Oswald Boelcke: Germany’s First Fighter Ace and Father of Air Combat

Oswald Boelcke: Germany’s First Fighter Ace and Father of Air CombatOswald Boelcke: Germany's First Fighter Ace and Father of Air Combat by Rg Head
ISBN: 1910690236
Published by Grub Street on August 5, 2016
Genres: Aviation
Pages: 240

Head’s distinguished U.S. Air Force career involved flying several combat aircraft and several assignments in Vietnam. His work on Boelcke reflects Head’s insights on how aerial combat assumed a definitive role thanks to Boelcke’s leadership and legacy.

The book is a leisure read, covering aviators, the physical flying environment, and the rewards associated with combat aviation.

The formation and evolution of Germany’s air service is interweaved with Boelcke’s life. Information on aeroplanes is covered in detail, particularly the Fokker Eindecker models and Albatros series that replaced it.

Most important is the discussion of Boelcke’s Dicta, the foundation of formal German fighter tactic principles he wrote in 1916 that still apply today (although not always attributed to him). Boelcke’s concept of deploying fighters in squadron formation produced higher effectiveness and protection especially when flying together under the lead of an expert pilot.

The appendices include Boelcke’s chronology, the aces Boelcke trained (including the Red Baron), a detailed evolution of the Albatros fighter, and four of Boelcke’s contemporaries who also wrote their views on aerial tactics.

Abridged from review by Terrence Finnegan in RoadstotheGreatWar-ww1.blogspot.com/

Billy Bishop VC Lone Wolf Hunter: The RAF Ace Re-Examined

Billy Bishop VC Lone Wolf Hunter: The RAF Ace Re-ExaminedBilly Bishop VC Lone Wolf Hunter: The RAF Ace Re-Examined by Peter Kilduff
ISBN: 190980813X
Published by Grub Street on October 19, 2014
Genres: Aviation
Pages: 192

Peter Kilduff is recognized as an authority on WW1 aviation and the Red Baron (Manfred von Richthofen) in particular. As an expert on German records, Kilduff describes what the German records say and don’t say regarding each of Bishop’s 72 aerial victories.

The German aviation records are incomplete due to WW2 aerial bombing, others were lost or didn’t make it into WW1 records, and some are too vague for verifying particular aerial combats.

It quickly becomes clear, however, that no conclusions about the veracity of a victory claim by Bishop or anyone else is possible simply because of a lack of German records regarding that event. This is not a hagiography, however. Kilduff points out that Bishop “inflated” the drama of his combats in his private letters home and “embellished” his stories in later years.

Billy Bishop VC contains all of the qualities that have made Peter Kilduff’s biographies such outstanding works. This is an indispensable work for anyone seeking to understand Billy Bishop’s story.

Steve Suddaby, past president WW1HA

Australian Hawk Over the Western Front – A Biography of Major R. S. Dallas

Australian Hawk Over the Western Front – A Biography of Major R. S. DallasAustralian Hawk Over the Western Front - A Biography of Major R. S. Dallas by Adrian Hellwig
ISBN: 1904943349
Published by Grub Street on August 1st 2006
Genres: Australia & New Zealand, Aviation, Biography & Autobiography
Pages: 221

Len's Summary: The story of Australia's leading air ace.

An Airman’s Wife: A True Story of Lovers Separated by War

An Airman’s Wife: A True Story of Lovers Separated by WarAn Airman’s Wife: A True Story of Lovers Separated by War by Aimée McHardy
ISBN: 1904943942
Published by Grub Street on October 1st 2007
Genres: Letters, Military, World War I
Pages: 315

Len's Summary: The correspondence of Aimée McHardy and Captain William Bond.

The Red Baron’s Last Flight: An In-Depth Investigation into what Really Happened on the Day Von Richthofen was Shot Down

The Red Baron’s Last Flight: An In-Depth Investigation into what Really Happened on the Day Von Richthofen was Shot DownThe Red Baron's Last Flight: An In-Depth Investigation into what Really Happened on the Day Von Richthofen was Shot Down by Norman Franks, Alan Bennett
ISBN: 1904943330
Published by Grub Street on February 1st 2007
Genres: Aviation, Germany, Military, World War I
Pages: 144

Len's Summary: Franks is a premier historian of WWI aviation, but even he can’t settle this never-ending argument.

Julius Buckler: “Malaula” the Battle Cry of Jasta 17

Julius Buckler: “Malaula” the Battle Cry of Jasta 17Julius Buckler: “Malaula” the Battle Cry of Jasta 17 by Julius Buckler, Norman Franks
ISBN: 1904943802
Published by Grub Street on September 1st 2007
Genres: Aviation, Germany, Military, World War I
Pages: 190

Len's Summary: First published in Germany in 1939 this is the story of a German 36-victory ace and his mates.

Open Cockpit

Open CockpitOpen Cockpit by Arthur Gould Lee
ISBN: 9781908117250
Published by Grub Street on May 31st 2012
Genres: Aviation, Military, Personal Memoirs, World War I
Pages: 224

Len's Summary: Reprint of a classic study (first published in 1965) by a British soldier who became an RFC pilot. Available from Casemate Publishing. // Memoir of a British air ace first published in 1969.

No Parachute: A Classic Account of War in the Air in WWI

No Parachute: A Classic Account of War in the Air in WWINo Parachute by Arthur Gould Lee
ISBN: 9781909166042
Published by Grub Street on August 19th 2013
Genres: Aviation, Military, Personal Memoirs
Pages: 240

Len's Summary: Based on the wartime letters of RFC pilot Gould Lee, who later rose to become a Vice Air Marshall. // Letters from young British airmen at the front.