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review 2017-03-01 17:46
War Flying in Macedonia - Haupt Heydemarck

The lasting value of "WAR FLYING IN MACEDONIA" is its telling --- through the eyes of a German officer and aviator (Haupt-Heydemarck) --- of the experiences of a German reconnaissance/bombing squadron on the Salonika front during 1917 and 1918.   Illustrations and original photographs also convey the excitement and grim reality of life under wartime conditions in a harsh landscape with climate to match alongside an interesting array of allies (i.e. the Bulgarians and the Ottoman Turks). 

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review 2017-02-25 03:16
Double Decker C 666 - Haupt Heydemarck

"DOUBLE DECKER C666" is the second book in a trilogy written by the author that I much enjoyed.  Haupt-Heydemarck describes in exciting  - and at times, harrowing - detail many of the missions he flew as an observer with his pilot "Take" Engmann on long-range reconnaissance and bombing missions against the French in the Champagne Region during 1916.   Each chapter has illustrations depicting various aspects of the life Haupt-Heydemarck experienced as a frontline aviator, as well as photos taken by Haupt-Heydemarck himself, which give the war a real world immediacy.    Especially touching is the close relationship he had formed with Engmann, which made them an efficient combat team.    This book is priceless. 

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review 2017-02-21 01:01
BIRDS OF A FEATHER (Part I)
Flying Section 17 - Haupt Heydemarck

In "Flying Section 17", Haupt-Heydemarck shares with the reader his combat experiences as an observer with a 2-seater photo-reconnaissance/bomber squadron on the Western Front during 1915 and 1916. The task of Flying Section 17 was to fly deep inside enemy territory (with or without bombs) for the purpose of taking photos of facilities such as airfields, depots, and railway junctions and stations. Oftentimes, a single airplane would be tasked with obtaining these photos, braving anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters. For Haupt-Heydemarck and his comrades, their foe was the French. Their war was like a cat and mouse game.   A mad or merry chase across the skies.

 

It was also interesting to see in reading this book how much of a factor the weather was in determining whether or not flying operations would take place. Each chapter has illustrations depicting various aspects of squadron life and Haupt-Heydemarck himself has added a few photos.

 

I highly recommend "Flying Section 17." It's a terrific book which gives the reader a palpable feel for what an aviator's life was like at the Front during the first 2 years of the war. Furthermore, Haupt-Heydemarck introduces us to several of his squadron mates: e.g. his faithful pilot 'Take' Engmann; Leutnant Freytag (who, at 6'4", was undoubtedly the tallest member of the squadron); Captain Mohr, the squadron C.O.; and Sergeant Stattaus, one of the veteran pilots who has some harrowing experiences after being forced down behind French lines and taken prisoner in August 1916.

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