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"Rupp's Skizzenbuch"


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#1 WWGeezer

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 04:29 AM

It was a number of years ago the I flew Flanders in Flames and Bloody April with you all as part of the Wingwalker's Squad.  Some of you may remember that I started a sketchbook journal during the Bloody April tournament that I published after each mission.  I used real events from the flying ( like stealing Adler's Pup by accident) and worked them into the story line.  All the artwork was done on an Ipad.  

 

This experience led to a much more refined World War I project that I have worked on over the last few years.  "Rupp's Skizzenbuch" is a simulation of a German Unteroffizier's journal and sketchbook from World War I.   The characters and story are based on the novel "The Blue Max" written by Jack D. Hunter in 1964. Primary sources including photos, postcards and news headlines are interspersed in the fictional work to tie the story to real-world events during the Great War. 

 

The journal is being published online every couple weeks from now until Armistice Day in November.  You can read the first two chapters here

 

PROLOGUE

http://www.thebluema...t.org/prologue/

An aging German immigrant passes away in St. Augustine, Florida.  Among her personal effects a soldier's journal and sketchbook from World War I is discovered.  The sketchbook is sent on to the Smithsonian's Special Collections Archivist for further study.

 

CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTIONS

http://www.thebluema...-introductions/

Unteroffizier Rupp Gerhardt introduces himself and explains what  brought this “old campaigner” to the town of Beauvin and what services he provides to his squadmates at Jasta 77.

 

CHAPTER TWO - THE GREAT WAR
Rupp shares a map he drew to show where  Jasta 77 is located on the Western Front.   He intercepts an American paper and gets some insight into how the other side thinks the war is going.
 

CHAPTER THREE – THE VILLAGE

http://www.thebluema...h3-the-village/

Rupp’s squad mate takes him for a wild ride in a DFW and ruins his aerial photo shoot of the Aerodrome requested by the Hauptmann.  Angry with all of them he settles into some late night sketching and writes about the Aerodrome, the village of Beauvin and his lucrative side businesses.

 

CHAPTER FOUR - THE PEOPLE

http://www.thebluema...ch4-the-people/

 

Rupp’s goal was to survive the war, not to win it and he was willing to do just about anything to make sure he survived.  In this chapter, he shares his insights into the strengths and weaknesses of his fellow squad mates and explains how he uses that information to his best advantage.

 

CHAPTER FIVE – NEW ARRIVALS

http://www.thebluema...5-new-arrivals/

 

Bruno Stachel arrives at Jasta 77 and meets Rupp for the first time.   Their not so friendly introduction is  interrupted by an attack on the base by a group of Sopwith Camels. 

 

CHAPTER SIX – A MAN TO WATCH

http://www.thebluema...a-man-to-watch/

 

Luetnant Bruno Stachel has an immediate impact on Jasta 77 and not in a good way.  Hauptmann Heidemann is trying to get to know his newest pilot and Rupp is sure he will either be the next Ace in the squad or dead within three weeks.   It could go either way.

 

 

CHAPTER SEVEN –FIRST KILL

http://www.thebluema.../ch7-firstkill/

 

Leutnant Stachel, frustrated by his unconfirmed kill a few weeks earlier, makes a point when he drops an RE8 right on the Hauptmann’s front porch.  Bold, skilled and cruel, Stachel’s  begins to make a reputation for himself.

 

CHAPTER EIGHT – THE BIG PUSH

http://www.thebluema...the-big-push-1/

 

The Big Push begins and Jasta 77 is in the thick of the fight.   German pilots like their chances of winning, especially when they hear the new Fokker DVII’s will be delivered soon.   Rupp can’t figure out why the Hauptmann is giving Stachel special treatment, but he knows he better figure it out soon.

                                           

CHAPTER NINE – THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN

http://www.thebluema...-comes-to-town/

 

It has been quite a week for Bruno Stachel.  He shot down two more enemy aircraft, had a job offer from the Red Baron and got a nice write up in the Berlin papers.  Hauptmann Heidemann seems to be putting Stachel on the fast track.

                                           

CHAPTER TEN – DON’T BLAME THE MESSENGER

http://www.thebluema...ch10-messenger/

 

The Hauptmann sends Wili and Bruno on a road trip to introduce the “Black Angel”  to German High Command located in Spa.   Along the way they make a stop to visit Wili’s Aunt and Uncle, the Graf and Gräfin.  Sparks fly and a fire is ignited between sweet Kaeti and young Bruno.  She proves to be more than a match for the Cobra.

                                                         

CHAPTER ELEVEN – A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL

http://www.thebluema...with-the-devil/

 

The Big Push starts  to fizzle out.  Von Richthofen is shot down over the Somme Valley.  The only good news is the arrival of the first Fokker DVII for test flying.  The aggressiveness of this machine is a perfect match for young Stachel, but he is counting heads to decide if he will be assigned one when the rest arrive later in the week.  Rupp enters into a business arraignment to satisfy Stachel’s drinking habit, but he is having second thoughts.

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN – HEIDEMANN MAKES A HERO

http://www.thebluema...n-makes-a-hero/

 

Stachel’s drinking gets worse, but the kills keep piling up.   With the Hauptmann’s support, he demands that his Fokker be painted all black and asks for a unique slogan to be painted in English on the upper wing.  Realizing what a good customer Stachel has become, Rupp raises his price.  Amid all that Stachel surprises everyone when he risks his life to save a French school girl who falls into an icy stream.   Angel or Devil?  A little of one, a lot of the other.

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN – THE BOTTLE AND THE BLUE MAX

http://www.thebluema...nd-the-blue-max

 

Stachel finally achieves his goal of being awarded the Blue Max.  While Stachel’s achievements in the air are extraordinary, on the ground his drinking begins to take a toll.   Heidemann’s publicity campaign goes into full swing and Stachel is overwhelmed by all the attention.

 

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN – THE BLACK ANGEL ON TOUR

http://www.thebluema...-angel-on-tour/

 

Heidemann continues his campaign to make Stachel famous and sends the Black Angel on tour.  Stachel fits in a stop at Sonnenstrahl to visit with the Gräfin and attempts to blackmail her over Wili’s journal.   Things do not go well and Kaeti reaches out to Rupp for protection.  Rupp has just what Kaeti needs.

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN – THE BIG PUSH GETS PUSHED BACK

http://www.thebluema...ts-pushed-back/

 

The tide begins to turn against Germany in the Great War and Jasta 77 is forced to relocate to Coucy.  A shortage of replacement parts and fuel is making it a struggle to keep aircraft in the air.  The Fokker DVII is plagued by engine problems and Leutnant Stachel has a very close call. 

 

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN – THE BEGINNING OF THE END

http://www.thebluema...ing-of-the-end/

 

Heidemann gets  an invite to attend the Johannisthal Trials near Berlin.  This event brings the most accomplished aces together to test fly the newest aircraft and is the perfect venue for Heidemann to show off his young rising star.  Rupp makes the mistake of getting in the way and Heidemann punishes him severely for it.  

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN – STARTING OVER

http://www.thebluema...-starting-over/

 

Rupp gets sent to the front lines at Bellicourt and discovers what life is like in the underground tunnels of the St. Quentin Canal.  Kettering has taken over Rupp’s mail delivery service and sends a messenger to him with an apology, a box of cigars and an update on the continuing adventures of Hauptmann Heidemann and Leutnant Stachel.

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN – Kaeti’s Revenge

http://www.thebluema...kaetis-revenge/

 

A tragic accident, an unwanted promotion, a forced marriage.  Poor Bruno….even when he does the right thing he can’t seem to catch a break.  Meanwhile, Kaeti sends Rupp a letter with a large cash payment to settle her debt with him.  Rupp needs one more lucky break to put his “exit plan” in place.  He hopes that break comes soon, he is not sure how much longer he will last in the Tunnels of Bellicourt.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY – The Yanks and the Lucky Break

http://www.thebluema...he-lucky-break/

 

The Americans start making their presence felt on the Western Front and things are heating up at Bellicourt.  Rupp’s Hauptmann sends him into harm’s way  to photograph a crash site.   Rupp is angry about having to put his life at risk on a whim, but the Breguet  provides just the lucky break he was looking for.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY ONE – Leap of Faith

http://www.thebluema...-leap-of-faith/

The Battle of the St Quentin Canal begins and the inexperienced Americans manage to push the Germans back with a lot of help from the more seasoned Australians.  Rupp takes advantage of the chaos while retreating through Nauroy and hides away in the belfry of an old church.  A giant leap and a bad landing send his “ best made plans” into a tailspin.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY TWO –Recovery by the Sea

http://www.thebluema...ery-by-the-sea/

Rupp manages to continue his ruse while he recovers from injuries at the American Hospital in Étretat.  There are rumors all around that Germany is ready to surrender.  The Americans are in a mood to celebrate, but Rupp only becomes more withdrawn.  All the lying and the sleepless nights are taking a toll on him.  He needs to find a way out before his luck runs out.

 

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE –The Long Road Home

http://www.thebluema...long-road-home/

 

The train breaks down half way to St. Nazaire.  Locals invite injured soldiers into their homes overnight while the locomotive is being repaired.  Rupp spends a quiet night in a peaceful villa with a house cat and a view of the vineyard.   It’s the first time in weeks that he has had time to think in a restful place.   He comes to realize that he needs to adjust his plans one more time.

 

EPILOGUE

http://www.thebluema...t.org/epilogue/

 

On the Centennial of Armistice Day the Smithsonian confirms the authenticity of Rupp’s sketchbook and informs the family.  In St. Augustine ( Jack Hunter’s hometown) the Historical Society underlines this discovery as providing unique insight into the experiences of one German soldier who survived the Great War. 

 

Rupp’s final sketch is discovered in the last sleeve of the journal and it documents both the end of his wartime experience and the beginning of his long road back to home, health and recovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Luftritter

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:38 AM

Thanks Geezer, I'm sure it will make for some very interesting reading, as time allows!  S!


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#3 Klaiber

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 02:50 PM

This is fantastic work Geezer!  

 

As someone who works in a rare book library, I really love your attention to detail.  This type of stuff is my bread and butter.


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#4 WWGeezer

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 01:48 AM

Glad you enjoyed it. More than anything looking for readers that would enjoy following along.
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#5 Klaiber

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:29 AM

Definitely can't wait to see where you take it!


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#6 Luftritter

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:28 PM

Anticipating the next one!   :)


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#7 WWGeezer

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:56 AM

Bumping the post....new chapter. 

 

PS  The map format should look familiar to ROF fans.


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#8 Klaiber

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:13 AM

Love the map.  Your depiction of No Man's Land is really creative.  It also really nails down the tremendous loss of life.


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#9 Luftritter

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 03:15 PM

Love the map.  Your depiction of No Man's Land is really creative.  It also really nails down the tremendous loss of life.

 

I totally agree.  The way that's drawn is totally amazing.  Your skill as an artist is wonderful!


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#10 WWGeezer

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:00 PM

Thanks for the kind words...If you like the skeletons, here was the source sketch....I found an application that allowed you to pose a skeleton and made a bunch of vignettes than placed many (many, many) in No-Mans Land.

Attached Files


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#11 Luftritter

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:24 PM

Great work.....ingenious!    ^_^


"People who believe they are ignorant of nothing have neither looked for, nor stumbled upon, the boundary between what is known and unknown in the universe." -Neil deGrasse Tyson

#12 Vonrd

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 07:03 AM

Hi Geezer,

 

This is really interesting... looking forward to Chapter 3.

 

As an aside, I tried to register on the WW forum but ...

 

An Invitation Code is also required to complete the registration form. 

Ask any WW member for the code.

 

I'm officially asking    ;)

 

One of the reasons is that we are trying to revitalize the WW2 portion of JG1 and would like to ask if WW would like to get together and do some flying. I have flown a few times on your BOS Coop and had a great time. I see you guys practice on Tues and it looks like you have a campaign starting on Jan 30th. Is this WW only? Would you be interested in having other pilots involved. 

 

Please excuse my audacity if it is a private affair. Just looking for some playmates.

 

We are going to be doing regular practice / events on Wednesdays and will tentatively be alternating between CLoD and BOS and would welcome any Wingwalker's presence.

 

Salute!


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#13 WWGeezer

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:56 PM

Vonrd, running to work right now, will respond tonight...short answer is yes, looking to play. BOX has taken off for us, added several members in the last couple months and have some events that would be easy for others to join

#14 WWGeezer

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 01:40 PM

Vonrd, just sent you a PM

#15 Vonrd

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:23 PM

Thanks Geezer. I'll most likely be on tonight and will check in.


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#16 WWGeezer

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 01:14 PM

bumped my post, new chapter


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#17 Klaiber

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Posted 20 January 2018 - 08:31 PM

Thanks Geezer!


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#18 WWGeezer

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 04:37 PM

new chapter added

 



#19 Snaggle

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 05:38 PM

Another Excellent chapter!!


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#20 Klaiber

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Posted 27 January 2018 - 08:58 PM

That's fantastic work Geezer!  Really impressed.


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