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Georges Guynemer Knight of the Air   By: (1870-1963)

Book cover

First Page:

GEORGES GUYNEMER

Published on the Fund given to the Yale University Press in memory of

ENSIGN CURTIS SEAMAN READ, U.S.N.R.F.

of the Class of 1918, Yale College, killed in the aviation service in France, February, 1918

[Illustration: GEORGES GUYNEMER, KNIGHT OF THE AIR]

HENRY BORDEAUX

GEORGES GUYNEMER

KNIGHT OF THE AIR

TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH By LOUISE MORGAN SILL

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY THEODORE ROOSEVELT

NEW HAVEN YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS NEW YORK: 280 MADISON AVENUE

MDCCCCXVIII

COPYRIGHT, 1918, BY YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

Introduction 9

Prologue 13

CANTO I: CHILDHOOD

I. The Guynemers 21

II. Home and College 28

III. The Departure 52

CANTO II: LAUNCHED INTO SPACE

I. The First Victory 65

II. From the Aisne to Verdun 91

III. "La Terre a vu jadis errer des Paladins" 108

IV. On the Somme (June, 1916, to February, 1917) 125

CANTO III: AT THE ZENITH

I. On the 25th of May, 1917 143

II. A Visit to Guynemer 157

III. Guynemer in Camp 163

IV. Guynemer at Home 170

V. The Magic Machine 182

CANTO IV: THE ASCENSION

I. The Battle of Flanders 189

II. Omens 200

III. The Last Flight 210

IV. The Vigil 217

V. The Legend 225

VI. In the Panthéon 239

Envoi 242

Appendix: Genealogy of Georges Guynemer 251

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Georges Guynemer, Knight of the Air Frontispiece (From a wood block in three colors by Rudolph Ruzicka.)

The First Flight in a Blériot 80

In the Air 120

Combat 176

"Going West" 208 (From charcoal drawings by W.A. Dwiggins.)

INTRODUCTION

June 27th, 1918.

My dear M. Bordeaux:

I count the American people fortunate in reading any book of yours; I count them fortunate in reading any biography of that great hero of the air, Guynemer; and thrice over I count them fortunate to have such a book written by you on such a subject.

You, sir, have for many years been writing books peculiarly fitted to instill into your countrymen the qualities which during the last forty eight months have made France the wonder of the world. You have written with such power and charm, with such mastery of manner and of matter, that the lessons you taught have been learned unconsciously by your readers and this is the only way in which most readers will learn lessons at all. The value of your teachings would be as great for my countrymen as for yours. You have held up as an ideal for men and for women, that high courage which shirks no danger, when the danger is the inevitable accompaniment of duty. You have preached the essential virtues, the duty to be both brave and tender, the duty of courage for the man and courage for the woman. You have inculcated stern horror of the baseness which finds expression in refusal to perform those essential duties without which not merely the usefulness, but the very existence, of any nation will come to an end... Continue reading book >>




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