Combat Over the Trenches, Oswald Watt, Aviation Pioneer

Oswald Watts was a true pioneer of aviation and attracted much coverage during his life and after. Not all of this coverage was accurate and a number of myths and misconceptions have appeared. The author has done a very good job of objectively recounting the life and career of Oswald Watts and his text is supported by many well-chosen images through the body of the book – Most Highly Recommended.


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NAME: Combat Over the Trenches, Oswald Watt, Aviation Pioneer
FILE: R2646
AUTHOR: Chris Clarke
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES:  306
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Australian aviators, WWI, World War 1, World War I, First 
World War, Great War, 1914-1918, European theatre, Western Front, 
trench warfare

ISBN: 1-52671-505-8

IMAGE: B2646.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y9kyrvno
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION: Oswald Watts was a true pioneer of aviation and 
attracted much coverage during his life and after. Not all of this 
coverage was accurate and a number of myths and misconceptions have 
appeared. The author has done a very good job of objectively 
recounting the life and career of Oswald Watts and his text is 
supported by many well-chosen images through the body of the book – 
Most Highly Recommended.

Watts was certainly an Australian pioneer in that he became the 
first Australian Army officer to qualify as a pilot in 1911. More 
than a century later, there will be many who have only a vague idea 
of what happened in the early years of aviation. To put Watts into 
perspective, the Royal Navy began trials with captive balloons from 
the 1860s, often employing British Army balloons to spot for naval 
guns landed and mounted on land carriages. In 1903 extensive trials 
began with man-carrying kites, flown from a range of vessels from 
whalers through destroyers, cruisers, to battleships. In that year 
the Wright Brothers are credited with the first controlled powered 
flight and airships were becoming practical vehicles. In 1911, the 
Royal Navy opened the first military pilot training facilities with 
assistance from the Royal Aeronautical Society. Watts was therefore 
not only an Australian aviation pioneer but also one of the first 
pilots, civil or military, to complete training formally as an 
aviator. Between 1903 and 1911, most pilots were self taught and 
there were no manuals, these being written be the survivors.

His service during the Great War started with the French Air Service, 
before transferring to the Australian Imperial Force, leading his 
unit at Cambrai, before taking command of the No 1 Training Wing with 
the rank of Lt Colonel.

However, Watts was a rich and colourful character, with a zest for 
life and an extensive network of social and  political connections. 
These aspects of his life have generated misconceptions and myths in 
many of the stories written about him. The author has worked hard 
and effectively to present a fair and balanced account of the life 
and times of Oswald Watts. Its a great read.