references to Immelmann and Boelcke, other names
crop up such as Parschau, Wintgens, von Althaus, and von Keudell. The
story of these aces will be new ground to most readers and thereís
plenty more where that came from.
The colour plates are done by Harry Dempsey and his passion for WWI
aircraft is clear to see. Not only are the profiles themselves well
rendered, but the attention to detail sees even the weathering on the
subject aircraft carried over to the profile.
Monoplane subjects covered are the Fokker E.I/E.II/E.III/E.IV, with the
biplanes focusing on the Halberstadt D.III/D.V, and Fokker D.I/D.II.
Some Nieuport 11 and 16 aircraft are also featured as these captured
machines were sometimes flown against their former owners! Pilots Gustav
Leffers and Kurt Student come to mind here.
The author does an excellent job of introducing the
reader to these pioneering German aces.
With just the right mixture of narrative text and personal accounts, the
readerís interest is always assured. The well selected period
photographs and inspirational artwork should bring in new readers to
this often neglected period of aviation.
Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the
Review Copyright © 2006 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 28 November, 2006
28 November, 2006
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