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

Overview

Although World War I was fought and won in the trenches, aviation emerged as the most advanced and innovative technological arm of battle, epitomizing the new total warfare as it meshed the front and the rear, the military and the civilian. The Greai War in the Air is a comprehensive study of the development and significance of airpower during World War I. This history compares military, political, technological, industrial, and cultural aspects of airpower in the greater combatant powers (France, Germany, and ...
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Overview

Although World War I was fought and won in the trenches, aviation emerged as the most advanced and innovative technological arm of battle, epitomizing the new total warfare as it meshed the front and the rear, the military and the civilian. The Greai War in the Air is a comprehensive study of the development and significance of airpower during World War I. This history compares military, political, technological, industrial, and cultural aspects of airpower in the greater combatant powers (France, Germany, and England) and the lesser powers (Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and the United States). Geared to both general readers and scholars, The Great War in the Air penetrates the heroic veneer of the fighter pilots' exploits, using autobiographical and biographical material to discuss the aviators' lives - the thrills, the risks, the stresses - and their attitudes toward aerial combat. Starting in 1909 with the beginnings of military aviation and the aviation industry and ending with their catastrophic postwar contraction, the book examines the totality of the air war: its heroism, romantic myths, politics, strategies, and cost in men and materiel. John H. Morrow, Jr., also elaborates on the advancements in aircraft and engine technology and production during airpower's development into a viable and threatening military weapon within a decade of its origins.

This comprehensive study of the development and significance of airpower during World War I compares military, political, technological, industrial, and cultural aspects of airpower in the greater combatant powers (France, Germany, and England) and the lesser powers (Italy, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and the U.S.). 64 illustrations.

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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.
Booknews
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 (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560982388
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1993
  • Series: History of Aviation Ser.
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 6.53 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 1.77 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2006

    'Whoops-poop-twiddly-dee'

    It's brillo. It gives you a personal context for interpreting the technical and historical details, and vice versa. NO war is uni-faceted, and Morrow gives you a glimpse into the 'Great War' that is both educational and personal. (FYI, the title of this review is from the episode 'Private Plane' of the BBC series 'Blackadder Goes Forth,' which documents the experiences of the 'Twenty Minuters.' If you can't handle the reality, at least get a larff out of the series - it's funny until they go Over The Top, which is only appropriate.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2004

    Interesting but dry

    A real 'snoozer' to read. Much technical details, interspersed with some pretty interesting stuff.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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