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Above Flanders' Fields
A Complete Record of the Belgian Fighter Pilots and Their Units During the Great War, 1914-1918
by Walter M. Pieters
Hardcover: 123 pages
Publisher: Grub Street (May 1998)
Language: English
ISBN: 1898697833

"This volume, another addition to Grub Street's superb WWI aviation reference works, is a fascinating study of every Belgian fighter pilot of the war. Following Grub Street's typical format, the book offers a welcome look at a neglected subject: the Aviation Miltaire Belge.

The book profiles 80 Belgian fighter pilots with fairly extensive biographical sketches. Each entry includes all victory claims and an overview of what is known of each pilot's career. To the author's credit, these are not just dry recitations of fact, from time to time he includes colorful background information. There is also a map of Belgian operating areas and an overview of each squadron and with its high scorers.  Fourteen appendices fill out the information provided in the book with fascinating details, including structure of the air force, offensive patrols, combats engaged in, claims by date for each pilot and a list of probable victories.

This little volume has a wonderful section of photographs that includes pictures of each Belgian pilot. Some of the photos provide excellent background detail on Belgian aircraft. The author, himself a Belgian, has an passion for his subject and an eye for detail that comes through on each and every page. Despite occasional moments of nationalistic fervor, he is an honest reporter of fact, detailing incidents in the careers of some pilots who were not known for their bravery.

While not a large volume, this book covers an important aspect of the air war that has often been neglected. It is a testament to 80 Belgian airmen who did so much, in such small numbers. One comes away with an appreciation for the Aviation Miltaire Belge and a knowledge of airmen other than Willy Coppens. Above Flanders' Field is wonderful book and rates 5 stars!"

Reviewed by John Gypson

Buy it now!

 
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