BIGGLES FLIES EAST
Book First Published in August 1935 - 256 pages
This story was later published, in fourteen parts, as BIGGLES FLIES EAST in The Modern Boy, issues 399 to 412, dated 28th September 1935 to 28th December 1935
During the First World War, whilst on leave in London, Biggles is mistaken for a Captain Brunow and offered the chance of working for the Germans. Reporting the matter to Air Staff Intelligence, Biggles is asked to assume the identity of Brunow and take up the offer so that he can act as a double agent. Before he knows it, Biggles finds himself at Zabala, the HQ of the German Intelligence Staff and also the station for two German squadrons. In command is Count von Faubourg and his second-in-command is a certain Hauptmann Erich von Stalhein, who is to become Biggles' greatest enemy over numerous future stories. Von Stalhein is suspicious of Biggles immediately. Biggles' first task for the Germans is to find some Australian cavalry. Meeting with Major Raymond at a pre-arranged oasis rendezvous, Biggles is told where the Australians are and that they are moving out tonight so there would be no harm in him telling the Germans. They could merely bomb an empty camp. Biggles is also given a bomb and asked to blow up the German's reservoir. Suddenly, Biggles spots a German plane, a pilot called Leffens has spotted him meeting with Raymond and Biggles has to shoot him down to maintain his cover. This Biggles does and he lands to make sure Leffens is dead. Arriving back at Zabala, von Stalhein examines Biggles' plane and finds a bullet in it. Leffens had been firing a new type of German bullet and Biggles fears that von Stalhein is on to him. Biggles sneaks out during the night and blows up the Germans' reservoir. Soon he is being confronted by the Count about this, but he manages to come up with a believable story to save himself. Biggles' main mission is to find a German spy called 'El Shereef' and after seeing von Stalhein dressed up as an Arab on a secret night time flight, Biggles begins to suspect that he is 'El Shereef'. Biggles is caught in a storm and forced to land by an oasis. Here he is captured by Arabs and sold to the British. Biggles then has to pretend to be German, until he is surprisingly sprung from prison and picked up by a German pilot called Mayer. On route back to Zabala, Mayer is shot down (by Algy of all people) and crash lands. Mayer breaks his leg and Biggles has to get him to safety, a feat for which he is nominated for the Iron Cross! Next Biggles meets and falls foul of Kurt Hess, an arrogant German pilot who is looking to shoot down his 27th British victim - "like roast beef in his own oven". Biggles is incensed and the next time he meets with Algy, he borrows his Sopworth Camel to go and shoot down Hess. Biggles makes sure he knows who he is before he sends Hess down in flames. A mock airfield has been set up by the British to allow Biggles to give the Germans some information. Biggles is asked to lead a bombing raid on this airfield and he distinguishes himself with his excellent bombing and by accidentally saving his colleagues from a British attack. Biggles later goes to search von Stalhein's room and is hidden in a cupboard when an Arab attacks Von Stalhein. The Arab is killed. Next, Biggles is told that the British have captured El Shereef and he is sent by the Germans to free him. Biggles is convinced the British have the wrong man and returns to the Germans to say he is too late, the British have already shot him. On his way back, Biggles is attacked by members of his own German squadron because his secret identifying marks are not present. Von Stalhein is trying to have him killed. Before Biggles can do anything about this, the real Captain Brunow arrives and Biggles has to deal with him before his cover is blown. Biggles knocks Brunow unconscious and then is shocked to discover that Algy has been captured by the Germans. Freeing Algy, Biggles sends him back to the British lines with Brunow as a passenger. Time is short now for Biggles and he knows he must leave Zabala. He does so by substituting himself for von Stalhein's special mission pilot and flies von Stalhein to the British lines. On arrival von Stalhein is not there - he has bailed out! However, Biggles has one more trick up his sleeve to capture von Stalhein and El Shereef for good!
Biggles Flies East
Publication Details - published by Oxford University Press
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Dustjacket from the Hodder & Stoughton May 1942 edition (the first EVER Hodder & Stoughton Biggles book)