Aces of Jagdstaffel 17 by Greg VanWyngarden

By Greg VanWyngarden

Initially shaped to aid within the defence of the town of Metz opposed to French bombing raids, Royal Prussian Jagdstaffel 17 could cross directly to turn into the most distinguish German fighter devices of global battle 1. Its first victory was once scored by way of the pilot whose tale is inextricably interwoven with that of his unit - the 'Blue Max' recipient Julius Buckler. He was once mostly accountable for inspiring the unit's specific Esprit de Corps, expressed in its recognized and special 'battle-cry' of 'Malaula!' certainly, in its ultimate days the unit received the nickname Zirkus Buckler, or the 'Buckler Circus'. in addition to Buckler, Jasta 17 boasted such aces as Karl Strasser, Alfred Fleischer and Christian Donhauser. furthermore, the roster integrated vibrant characters just like the profitable Jewish airman Jakob Wolff, who at over forty eight years of age was once the oldest German fighter pilot of the conflict. the tale of this illustrious unit is advised with many first-hand money owed through Buckler, Fleischer and others, in addition as...

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They flew with success against all comers, including amongst their opponents French, British, Belgian and American airmen. The Jasta achieved a proud record in exactly two years of frontline combat service, finishing the war with 101 confirmed victories. The origins of Jagdstaffel 17 are closely linked to the historic and strategic fortress city of Metz, located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille Rivers in Lorraine. Today, Metz is a French city near the junction of France, Germany and Luxembourg, some 55 kilometres east of Verdun.

The really lucky part of the whole thing was that these three Frenchmen were stupid beginners, just as I was. ’ The following day Buckler apparently received the supreme Christmas present of the Ehrenbecher, the prestigious silver ‘honour cup’ which was presented to German airmen in recognition of their initial victory – in this case Buckler’s ‘kill’ of 17 December. It is believed that Buckler’s next adventure occurred on 26 December, although in his book he erroneously ascribes it to Christmas Day.

The higher authorities were, Buckler said, not exactly amused. 1917 As 1916 gave way to 1917 some new names began to achieve notoriety within the Staffel, while other familiar ones attained new successes and some moved on to adventures elsewhere. Ltn d R Günther Schuster had been posted in from FEA 7 on 23 December 1916. An accomplished musician and skilled horseman, the future ace Schuster would serve two separate tours of duty with Jasta 17 and rise to command the Staffel in June 1918. A happy Vzfw Rieger is seen in the cockpit of Albatros D II ‘1’ (possibly 518/16) at Metz.

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