BIGGLES GOES TO WAR

Book First Published in May 1938 - 256 pages

This story was first published, in ten parts, as BIGGLES GOES TO WAR in The Modern Boy, issues 503 to 512, dated 25th September 1937 to 27th November 1937

 

Biggles is approached by Count Max Stanhauser, the Maltovian Ambassador in London and asked to help the Country of Maltovia by starting an Air Force for them, to protect them from their strong and intimidating neighbour, Lovitzna. Biggles decides to help after he receives a visit from Zarovitch, the Lovitznian Minister in London, which was designed to put him off. Taking Algy and Ginger with him, as well as Flight-Sergeant Smyth and Smyth's brother-in-law, Corporal Carter as ground crew, Biggles goes to Maltovia. Their trip is not uneventful as Biggles, Ginger and Algy fly three Launcester 'Lance' aeroplanes out. Arriving in Maltovia, Biggles immediately takes a dislike to General Bethstein, the Commander-in-Chief of the Maltovian forces. After Princess Mariana of Maltovia makes a morale boosting visit to our heroes, it is not long before an arsonist burns down their aircraft hanger. Algy shoots the arsonist dead and recognises him as an aide of General Bethstein. Biggles has had the foresight to move their aircraft from the hanger so little damage is done. Biggles has a plan. He forces a Lovitznian plane to land and then uses it to bomb the bridge that carries the only connecting road between Lovitzna and Maltovia. Disaster strikes when Count Stanhauser returns from England to Maltovia and is captured and held in Lovitzna. Algy flies Biggles and Ginger in to free him. With the help of a spy, Biggles finds out that the Count is being held in a hotel in Shavros. Using Ginger to create a "smashing" diversion outside the hotel, Biggles enters with his gun and gets the Count out. However, escape proves difficult. Ginger steals a car but it starts snowing heavily and the weather forces Algy to return to Maltovia. Biggles, Ginger and the Count have to struggle to the border and this includes being chased by wolves and crossing a river under fire. Algy returns as the weather improves and is able to rescue them but there is a surprise awaiting Biggles on his return to Maltovia. He and Algy are both arrested. Ginger avoids arrest by remaining concealed. General Bethstein tries Biggles and Algy for espionage and both are sentenced to be shot at dawn. Ginger seeks assistance from Count Stanhauser's nephew, Ludwig and goes to General Bethstein's mansion where he finds overwhelming evidence of the General's treason, particularly when Zarovitch is also found there. Using loyal soldiers provided by Ludwig, the General is confronted and forced to sign an order stopping the execution of Biggles and Algy. Ginger then has to make a desperate aerial dash to where the execution is to be carried out and drop the order stopping it. It turns out that Zarovitch is a Lovitznian Prince and by holding him prisoner, Maltovia now has a strong hand to play in the political battle with Lovitzna. With the crisis now passed, Biggles, Algy and Ginger can return to England.

 

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Biggles Goes to War

Publication Details - published by Oxford University Press

 

The spine and cover illustrations from the original Oxford first edition

 

Frontispiece

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