Luftsiege der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe Rumanische Front 1916-17

Luftsiege der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe Rumanische Front 1916-17

Luftsiege der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe Rumanische Front 1916-17,; For further information send a postcard to: FH, Felberstrasse, 104/7, 1150 Wien, Austria.

Under the aegis of Karl Meindl, the Österreiche Flugzeug Historiker organization happily has undertaken the publication of the total victory lists of the k.u.k Luftfahrtruppe during World War One. These will appear periodically in a series of imposing volumes (judging by the first one) that will cover every theater in which the LFT was active. The first volume Luftsiege der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe Rumanische Front 1916-17 (Sonderheft 27, 64 pages) is a superb piece of work, such as is often only possible through the intensive research of 'amateur' or 'part-time' historians whose dedication often overpowers the work of university professors. Here every Austro-Hungarian victory is reported in full and exact detail in a compilation that leaves nothing to be desired.

But that is not all. The reader is treated to a background essay, a compact description of the Rumanian campaign 1916--1917 and the Austro-Hungarian order of battle and air units (on 1 December 1916). Then follows a chronological list of victories--all substantiated with references from the Austrian war archive, war diaries and material taken from personal collections. For example on 25 November 1916, Oblt. Marian Gawel and Ltn. Onciul of Flik 36 flying a Hansa-Brandenburg C.I(U) 68.17 downed a Rumanian Farman. The event is described with nothing left out, indeed, we also learn that Gawel received the Iron Cross 2. Class 'the first LFT officer to receive a foreign decoration on the Rumanian Front.' Pertinent facts such as these make the occurrences lively and human and remove them from repetitive statistical listings. The Gawel story is supported by six references!

Furthermore there are several pages of photographs in clear and crisp reproduction, maps of the various Rumanian battle areas, drawings of some of the victorious aircraft and a list of abbreviations. Although the work is written in German, there is sufficient information that can be easily gleaned so that a non-German reader will not be disappointed.

I'm happy to report that Luftsiege der k.u.k. Luftfahrtruppe Rumanische Front 1916-17 shows Karl Meindl at the top of his form and proves that his always meticulous research not only is absolutely authentic but also can be regarded as the 'last word' on the subject of the Austro-Hungarian air victories.

submitted by Peter M. Grosz