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    Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 22:29


Anton Rippon

Pen & Sword, 47 Church Street, Barnsley, S70 2AS

208pp, 180×240mm, hardback.

ISBN 978-1-84884-132-1, £19.99

This remarkable man came to fame fighting in Germany’s colony in China, Tsingtao. He flew single handedly against the Japanese and British in a repeatedly damaged Rumpler Taube, doing vital observation work. He claimed to be the first pilot in history to shoot down another aircraft in air-to-air combat. After his capture, he became the only German prisoner of war to escape from the British mainland in World War I. And after that he explored the southern most tip of South America from the air, being the first aviator to see Tierra del Fuego. He died in 1931 when his parachute failed to open after a mid-air accident. His whole story sounds like fiction, but is not.

A quite remarkable man done justice in this vivid biography. Well indexed and illustrated, this book opened up another new field to me and I loved it.

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