Alan Clark - Aces High. The War in the Air Over the Western Front, 1914-18
Cassell | 1999 | ISBN: 030435225X | 192 pages | PDF | 70.03 MB
This powerful account of war in the air on the Western Front during World War I is by the distinguished military historian Alan Clark. Covering fighting squadrons on both sides of the conflict, ACES HIGH captures the lives of the idealistic young men who joined the air services in the early months of the war, who, if they survived, grew into the embittered but courageous aces of 1916 and 1917 - men like Manfred von Richthofen, Albert Ball, Mick Mannock, Georges Guynemer, Charles Nungesser and Raoul Lufbery. In 1914 the conquest of the air was newer, less sure and vested with a still higher romance than that of space today. The frailty of the aeroplanes, the incendiary bullets of the enemy, the banning of parachutes as "likely" to lower morale' made death a three to one certainty. The aces performed acts of incredible bravery and skill but almost all lost their lives or their sanity. Alan Clark writes of the planes they flew and their evolution from "stringbags" and "flying coffins" to the sophisticated tactical machines of 1918. He also tells of the high commands who failed to recognized the significance of the aerial contribution to the war and sent men to their deaths in inadequate and badly designed planes. More than a chronicle of aerial warfare during five turbulent years, ACES HIGH is a highly illustrated and exciting account of men at war in the skies and an illuminating survey of the tactics and strategies that led to ultimate Allied victory.