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Fighter Aces & Famous Pilots



Max Immelmann
WW1 Fighter Pilot

Fast Facts

Occupation: Fighter Pilot
September 21, 1890
Place of Birth:
Der Adler von Lille (The Eagle of Lille)
Date of Death:
June 16, 1916
Place of Death:

Max Immelmann

Max Immelman was born to a wealthy family had to struggle as a young child because of the early death of his father. However, the unfortunate event did not stop him to get a good education during his teens. In fact, he was able to study engineering and become a reserve officer candidate at the outbreak of the World War I. When the war started he was called to serve his country and became one of the greatest fighter pilots of WW1. He quickly achieved an impressive number of victories resulting in him acquiring the nickname of the "Eagle of Lille". His allies believed him to be almost invisible because of his great skills and the number of victories he has achieved.


Background and Early Life
Although Max Immelmann was born to a wealthy industrialist, he has to determine his future as his father died when he was 7. He wasn’t able to receive formal education at a younger age because there was not enough money to pay for it. Fortunately when he reached 15, he was sent to Dresdent Cadet School. As soon as he completed the course he went to Railway Regiment Nr.2 in Berlin-Schöneberg where he was assigned War Academy at Anklam. He gained interest in building machine which is why he took a leave of absence so he can join the Engineering School at Dresden. However, with the outbreak of First World War I, he was not able to continue his studies.

Personal Life and Family
Max Immelmann was born on September 21, 1890 in Destren. He was the son a wealthy factory owner and Gertrud Immerlmann. He has a brother named Franz and a sister named Frida. At the age of 7, his father died due to tuberculosis. There were no chances of mingling with the opposite sex as he was busy with his studies and career. Not only that, he died at a young age of 25 which deprived him of producing an offspring.

Work and Career
Although his fighter pilot career was short as he died at a young age, he had accomplished a lot. He was among the great pioneer fighter aviation and sometimes mistaken as the first aerial victory with the use of synchronized gun. Not only that, he was also the first fighter pilot who was awarded the Pour le Merite and the same time given the Oswald Boelcke. He was credited with 15 combat victories in his lifetime. Immelmann turn has become the byword in the aviation industry because of how he successfully used it during his combats.

On the evening of June 18, 1916 while he encountered again the No. 25 Squadron near the village of Lentz which he successfully killed and claimed victory. On the second aircraft that he attacked which was flown by Second Lieutenant G.R. McCubbin with Corporal J. H. Waller killed Immelmann. His allies could not believe that he died to enemy fire because they view him as invincible. The German Air Service explained that his death was due to the anti-aircraft fire while his brother claimed that it was due to his machine gun malefaction as it has happened to Immelmann twice while he was testing the 2 and 3 machine gun installations.
His body was found by the German 6 Armee from the wreckage of his aircraft. It was easy for them to identify his body because of the initials that were embroidered on his handkerchief. He was given a state funeral and buried in his hometown in Dresden. Later, the body was exhumed and cremated in the Dresden-Tolkewitz Crematorium.

Influence & Legacy
Germans believed him to be invincible because of his great skills as a fighter pilot. In fact, one aerobatic maneuver is named after him, the Immelmann turn. He used it so successfully during aerial combat that it was named after him. In the present time, Squadron AG-51 is named the Immelmann Squadron by Luftwaffe in his honor.

Medals and Awards
  • Pour le Mérite
  • Iron Cross, First Class
  • Iron Cross, Second Class
  • Knight's Cross with Swords of the Royal House Order of Hohenzollern
  • Military Order of St. Henry, Commander's Cross
  • Military Order of St. Henry, Knight's Cross
  • Albert Order, Knight 2nd Class with Swords
  • Silver Friedrich August Medal
  • Military Merit Order 4th Class with Swords
  • Friedrich Cross
  • Hanseatic Cross
  • Army Pilot's Badge

Max Immelmann

  • Full Name: Max Immelmann
  • Lifespan: September 21, 1890 – June 16, 1916
  • Occupation: Fighter Pilot
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    Max Immelmann


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