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Guest timgdawson

The War in the air

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Guest timgdawson

Hi,

I'm completely confused as to what sort of warfare was used in WW1. I was always taught at primary school that there were no air forces in WW1, and gained the impression last year in History lessons that this was right. However, from visiting this website, I have seen this to be wrong.

Could anyone tell me what sort of resources there were.

Thanks in advance

Tim D

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specialops

Hi Tim

and welcome to the forum

This may well be of interest to you, I have just read "The Royal Flying Corps in France From Mons to the Somme" by Ralph Barker ISBN 0-09-468450-2

It gives detailed account of the RFC early operations and is a real incite into the early types of aerial warfare.

I am still trying to imagine what it must have been like to be in a dog fight armed with only a rifle or pistol trying to aim whilst flying a ill handling plane or low flying over enemy territory dropping bombs by hand.

Apart from combat flying a lot of the RFC's work was observation for the Artillery and reconnaissance/aerial photography.

Get the book it gives the types of aircraft and some amounts used also its a good early history of the RFC.

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gem22

Tim

Welcome

Barker does a second book that covers the period from after the Somme to the Armistice. The two books between them will give you a god idea of the functions and size of the RFC/RAF.

I don't have the figures to hand but the RFC that went to France with the BEF consisted of less than 60 planes. By the time of the Armistice the RAF had in excess of 20,000 planes, not counting those that had been destroyed during the war. The manpower of the RAF was in the region of 250,000 personnel.

Garth

ps Try introducing your history teacher to this forum. Even the best of teachers cannot know everything

G

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Wedge

Both the Barker books have been amalgamated into a single paperback volume, and a very useful one it is too.

Tim, your primary school history teacherswere very wide of the mark!

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David Seymour

The bookshelves are full of excellent works on the air war 1914 - 1918.

I recommend two by Francis K Mason: The British Fighter since 1912 (ISBN 0851778526) and The British Bomber since 1914 (ISBN 0851778615).

Mason provides overall summaries of the air situation, detailed histories of each type (including those which didn't make it beyond prototype), and specifications.

I agree that Barker's books are useful, and a good read.

Also try Nigel Steel and Peter Hart's Tumult in the Clouds.

Regards,

David

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Guest Biplane pilot

Just for quick background: every type of WW II aviation mission was found in The Great War with the exception of transport. Recon, bomber, observation, recce, fighter, and ground support all were widely employed. Also, the "first Battle of Britain" was fought (frequently at night) in 1917-18.

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Guest timgdawson

Hi guys,

Thanks for all of your replies. I've let my History teacher know all of this detail. That shut him up!!! :lol:

Once again, thanks,

Tim G Dawson

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Guest Bohdan

Tim,

A good place to look for the information is maybe on one of the WWI RAF websites.

I did not know you had a history teacher!!!???

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Guest Bohdan

Tim,

Another thing,

Have you seen the episode of Blackadder, series 4 where they are captured behind enemylines because they was out flying.

They was rescued by a RAF man, played by Rik Mayall.

This points towards that they were air warfare used in WWI

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Guest timgdawson

Just to clear this up for Bohdan, I do have a History teacher, although not now at school.

Thanks,

Tim

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Guest timgdawson

To clear another thing up for Bohdan,

Comedy is not always right! I am very sceptical about comedies, especially those starting Rik Mayall

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Guest Bohdan

Timothy,

You are right though about being sceptical about comedys, but, from wot I have seen from sauces and blackadder, the setting used, e.g in the trenches, appeared to be very accurate except the trenches probbly was a little smaller than in blackadder.

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