First Look Review
Aviation Elite Units #26
Jagdstaffel 2
  • Aviation Elite Units

by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]

The machines; Albatros and Fokker single seat fighters were the backbone and ribs of this unit, salted with a few of the Pfalz fighters as well. From the first machines to the last, the Prussian black and white tail unit markings of this unit were piloted by some of the most well known , best trained and most determined pilots sired under the iron cross.

The men; Greg VanWyngarden has a long an illustrious career as being the most prolific publisher of WWI German aviation histories. His faithful adherance to facts has earned him a place of trust among private collectors. Greg does it again with an impressive and detailed treatment . The profiles by Harry Dempsey are of the highest calibre.

One fellow historian says, ". . .There are dozens of excellent photos I have not seen before and, unlike Grub Street books, the photos are with the appropriate text, where they belong. I do not know how Greg keeps finding all the real quotes and extractions from contemporary sources, but I am glad he does. I know he invests heavily in finding new photographs, and this clearly pays off in this new book. . ."

Greg himself commented recently, ". . .For the record, there are 125 photos in the book, 36 profiles and four planform views. With such a well-known unit as Jasta Boelcke, it's inevitable that some of the profiles have been published before in other Osprey works. However, the majority are new (and even most of the "old" ones have been revamped and improved just a bit). Anyone is welcome to complain about the re-use of profiles, but I would challenge them to come up with new and accurate Jasta 2/ Boelcke profiles in their stead. . ."

Harry Dempsey the illustrator says, ". . .Just 3 new Fokker DVIls , but there are some beautiful Albatros D.I and D.II types, The streamline quality of the early Albatros is a delight. and I have thought that if the sesquiplane idea had not been applied to the later designs the result would have been an ideal interceptor in the SPAD mode - rugged with a high speed dive capability.

With regard to Jasta Boelcke I have been in touch with the Museum of Flight in East Lothian, Scotland and they do have the side panel from Georg Noth's Albatros DIII , and also the seat. I have tried to make them aware of the importance of these artefacts - to my knowledge these are the only surviving aircraft parts from the unit. As always, we are in an age of computer catalogues and the listing they have just states Albatros DIII panel (whatever happened to those nice chaps who knew all about the items in their collections) and no further information. I have made them aware of the significance of these items and they are going to buy the book as Noth's DIII is shown prominently on the back cover - good news for the author! - and hopefully have them back on display. . . "

As I close this I wish to say that Greg could not possibly have done a bad job on this subject. It is after all one school teacher writing about another. Yes, Boelcke was a school teacher before the war and Greg is a school teach by profession.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Great information , newly published images, impressive aircraft profile schemes.
Lows: I can only quibble with one aircraft profile.
Verdict: Well done impressive and a great addition to anyone interested in the subject.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Suggested Retail: 22.95 USD
  PUBLISHED: Dec 02, 2007

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright 2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.