Helena Schrader's Historical Fiction

Dr. Helena P. Schrader is the winner of more than 20 literary accolades. For a complete list of her awards see: http://helenapschrader.com

For readers tired of clichés and cartoons, award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader offers nuanced insight to historical events and figures based on sound research and an understanding of human nature. Her complex and engaging characters bring history back to life as a means to better understand ourselves.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Characters of "Eagles" - Unlikely Luftwaffe Eagle

   Continuing my series on the most important characters in "Where Eagles Never Flew," today I introduce the most important of the German characters. One of the unique features of "Where Eagles Never Flew" is that the novel follows the fate not only of an RAF fighter squadron but also a Luftwaffe fighter wing. The three main German characters are members of this fiction JG 23. Today I introduce Leutnant Ernst Geuke

"Bartels was tall, blond, tanned and fit -- a German officer straight out of a UFA-film. He considered Geuke with a mixture of disbelief and annoyance. Geuke could hear him thinking, "Have we really sunk so low that we have to take officers like this?'"
Ernst doesn't look the part of a fighter pilot, at least not Goebbels idea of one. He isn't blond, or tall, or particularly good looking. In fact, he is what one doctor called "a good feeder" -- meaning that not either the Hitler Youth nor the Luftwaffe was able to make him look sleek. He retains a roundness regardless.

It doesn't help that he also comes from a humble background. His father is a plumber in the provincial town of Cottbus, and he has four siblings. He grew up poor surrounded by similar hard-working people who lost loved one and suffered severe deprivation during the First World War, and then lost all their savings in the inflation of 1923. Embittered by the hardship and the apparent indifference of the government to their plight, they enthusiastically embrace the new movement promising to make Germany great again.

 Ernst is thus a Nazi by default more than anything. With his parents, his teachers, his pastors and his classmates all mesmerized by Hitler and his lies, Ernst goes along congenially. His only real passion is flying, and being far too poor to take private flying lessons, his only change of flying is to be accepted into the Luftwaffe. 

Once in, Ernst works hard not fail and earns not only his wings but a commission as well. He's proud of that, but it doesn't give him the money for tailored uniforms (as the aristocratic officers have) and it doesn't change his provincial accent or make him slimmer either. Ernst is an outsider and acutely aware of it when he first reports for duty at JG 23, stationed at a hastily constructed grass airfield near Cherbourg in Normandy.

Acutely aware of his inexperience and imagining inadequacies, Ernst is self-effacing and anxious to "fit in." When things go wrong, he's quick to blame himself. He's not at all prepared to withstand the charm of Christian Baron von Feldburg, who rapidly takes Ernst under his wing -- as his "wingman." He's even less prepared to deal with his feelings for the pretty but shy Luftwaffehilferin Klaudia von Richthofen.

"This is the best book on the life of us fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain that I have ever seen.... I couldn't put it down."-- RAF Battle of Britain ace, Wing Commander Bob Doe.

Winner of a Hemingway Award for 20th Century Wartime Fiction, a Maincrest Media Award for Military Fiction and Silver in the Global Book Awards.

Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/where-eagles-never-flew





Also by Helena P. Schrader

Riding the icy, moonlit sky,

they took the war to Hitler. 

Their chances of survival were less than fifty percent. 

Their average age was 21.

This is the story of just one bomber pilot, his crew and the woman he loved. 

It is intended as a tribute to them all.  

Buy now on amazon

or Barnes and Noble


Disfiguring injuries, class prejudice and PTSD are the focus of three heart-wrenching tales set in WWII by award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader. Find out more at: https://crossseaspress.com/grounded-eagles





For more information about all my books visit: https://www.helenapschrader.com



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