Balloon-Busting Aces of World War 1

Overview

Tethered balloons have been used for aerial observation since the French Revolution, but in World War 1 they reached their zenith as a means of providing an observation platform above the battlefield. Although their hydrogen contents made them vulnerable, they could be quickly pulled down with mechanical winches, and were well protected by a cordon of anti-aircraft guns and nearby fighter aircraft. It took a special breed of daredevil to take on such odds deep in enemy lines in order to destroy a balloon, but the...
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Balloon-Busting Aces of World War 1

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Overview

Tethered balloons have been used for aerial observation since the French Revolution, but in World War 1 they reached their zenith as a means of providing an observation platform above the battlefield. Although their hydrogen contents made them vulnerable, they could be quickly pulled down with mechanical winches, and were well protected by a cordon of anti-aircraft guns and nearby fighter aircraft. It took a special breed of daredevil to take on such odds deep in enemy lines in order to destroy a balloon, but the spectacle of a burning 'gasbag' - which assured confirmation - instilled an obsession with going after them that other pilots called 'balloon fever'. This book tells the story of the balloon-busters from both sides through a mix of first-hand accounts and expert analysis, that compare tactics, theatres of operation, aircraft types and the overall odds for success. It also features 48 specially produced colour profiles and planforms and more than 100 archival photographs.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Text and color drawings...cover a variety of aces and aircraft types from both sides. The introduction that covers development and operational use of balloons during WWI is a valuable nugget for anyone studying lighter-than-air craft, whose load-carrying capacity, range, and endurance may actually motivate their return to military and civil service in the not-so-distant future." -Aerospace Modeler (January 2009)

"Overall, this is a very interesting book, and if you have any interest in balloons I would strongly recommend it to you." -Rob Auer, Proceedings

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841768779
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 8/10/2005
  • Series: Aircraft of the Aces Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,415,630
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 A Not-So-Easy Target 6
Chapter 2 Squadron Business 11
Chapter 3 The Lone Hunters 36
Chapter 4 Balloon Fever on Other Fronts 71
Chapter 5 The Greatest of Them All 82
Appendices 89
Colour Plates Commentary 91
Index 96
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