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Book Review
Jasta 18 – The Red Noses
Jasta 18 – The Red Noses, Aviation Elite Units 40
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Jasta 18 – The Red Noses
Aviation Elite Units 40

128 pages
ISBN: 9781849083355
Released March, 2011

The Imperial German Air Service fielded some 80 Jastas during the First World War. Not even the vivid decorations of some Second World War USAAF units could match the flamboyance of some of those units. Jasta 18 certainly boasted the best livery, in your reviewer’s opinion. Sporting red (crimson) noses with blue--later white--fuselages, the Royal Prussian Jasta was striking to behold. It was more than just show. Established in late 1916, the unit had a remarkable fighting career. Its history is very detailed as some of the pilots survived the war with very detailed journals, and a willingness to share. The Royal Prussian Staffel faced some of the top units of the Allies. England’s No.56 Squadron was a frequent opponent.

Jasta 18’s striking blue and red livery followed the arrival of a new Staffelkapitän, the indomitable Oberleutnant Rudolf Berthold, who ordered the aircraft painted in the colors of his former regiment. The Staffel was unique in another way. When Oblt Berthold was assigned command of Jasta 18 he brought a cadre with him from his former Jasta. When he later took command of Jasta 15, Berthold took his Jasta 18 pilots with him, exchanging them for the pilots of his new command!

The Red Nose's era of white fuselages came with their new commander, the talented Ltn August Raben. In homage to his surname each airframe received a black raven emblem.

Accomplished author and researcher Greg Vanwyngarden brings us the story of Royal Prussian Jasta 18 as they lived and died over the trenches of ‘The Great War’. This is his tenth title for Osprey. With his extensive background in WWI aviation, Mr. Young reveals the triumphs, tragedies, heroism, and accomplishments of the Kaiser’s Jagdflieger of both of Jasta18’s incarnations.

Jasta 18 The Red Nosesis presented to you through 128 pages in four chapters, an appendices and an index:

1: First Days In Flanders
2: The Berthold Era
3: Transformation
4: The Ravens Fly High
• Color Plates Commentary
• Bibliography

Photographs and Illustrations
Jasta 18 hosted some talented photographers! Mr. Vanwyngarden’s book is fortified by dozens of wonderful clear photographs. It is easy to identify many individual pilots’ personal badges on their aerial steeds. Even the relatively dark red and blues can be discerned in many black and white photographs. Dozens of these decorations are presented for you with the 28 aircraft profiles (and several upper surface images) via the talents of perennial WWI artist Harry Dempsey .

Freiherr von Richthofen’s Flying Circus is probably the best known aviation unit of WWI. However, your reviewer always favored Jasta 18’s markings more, even though I did not know they were the Royal Prussians. Now I do and I am satisfied to learn about this unit. This book illuminates the extraordinary Staffel in a detailed and interesting text. The many photographs enrich and support the content.

Whether you are a historian or modeler, Jasta 18 The Red Noses is a fascinating book. With the amount of detailed research, clarity of delivery, and abundance of supporting photographs and color profiles, this book about The Ravens will educate and expand your understanding of this chapter of the first air war.

Please remember, when contacting manufacturers and sellers, to mention you saw this book here—on Aeroscale.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Authoritatively researched, documented, and presented. Outstanding illustrations and photographs.
Lows: The book is only 128 pages long.
Verdict: Detailed research, clarity of delivery, and an abundance of supporting photographs and color profiles will educate and expand your understanding of this sharp red nosed Jasta.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781849083355
  Suggested Retail: $25.95, £14.99
  Related Link: JG II ‘Berthold’
  PUBLISHED: Mar 23, 2011

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Rudolf Berthold Hauptman Ritter Des Pour Le Merite 24/3/1891 15/3/1920
APR 14, 2011 - 01:35 AM
Almost but you left out a line.
APR 14, 2011 - 01:42 AM
Almost but you left out a line.[/quote] Missing line is: ......(??) "Honoured by his enemies - slain by his German brethren." Refers to the fact that he was strangled by rioters (some sources say with the ribbon of his Blue Max) during the post-war revolution in 1920. Cheers Lance
APR 14, 2011 - 06:53 AM
Actually Lance that is what the Nazis claim it said, ". . .honored by the enemy, slain by German brothers. . ." A photo of it shows it really said: ". . .slain in the struggle between brothers for Germany’s freedom. . ."
APR 14, 2011 - 10:28 PM
As I have said before, so much to learn and available here. The inscription I quoted is from his write-up in "Above the Lines" and is also in Treadwell's "Knights of the Black Cross". I recall seeing slightly different versions of it elsewhere and reading about the Nazi regime's "re-write/re-invention" of the real inscription. Berthold is a fascinating character, his record of 44 kills is incredible considering the number and extent of his injuries. The fact that he survived the War is also astounding given his record. My KoTS Project is his Alb. D.III when with Jasta 14 (just about ready to "go public" on it) and once WNW release their hopefully several versions of the D VII I forsee a red/blue project coming on fast. Thanks for the always welcome info, Stephen. Cheers, Lance
APR 15, 2011 - 03:25 AM
Okay , a little lost here as normal . On his first tombstone " Honored by his Enemies , killed by his German brethren " His modern one . Rudolf Berthold Hauptmann Ritter Des pour Lemerite 24.3.1891 / 15.3.1920 What am I missing here ?
APR 16, 2011 - 03:10 AM
Beats me Terri; I thought I'd solved the riddle with my last reply. Didn't know there was a second marker/stone. Where is his burial place and what is the final answer? (this is what I call following a "bunny trail", fascinating one tho!) Lance
APR 16, 2011 - 04:19 AM
Terri, Only one tombstone but the inscription was misquoted by the nazis.
APR 16, 2011 - 07:44 AM
I agree with you're explanation, Steven. It astounds me that such a simple "twist" can be so mis-represented in otherwise (I hope!) impeccable references. Certainly confused me. Lance
APR 16, 2011 - 02:15 PM

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