by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
IntroductionUnit histories require special efforts that all enthusiasts, historians can benefit from. But most don't have the resources to bring a manuscript to completion. I found out early on that the hurdles that need to be overcome require the efforts of one dedicated individual with contacts that span multiple avenues. Having written several unit histories myself, I can speak from experience.
About the bookAeronaut’s newest release is “Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 30” by Bruno Schmäling and Winfried Bock. First World War German single-seat frontline fighter units (Jagdstaffeln) are just such a subject where, the amount of research requires the right resources and contacts. Both of these fellows are research fiends that have studied this topic for years. First hand documentation, images and historical notes are their forte. Their collaborative efforts have given us the first of what is hoped to be a series of publications concerning Jasta histories.
Its full title is “Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 30 its History, its Pilots, its Colour Markings”. This hardbound book (12.5 x 10 x 1.5 inches) has 158 photos and color profiles of 56 aircraft in the book’s 208 pages. The color profiles and the three paintings were especially commissioned for this work and many of the photos are published there for the first time. Aeronauts publishing team has many of the usual suspects. There are Messers Jack Herris, Aaron Weaver, Russell Smith, Jerry Boucher & James Miller all contributing to the overall piece. Originally written in German the text was translated by Mr. Adam Wait. You will follow Jasta 30 from its formation in January 1917 to its deactivation in Nov.1918 and even to post war information on some of its pilots. Rosters, flight log book, color section and a detailed bibliography are a few of the many high points you will find between these pages. The text consists of daily actives, individual insights and combat reports. The photographs presented are large format and very finely reproduced. Each chapter has a few paragraphs describing the aircraft and the markings used during that period. At the end there is a whole chapter on the aircraft and personal markings in color profiles.
The book does not stop there. I am told a whole new series of photographs on the Jasta 30 Fokker D.VII aircraft showed up after this book was published. They will be included in the next manuscript in the back of the Jasta 23b book as Jasta 30 errata. The due diligence of this publisher and the authors is impressive. The price is $39.95. ISBN-10: 1935881256.
ConclusionI can recommend this book for all readers of the genre. It will benefit anyone who picks it up and spends some time between its pages.
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