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The Hunting Falcon (Hardback)

The Story of WW1 German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke

Aviation > WWI Military > Memoirs WWI > By Year > 1914 WWI > By Year > 1915 WWI > By Year > 1916 WWI > By Year > 1917 WWI > By Year > 1918

By Jay Karamales, Christopher A Lawrence
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 8-page central mono plate section
ISBN: 9781399085014
Published: 30th July 2024


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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, he learned to fly at Cicero Flying Field near Chicago. He then lined up Indianapolis investors to establish a new plane manufacturing company. The deal was sealed just as war broke out in Europe in 1914.

Buddecke then travelled to New York and, disguised as a man from Alsace-Lorraine, travelled to Italy on a Greek ship to bypass the British blockade. He was one of the few Germans in America who found his way home. Being a pilot, he joined the German air force and flew with his good friend, future ace Rudolf Berthold. As one of the first Eindecker pilots, he began scoring kills. His second victim was Lawrence of Arabia’s younger brother.

In time, Buddecke was posted to Turkey, where he became a top ace fighting in the skies over Gallipoli. His exploits in this theatre earned him the nickname ‘El-Schahin’, the ‘Hunting Falcon’. He was the third German pilot to be awarded the Pour le Merite, the Blue Max, Germany’s highest award. The two earlier recipients were the legendary ace Max Immelmann (the source of the medal’s nickname) and Oswald Boelcke, Germany’s great combat aviation leader and ace.

Returning to the Western Front from Gallipoli, Hans Buddecke was recognized as one of the top pilots of his day. He was shot down and killed, by Sopwith Camels of 3 Squadron RNAS, on 10 March 1918. By this stage, he had been credited with thirteen ‘kills’.

As featured in

Cher Ami, GWSIG Newsletter – International Plastic Modellers Society (UK) – April 2023

"I love WWI aircraft and reading about the extraordinary brave pilots who flew them.....Here is an ace that fought on various fronts against different air forces and warplanes for almost four years. That offers a lot of options for dogfights but also suggests a campaign following an Ace through the war. I'm on board with that."

Wargames Illustrated – Issue 423, March 2023

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

As featured in

The Bookseller, Jan 23

Featured in

Great War IPMS Newsletter, Cher Ami - December 2022

About Jay Karamales

JAY KARAMALES is a software engineer by training, but has always had a keen interest in history and military affairs. He was hired by The Dupuy Institute in 1986 to design and build the database for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base project, for which he also used translated German unit records. In 1989 Mr. Karamales was hired by the consulting firm SAIC to conduct a quantitative analysis study of anti-tank warfare on the Western Front in the Second World War. He has produced the maps for over one hundred books. Mr. Karamales and his wife live just outside Boise, Idaho, where he is Director and Chief Historian of the Dry Creek Historical Society and editor of the DCHS Newsletter.

About Christopher A Lawrence

CHRISTOPHER A. LAWRENCE is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience. His published works include the 1,662-page Kursk, papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, as well as over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department.

Perfect Partner

Ace of the Black Cross The Memoirs of Ernst Udet (Paperback)

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…

By Ernst Udet, Prof Richard Overy

Click here to buy both titles for £34.99
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