28 January 2000, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jun 1999
There's a great addendum piece about Immelmann in Neal O'Connor's latest Vol. VI of "The Aviation Awards of Imperial Germany in WWI" that might be just what you are looking for. It's a bit long to type out but I'm going to do it anyway for anyone who hasn't gotten the book yet.
"...a short article written by the then retired Oberleutnant Dr. Ernst Sieverts who served with Max in Feldflieger-Abteilung 62. It was entitled 'A Personal Reminiscence of Immelmann'. It contained a number of interesting insights into Immelmann's personality and character which had they been included in Immelmann's biography which begins on Page 25 of Vol.III, would have added an interesting dimension to the man. The article is too long to quote in it's entirety but the following excerpts should suffice."
"At first, he was not pretentious. Later, after receiving many orders, he became a bit vain."
"But he was an extraordinary man, his weaknesses were harmless and he was always the dear comrade."
"After the award of the Pour le Merite he was called 'Your Exalted Excellency'."
"He loved to have himself photographed each time he got a new medal."
"He liked to be well dressed on the ground but when he flew, he wore an old tunic about which he was very superstitious; he attributed his many victories to it and a pair of old velveteen trousers that he also wore."
"He had a bouncy step and was given the nickname 'the man who always dances' by the local French inhabitants who liked him (M.I. spoke pretty good French). Other fliers in Feldflieger-Abteilung 62 also received nicknames. Von Mulzer was called 'Mr. Green' because of the color of his tunic and another flyer was dubbed 'Un Petite Napoleon'."
"He was very agile as a youth and very strong, performing gymnastics feats and he loved to play tricks and tell jokes."
"He never smoked, rarely had a drink and always went to be early."
"He was raised as a vegetarian but in the field, he did eat meat although his real love was 'whole mountains of excellent cake' which he lit into each afternoon (he was a real trencherman; this was his only vice; apart from that, he was very frugal)."
"His Great Dane was a 'lap dog' and slept in the same bed as M.I."
"He had it much more difficult than later fighter pilots because:
1) Fokker pilots were not permitted to cross over and fly into enemy lines.
2) The British flyers deliberately avoided the sector over which M.I. flew.
3) In 1915 and early 1916, there was much less aerial activity than there was later. His number of victories was not as large as the later fighter pilots but they were harder earned."
Hope this helps.
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