The Habsburgs' Wings 1914 Vol 1
This book is published by Kagero and is distributed in North America by Casemate Publishers. “The Hapsburg’s Wings 1914” is authored by Professor, Senior Doctor Lecturer Andrzej Olejko.
As one would expect, the focus of North American WWI historians, students, authors, artists, and modelers is on the Western Front. Ask a Canadian to name a WWI Ace and they will respond with “Billy Bishop”. Ask an American and they will quickly name Eddie Rickenbacker. Other names will be put forward. Certainly, on this list, will be George Guynemer, Albert Ball, Andrew Beauchamp Proctor and Mick Mannock.
Ask, then, for the respondent to focus on German Aces. Of course, the first name that will come up is Manfred Von Richthofen followed quickly by Max Immelmann.
Finally, ask the respondent to name Aces or Airmen who served on the Eastern Front. More than likely, the question will be met with a rather long silence and then a quick, “I don’t know the names of any Eastern Front Aces or Airmen.”
As the author states on page 14, “In literature the point of view of the exceptional contribution of aviation to the events on the Western Front still dominates, while the contribution to the cause of aviation of the Great War on the Eastern and Serbian Fronts is largely overlooked.”
This publication is a giant stride in the direction of giving the Eastern Front its due, especially in the area of aviation. In 247 pages, accompanied with B&W photographs of the persons, hardware, and locations mentioned in the book the author pulls back a curtain which has hidden the interesting story of aviation, people, and events on the Eastern and Serbian Fronts. The B&W images are accompanied with color images which show the same area today. There is something unique about viewing pictures of an historical site taken over 100 years ago, and then an image which shows the same area today.
The book is best absorbed by reading slowly as the grammar is not only filled with historical facts, but also rich in detail and supporting documentation. There are 571 footnotes and it is highly recommended that you read each one. When the last page has been turned, recalling the stories told, the documentation provided, and the images of sturdy and heroic aviators, will give the reader a new and great appreciation of the Eastern and Serbian Fronts, and the nature of warfare found there.
The good news is that this book is identified as “Vol 1”. It is strongly suggested that the reader acquire Vol 1 now and then patiently await the release of Vol 2.
This book is highly recommended for its reliance on documentation and first-hand accounts, for the author’s captivating writing style, and for the excellent use of photographs.
Thanks to Casemate for making this book available to IPMS/USA for review.