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by Jon Guttman
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Military
  • Author:
    Jon Guttman
  • ISBN:
    159416083X
  • ISBN13:
    978-1594160837
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Westholme Publishing; 1st edition (July 29, 2009)
  • Pages:
    256 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Military
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1777 kb
  • ePUB format
    1701 kb
  • DJVU format
    1809 kb
  • Rating:
    4.5
  • Votes:
    888
  • Formats:
    doc lrf mbr rtf


The Emergence of Air-to-Air Combat in World War I When World War I began in August 1914, the airplane had already proven its worth as an intelligence gathering "eye-in-the-sky. Aircraft soon became indispensable to armies on both sides, and the attempt to drive enemy planes away began in earnest.

JON GUTTMAN is a leading expert in the history of aviation. He is author of numerous publications, including SPA124 Lafayette Escadrille, Spad VII Aces of World War I, and Groupe de Combat 12, "Les Cigognes. He attempted to sell me this 'Origin of the Fighter Aircraft' book then and there; pressed for time and carrying capacity, I then declined, but when I saw the same book, autographed by the author, at the Udvar Hazy centre a few days later, I accepted this as a sign of fate and bought it. At the air show, Jon told me three basic things about himself and the book.

By the end of 1915, the first true fighter aircraft began to take to the skies.

Select Format: Hardcover. By the end of 1915, the first true fighter aircraft began to take to the skies. ISBN13:9781594160837.

By 1918, the final year of the war, air battles could be as sprawling as those on the ground. In The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft, historian Jon Guttman tells the engrossing story of how one of the most amazing inventions became an integral component of warfare.

Guttman, Jon. The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft, Yardley: Westholme, 2009. McCudden, James Byford Flying Fury, . ISBN 978-1-59416-083-7. Hare, Paul R. Mount of Aces – The Royal Aircraft Factory . 5a, UK: Fonthill Media, 2013. Sopwith Aircraft - 1912-1920, London, Putnam, 1980.

Items related to The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft. JON GUTTMAN is a leading expert in the history of aviation. He is author of numerous publications, including SPA124 Lafayette Escadrille, Spad VII Aces of World War I, and Groupe de Combat 12, "Les Cigognes

Items related to The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft. Guttman, Jon The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft. ISBN 13: 9781594160837. The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft.

Pusher fighters, designed with the engine at the rear and the machine gun at. .Illustrated by. Harry Dempsey.

Pusher fighters, designed with the engine at the rear and the machine gun at the front, may have looked ungainly, yet they were able to hold their own remarkably well against their German counterparts. Packed with colourful artwork of a variety of pusher designs, paint schemes, and camouflage from many different nationalities, this book guides you through the twists and turns of this bizarre yet surprisingly successful fighter during World War 1. Product Identifiers.

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The Emergence of Air-to-Air Combat in World War I When World War I began in August 1914, the airplane had already proven its worth as an intelligence gathering "eye-in-the-sky." Aircraft soon became indispensable to armies on both sides, and the attempt to drive enemy planes away began in earnest. Local air superiority was incorporated into battlefield strategy, and the use of aircraft to conduct offensive operations would change warfare as dramatically as the first firearms 300 years before. In The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft, historian Jon Guttman tells the engrossing story of how one of the most amazing inventions became an integral component of warfare. The first true fighter plane whose primary function was to destroy enemy aircraft--whether scouts, balloons, bombers, or other fighters--emerged at the end of 1915, and with it a new glamorized "knight of the air" was born: the ace, a pilot who brought down five or more opponents. From 1916 on, as the combatants relied on airplanes more, flying tactics and strategy, including mass formations, were developed for what would become a deadly struggle for complete air superiority. By 1918, the final year of the war, air battles could be as sprawling as those on the ground.

Balancing technical description, personalities, and battle accounts, and heavily illustrated, The Origin of the Fighter Aircraft reveals that by the end of World War I, most of the fundamentals for modern aerial combat had been established.


Coiril
The book is a general history of air combat in WWI. In this regard it is a good updated compilation of this material. Also, the book does better than past air combat histories in relating the events in the air to events and battles on the ground. In particular, I enjoyed reading about the bomber attack on the Mauser factory at Oberndorf on 12 October 1916. So, I do recommended the book for someone that doesn't already have volumes on the subject. In this area I would give the book five stars.

However, the title and book description implies much more than a general history of air combat in WWI. From the title and book description I expected a detailed history of the early development of fighter aircraft. This is viewed by most WWI historians to be the period up to 1917. However, the book covers the entire WWI period. This is would not be a problem if the book actually covered the both the origin and development of fighter throughout the war - there were extensive developmental problems with snychronized machine guns, new engines of increased HP, and other equipment that severly limited the design and implementation of new aircraft. There were also manufacturing problems that affected the designs of new aircraft and limited the mass production of new aircraft. Also, a good book on this topic would have explained what the designers learned from past designs and why the aircraft evolved the way they did during the war. Very little of this desired material on the origin and development of fighter aircraft is actually touched upon in the book. So, on these topics, I would give the book only three stars. So, considering the good aspects of the book and material that should have been provided but that was missing, I give the book a composite rating of four stars.
Der Bat
The title IS just a little misleading - it's the story of WWI fighter aircraft, a tale that (to be frank) has been told a few times now: and not (as i had hoped) an in-depth study of the development of the very first fighters (say, up to early 1916, by which time the basic form that the fighter was to take well into the 1930s was already pretty much fixed.) Jon IS indeed a knowledgeable bloke, and tells a good tale - but there is little here that is startlingly new.

EXCEPT that no, Albert Ball wasn't solely responsible for the removal of the "semi-enclosures" from the first operational S.E.5s. NOBODY liked them, and they would have been quickly removed anyway. And the seats were lowered in the fuselage because when they took the enclosures off it left the pilot totally unprotected in the "breeze". Folland seems to have had a thing about enclosed cockpits - he also designed one for the S.E.4 (a complete "bubble" canopy!) - but he was twenty years or so ahead of his time; pilots simply refused to fly with them in place. For that matter, the idea that the S.E.5 would necessarily have been much worse with the pilot's view over the top wing as the designer intended, and with a feature that was quickly to become universal 20 years or so later, is one people might have got over by now. The fact is that the first S.E.5s went to France in a form that the pilots of No. 56 squadron WOULD fly, and did very well. Which is, after all, what matters.

Apart from that - well written, and essentially an accurate and comprehensive account. Probably best as a "first book" on the subject really though, if you've already got half a dozen other books about WWI fighters there are few if any new in-depth insights, and, as I've hinted, a few retailings of recently invented mythology. A new edition with the latter discreetly expunged, perhaps?
Galubel
I've read many WWI aviation books, and this one had some information I didn't know about. The author also had very recent information on where some of these WWI planes are stored. We will be going to Seattle soon to see some of them.
Arryar
I met Jon briefly at an air show--he seemed like a nice guy who, like me, tends to be a bit intense and jittery. He attempted to sell me this 'Origin of the Fighter Aircraft' book then and there; pressed for time and carrying capacity, I then declined, but when I saw the same book, autographed by the author, at the Udvar Hazy centre a few days later, I accepted this as a sign of fate and bought it.

At the air show, Jon told me three basic things about himself and the book. One, that he's a leading expert on all things WWI aviation-ish, and that even foreign experts seek his advice on matters pertaining to their own countries. No argument there. Two, that this book was in some ways indented for the masses of people who already have a pretty good grasp of, say, WWII fighter technology and tactics to appreciate where it came from. Fair enough; I guess this described me pretty well. Three, that his editor or publisher had claimed that he was able to fit thrice the facts into a given page of a typical author. This also turned out to be true, but perhaps not in the necessarily positive way that Jon had taken the comment.

In the following, please understand that I DO recommend this book and also i do very much appreciate the extreme effort and sacrifice that goes into writing a book like this for what must ultimately be very modest financial reward. So, when reading the following, some of which doubtlessly will be read as corrective, please do not lose sight of the fact that this is indeed a very good book and that Jon is to be highly commended for the effort.

"Fighter Aircraft" covers a pretty ambitious topic in a relatively compact number of pages. Basically, he describes the development and design of fighter aircraft and their operational use during the great war. He does pretty well in sticking to this topic; there is comparably little discussion of various bombers of attack aircraft. Virtually every ace that you've ever heard of gets coverage: Boelcke, Richtoven, Guyenmeyer, Rickenbacker, Mannock, Nungesser, Fonck, and so on and so on. Virtually every fighter type that you've heard of gets coverage. The layout is essentially chronological.

So, what's the problem?

The 'problem' is actually in what I've just described. If somebody already has pretty deep knowledge of WWI aircraft, then I can't imagine that a a few pages on, say, Nungesser will teach him/her all that much new [and/or can find more specifics from Guttman and others in the Osprey-type books that deal with aircraft and aces]. However, for those of us for whom the topic is more distant, there is simply too much information presented in too unstructured and ungrounded a way to get nearly as much out of as we should. In short, while this book *IS* worth reading and buying insofar as I can see it's to date one of the best books on the topic, Guttman should also, perhaps in a few years, make a new volume that better considers his audience and his goals.

In short, for somebody like me, he could have taught a lot more by saying a lot less--page after page of dogfights and famous aces blend into another and the reader is quickly overwhelmed. The chapters should have been more organized and the reader should have gotten some better sense of where each chapter was going. With each chapter I felt that I had entered into a jungle, and when I had finished it, I was not always quite sure where I had been, much less what was coming up next. Maybe I'm just not very quick on the uptake, but here are a few things that, at least for me, atop of more overall structure, would have helped:

1. less detail, more analysis. Leave the detail for the osprey type books and the sorts of people who obsess about trying to divine cowling colours from black and white photos. Or, to put it another way, tell us a nice story and then why it's important. Certainly something like the development of the oxygen mask (which I understand happened during the period) would have been more useful than "pilot X whose name i shall forget in two pages was over french town Y which i've vaguely heard of and claimed to shoot down a pair of Zs."

2. Fewer aces, more ordinary guys. I got some feel for Boelcke for the reasons that he was quite important, and, crucially, appeared earlier on in history/the book; most of the others blended into one another pretty quickly. Clearly, the famous aces were a major part of the WWI story. But I would have liked to have learned a little bit more about the ordinary pilots who contributed to the kill tallies of the aces so convincingly. To this day I have trouble fully understanding why an infantryman would go over the top at Gallipoli or Ypres. However, in their case, since I have worked with bright but simultaneously trusting and loyal peasant-class people in rural areas of the world i think I have at least some inkling of the overall mentality. However, with the airmen, it was surely different.

3. Widen the ken beyond fighters a bit. The book describes various "LVG"s being shot down at about the same rate as one eats crisps (potato chips). Who were those people who flew those things and to what end other than to serve as targets? What was the overall effect of fighters on the war (this is covered a bit in the final chapters)? What was their range? What did infantrymen and generals think of them? You claimed that some balloon-busting ace was done in by the ballooners packing a gondola with TNT. Really? I don't doubt you, but, well, to somebody like me who knows little about the topic but has seen the speeds and altitudes that even WW1 aircraft fly (roughly equivalent to today's single-engine Cessnas), this seems a bit absurd.

4. Drawings of the aircraft. inasmuch as this was a technical history of fighter development, line drawings of various aircraft and their components would have been invaluable.

I guess what would be absolutely ideal, if a bit ambitious, were a 300-page or so hardcover book similar to Volume 1 of the WAPJ "Aerospace Encyclopedia of Air Warfare" but that dealt only with WW1 (as it is, that work has a very credible overview of the WWI air war, but it can be greatly expanded upon). This format lends itself to both technical descriptions and ace vignettes, personal stories and sweeping overviews. I recognize that such a book is beyond what a single author can probably do, but perhaps since Osprey and the like already have such a trove of photos and artwork, something can be worked out? For a numbskull like me, actually seeing more illustrations, more tables, and more charts would really help illuminate the whole thing.

That said, within the format of a standard book with words and a few b/w photographs, this is very good. Recommended.