Academic journal article Air Power History

Australia and the War in the Air: Volume I-The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War

Academic journal article Air Power History

Australia and the War in the Air: Volume I-The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War

Article excerpt

Australia and the War in the Air: Volume I--The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War. By Michael Molkentin. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015. Photographs. Maps. Charts. Appendices. Bibliography. Notes. Index. Pp.288. $91.00 ISBN: 978-019-557579-5

With 2014 marking the centennial of World War I, a proliferation of new books dealing with the history of the war have emerged on the bookshelves. Within this broad topic, many new works on the war in the air have appeared. Accordingly, separating the wheat from the chaff or, more specifically, those books that stem from primary rather than secondary sources, is an interesting exercise.

Michael Molkentin earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of New South Wales. His specialty is wartime histories of Australia and other British dominions, with a particular interest in aviation and air power. Australia and the War in the Air is a follow-on work to his seminal Fire in the Sky: The Australian Flying Corps in the First World War. This new book is certainly worthy of being held in the highest regard.

The titles of the two books might lead to the misunderstanding that they are one and the same. Be assured they are not. This new work is based on his doctoral thesis and is the first volume in Oxford's Centenary History of Australia and the Great War series. How better to differentiate the two works than this quote from the author to me regarding this question:

Fire in the Sky focused on the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) and the tactical level experiences of individuals and units in the air war. …

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