Ryheul, Johan.


1st ed., 2014. 236 pp., numerous photo-ills., + cold., plans. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. This is the first time that the history of the German Kampfeinsitzer Kommandos, better known as KEKs and the Fokkerstaffels, have been gathered in a book. The KEKs were the predecessors of the famous Jagdstaffeln or Jastas which would wreak havoc on Allied aircraft over the trenches during the First World War. Aces such as Boelcke, Immelmann, Berthold, Buddecke, G'ring, Udet, Frankl, Bernert, Veltjens, Student, von Althaus and Leffers were feared and revered by their Allied contemporaries. The KEKs are surrounded by mystery but remarkably, all airfields were discovered by the author and their histories and locations documented in this book which, not only presents the history of these units and their aces, it also acts as a battlefield guide so the reader can explore these fascinating locations today. Illustrated with over 250 photographs and profiles of the various fighter aircraft they used in battle, this fascinating book takes a journey from Flanders to the Somme, to Verdun to the Vosages. The book starts with the KEK Vaux, one of the most famous units, which had no less than eight aces who would receive Germany's highest reward for bravery : the Pour le M'rite. It exhaustively details the lives of these early fighter pilots, their dogfights and encounters with death. Uncommon.

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