This collection of biographies of WWI fighter pilots makes for compelling reading. This is a collection of portraits of men who are now as much myth and legend as history. A totally absorbing story that should not be missed.
NAME: Death Was Their Co-pilot FILE: R2452 AUTHOR: Michael Dorflinger PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 208 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, The Great War, aerial combat, flying, pilots, fighter pilots, biplanes, triplanes, knights of the air ISBN: 1-47385-928-X IMAGE: B2452.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/gwqe46l LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This collection of biographies of WWI fighter pilots makes for compelling reading. This is a collection of portraits of men who are now as much myth and legend as history. A totally absorbing story that should not be missed. With the first controlled flight by a powered aircraft having taken place only in 1903, the flyers of WWI were not just aerial warriors, but true pioneers. Their lives were a world apart from those unfortunates surviving in the filth and carnage of trench warfare, but it was no less brutal and lethal. The first army aircraft on both sides were considered to be scouts observing the enemy and bringing back intelligence to help to bring him to decisive battle. Many pilots were previously cavalry officers who had performed that same role from horseback. The aircraft were frail and unarmed. The exception was the Royal Naval Air Service which had dropped the first torpedo only a month before the outbreak of war and had established the objectives and tactics of aerial warfare as early as 1911. The Admiralty had followed its established practice of working with a group of trusted defence contractors and issued functional specifications rather than attempting to constrain designers with a collection of poorly thought out technical requirements. This served the RNAS well within the framework of Admiralty objectives which saw naval aviation as being an expansion of the technology of supporting the objectives of the Fleet. This resulted in aircraft that could drop bombs and depth bombs on surface and submarine vessels, spot for the battleships, investigate and bomb enemy port installations and attack targets deep inside enemy territory. It also required aircraft to attack and destroy Zeppelins and other aircraft from the start of hostilities. Army aviation therefore had a model to follow and the fighter aircraft and the bomber started to develop. The author tells the story of the knights of the air war and the development of aircraft, equipment and tactics through the stories of the acknowledged Aces. He also shows the flaws and threats that made these young men vulnerable. It is a great read and paints clear pictures.