The most coveted combat decoration in all Germany, the Blue Max was a symbol of power, fame, and prestige beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. Bruno Stachel is a nobody, a newly recruited junior officer in a First World War combat squadron. But he is determined not to remain a nobody for long. He has his sights on the Blue Max, the most coveted of all German decorations, and he will do anything to get it. From the very moment he shoots down his first plane, everything he does is aimed at that goal. This world-famous novel of deadly combat in the skies tells the story of the men who killed for the Blue Max-and died for it. Stachel-murderer and alcoholic. His meteoric rise to glory alienated him from his fellow pilots, and ultimately from human decency. Kettering-collector of pornography. He became the victim of Stachel's ruthless ambition. Von Klugermann-the haughty aristocrat. He delved too deeply into Stachel's torment, only to discover a cobra. Kaeti-the woman who knew them all. Arrogant noblewoman, black- mailing nymphomaniac-and Stachel's beautiful mistress. Jack D. Hunter's novel is a classic of war literature and a brilliant study of a pilot tortured by his naked ambition.