The Great War’s Finest: An Operational History of the German Air Service, Volume I: Western Front 1914
Published by Aeronaut Books on 2017
The Over the Front review of this extraordinary new study described it as a “large-format volume with personal accounts and large-size color and black & white photos, as well as many clear charts [also in color] and multi-color maps. The latter are important to understanding the scope and sweep of the ground war, which aviators strived to support.”
Bowden’s well-footnoted, well-organized tome utilizes primary sources, official publications, squadron histories, after-action reports, and memoirs, many never before published in English. It is much more than a summary of German aviation activities at the start of the war. The effective relationship between Feldflieger Abteilungen (Field Flying Sections) and the advancing armies is explained in the narrative and delineated in several orders-of-battle at key points during the 1914 campaign in the West.
The importance of the Fliegertruppe was not only in reconnaissance, but also in working closely with artillery batteries that contributed to the successes of the German armies during the Battle of The Frontiers. This book is highly recommended and future volumes are eagerly awaited.
Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of World War One Illustrated