by: Stephen Lawson
INTRODUCTION The “Royal Prussian Jagdgeschwader Nr III” (JG III) was the third of five German fighter wings to be formed during World War I.
HISTORY JG III was commanded by Pour le Mérite ace Hauptmann Bruno Loerzer for its entire existence (1 Feb. 1918 – 11 Nov. 1918). It was composed of Jastas 2
('Boelcke'), 26, 27 and 36.
They were equipped at times with the Albatros D.
III – D.Va, Fokker’s Dr.I triplane & D.VII.
Starting 21 March 1918 JG III was baptized in the fires of the “Kaiserschlacht” campaign in the 17 Armee area.
As the war ground down to its end in 1918, the aces of JG III continued to serve, opposing the British, French and later American aviation units.
Aces such as Carl Bolle, Paul Bäumer, Heinrich Bongartz, Hermann Frommherz,Rudolf Klimke and Hans von Häbler were penned into the individual unit war diaries for unflinching service.
ACCURACY As with any manuscript minor typos are there. Such as on page 62 “Ur.III motors in Fok. E.V aircraft.” This should be Ur.II of course.
With my familiarity with this unit I also note some omissions, but I am sure the author was under restrictions by editing and some contributors.
I would like to state that this is not a record of the entire units operations but highlights it and the careers of their “Top Guns” or “Aces” if you will.
CONCLUSION This book examines the merits and records of one of the deadliest of Germany's aerial units. In a nine month period of operation JG III confirmed about 370 victories.
A teacher by trade, Greg VanWyngarden’s body of work, research and publications concerning World War 1 aviation spans throughout his adult life.
His forte has been gathering information on the colors and markings that decorated the various German fighters from the most difficult sources.
I have anticipated the publishing of this book for about two years now and I have to say I was not disappointed. This, the 12th title he has written or co-authored for Osprey is Greg’s finest yet.
“Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr. III” by Greg VanWyngarden
Osprey publications, Aircraft of the Aces series #128
Published, 20 January, 2016
7 3/8 X 9 ¾” with 96 total pages of text & photo images.
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