Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Dog-Fight: Aerial Tactics of the Aces of World War I

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

Dog-Fight: Aerial Tactics of the Aces of World War I

Article excerpt

Dog-Fight: Aerial Tactics of the Aces of World War I by Norman Franks. Stackpole Books (http:// www.stackpolebooks.com/cgi-bin/Stackpole Books.storefront), 5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17055-6921, 2003, 288 pages, $34.95 (hardcover).

According to Norman Franks, Dog-Fight "is the story of the development of aerial warfare in 1914-18" (p. 7). He traces the technological development of the fighter and its employment in combat, relying heavily on a chronological presentation of vignettes about famous aces and their machines. Many of these depictions include lengthy quotations by the aces themselves. The book is also richly illustrated with photographs of the pilots and their airplanes, as well as several informative diagrams of formations and maneuvers. Focusing on the western front, Franks writes mostly about the British and their German opponents. He makes occasional references to the French Air Service and its most famous aces, but these are only tangential to the British-German story line and its organizational focus on the Jastas and Gircuses. For example, the book makes no mention of the Cigognes (Storks), the elite French fighter group, until near the end (p. 238) and does not discuss the French Air Division, the largest combat-aviation organization of any of the World War I principals, at all. …

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