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By PhD. Lance J. Bronnenkant The Blue Max Airmen: German Airmen Awarded the Pour le MÇ¸rite, Vol.2 (The Blue Max Airmen) (1st First Edition) [Paperback] Paperback – 2012
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The Blue Max Airmen series is the real story of the German airmen awarded the Pour le Mérite during the Great War. Author Lance J. Bronnenkant, PhD, and Aeronaut Books are pleased to bring you the most detailed and graphically lavish account of these heroes ever produced, covering the men in context with the war's chronology of events. For each recipient a comprehensive, well-illustrated biography of the man is given, together with photos of the aircraft he flew, followed by details of his service, including other medals awarded. Color profiles of the aircraft are provided both for the interest of enthusiasts and as references for modelers. Volume 2 covers Hans-Joachim Buddecke, Kurt Wintgens, and Max Ritter von Mulzer, the third through fifth aviation recipients of the Pour le Mérite. Buddecke spent much of his career in Turkey and is reasonably well known, but the other two aces have received modest coverage until now. Volume 2 includes 168 period photographs and 10 color profiles of aircraft flown by these aces.
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The early aces' victory scores track with the relatively low incidence of aerial combat at the time and hinted at later squabbles about qualifications for what became Germany's highest bravery honor. As author Lance Bronnenkant notes: "Considerable attention has been paid ... to Buddecke's victory claims because he evidently did not meet the Orden Pour le Mérite eligibility standard applied [then] to Boelcke, Immelmann and ten other pilots after him -- that is, eight confirmed victories."
As in the preceding volume, background information about the Pour le Mérite and its recipients is extensive. Each pilot's detailed biography is augmented by a strong text on the aircraft he flew, as well as his service information and all awards received. The 168 photographs range wide in their coverage and are of high quality. Again, fellow League members Greg VanWyngarden and Jim Miller provide research and artwork, respectively, for ten fine color profiles of airplanes flown by these early German aces.
Volume 2 is equal in research value to its predecessor and, likewise, earns the highest recommendation. (This review appears in "Over the Front," quarterly journal of non-profit League of World War I Aviation Historians.)