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Comment: Osprey: Aviation 96pp illustrations, colour plates The Albatros family of fighters were amongst the most effective aircraft employed by the Imperial German Air Service for much of World War 1, with the D.III and D.Va being flown by most of the 363 pilots who qualified as aces.The Albatros was the scourge of the RFC on the Western Front in 1916-17, with von Richthofen, Boelke and Schleich cutting swathes through their opponents. Over 4000 Albatros scouts were built between 1916 and 1918, and they were used extensively by the Austro-Hungarians against Russian, Italian and British aircraft.
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Albatross Aces of World War 1 (Osprey Aircraft of the Aces) Paperback – 17 Apr 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; UNKNOWN edition (17 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1855329603
  • ISBN-13: 978-1855329607
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 0.6 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 683,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Almost every page of the book has interesting black & white photographs of either the pilots, the airfields or the Albatros itself. The author does discuss each of the plane's strengths and weaknesses as expressed by the pilots themselves, as well as the factories which produced the aircraft. Being an Osprey book, there is also an eleven-page set of color plates of various Albatros showing the paint schemes used by specific aces - some from the side and some from the top. These are a nice reference for those looking to make their own counters for the game of Dawn Patrol." -Earl Leyda, "Aerodrome" "Part 2 deliberately avoids repeating coverage found in Part 1 (No 32 in the series), written several years previously by Norman Franks. Franks' book is organized by unit, while VanWyngarden takes a chronological approach. Both contain the usual color profiles and planform drawings. Chris Savaglio's technique for presenting natural wood in small ideal for the varnished wood finishes commonly seen on these attractive aircraft." -"Aerospace Modeler "(January 2009)" ""This lavish 96 page production is quite simply excellent . . . very highly recommended." -"Model Mart" Praise for the Aces Series: '[Aircraft of the Aces books] are so extremely well-written that it makes them very easy to read . . . All of the books have terrific color plates, with views of the profile, top of the wing and tail, followed by a more detailed description of the plate, by number, at the end of the book. For those of you who are into modeling or painting your counters, these books are a "must have." The color plates detail individual color schemes by squadron, individual pilots, as well as by the plane's home airfield. These books also have a glut of black and white photographs throughout . . . an excellent addition to your collection and I strongly recommend them.' "Aerodrome" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Norman Franks is one of the world's leading authorities on World War 1 fighter aviation, having published some of the seminal works on the subject. He is currently working on a long list of volumes on Great War aces for Osprey's Aircraft of the Aces series.

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First Sentence
It often comes as a shock to those starting to read about early aviation for the first time that many of the pioneering designs were monoplanes and not biplanes. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By martin l buckingham on 17 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
More Tales of Albatros Aces! 12 Sept. 2007
By Michael OConnor - Published on
Format: Paperback
Albatros fighters made up the backbone of the German Air Service in World War I. Most, if not all of Germany's aces, flew some version of the sleek Albatros craft during their combat careers. The exploits of Albatros aces were so widespread that Osprey Publishing has produced a second volume on Albatros aces, this one authored by Greg VanWyngarden.

VanWyngarden's book differs from the earlier book, written by Norman Franks, in that he covers many of the lesser known Albatros aces not covered previously. Ernst Udet is probably the best known ace described along with the likes of Max Muller, Julius Buckler, Kurt Student, Theodor Rumpel, Kurt Schonfelder, Karl-Emil Schafer and others.

VanWyngarden is a gifted author, his text flowing smoothly. He includes several first-person accounts that help give a human flavor to those long-ago dogfights. The text is complimented by 100 black & white photographs, several plan views and 11 pages of color profiles by Harry Dempsey.

World War I enthusiasts will want to purchase this book. It compliments and supplements the earlier Franks book with more tales of intrepid aces flying one of the sleekest fighters of the Great War.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Must Have for Fighter Ace and WWI Fans 9 Aug. 2007
By J. W. Herris - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author is one of the top authorities on WWI German aces and his knowledge shows in this exceptional book, Osprey's second title on Albatros aces. Covering many of the less well-known aces, the text is well-written and highly informative. It puts the flight operations in context of the wider operational picture and has many quotes from the German aces themselves. There are a number of photos that have never been published before and many new color profiles by the excellent artist who has done all of Osprey's WWI color profiles. This book is a 'must' for anyone who enjoys Osprey's series on aces and for all enthusiasts of WWI aviation.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Vintage black and white photos accompany specs on the craft. 2 Sept. 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Paperback
Greg VanWyngarden's ALBATROS ACES OF WORLD WAR 1 PART 2 provides a followup to Osprey Aircraft 32, the first volume of the two-part series examining the design and production of the Albatros aircraft series, and is recommended for prior owners of the first volume and for specialty collections in aviation or World War I history. Vintage black and white photos accompany specs on the craft.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Pleasure As Always 24 Oct. 2007
By Michael Dunham - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this expecting VanWyngardens usual combination of scholarship and skilled,entertaining writing and I was not disappointed.Harry Dempsey's illustration work,again,is breathtaking.Any WWI work done by this pair is a must-have for reference and a pleasure to read as well.
By Robert A. Lynn - Published on
Format: Paperback

The Albatros D.1 was a German fighter aircraft used during World War I. It was designed by Robert Thelen, R. Schubert, and Gnadig, in an attempt to create an aircraft superior to the then dominant Nieuport 11 (Bebe) and Airco D.H.2. The aircraft was ordered in June, 1915 and introduced in August, 1916. It possessed a semi-monocoque fuselage (an advancement over the fabric-skinneed box-type fuselage then in common use) and was powered by either a 150 Hp Benz Bz III or a 160 Hp D III six-cylinder water-cooled inline engine. It generated a speed of 103 miles per hour, which was 15 miles per hour faster than the Eindecker it replaced. A total of 50 pre-series and Series D.1 aircraft were in service by November, 1916. Further production under this designation wasn't undertaken-a reduction in the gap between the top and bottom planes in order to improve the pilot's view resulted in the otherwise identical Albatros D.II-the first major production Albatros fighter.

The solution used in the D.II was to lower (by 14 inches) and slightly stagger the upper wing of the D.1. An initial batch of 100 aircraft was ordered in August, 1916. The standard D.II used a 160 Hp Mercedes D.III six-cylinder inline engine and was armed with two synchronized LMG 08/15 machine guns mounted on the cowling. Later examples replaced the Windhoff "ear" radiators with a Teeves and Braun radiator in the center section of the upper wing.

The D.II was also produced under license by LVG (Luft-Verkehrs-Geselleschaft) and Oeffag (Oesterreichische-Gesellschaft), the latter for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service (Luftfahrtruppen). The Oeffag machines used a 185 Hp Austro-Daimler engine.

D.IIs formed part of the initial equipment of Jagdstaffel 2 (Jasta 2), the first specialized fighter squadron in the Imperial German Army Air Service (such squadrons had existed in French and British service since 1915). Famous pilots included Oswald Boelcke and Manfred Richthofen. The new Jagdstaffels (or "Jastas") quickly won back air superiority for the Germans, as the Albatros outflew all contemporary Allied aircraft. The peak strength of D.IIs were 214 aircraft in January, 1917. The high point of German success was in March, 1917 when the Luftstreitkrafte (German Air Corps) shot down 120 British aircraft. The introduction of the Albatros, outstanding training, and the tactical employment by Oswald Boelcke were the reasons for the Germans taking back the skies over the Western Front.

The follow-up, Albatros D.III, was a highly successful single-seat, bi-plane fighter aircraft used by many top German aces, including Manfred von Richthofen, Ernst Udet, Erich Lowenhardt, Kurt Wolff, and Karl Emil Schafer. It became the pre-emininent fighter during the period of German aerial dominance known as "Bloody April" 1917. Peak service for the Albatros D.III was in November, 1917, with 446 aircraft on the Western Front. The D.III didn't disappear with the end of production, however. It remained in frontline service well into 1918. As of August 31, 1918, 54 D.III aircraft remained on the Western Front.

Ironically, the success of the Albatros helped ensure the loss of German air superiority over France in 1917. After April, 1917, the next generation of Allied fighters appeared over the Western Front. Combined with Allied industry out-producing the Central Powers, Germany had made several bad production designs. Its air leaders decided to standardize most production on the successful D.III fighter design, causing research and development work to stagnate. They also decided to build a Fokker version of a British Sopwith triplane whose ability to challenge modern designs was transitory at best. Finally, Boelcke had been killed in combat on 28 October 1916, and with his death many of his air tactics were abandoned-or at least didn't continue to evolve in response to new conditions.

From September, 1916 until November, 1918, bi-planes from the Albatros firm formed the primary equipment of Germany's fighter forces. Starting with the D.I of 1916, these aircraft underwent a continuous program of development and production to the D.Va of late 1917. Albatros fighters reached their zenith of deadly efficiency in the spring of 1917, when the Albatros D.III took a heavy toll of Allied aircraft. Nearly everyone of the 81 Jagdstaffein, or fighter squadrons, operated one or more types of highly decorated Albatros aircraft at some point in their history. This book, ALBATROS ACES OF WORLD WAR I-PART @ is a follow-up to Osprey Aircraft Aces 32 of World War One-Albatros Aces, and provides a superb look at the design and production of the Albatros series. It also details the careers of some of the war's best known and lesser-known aces. The exploits of such luminaries as Ernst Udet, Max Muller, Karl-Emil Schafer, and Julius Buckler are recounted through their own first-hand accounts, rare archival photography, and outstanding color artwork.

Lt. Colonel Robert A. Lynn, Florida Guard
Orlando, Florida
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