Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Shiloh

Horses Don't Fly

Recommended Posts

I'm not sure if any of you have read this wonderful book about the life and WWI experiences of RFC Captain Frederick Libby (he is born American) but I highly-recommend it. It is one of the finest books I have read in recent memory by one of the most selfless men who inspires by the way he lived his life. It is written in his own words which provides a very "simple feel" and I couldn't put this book down until I finished it.

 

If you guys choose to read I hope you enjoy. :salute:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read it last month and agree with you absolutely, Shiloh. Reading Libby's account prompted me to try the Fee in OFF.

It's probably not as detailed in the actual flying action as, say Jimmie McCudden's Flying Fury or some of the MvR books - but there is more a story of a life, written in a surprisingly engaging, honest and at times very amusing style. Highly recommended here too. :good:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds good guys. I have a copy but have yet to read it. I look forward to it now. I am currently reading Ernst Udet's autobiography. I did not know he spent a week in jail for cracking-up one of his first crates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's a very enjoyable read.

 

And if you liked that you should read 'Just For The Hell Of It' by Ken Collings. Similar vein.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently reading Ernst Udet's autobiography. I did not know he spent a week in jail for cracking-up one of his first crates.

And it could have come even worse for him, if I remember that right. Hard times! Have you already read the passage, where

they tie a little French girl on to a huge kite and let her fly? Real rogues, most of those fighter pilots.

 

The other best German book I came across so far is that by Julius Buckler ("Malaula!" The battlecry of Jasta 17), which was

translated into English (or at least supervised) by Norman Franks. Although the title sounds quite warrior-like and aggrassive,

Buckler was rather a friendly and sympathic nature with some good humour. As it begins with a passage about Buckler's late

youth and his journeyman years, it also gives a good insight into the poverty and hardships of many common German families

back in those days. And it shows, how almost impossible it was back then, that someone without A-levels (in other words: one

who wasn't born in at least a good middleclass family) would become a Leutnant. But Buckler did - and he also received the

"Pour-le-Mérite". I found this book as good as Udet's really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.

 

Shiloh, thank you for the report on Libby's work. I've read a few excerpts from it but have not snagged a copy to enjoy cover-to-cover yet. But it is on my list. :smile:

 

And speaking of books by German flyers translated into English, don't forget about Haupt Heydemarck. 'Double Decker C.666' is a very good personal account of a portion of his time in service, as is 'War Flying in Macedonia'. He also wrote 'Flying Section 17' which I have yet to read myself.

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the first time I hear anything about Hauptmann Heydemarck, Lou, and I thank you for this tip!

I actually invite you on a virtual Warsteiner for this!

:drinks:

I'll go and search AbeBooks for it. Of course I'd prefer to read a German version. Hope they are still

available somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Geeze, the book "Flieger über Makedonien" is at AbeBooks only once - for 100,- Euro!

Looks like I have to get it in English then.

But there are several others from him.

One has this very funny title:

Die Leuchtkugel in der Champagne pouilleuse abgeschossen von Leutnant Georg Heydemarck, Brigadeadjutant.

(The Flare in the poor Champagne fired by Leutnant Georg Heydemarck, Brigadeadjutant)

 

Georg Heydemarck has also released a book with collected stuff from Wilhelm Busch, who was

a great cartoonist and artist on the field of black humour in Germany.

 

I have ordered "Doppeldecker C 666 - Flieger im Westen" for a start. Thanks a lot again, Lou.

Such stuff is hard to find, especially when you have no names to search by.

And a recommendation from you is to me like 5 stars.

:salute:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you can find them in German at an affordable price, Olham.

 

However, if you are happy to give them a try in English, they are available at the Cross & Cockade online book store at an average price of £12 apiece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the link, Dej!

There is still hardly anything re-published in German.

And the interest in the field of WW1 aviation - even in the German books -

seems to be much bigger everywhere else, outside Germany.

 

But I'll keep looking into AbeBooks - they often have these old German books.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other best German book I came across so far is that by Julius Buckler ("Malaula!" The battlecry of Jasta 17), which was

translated into English (or at least supervised) by Norman Franks. Although the title sounds quite warrior-like and aggrassive,

Buckler was rather a friendly and sympathic nature with some good humour. As it begins with a passage about Buckler's late

youth and his journeyman years, it also gives a good insight into the poverty and hardships of many common German families

back in those days. And it shows, how almost impossible it was back then, that someone without A-levels (in other words: one

who wasn't born in at least a good middleclass family) would become a Leutnant. But Buckler did - and he also received the

"Pour-le-Mérite". I found this book as good as Udet's really.

 

I think that Buckler's book was published with a clear political goal in mind - to make Luftwaffe more popular in the years preceding WW2. It came out in 1937, didn't it? It was the kind of book the Nazi regime was glad to publish. I don't mean that Buckler was a Nazi - I have no idea if he was, but in those days, practically ever military-related book in Germany was somehow political. That was the nature of the NS regime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These books about von Richthofen, Udet, Jentsch, Osterkamp and Buckler all were released in that time,

and the regime surely had in mind to bait the young with them, as you wrote, Hasse Wind.

Many of the aviators from WW1 had the feeling, that the national socialism was the best direction in those days.

When Udet realised, where it all went, he had already signed with the devil - and took the only wayout he could see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's a very enjoyable read.

 

And if you liked that you should read 'Just For The Hell Of It' by Ken Collings. Similar vein.

 

I'll have to check that one out Pips. I ordered "Sagittarius Rising" through my library twice and a month later it's not here yet so I may try my luck with another book.

 

There are so many great books out there, so little time to read them. :good:

Edited by Shiloh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny how things work, I just got a call that "Sagittarius Rising" is ready to be picked up - it was 5 weeks since I ordered it! :blink: That's what I get for trying to read books for free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.

 

I had the opportunity yesterday to sit down and read "Horses Don't Fly". Shiloh, I heartily agree with your recommendation Sir, this should be on everyone's WWI aviation reading list. While the first third of the book deals with his life before the RFC, it sets the stage beautifully for the remainder of his story. Libby's humor, self-effacing style, and earthiness made this memoir a true pleasure to read.

 

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you enjoyed the book as much as I did Lou. I'll be referring to your 'list' soon as I'm running out of books on this subject at my local library and will be looking elsewhere for desirable titles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it's been a year and a half since I read this little gem (Horses Don't Fly) and I just contacted my library about reserving it again. It should be here in a matter of days and the time can't seem to pass quickly enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another book I have yet to read.

Shiloh, you read "Sagittarius rising", I saw. Did you read "No Parachute"?

A very brilliant read I can promise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another book I have yet to read.

Shiloh, you read "Sagittarius rising", I saw. Did you read "No Parachute"?

A very brilliant read I can promise.

 

I have read "No Parachute"...great book! "Horses Don't Fly" is a great read and maybe half of it (or more) focuses on Libby's life before he became a pilot. He led a very interesting cowboy's life in the American West and that in itself only adds to this amazing man's life. I hope you get a chance to read it soon Olham.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horses Dont Fly is a very good book I agree. I read it a while back I will have to get it out and read again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horses Dont Fly is a very good book I agree. I read it a while back I will have to get it out and read again.

 

I'm glad you agree. I just finished for the second time and Captain Frederick Libby was not only an amazing pilot, but an even more amazing person. Somewhere on here was a list of great WWI books but I can't remember where I saw it. RAF_Louvert or Olham? Can anyone recommend a book in this style but about another pilot, perhaps a German?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The list was from RAF_Louvert. Perhaps you search the forum with key words?

The most sympathic German books I read were those of Ernst Udet and Julius Buckler.

 

Ernst Udet: "Ace of the Iron Cross"

 

Julius Buckler: "Malaula! The Battlecry of Jasta 17"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The list was from RAF_Louvert. Perhaps you search the forum with key words?

The most sympathic German books I read were those of Ernst Udet and Julius Buckler.

 

Ernst Udet: "Ace of the Iron Cross"

 

Julius Buckler: "Malaula! The Battlecry of Jasta 17"

 

Thank you Olham! I searched these through my library system but they were unavailable for various reasons. The Udet one was but I think they won't release it as it must be a really old copy. Massachusetts has a great system where if they have it at any of the libraries in the state, they will deliver it to my local library within a week. I did a little more research and was able to locate "Flying Fury: Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps" by James McCudden. It rates very well and should be a good read about one of the best pilots in the war. I do want to read a book about a German pilot and I'll continue to look into those you recommended and others as well.

 

Once again, thank you Olham.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..