Aces High: The War in the Air Over the Western Front, 1914-18by Alan Clark
This powerful account of war in the air on the Western front during the First World War is by the distinguished military historian Alan Clarke. Covering fighting squadrons on both sides of the conflict, Aces High capture the lives of their 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, George Guynemeyer, Chareles 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 but lost their lives or their sanity. Alan Clark writes of the planes they flew and their evolution from "stringbags' and 'flying coffins' to their sophisticated tactical machines of 1918. He also tells of the high commands who failed to recognize the significance of the aerial contribution to the war and sent men to their deaths in inadequately 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. Originally published in 1973, this new edition includes eighty new photographs and illustrations.
- Sterling Publishing
- Publication date:
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
The book, ¿Aces High ¿ The War in the Air over the Western Front 1914-18¿ has 194 pages of illustrations as well as documented pictures. There are four sections to the book. Part One: The opening Shots is about the life of the pilots in the first years of the war. I found this section slanted towards the British. There are some very good quality pictures, most of them are black and whites. The first 28 pages have 20 pictures. There are several very good personal accounts of Aces on both sides. The number of German pictures was disappointing to me, since I was interested in more pictures of the Fokker D VII. The book is more of a ¿picture¿ book than it is a documentary. I am by no means a WWI historian so I have no idea how it compares to the ¿real¿ events. The accounts in the book appear to be very good. From the airmen to the machines to the tactics, all are accompanied by lots of pictures. There are full color 3-views of most aircraft that flew in WW1 on both sides. There are also accounts from four different views, the Allies, the Germans, the French and of course the British. The accounts are very realistic and paint the picture of the war above. From Albert Ball to Charles Nungesser, from Eddie Rickenbacker to Werner Voss there are accounts of each and plenty of pictures. There are 19 color paintings, 10 color 3-views, and over 150 black and white photogrphs.