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Synopsis

Over the last 70 years, in countless books and essays, Hermann Göring has been defined by his crimes and excess during the Third Reich and the Second World War. But his activities as a young career military officer in World War I have invariably been glossed over until now. 'Hermann Göring Fighter Ace' is the first in-depth look at Görings role as a military flyer and air combat leader from 1914 through the end of The Great War, and how those experiences shaped the personality that came to the worlds attention in 1939. At the outset of the First World War, Göring was eager to prove his value to his fatherland in initial skirmishes with French troops. When struck by severe rheumatoid arthritis in September 1914, the twenty-one-year-old officers burning ambition and ego could not tolerate being sidelined and the following month he forced himself out of a sick bed to begin a new career as an aviation observer. Göring went on to become a fighter pilot with twenty-two downed enemy aircraft to his credit, the last wartime commander of the Red Barons own fighter wing, Jagdgeschwader Richthofen, and recipient of a row of prestigious medals including Prussias highest bravery award, the Pour le Mérite. Peter Kilduff has produced a landmark volume based on extensive research into Görings early military records and thousands of German and Allied documents to put the neophyte airmans life and events into perspective. Among other resources, Kilduff drew on Görings own combat reports and related writings. Illustrated with over eighty drawings and photographs, including many from Gorings private collection and never before published, Herman Göring Fighter Ace is a tour de force of historical material covering the early combat career of one of the Twentieth Centurys most infamous military figures. Peter Kilduff is an acclaimed American historian and the author of thirteen aviation books covering biplanes to jets, including 2009s Black Fokker Leader which was also published by Grub Street.

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