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Ace of the Black Cross (Paperback)

The Memoirs of Ernst Udet

Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWI WWI

By Ernst Udet, Introduction by Prof Richard Overy
Frontline Books
Pages: 216
Illustrations: 16 black and white
ISBN: 9781526781727
Published: 3rd June 2020
Last Released: 13th May 2021



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Ace of the Black Cross ePub (19.3 MB) Add to Basket £4.99

Above the mud and misery of the trenches and the endless slugging matches of the First World War another contest was played out with all the military glamour, chivalric values and deadly outcome of a mediaeval, knightly tournament. This was the battle in the air between the first primitive aircraft and the intrepid aviators who flew them. This image of air war is brought nobly to light in the memoirs of Ernst Udet, the German ace of aces, whose impressive wartime record was second only to the legendary Red Baron. Written in a jaunty, Boys Own style Udet paints a romantic picture of his experiences and captures what perhaps many young pilots must have felt as they flew off each day to duel with the enemy, the elements and an unreliable technology. Ace of the Black Cross also illustrates the way in which war and defeat left this young generation of tough, spirited, individuals rootless and restless. After the war Udet used his flying skills to give displays to crowds of gawping onlookers, a circus act that left him frustrated and resentful. In 1941, disillusioned and depressed, he shot himself. On the wall before he died he scrawled a message for Gring: Iron man, you have betrayed me.

"...suited to generalists unfamiliar with World War I aviation but who would like to gain some insight into early aerial combat."

Air Power History

This book is a 'must have' for any aviation library.

Indy Squadron Dispatch

...recommended for its unique first-hand reminiscences, appealing presentation and the quality of its translation.

Over the Front, Winter 2020

Udet's writing style is informal, as if you were sitting in a pub with him, having a drink together. His memoir is very informative about life in the fighter squadrons...

Click here to read the full review

Roads to the Great War

This is, as the blurb says, Boys' Own Paper stuff - the precursor of Biggles. A real-life German flying Ace from the same era as the Red Baron. An amazing story!

Books Monthly

About Ernst Udet

Born in 1896, Ernst Udet joined the infant German Air Service in 1915. He went onto win the Iron Cross First Class and Pour le Mérite. Between the wars Udet became a stunt pilot. In 1939 he was put in charge of air force development and production, but on 17 November 1941, he killed himself.

About Prof Richard Overy

Professor Richard Overy is a British historian and a Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He has published several books on Nazi Germany and World War II including a biography of Hermann Göring, Goering: Hitler’s Iron Knight. In 2001, he was awarded the Samuel Elliot Morison Prize of the Society of Military History for his contribution to the history of warfare. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the British Academy, and of King’s College London.

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The Hunting Falcon The Story of WW1 German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Hardback)

The Hunting Falcon was written by Hans-Joachim Buddecke, a top German First World War ace. Though his autobiography of his experiences as a combat pilot were published in the Spring of 1918, in the last year of the war, Buddecke did not see his book in print; he was shot down over the Western Front on 10 March 1918. His father was left to write the forward. Hans Buddecke’s journey to war started in America in 1913-1914, where he was working in Indianapolis at his uncle’s car factory. A new immigrant to the United States, he was very much part of the German community of Indianapolis. Ambitious,…

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