Friday 27 February 2009

The Two-Headed Eagle

Well I haven't managed to quite finish the rest of the SAYTR robots (see below) so I thought I'd tell you about the latest book I've read (or in this case re-read). 

I've just finished The Two-Headed Eagle by John Biggins, the third book of the Otto Prohaska series). Otto is a naval officer of Czech heritage in the Great War Austro-Hungarian navy and recounts his adventures in four (sadly out of print) novels. 

The Two-Headed Eagle is set in 1916 and concentrates on his secondment to the Austro-Hungarian flying service, flying Hansa-Brandenburg CI's over the Carso front in Northern Italy. To say Prohaska is flying is technically incorrect as, despite Prohaska being able to fly, the army insists that officers command aeroplanes whilst the other ranks actually fly them following the officer's orders!

It's a really very good novel providing much flavour and detail about a relatively unknown theatre of the Great War. I first read it in 1995 but had forgotten most of it so it was like reading it anew. It certainly has tempted me to paint up some Austrian and Italian planes for AirWar: 1918 games - if only that Austro-Hungarian camo pattern wasn't such a nightmare...

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