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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces No. 73

Early German Aces
of World War 1



Greg VanWyngarden


S u m m a r y

Publisher and Catalogue Details: Osprey Aces series #73 - Early German Aces of World War 1 by Greg VanWyngarden
ISBN: 1841769975
Media and Contents: Soft cover, 96 pages
Price: GB£12.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Review Type: FirstRead
Advantages: Excellent coverage of the early aces, easy to read text, superb artwork and well chosen collection of photographs.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

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 country.

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 96 pages.

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.

Highly Recommended.

Thanks to Osprey Publishing for the review sample.

Review Copyright © 2006 by Rob Baumgartner
Page Created 28 November, 2006
Last updated 28 November, 2006

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