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Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 46 : Austro Hungarian Aces of World War I

World War I was the conflict that spelled the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which had for centuries dominated Central Europe. At the end of the war it disintegrated into a number of smaller nations representing various ethnic groups. In 1914 the empire was already failing as a result of ethnic resentments against the rule of German-speaking Austrians, and its armed forces were large but poorly trained and in general poorly equipped. The air services had only 35 aircraft on the outbreak of war, and though Austro-Hungarian industry provided moderately large numbers of aircraft, few of these were of the best quality. The numerical as well as technical balance was offset by the purchase of German aircraft, but these too were generally not of the best. Thus the fliers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, operating on the Serbian and Russian fronts, were fortunate at first to be faced by only small numbers of even more obsolescent aircraft. Serbia fell in 1915, but then Italy declared war and the Austro-Hungarians were still faced with a two-front war. The conflict with Italy was essentially static, but that against Russia was very fluid by the standards of World War I. Austro-Hungarian fighter pilots performed bravely and at times very effectively under extremely difficult geographic, climatic and operational conditions. Their efforts are reflected in the careers of aces such as Hauptmann Godwin Brumowski (40 victories), Offizierstellvertreter Julius Arigi (32 victories), Oberleutnant Frank Linke-Crawford (30 victories), Oberleutnant Benno Fiala Ritter von Fernbrugg (29 victories) and Leutnant Josef Kiss (19 victories). Text by Chris Chant with illustrations by Mark Rolfe.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Squadrons and their Markings
  • The Serbian Front
  • The Eastern Front
  • The Italian Front
  • Aces Profiles

 

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces


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