by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
HISTORYThe story of Ltn. Werner Voss is well known to almost anyone who studies World War I aviation subjects. He was born 13 April 1897 in Krefeld Germany the son of a textile dyer. His military service was one of a meteoric ascension. He served in KG 4 and Jasta 2, and commanded Jastas 5, 10, 14, 29 and was the victor in 48 combats. He died on 23 September 1917 as the result of an air combat that has become legendary. The problem with legends is they gain so many attached myths with each passing generation. The latest telling of the life and times of Ltn. Werner Voss has been published under the title “Lieutenant der Reserve Werner Voss and the Pilots of Jasta 10" by Thomas Crean, from Outskirts Publishing Parker CO with 480 pages, 1 5/16 inches thick. 8.5 X11". ISBN:978-1-4327-4873-9 . It sells variously for $75.00 - $170.00.
I remember several years back when Mr. Crean first made his appeal to the various historical forums for pertinent info for this manuscript. His research was internet based and it's been almost completely compiled from websites and printed out as such. Each bit of informational text has its source attached at the end. Mr. Crean has taken this manuscript very seriously and I can see he has scoured every historical text commonly available on the subject of his title.
I ...........The day of 23 Sept 1917
II...........Possible Map and Chart locations of Werner Voss' crash site and the investigations
III..........Fokker Prototype (V.4) F.I 103/17's Wk. Nr.1730 life span
IV..........Werner Voss' Staged Photograph of F.I 103/17 and other Myths
V...........Werner Voss - the Test Pilot and the Planes he flew
VI..........Werner Voss's Parents and Family members
VII.........Werner's close friends included
VIII........Werner Voss's Fighting Ability, Leadership and combat situations on 23 Sept 1917
IX...........A Visual View of Voss's last battle, demise notices and remembrances
X............Members of (RFC) 56 & 60 Squadron - April 1917 and some facts about them
XI...........German Assistance to the Fight, and the after effect results
XII..........Jasta 10 Squadron and its Personnel
XIII.........Werner Voss's Victory List and supplemental information concerning them
XIV.........German Newspaper Articles concerning Werner Voss, with some translations
XV..........Art Drawings of Werner Voss, his Albatross D.III and Fokker F.I 103/17
XVI.........IDFLIEG and other Miscellaneous Information
XVII........Other Pilots and Gunners named Voss in the (*GAF) or (RFC) who were not related to Werner during World War I
XVIII.......Collector files relevant to Werner Voss and former/current Historian's
XIX..........Artist and Painters of Werner Voss and their Site E-mail address
Appendix I...The controversy of Oberleutnant der. Res. Metrosenartillerie Konrad Mettlich - Discussion by ,Aerodrome.com at large
Appendix II..The Famous Last Fight of Werner Voss By Russ Gannon
*= German Air Force = Luftstreitkrafte.
PurposeThe main thrust of this work (as the author has stated) is to gather into one place all the facts and myths about Voss and allow the reader to take the study further. Detailed information within the text opens the door for the author to draw his conclusions and help dismiss some of the popular myths based on relevant photo evidence that only recently has come out of private collections. The biographies of various Jagdstaffel Nr. 10 personnel are spread throughout the manuscript.
ProductionUnfortunately the problems with the manuscript do interfere with the over all read. While there is a lot of interesting information it is hard to sort through. The formatting and type face is not particularly easy to read. This is especially true for those of us with age related optical limitations (trifocal eye-wear). There are examples of the same photo printed several times in different sections and credited to different sources. An estimated 82 percent of all the hundreds of photo images are thumbnail sized and thus of little use for serious research. Fortunately for me I have many of these images in high resolution at my disposal. The average research fiend, enthusiast or devotee will experience frustration trying to go that extra step.
While this is an obvious labour of love and a sincere attempt at factual accounting, the overall effect is a little disappointing. In desk top publishing the overall layout is a lock off with the acceptance of the final format by the author. Yet here is the reason this format was used:
After this manuscript was submitted to the desktop publisher "Outskirts Press of Parker Colorado" the author was first told that the book would be 567pages. Then a two months before the release date the author was informed that the manuscript could only be published in a 480 page format. The only other option they gave him was to break the manuscript up into two volumes. This would double the publishing costs (from $1.000.00 to $2,000.00 dollars). As you may begin to see this was a ploy on the publisher's part to double their profits. Hence the problems that many amatuer authors face with these kinds of publishing companies.
Now in this modern age of computers the author has also decided to offer his manuscript in a CD in pdf fomat at $50.00 each. I am told it will contain the original formatting with all images in a higher resolution. It can be purchased through his email.
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