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Hi All,

 

I had a quick question for you. I know that many of us here are avid readers of World War I aviation works. I have a collection of memoirs, but have noticed that they are almost entirely written by Allied pilots. With the exception of Richthofen's book, I cannot find any other works written by German aviators from World War I.

 

Would any of you have suggestions of works, in either English or German, that would have been written by German aviators either during or after The Great War?

 

Many thanks,

CaptSopwith

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Here are two links for German books, which were translated into English.

Ernst Udet: "Ace of the Iron Cross"
abebooks

Julius Buckler: "Malaula! The battlecry of Jasta 17"
AMAZON
I know both of these books (in German), and I like them both.

Buckler gives an insight into his poor family's struggles before the war, and how it felt for him
to rise from a non-officer rank in the Luftstreitkräfte, to become a Leutnant (this was normally
uncommon; only A-level scholars could get into officer ranks back then.
He had a friendly, humorous nature, or so it seems.

Udet was another feller with a good humour. He has written about his time during the whole war,
beginning with an Eindecker-Staffel in Alsace, and becoming the greatest surviving German ace
(via Jasta 15, Jasta 37 and Jasta 4). The book also tells about his adventures after the war.
Udet was a stunt flyer and worked for movie productions, or on air shows.
He also tried building aircraft with his own company, but wasn't quite the businessman.

Other German pilots' books may be only available in German, I'm afraid.

Here are some titles you may still find at ABEBOOKS:

 

F. K. Kurt Jentsch: "Beim Jagdflug tödlich verunglückt?"

 

Immelmann: "Der Adler von Lille"

 

Theo Osterkamp: "Du oder ich"

 

Lange: "Ritter von Schleich"

Edited by Olham

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.

 

Hi ya Soppy old man.  Just breezing through and saw your post.  The two Olham mentioned are both excellent reads, and here are a few more titles for you to hunt for:

 

"An Aviator's Field-Book", Oswald Boelcke, English Translation

"Double-Decker C.666", Haupt Heydemarck, English Translation

"Flying Section 17", Haupt Heydemarck, English Translation

"War Flying in Macedonia", Haupt Heydemarck, English Translation

"Jagdstaffel 356", M.E. Kahnert, English Translation

"Stepchild Pilot", Joseph Doerflinger

 

There are others, but this should get you started at least.

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

 

.

Edited by RAF_Louvert

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Hi, Lou - nice to see you around here again!

"Jagdstaffel 356" is - as far as I know - a fictitious book?

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.

 

Hi ya Olham, good to see you around as well Sir.  Actually J356 is semi-autobiographical with a fair amount of literary license thrown in for good measure.  Still not a bad little read though.

 

.


.

 

Another one to look for is Otto Fuchs' book "War Flyer" which was recently translated again and published as "Flying Fox".  This new work now includes commentary and historic investigation by Adam Wait who did the most recent translation.

 

.

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Yes, I think it contains experiences from real life pilots, but settled in a fictituous Staffel.

German Jasta numbers only went as high as 80 (afaik).

 

But I rather stay with original pilots memoirs.

After all we can assume, that even these contain some "Technicolor extravaganzas" (quote from "Andy Capp");

most definitely the book by Osterkamp.

 

Edit/PS: Jentsch's book may be interesting for all, who'd like to know a little about the early days at the Macedonian front.

He came to the Western Front only later, in 1917. His description of an emergency landing in a totally shot up Pfalz

("The whole floor of the 'boat' was missing, the engine was half ripped out from it's moorings.The ammunition belts had

been dragged out of the compartment and they were dancing behind my Pfalz.") Very epic!

Edited by Olham

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I've just read Karl Bodenschatz "Jagd in Flanderns Himmel" (Fighting in Flanders Skies). The Story of the German JG1. The Book is from 1935. Bodenschatz was in JG1 from the beginning in July 1917 until the end of the War. Very interesting.

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How is that book?

I just read, it is "about the 16 months of von Richthofen at the front", and "introduced by Hermann Göring".

Is it a typical Nazi propaganda book, or is it more of historical value?

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Both, Olham.

I've found the 7. Edition of the Book, this one is from 1942, and some Words are of course pure Propaganda, but not too much. Yes, Goering has written the Introduction. And of course you can see his big Portrait in the Book. But the Book is also historical, nearly every German Ace which has served in JG1 is listed here with exact listing of aerial Victories and Places of Action. Bodenschatz was the Adjudant of von Richthofen and has of course worked together with him closely, up to his Death. Some good Insights into the World of the German Air Force.

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... nearly every German Ace which has served in JG1 is listed here with exact listing of aerial Victories and Places of Action.

Bodenschatz was the Adjudant of von Richthofen and has of course worked together with him closely, up to his Death.

Some good Insights into the World of the German Air Force.

 

Thank you, that sounds very interesting. Hadn't known of this book before.

I'll put it on my list of "must-haves".

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This is a fantastic list fellas! Thank you so much for your help. I wasn't getting too far on my own and now I have some excellent avenues to pursue!

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Another one to look for is Otto Fuchs' book "War Flyer" which was recently translated again and published as "Flying Fox".  This new work now includes commentary and historic investigation by Adam Wait who did the most recent translation

 

Thanks a lot for pointing this book out to me, Lou!

I "only" got me a German print from 1933, but it is a great read and I may also get the English version for the details.

Fuchs is able to visualize  all his observations like a painter does in his sketches; I can see it while I read.

I learned from him, how exactly an artillery observer communicated with the forward artillery observers at the ground;

as well as how many freedoms the pilot in those days seemed to have to make own decisions about missions and

actions - at least at the two-seaters.

While Fuchs himself is mostly the accurate observer of the squadron life, he understands it very well to catch all the

funny humorous details woven into the everyday routine.

I am still not finished and not even at the point yet, when he became a fighter pilot, but I can already say that I regard

it as a fascinating WW1 book.

Edited by Olham

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.

 

Very glad you are enjoying that book Olham.  I think it is one of the best reads from the German perspective.

 

.

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Very glad you are enjoying that book Olham.  I think it is one of the best reads from the German perspective.

 

Definitely is, Lou! You also recommended it, Robert, and it was a good tip.

The book on Immelmann gives quite a good insight into the person, into Immelmann's permanent efforts

in being good at what he does. Maybe a German attitude which many shared in those days.

I liked the part about the bicycle trip to Belgium and France with his brother some years before the war -

they travelled to much the same areas which would soon be gun-ploughed.

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