Manfred Von Richthofen recorded his first kill in September 1916 and his last in April 1918. He was 25 years old when he died and over those 17 months he shot down 80 planes. He was arguably the most successful World War I flying ace and a rarity in this early age of military aviation. Over 14,000 pilots died on the Allied side during WWI. More than half of those were accidents. The life expectancy of a WWI pilot depending on the period during the war. Early the statistics showed about 5 months, late closer to 4 weeks. Some claim that during the period of time referred to as “Bloody April” it was less than an hour.
I have finally reached the end of my “research” stage of The Blue Max Project, so I thought I would share some of the resources I put together over the last four months. Most of these will be listed in the “story” tab of the blog. The following is simple list of the Chapters in the book and a description of what happened. I thought it would be interesting to put them over a historical timeline to show what was going on while Bruno Stachel made his way from a new Leutnant to the Hauptmann of his squad. A brief seven months and during that time most of Stachel’s flying mates are killed off one by one. Historically accurate, but chilling none the less. Stachel like Richthofen was a rarity for his success and longevity.
The following is my “cliff notes” for the book itself. It is an excel file with every chapter outlines. The excel file is available at the bottom of this post, but her is what a typical page looks like. It is a summary of the chapter plus a description of any sorties that occur.
And finally, started long ago, the promised German to English Glossary.
Finally below is the excel work book that has all the data I’ve gathered. All of this is a bit dry, but its the resources I need to start work on my project! I will post next week in greater detail on exactly what that project will be.