German War Birds


Date Published :
April 2015
Publisher :
Series :
Vintage Aviation Series
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612001890
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 7.5 X 5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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This book, originally written in 1931 by “Vigilant” (the pen name for Claude Sykes), tells the dramatic tales of air combat as fought by the best German pilots of the First World War. Manfred von Richthofen, Max Immelmann, Oswald Boelcke and other famous daredevil flyers are joined by the lesser-known but equally resourceful colleagues such as Rudolph von Eschwege and Hand Shuz, taking part in furious battles in the sky and close escapes on the ground when brought down on the wrong side of the lines.

German War Birds contains some of the earliest information to appear after the war about air combat in the Middle East and Russia, as well as the Western Front, and about the significance of observation balloons as targets that were viciously attacked. The author focuses on the heart of the action and recreates the experiences of the airborne war with immediacy, excitement and a vivid turn of phrase, drawing the reader into events as they happen.

About The Author

"Vigilant" is the pen name of author Claude Sykes.


Introduction by Norman Franks
Top Scoring German Acess of WW I
Chronological List of German War Birds
Who Received the Blue Max

I. Instead of a Preface
II. Early Days, West and East
III. And Far East
IV. “Boelcke’s Own.”
V. A Glimpse at the Red Knigh
VI. Balloons!
VII. Odd Jobs
VIII. The Eagle of the Ægean Sea
IX. Some Other War Birds of Drama
X. Tables of Staffel and Squadron
XI. The Last Phase


"German War Birds is a World War I aviation history classic that has stood the test of time. It is as relevant today as when it was published in 1931...This reviewer is not the first person to recommend this book highly, but is glad to reconfirm that evaluation."

- Over the Front, Autumn 2015

“The Casemate edition of this classic is greatly enhanced by an introduction written by the exceptional British historian Norman Franks, who puts this work into historical context. He points out that this collection of stories was one of the first exposures of the English-speaking public to information about individual German and Austrian aviators.”

- World War One Illustrated

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