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A background on the WW1 air war


Guest Brummy
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Guest Brummy

I find my knowledge of the war in the air sadly lacking and am looking for a good book to rectify this situation. My reading on this subject has up untill now been limited to every Biggles book I could lay my hands on, The Red Baron by Peter Kilduff and I also have a copy of Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War 1.

I am looking for recomendations for a book that chronicals the air war on a timeline bassis. I wish to gain a basic knowledge of what type of aircraft where being used when, where and and why. My main interest is the western front although knowledge of other theaters is also welcome.

I am not seeking to become an expert in this area but would like to gain a basic grounding (no pun intended) of WW1 air warfare, preferabley from both sides of the conflict.

Brum

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Most of the recent histories have been focussed on the airmen of particular nations or on specific aircraft types. However, there are some books around that give a general picture, or give a good indication of overall events . Books that might help you are:

'A Brief History of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I' by Ralph Barker, ISBN 1 84119 470 0;

'The Airman's War 1914-1918' by Peter Liddle, ISBN 0 7137 1592 8;

'Over the Battlefronts' by Peter Kilduff, ISBN 1 85409 265 0;

'Naval Aviation in the First World War' by R D Layman, ISBN 1 55750 617 5; and

'Tumult in the Clouds' by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart, ISBN 0 340 63846 X.

If/when you need more detailed information, the series published by Osprey on the Aces who flew particular aircraft types contain excellent information.

I hope this helps.

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Guest Brummy

I enjoyed the other Kilduff book that I have read if he is considered a good historian I will look out for the "Over the Battle Fronts Book"

Thanks Brum

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Can I further endorse

'A Brief History of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I' by Ralph Barker, ISBN 1 84119 470 0;

AND

'Tumult in the Clouds' by Nigel Steel and Peter Hart, ISBN 0 340 63846 X.

The latter is a volume I have particularly enjoyed and it has not had the wider circulation it deserves.

There are also a number of excellent memoirs of flying people but if I were to pick one out to read for starters I would suggest Cecil Lewis' "Sagittarius Rising". It's one of those books I just could not put down and it encapsulates the sense of adventure of living life that appealed to those young men who took to the air at the time.

Good reading!

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Dennis Winter's 'The First of the Few' is a good account, but there is one curious major error in Chapter 12:

"In his own squadron, Barker was outflown by Linke-Crawford . . . "

Not only weren't Barker and Linke-Crawford in the same squadron, they weren't on the same side!

On the Italian Front, Major William George Barker served in Nos 28, 66 and 139 Squadrons RFC/RAF.

Oberleutnant Frank Linke-Crawford (his mother was English, hence his rather Anglo-Celtic name) served in Flik 41J and Flik 60J of the Austro-Hungarian Luftfahrtruppen and was credited with 27 victories over Allied aircraft before he was killed in action on 27 July 1918. A photograph of the man, taken at the A-H aerodrome at Feltre in Summer 1918, is below:

post-22-1086420960.jpg

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Brum, and other Pals...

Was The Red Baron a good book... for those of us whose know very little about this hero? Andy

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Guest Brummy

Not being a big reader on aerial war fare I cannot comment on its historical accuracy but I can say that Peter Kilduff is deffinately a very readable Author.

Brum

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Hi

thanks for all the recomendations. I have now read Sagittarius rising it was not what I was looking for but it was an excelent acount from a pilot who whent strieght from the schoolroom to war and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

I have found a cracking little book tracing the main WW1 aircraft on a time line I think it would be of no use to anybody with any knowledge in this field but it is a little gem for the beginer. I picked this book up second hand so I do not know if it is still available the title is below.

World War 1 Aeroplanes by Gordon C Davies. ISBN 0 7063 1825 0

Brum

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  • 1 year later...

Here is a CEF Study Group's recommended website on the topic ... Borden Battery

William George Barker - World War I Fighter Ace Nov 2005

A simple website summarizing the military life of this oft forgotten Canadian pilot who was one of the most decorated men of the Great War. A recommended book by W. Ralph is "BARKER VC" by Vanwell Publishers.

http://www.constable.ca/barker.htm

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