Klaeyl?, Bernard. & Osch?, Philippe.


Lela Presse, Outreau, 1st ed., 1998. 208 pp., cold., photo-ills., + ills., + numerous b&w photo-ills., ills., maps & plans. Pict., boards ; 30 x 22cm. A little bumping to corners & edges of boards (and creasing to boards during printing) o/w V.G.+. Georges Guynemer joined Escadrille MS.3 on 8 June 1915 and remained there for his entire service. He shot down his first plane, a German Aviatik, on July 19, 1915. On 5 December 1915, the Escadrille MS.3 was renamed the Escadrille N.3, after being re-equipped with new Nieuport 10 fighters. Flying the more effective plane, Guynemer quickly established himself as one of France's premier fighter pilots. He became an ace by his fifth victory in February 1916, and was promoted to lieutenant in March. By the end of 1915 his score had risen to 25. Within the year, Guynemer was promoted to captain and commander of the Storks squadron. He became influential enough to affect French fighter aircraft design and following a letter of complaint which he wrote in December 1916, to the chief designer at Spad criticizing the Spad VII, two new but very similar models, the SPAD XII and SPAD XIII were produced. The new models were promising but had teething problems. On 8 February 1917, flying a SPAD VII, Guynemer became the first Allied pilot to shoot down a German heavy bomber (Gotha G.III). His greatest month was May 1917, when he downed seven German aircraft. By July, he began to fly the Spad XII. It was difficult to handle but Guynemer used it to down an Albatros fighter on 27 July, and a DFW the next day. The latter triumph made him the first French ace to attain 50 victories. Guynemer was reported to have been shot down and killed during a combat mission on 11 September 1917. This book contains a wealth of photographs, maps & plans, (some in colour). It follows the extraordinary wartime career of one of France's top aces as well as telling the story of his planes. The text is predominantly in French but there is a page of biography in English at the front and regular captions in English throughout to help explain the photographs and plans RARE.

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