ISBN 10: 1781553920 / ISBN 13: 9781781553923
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Inhaltsangabe: In this radical reappraisal, Greg Baughen has used archive material to build up an intriguingly different picture of how air power developed in Britain before and during the First World War. Gone are the archetypal conservative army commanders stubbornly refusing to accept the new aerial weapon. Instead, Baughen reveals how even before the outbreak of war, the British Army had appreciated the potential of the airplane and describes in detail how during the war, air support evolved to a level of efficiency that would not be attained again by the RAF until the closing stages of the Second World War. The speed with which military aviation developed led to designs for warplanes that would leave a fateful and lasting legacy. The author also explains how social and political factors distorted air strategy, leading to a rival strategic bombing policy. Baughen reveals the fundamental flaws that emerged and questions the thinking behind the creation of an independent RAF. Blueprint for Victory: Britain’s First World War Blitzkrieg Air Force details the fierce battles as the rival factions fought for control. Many crucial lessons were learned. Little more than twenty years later, they would be applied with ruthless efficiency by the Luftwaffe.

From the Author: When I started my research, I did not think it would lead me to writing a book about the First World War. My main interest as a youngster was always the Second World War. Like many kids, I liked building construction kits, but it was Spitfires and Heinkels that were hanging from my bedroom ceiling, not Camels and Gothas. First World War biplanes involved all those fiddly struts. Building them required far too much patience. The slightest misjudgement and the plane would fall apart in your hands. Spitfires were much more solid. As I became more interested in the tactics and strategies behind the planes, the books I read were about Spitfires tangling with Messerschmitts. These were real aircraft. What could those contraptions of the First World War possibly teach us about how air power should be used? However, as my research continued and I dug deeper into the archives, I discovered those frail looking biplanes could teach us a lot. Of course, they only looked frail. In reality, they were tough warplanes. It seemed to me that the air strategists and historians of later years were just mirroring my own preconceptions. First World War planes were always portrayed as flimsy contraptions, always 'held together' by some unsuitable material. Trivializing the technology made it easier to ignore the lessons but they were lessons that would stand the test of time. How should the military use aeroplanes? Would weapons of mass destruction decide future wars? Were armies fighting conventional battles still relevant? The First World War provided the answers - for those who were willing to accept them. What was meant to be a brief introductory preamble turned into a full-scale book. The air warfare of 1914-18 was important. I had been converted and like many converts, I am very keen to spread the message.

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