The Blue Max Project

© 2016 Thomas Emme Some Rights Reserved

Rupp's Skizzenbuch

Welcome to "Rupp's Skizzenbuch"

This is an on-line serial World War I soldier's journal and sketchbook, brought to you by The Blue Max Project.  Over the next eleven months, follow along as Unteroffizier Gerhardt Rupp re-tells the story of "The Blue Max" from his perspective with his own words, sketches and photographs.

And so it begins.....

PROLOGUE

An aging German immigrant passes away in St. Augustine, Florida.  Among her personal effects a soldier's journal and sketchbook from World War I is discovered.  The sketchbook is sent on to the Smithsonian's Special Collections Archivist for further study.

CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTIONS

Unteroffizier Rupp Gerhardt introduces himself and explains what  brought this “old campaigner” to the town of Beauvin and what services he provides to his squadmates at Jasta 77.

CHAPTER TWO - THE GREAT WAR

Rupp shares a map he drew to show where  Jasta 77 is located on the Western Front.   He intercepts an American paper and gets some insight into how the other side thinks the war is going.

CHAPTER THREE – THE VILLAGE

Rupp’s squad mate takes him for a wild ride in a DFW and ruins his aerial photo shoot of the Aerodrome requested by the Hauptmann.  Angry with all of them he settles into some late night sketching and writes about the Aerodrome, the village of Beauvin and his lucrative side businesses.

CHAPTER FOUR - THE PEOPLE

Rupp’s goal was to survive the war, not to win it and he was willing to do just about anything to make sure he survived.  In this chapter, he shares his insights into the strengths and weaknesses of his fellow squad mates and explains how he uses that information to his best advantage.

CHAPTER FIVE – NEW ARRIVALS

Bruno Stachel arrives at Jasta 77 and meets Rupp for the first time.   Their not so friendly introduction is  interrupted by an attack on the base by a group of Sopwith Camels. 

CHAPTER SIX – A MAN TO WATCH

Leutnant Bruno Stachel has an immediate impact on Jasta 77 and not in a good way.  Hauptmann Heidemann is trying to get to know his newest pilot and Rupp is sure he will either be the next Ace in the squad or dead within three weeks.   It could go either way.

CHAPTER SEVEN –FIRST KILL

Leutnant Stachel, frustrated by his unconfirmed kill a few weeks earlier, makes a point when he drops an RE-8 right on the Hauptmann’s front porch.  Bold, skilled and cruel, Stachel begins to make a reputation for himself.

CHAPTER EIGHT – THE BIG PUSH

The Big Push begins and Jasta 77 is in the thick of the fight.   German pilots like their chances of winning, especially when they hear the new Fokker DVII’s will be delivered soon.   Rupp can’t figure out why the Hauptmann is giving Stachel special treatment, but he knows he better figure it out soon.

CHAPTER NINE – THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

It has been quite a week for Bruno Stachel.  He shot down two more enemy aircraft, had a job offer from the Red Baron and got a nice write up in the Berlin papers.  Hauptmann Heidemann seems to be putting Stachel on the fast track. 

                                     

The next chapter will be April 27th.