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#4391850 - 11/29/17 06:31 AM Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air.  
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Akmatov Offline
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Was browsing Amazon and not finding a good history of WW1 in the air. Would appreciate recommendations. Preferable for the whole period, but not necessary. Something that touches on tactics and their development would be stellar. Also, mention of the evolution of the aircraft and their influence on tactics would also be great.

I know there are a lot of period anecdotes available, possible because copywrites have run out and they are cheap to produce. But hoping for more of a historical work, more of a wider bird's eye view.

Last edited by Akmatov; 11/29/17 06:58 AM.
#4391866 - 11/29/17 10:35 AM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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RAF_Louvert Offline
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Akmatov, I've been reading and collecting books on the subject for years and have yet to find a single source work that would provide you with what you're after. You could start with Aaron Norman's work "The Great Air War", first published back in the 1960s. While simplistic and a bit of a shotgun approach to the subject it does give a variety of information in one tome. I have a copy I can send you if you'd like to give it a go.

Another one to look into would be "The First Air War: 1914-1918" by Lee Kennett. Very brief but a good primer and better than Norman's work. And if you are looking for something a bit stiffer to plow through "The Great War In The Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921" by John Morrow is a good choice.

Also, if I've not already said so, welcome to the WOFF skies. New lads buy the drinks!

Lou

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Three RFC Brass Hats were strolling down a street in London. Two walked into a bar, the third one ducked.
_________________________________________________________________________

Former Cold War Warrior, USAF Security Service 1974-1978, E-4, Morse Systems Intercept, England, Europe, and points above.
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#4391871 - 11/29/17 12:19 PM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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Polovski Offline
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I was about to mention "The First Air War: 1914-1918" by Lee Kennett also. Gives good general background too, but of course focussing on Air capabilities and so on.


Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of the fabulously immersive
"WINGS: Over Flanders Fields" WW1 Sim.
http://www.overflandersfields.com
#4391894 - 11/29/17 04:55 PM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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Shredward Offline
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Lake Louise, AB Canada
Or try Wings Over Flanders Fields. An excellent interactive history of the war in the air during the Great War.
reading
Cheers,
shredward


We will remember them.
#4391902 - 11/29/17 05:37 PM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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Akmatov Offline
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Gentlemen, many thanks for the titles, all of which are available from Amazon. smile

I will be checking them out, seems that beyond anecdotes by flyers, very interesting ofc for a WOFF flyer, there are very few actual histories, which I find odd given the many such books on the WW1 ground and naval realms.

#4391909 - 11/29/17 06:08 PM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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L'Etoile du Nord
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Excellent suggestion Shredward. biggrin

Akmatov, There are many outstanding written histories about the Great War in the air but they are specific to a particular air service or group or country. You were asking for a more overarching history covering the whole affair and of those there are few.

.


[Linked Image]

Three RFC Brass Hats were strolling down a street in London. Two walked into a bar, the third one ducked.
_________________________________________________________________________

Former Cold War Warrior, USAF Security Service 1974-1978, E-4, Morse Systems Intercept, England, Europe, and points above.
"pippy-pahpah-pippy pah-pip-pah"

#4391916 - 11/29/17 07:34 PM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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33lima Offline
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'A wider, birdseye view' eh?

Well if you value good writing and an emphasis on fliers, famous or not, over details of when aircraft variant A first appeared in service with which unit, or worthy but dull day-by-day accounts of operations, and aren't after a photo-history which is a whole other kettle of fish flying or otherwise, I would recommend the following, any one of which would be on my shortlist of 'If I had to read just one book on WW1 in the air...' and should be available cheaply, second-hand on eBay or Amazon etc

"The Friendless Skies", by the excellent Alexander McKee. Coverage, brief but well-told, includes the usual topics but also some off-the-beaten-track stuff like the Zeppelin offensive, the Austrialians in the desert war, and balloon-busting obsessions in the Agean theatre. One of those small books that leaves things with you which you will never forget, like likening the risks taken by the crewmen of the later Zeppelin raids to 'dousing yourself with petrol, going out into the street and defying the neighbours to throw matches at you.' Also reflecting the humanity that could not entirely be obliterated by the hatred the propagandists whipped up against the 'baby-killers', there was the epitath on a Zeppelin crewman's headstone in England, 'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? By his own master he standeth or falleth.'

"Full Circle" by WW2 RAF ace J.E 'Johnnie' Johnston. Covers WW1 to Korea so very wide scope but despite the assessment of Richthofen being apparently plagiarised from an earlier official history, the WW1 chapters are a good basic primer.

'A Short History of the Royal Flying Corps' by Ralph Barker. Covers the Western Front and British operations only but blends history and personal experience rather beautifully.

There's a plethora of more modern books treading the same sort of ground with the advantages of more recent research and being able to stand on the shoulders of earlier writers, but the above have all stood the test of time for me.


Last edited by 33lima; 11/29/17 07:38 PM.
#4392227 - 11/30/17 11:50 PM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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JFM Offline
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Tumult in the Clouds: The British Experience of the War in the Air, 1914-1918, by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart.

Germany's War in the Air: The Development and Operations of German Military Aviation in the World War, by General Ernest von Hoeppner.

You're welcome.

#4392264 - 12/01/17 01:57 AM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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Get some Osprey books. They have ones for specific pilots, squadrons (Jastas, Escadrilles...) and aircraft. They give lots of info AND photos so you develop a 'feel' for the WWI air war with each subsequent book. Your knowledge base will be cumulative. Datafiles are excellent resources about the aircraft, too! I have hundreds of books about this stuff. You can never have too many! Welcome to the fold!!!

#4393117 - 12/04/17 08:15 AM Re: Recommendation for good history of WW1 in the air. [Re: Akmatov]  
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Akmatov Offline
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Akmatov  Offline
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More goodies, many thx; Amazon will definitely show a profit this quarter. smile

A special thx to 33lima, I have been trying to dredge up the title Full Circle for days. Keep coming up with The First and the Last, which is ofc the wrong war.


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