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Images of War, The French Air Force In The First World War, Rare Photographs From War
Images of War, The French Air Force In The First World War, Rare Photographs From War
Published by CjBobrow
30 March 2018
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Images of War, The French Air Force In The First World War, Rare Photographs From War

Images of War, The French Air Force In The First World War, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives
By Ian Sumner
Pen & Sword, Barnsley, England
£14.99/$26.95, Pp. 156, ISBN-10: 1526701790
9 1/2" x 7 1/2" Soft Cover
190 Photographs

This new title from Pen & Sword Book is part of their larger Images of War photo book series, which includes Great War Fighter Aces 1914-1916 and Sopwith Camels Over Italy, 1917–1918.

The use of nearly 200 images along with the narrative captions works well for what amounts to a whirlwind apercu of French air forces in the Great War.

This is a well-organized work, divided into seven concise chapters. The first of these is a glimpse of the pre-war aviation endeavors carried out by the French military that leaves little doubt that the French were well invested if not fully prepared for the war to come. Here we are introduced to some of the key movers and shakers who would shape French military aviation. The second chapter is devoted to aerial observation in all its forms with some images that provide some interesting behind the scenes views and the associated technologies employed. The next chapter is a mixed bag, which includes images of the early use of military aircraft and airships on land and on the sea including the first long range bombing efforts. “The crucible of the service” a term well suited for the fourth chapter is an introduction to the first tier of fighter pilots some who would even see war through. Chapter five focuses on the all but forgotten German aerial attacks on Paris by Zeppelins and later bombers, all of which was intended to undermine the morale of the populace. Chapter six covers the push for a French bomber, which was a mixed bag until the successful design and production of the Breguet 14. The final chapter “On to victory” covers the final aspects of the war in the air with the well-known aces and not so well knows military aviators who helped end the conflict.

For the reader who wants a quick overview of the French aviation efforts in WW1 this book or as an e-book is a good place to start. For the individual who would like to have the opportunity to view images on the subject not published in English before this volume is a good place to look.


Carl J. Bobrow
Museum Specialist, National Air and Space Museum
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