Brassey’s, 1st Eng., ed., 1997. 208 pp., photo-ills. D.j., 25 x 19cm. Upper and lower edges of inside flaps (only) of d.j., trimmed, not affecting any text o/w FINE. This is a history of the Orden Pour le Merite, or ‘Blue Max’ as it is popularly known, and the 81 German airmen who won it. All the 81 biographies are enhanced by photographs – the first book to do so - and, in some cases, multiple photographs of the recipients with their aircraft and other individuals. In addition, the origins of this ancient award are described and there is an introduction to the history of the Imperial German Air Service. The names of Udet, Richthofen, Immelmann, Goring and Boelcke are all well known but many little-known names come forward here, including one partially-disabled pilot who wore glasses and who hid these facts from his doctors and instructors, ending the war with 28 victories to his credit. A superb and enlightening reference.