The Two-Headed Eagle: In Which Otto Prohaska Takes a Break as the Habsburg Empire's Leading U-boat Ace and Does Something Even More Thanklessly Dangerous (The Otto Prohaska Novels) (Unabridged)
by John Biggins
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It is the summer of 1916, and, as luck would have it, young Lieutenant Ottokar Prohaska of the Austro-Hungarian navy once again finds himself aloft in fragile aircraft, this time as an observer-bomber-navigator. Otto's aerial chauffeur is the self-willed Feldpilot-Zugsfuhrer Zoltan Toth, with whom he can only communicate in broken Latin - although when all else fails, screaming will suffice! Toth becomes Otto's steadfast comrade through one peril after another. Who but Otto would think of hurling a cumbersome and useless wireless transmitter through the balloon of an enemy airship? Who but Zoltan could fly a biplane whose engine and radiator completely block his view, forcing him to lean out his window like the engineer of a train? The duo ricochet from battle to battle in a war where mustard gas is a standard weapon and the worst opposition comes from a combatant's leaders, who value statistics over victories. On the ground, the rickety Habsburg Empire begins to crumble under the pressures of WWI, while in the air, Otto confronts a series of misadventures and the winds of change.