Aces High: War In The Air Over The Western Front, 1914-18 by ALAN CLARK


Aces High serves to remind us that, if no longer a completely scrupulous flesh presser, nor an ideal husband, Alan Clark quite used to be an excellent army historian.

There has advanced whatever of a fantasy concerning the conflict within the air among 1914-1918. the parable is going that, whereas within the grime and gore of the trenches less than any idealism and chivalry speedy sputtered and died, within the purer air above the final noble heroes battled in one-to-one dogfights like knights of previous. it's a fable that Clark shoots down in flames, with attribute iconoclasm.

One of the nice RFC aces was once Mick Mannock, famed for his come across with a coaching teacher, out in a formation of six, with 5 of his very green-horned students. Mannock first shot down the trainer after which ruthlessly pursued all of the newcomers and shot them down one after the other. This wasn't chivalry, it used to be battle, and even if extra stylish to monitor, it was once every piece as deadly as Passchendaele.

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It was the 'troops' (as the mechanics were called). only in the heat of combat when a few brave At this time squadron equipment was not men discarded prudence that these things uniform - each unit was a hotchpotch of could be established. different types of aircraft suited (if the word is Often it was the case that pilots who were not too ironic) to different tasks. In the the least skilful or intrepid were hardest on squadron, the most glamorous and desirable their engines. Long pursuit dives after an were the Single-seater Scouts, now beginning escaping foe would allow engine revolutions to to make their appearance.

But then the Martinsyde, which had inside the upper (now the lower) wing of the slowed almost to stalling speed, performed Martinsyde. At the third attempt he succeeded one of its most objectionable antics: the port in doing this, but his violent shifting of weight wing dropped sharply. Strange lost his balance and the slowly declining air speed had caused and fell against the joystick, giving instant full the Martinsyde to go into a spin. left nap, which exaggerated the aeroplane's At this early stage in the techniques turned the of aerobatics, the spin was regarded as machine upside down.

Particularly devastating weapon. I n the late He taught, developed tactics and laid the summer of 1 9 1 5, an officer in the Bavarian Air foundation of the science of aerial fighting in Force, which was partially independent of the every way. Max lmmelmann poses beside an easy Victim - a British BE2. Fokker Monoplane E I I I The place where Boelcke and Immelmann To lhe north, lhe Brilish were also making rose to fame was Verdun, where the Germans headway against German air power. Even at were lrying 'lo bleed lhe French army lo lhe heighl of lhe Fokker Scourge, Trenchard dealh'.

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