As an avid aviation historian, this is one of the best books I've read regarding the brave, courtly, and dedicated men who took battle to Germany's enemies in the skies above the battlefields of World War One. The format should be quite familiar with anyone who has read the other Norman/Franks/Guest collaborations. The aviators are listed alphabetically with a short biography of each pilot, detailed information on their operational service, the aircraft they flew, lists of the time and place of the aircraft they received credit for shooting down, and what, if known, happened to them after the war.
While some may argue about the German army being beaten in the First World War, there seems little doubt that, while Germany's pilots were bloodied at the end of four long years of warfare, they were not defeated in the air. September 1918, less than two months before the end of the fighting, was an especially deadly month for Allied fliers. Germany's first combat aviators fought bitterly for control of the skies until forced to stop by the signing of the surrender document that ended the Great War on November 11, 1918. Many German pilots then took their experience to other combat zones, (as did many Allied pilots) like Poland, Hungary and Russia. I was especially interested in the combat histories of the Marine Jastas and pilots as that has been an almost neglected area of study by writers of World War One aviation.
The book has a tremendous amount of little-known information, histories of each Jasta, and is loaded with photographs throughout. It is an excellent book for historical researchers and readers who have an interest in the men who took on the air forces of Britain, France, the U.S., Belgium, Russia and Italy, and held their own to the very end.