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Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr III
Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr III
by Greg VanWyngarden
Published by Barrett
17 March 2016
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Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr III

Aces of Jagdgeschwader Nr III
By Greg VanWyngarden
Softcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Osprey, 2016
Dimensions: 7.25 x 9.75 in.

Greg VanWyngarden is well known to The Aerodrome, and his study of JG.III, "the Loerzer Circus," maintains his high standard.

The Geschwader was formed from four Jagdstaffeln in February 1918 and fought through the remaining nine months of the war. In that time the wing established a fearsome reputation, especially among the relatively inexperienced Americans across the lines. Three dozen aces flew with JG.III, four of whom received the Pour le Merite besides Loerzer himself.

The organization is logical and easily followed, with the background of each component squadron, Jastas 2, 26, 27, and 36. VanWyngarden has already produced an excellent history of the first unit, as Jasta 2 became Jasta Boelcke in 1916.

The book earns high marks not only for describing the personalities and events of JG.III's career, but for placing those events in context. Throughout the text, the wing's activities are linked to the ground war, as each Jagdgeschwader supported a German army, especially in the climactic spring offensive of 1918.

Perhaps most remarkably, there was no German-language history of JG.III. Many primary sources were lost at war's end, and a partial attempt to reconstruct them was made in the 1930s. Therefore, VanWyngarden's offering is even more significant, and is bound to remain a standard reference.

The illustrations are good to excellent with some 70 photographs and 32 aircraft profiles by Osprey "regular" Harry Dempsey, including several top views. The variety is bound to please buffs and modelers: Albatros D.IIIs and Vs, Fokker triplanes, and D.VIIs.

Reviewed by Barrett Tillman
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