S u m m a r y
Publisher and Catalogue Details:
Aviation Elite Units - Jagdstaffel 2 “Boelcke”
GBP£13.99 online from Osprey Publishing
Interesting text, personal narratives, excellent
selection of photographs, and superb artwork
Reviewed by Rob Baumgartner
Jagdstaffel 2 “Boelcke” is available
online from Squadron.com
In August 1916, the Germans were not doing well in the skies
above the Somme.
The Royal Flying Corps was carrying out its reconnaissance
missions far too easily. One solution was to create the
Jagdstaffel, a new type of formation whose sole purpose was
to be a fighter squadron.
One of the most successful was Jasta 2. It was lead by Oswald
Boelcke, Germany’s premier ace at the time and a superb aerial
tactician. He became the mentor for many of the country’s rising
stars with names such as Richthofen, Böhme, and Kirmaier coming
under his tutelage.
After Boelcke was tragically killed in late 1916, the
Jagdstaffel was renamed in his honour. It finished the war with
336 victories, second only to Manfred von Richthofen’s Jasta 11.
This book looks at the achievements of this unit as well as the
tactics and personalities that made Jasta Boelcke one of the
finest squadrons in the German Air Service.
To do this, Greg VanWyngarden has amassed over 120 black and
white period photographs. Many will be new to the ardent reader
and all have been carefully selected for their relevance. The
captions that accompany these are excellent, and compliment the
text very well.
the 128 pages are 36 colour profiles from the redoubtable Harry
Dempsey. His passion for German aircraft is clearly evident as
he meticulously documents the aircraft in question and provides
additional plan views where necessary.
Inevitably there is repetition with some subjects having
turned up in previous volumes. These have been kept to a minimum
and those that are familiar have been tweaked to provide an
The author’s writing style makes the book a pleasure to read.
Events are covered in chronological order, and the smattering of
personal narratives from the participants adds a sense of drama
to the proceedings.
A useful appendix rounds out this edition which tabulates all of
the commanders, as well as the aces that served with Jasta
Boelcke. Selected serial numbered aircraft from the unit come in
for some extra notes and a comprehensive index makes looking up
both pilots and aircraft a breeze.
This is another excellent book in the ever expanding range of
World War One unit histories.
There’s a wealth of information contained within the soft
covered publication. The highs and lows of this famous
Jagdstaffel are faithfully portrayed and the accomplished
artwork provides a visual feast for the aviation modeler.