The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921

The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921

by John H. Morrow

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Aimed at the general reader as well as the specialist, Morrow's history of the development and significance of airpower during WW I will be considered definitive. He compares the military, technological and industrial aspects in the air services of the major powers--France, Germany, England, Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, the U.S.--and reveals how, by means of superior production (particularly French aero-engine manufacture), the Allies prevailed in the air war. Extensively researched, the study traces the increasingly important role of aviation in the 1914-1918 conflict, first in rendering ground forces more effective through air reconnaissance and artillery observation and later in air-to-air combat, bombing and strafing. Morrow, a history professor at the University of Georgia, carries his narrative past the Armistice to describe the postwar demobilization of the air services and contraction of the aviation industry, highlighting the impact of the war on the future of air power. Photos. (May)
Library Journal
Organized year by year, Morrow's encyclopedic examination of aviation's part in World War I concentrates on aircraft engine and airframe production, moving from the slow and frail craft suitable only for artillery spotting to the fleets of fast and durable aircraft that swarmed through the skies at the war's end, their superior numbers meaning victory for the Allies. The approach of the author (history, Univ. of Georgia) is academic, but the emotional content of contemporary accounts rises to the surface now and then with excerpts of letters and other sources to put a human face on this brutal use of an infant technology. This is a serious yet readable history of this vital part of the conflict, meant for any reader with an interest in the early years of aviation.-- Mel D. Lane, Sacramento, Cal.
A comprehensive study of the development and significance of airpower in World War I, comparing various military, political, technological, industrial, and cultural aspects of airpower in the major combatant powers, and discussing aviators' lives and their attitudes toward aerial combat. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Smithsonian Institution Press
Publication date:
History of Aviation Ser.
Product dimensions:
6.53(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.77(d)

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