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A WW1 period time personal photo album of the German pilot Unteroffizier Emil Büge (1890-1950) serving with Schlachtstaffel 2 in France. Büge was awarded the Pilot's Badge on 24.6.1918 and had 305 flights including 37 enemy missions. He dropped 27 bombs, 128 grenades and fired 9500 round MG ammunition. His aircraft was hit 53 times by anti aircraft MGs and by aircraft. His photo album is a treasure trove of imperial aerial history.
Büge was a poster designer (Plakatmaler) and book author prior and post WW1. Many of his military paintings were published pre 1918. The album contains pictures of a few of them. During the Third Reich, he was imprisoned in KZ Sachsenhausen as a political inmate from 1939 serving as a "Hiwi" of the "Politische Abteilung".He gathered information on the cruelties of the SS which he copied from the books he had worked on for the "Politische Abteilung”. His information was published in 2010 as "1470 KZ-Geheimnisse" by "Metropol Verlag". Büge committed suicide on 13.11.1950.
The photo album was set-up by Büge personally post WW1. It was found in an antique store in Argentina recently and as far as we are aware, it has never before been available on the market. The album contains small stickers with Spanish translation which must have been done by a previous Argentinian owner decades ago. Period time outside cover with a separately attached red aircraft. All photos were nicely period time subtitled by the pilot providing a lot of important information.Photos show crashed aircraft, pilots, air gunners, scenes from the front etc... There are photos taken in the air during his time with Flieger-Ersatz-Atebilung 6. He describes that these pictures were used to develop techniques and combat strategies. One photo shows a hole in the wing. He states that the observer of the aircraft was brave enough to climb onto the wing and tried to fill the hole with his boot to avoid the wing cracking. That was during the flight!
One photo shows Büge in front of his aircraft which has a face painted to the front. He states he painted it himself and it had a surprisingly good effect on the enemy. Another photo shows Büge with his Pilot's Badge on the day of the awarding. There are many photo showing Büge. Our favorite is the one showing Büge inside the aircraft with his air gunner. Roughly 417 original photos in total!
At the back, there are personal documents of Büge. Two "Bordbuch" booklets as well as his flight book "Flugbuch" and his shooting book "Schießbuch".He summarised all this information on the following page. In total, Büge had 305 flights taking 75 hours and 14 minutes. 37 flights were proper air combat flights.
He dropped 27 bombs, 128 grenades and fired 9500 round MG ammunition. His aircraft was hit 53 times by anti aircraft MGs and by aircraft gun fire. Büge served from 1915 and joined the German "Luftstreitkräfte" on 20.6.1917. He was sent to Flieger-Ersatz-Abteilung 6 for pilot training at the Militärfliegerschule Grossenhain. From 17.1.1918 he was sent to Militärfliegerschule Wurzen. He was trained on an Albatros and passed his second test on 4.2.1918 ready for his first enemy mission.
Bordbuch I list all flights at Militärfliegerschule Grossenhain and Wurzen. Bordbuch II starts in February 1918. It contains very interesting information on all his training and also air combats from 23.5.1918 when he was sent to Schlachtstaffel 2. There is a note "Kommandiert zur Schlachtstaffel 2". The following pages are all about his front missions. The last one is 19.10.1918 when he was forced to do an emergency landing because of a problem with his engine. There are many details on ALL his flights.
His Flugbuch provides more detailed information on his service time including many interesting notes and signatures of unit leaders. There is a note confirming he was awarded the Pilot's Badge on 24.6.18. It also provides details on his service time from 1915. Büge was injured several times.His shooting book comes with a few entries. It was issued by 1.Kompanie of Feldersatzabteilung 6..
There are two type-written booklets by Büge. One about his training to become a pilot (16 pages) and one on his front service time in France in 1918 (42 pages). He interestingly describes his life as a pilot, his first attack, crashes etc... These never published personal notes certainly bring this grouping to life!
At the end of the album, he added period time newspaper articles on aerial warfare. Before that, there are examples of German propaganda newspapers Büge had dropped behind the enemy lines. He added information by hand when and how many he had dropped.
An extremely rare grouping of historical importance.
(Schlachtstaffel 2 Konvolut Uffz. Büge)