Ace of the Black Cross.

By Ernst Udet

Printed: 2021

Publisher: Frontline Books. Barnsley

Dimensions 16 × 23 × 1.5 cm

Language: English

Size (cminches): 16 x 23 x 1.5

Condition: As new  (See explanation of ratings)

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Item information


Softback. Grey cover with white title and pilot on the front board.

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Above the mud and misery of the trenches and the endless slugging matches of the First World War another contest was played out with all the military glamour, chivalric values and deadly outcome of a mediaeval, knightly tournament. This was the battle in the air between the first primitive aircraft and the intrepid aviators who flew them. This image of air war is brought nobly to light in the memoirs of Ernst Udet, the German ace of aces, whose impressive wartime record was second only to the legendary Red Baron. Written in a jaunty, Boys Own style Udet paints a romantic picture of his experiences and captures what perhaps many young pilots must have felt as they flew off each day to duel with the enemy, the elements, and an unreliable technology. Ace of the Black Cross also illustrates the way in which war and defeat left this young generation of tough, spirited, individuals rootless, and restless. After the war Udet used his flying skills to give displays to crowds of gawping onlookers, a circus act that left him frustrated and resentful. In 1941, disillusioned and depressed, he shot himself. On the wall before he died, he scrawled a message for Gring: Iron man, you have betrayed me.


“…best suited to generalists unfamiliar with World War I aviation but who would like to gain some insight into early aerial combat.”– “Air Power History”

“This book is a ‘must have’ for any aviation library.”– “Indy Squadron Dispatch”

“…recommended for its unique first-hand reminiscences, appealing presentation and the quality of its translation.”– “Over the Front”

“Udet’s writing style is informal, as if you were sitting in a pub with him, having a drink together. His memoir is very informative about life in the fighter squadrons…”– “Roads to the Great War”


Born in 1896, Ernst Udet joined the infant German Air Service in 1915. He went onto win the Iron Cross First Class and Pour le Mrite. Between the wars Udet became a stunt pilot. In 1939 he was put in charge of air force development and production, but on 17 November 1941, he killed himself.

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