Thanks Banjoman! I greatly enjoy reading about the adventures of your pilots too. smile

Latest chapter in the life and times of August Ege:

The Diary of August Ege.

Samstag, 1.I.1916. Metz-Frescaty.

Happy New Year! Hopefully, this will be the decisive year of this seemingly never-ending war. I returned from Stuttgart on the evening of the 28th and was welcomed by our small and merry group of bandits here. Nothing much had happened while I was away; the weather had been lousy and the eight unlucky pilots and observers forced to stay here had spent most of their time playing cards and consuming whatever extra food and drink they had been provided with for the holidays. I hear the cafs of Metz still haven't recovered from their excursions! Oh, this terrible war!

This was my first war-time Christmas spent at home. Back in 1914 I didn't get any leave. Father and mother were doing well (considering the circumstances) and as usual, my twin sisters were extremely curious about any affairs I might be having with the ladies they believe must be after me everywhere I go, since I'm now wearing the coveted military pilot's badge. I told them that we're actually trying to fight a war here and that any such affairs will have to wait for better days to come, but it's quite impossible to convince those two young ladies.

The city itself was full of military men, as befits these times of strife. It was very different from the summer days of 1914, when everybody was saying welcome to the war. People are still enthusiastic, and everybody believes in the final victory, but it can't be denied that things are somewhat more serious now. Nobody expects the war to be over anytime soon, which tends to dampen the mood of the people a lot. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed the few days I was allowed to spend with my family.

On the way back to Metz in a train full of troops I encountered an old friend from my Kraftfahrtruppen days - Feldwebel Max Maier, or actually Offizier-Stellvertreter Maier, as he's now known! The powers that be have been promoting a lot of us old regular army NCOs to that rank recently. With luck, some of us may even become officers - and if I may say, would do a far better job at it than some of the stiff-necked morons produced by the war academies!

Max told me in a quiet voice that he'd noticed the very same thing as we at Frescaty - something's definitely afoot in the Verdun sector. He's still serving at Kraftwagen-Park 5 and said they've been really busy at hauling all kinds of equipment to the 5. Armee sector and that the number of Russian POWs working behind the lines seems only to have increased in the last couple of weeks.

It can only mean one thing - a new offensive. Once again, I can't help but wonder - if it's so obvious to many of us here, then how can the Frenchmen also not know about it?

"Upon my word I've had as much excitement on a car as in the air, especially since the R.F.C. have had women drivers."

James McCudden, Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps