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The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918

The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918

Ref: 5222

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Price: 46.00

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{detailed description}The result of many years' research, this book describes fully for the first time the work of the British aircraft and aircrews charged with repelling the German day and night raiders of the First World War. Starting with the earliest interception attempts - with observers in fragile aeroplanes cradling petrol bombs intended to destroy Zeppelins - the book traces the gradual development of Britain's air defence into the organised system employing the best contemporary fighters which operated against the large bombers used by the Germans during the last year of the war. Drawing on available but largely unexplored British and German records - predominantly pilots' reports - the authors analyse every raid and the response to it. While the development of air defence weapons and techniques made slow but steady progress, inter-Service rivalries tended to dominate home defence politics in Whitehall, and the book describes the protracted and puerile wrangling between the Admiralty and the War Office before a coherent policy evolved. Apart from the few who shot down German airships, the home defence pilots of the First World War have had far less attention than the 'aces' who fought in France; yet their task demanded comparable skill and courage, and much sheer doggedness: with the rudimentary aids to interception then available, luck played an important part, and many flew night after night without managing to engage or even see the enemy. The Air Defence of Britain, 1914-18 is a fully comprehensive account which will surely remain the definitive work on the subject. Nothing remotely comparable has ever been attempted before. Every aircraft recorded as having taken off in response to a raid is listed, where possible its Service number and the names of the crew; and the book is illustrated with maps and diagrams and with over 300 contemporary photographs, many of which are reproduced here for the first time.
{Author / Publisher / Date}by Christopher Cole and E. F. Cheesman
1984 1st edn. 486pp
{condition}fine in spine faded d/j
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