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OSWALD BOELCKE

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Joined: 26 Mar 2009
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    Posted: 27 Mar 2009 at 12:51

OSWALD BOELCKE
by Sonja Englert

Boelcke
www.caro-engineering.com and click ‘Other Books’, and ‘How to Order’
192pp, 138×212mm, softback. ISBN 0-9752984-6-1, $24.95 + p&p from the author at 62921 Clyde Ln, Bend, OR 97701, USA and the website above.
 
The author is a German aeronautical engineer living in Oregon. Her web site is very interesting. She wrote this book because she got fascinated by a rather under-exposed World War I aviator, and  chose to write it in the form of an ‘autobiographical novel’ using letters and diaries as her sources, as well as a German biography published in 1932.
 
It is illustrated with her own artwork, which I find reminiscent of Lucien Freud’s. Boelke seems to have been an ordinary young man, with a healthy interest in girls. He grew up as a typical young middle class German boy, which is well described. After graduating as a pilot, he thought deeply about his job as the original fighter pilot, and many of the rules he laid down still stand today. He was obviously very charismatic, which is hard to distinguish in a book written in the first person. I find it difficult to cope with a sentence like ‘They must have taken my message to heart because until my own death I did not lose another pilot’. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book with its sometimes fractured English which in a way adds to its charm (it is also available in German), and now continue to admire Boelcke and rather like him as well.

GM, Volume 40 Number 1



Edited by AndyK - 27 Mar 2009 at 12:51
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