A hundred years ago, Europe plunged into a war variously called “The War to End All Wars,” the Great War, and more commonly now, World War I. Thinking about the war tends to conjure up images of the Western Front; men dying in trenches, and maybe a Christmas football game between soldiers of different countries.
But World War I also bought submarines to the seas and planes to the skies. There was still a bit of an old world chivalry to them; stories of submarine captains who still adhered to the old prize rules for the capturing of vessels so civilians would not be harmed, stories of pilots like Oswald Boelcke, who risked enemy fire to deliver a letter from two captured pilots so their families would know they were alive.
World War I, being a hundred years old, has been around long enough now that it feels like a story, and one that isn’t told nearly enough.
A hundred years ago, a newly minted cavalry lieutenant received his deployment orders. Though the cavalry would largely disappear as the war moved on, this lieutenant did not. He became a pilot, quite possibly the most famous pilot of all time. When all other names have vanished from memory, including his own, people will likely remember his sobriquet, the Red Baron.
My story “The Wings The Lungs, The Engine The Heart” is now online in Galaxy’s Edge #9. Would you like to meet him?