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This important work was first published in German in late 1939, no doubt timed to impress the young Luftwaffe fighter pilots who were embarking on the second major air war in history.

Buckler initially served with the army when the Great War began, until he was wounded and moved to the air service to train as a pilot. Following a baptism of fire flying two-seat reconnaissance missions over France, he became a fighter pilot, joining Jasta 17 in late 1916. Despite receiving several more wounds, he continued in action, finally being awarded the highest decoration of the Pour le Mérite, and ending the war with 36 victories over British and French aircraft. Not so much a war diary, his book is more a collection of memories told in a refreshing and entertaining manner.

Renowned air historian Norman Franks has placed these in context and added accurate and authenticated details of what Buckler achieved. However, the fighter ace’s original words remain largely unchanged, and Adam Wait’s expert translation gives a valuable insight into what it was like to fly over the Western Front from the other side of the line.

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