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Franks, Norman, Russell Guest & Frank Bailey, Bloody April 1917: An Exciting Detailed Analysis of One of the Deadliest Months in WWI . NEW copy, Trade paperback. (Grub Street Publishing, 2017). Illustrated throughout. 192 pages.
~~~ Even those people who know little of WWI's air war will have heard of Bloody April. After more than eighteen months of deadly stalemate on the Western Front, by April 1917 the British and French were again about to launch yet another land offensive, this time on the Arras Front. This would be the first opportunity to launch a major offensive since the winter and would require enormous support from the Royal Flying Corps and French Air Force in, hopefully, improved weather. However, the air offensive was to be countered fiercely by the new German Jagstaffeln - Jastas - that had been the brainchild of Oswald Boelcke in 1916. By the spring of 1917, the first Jasta pilots, with new improved fighters - the nimble Albatros DIIIs - were just itching to get to grips with their opponents over the Western Front. What followed was a near massacre of British and French aircraft and crews, which made April the worst month for flying casualties the war had yet seen. Here is a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of these losses, profusely illustrated with original photographs and expertly told.


Hart, Peter, BLOODY APRIL: Slaughter in the Skies over Arras, 1917 . NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Orion Publishing, 2005). Illustrated. 384 pages.
~~~ As the Allies embarked upon the Battle of Arras, they desperately needed air support from the Royal Flying Corps. But by this point the RFC were flying obsolete planes. The new German Albatros scouts massively outclassed them in every respect: speed, armament, ability to withstand punishment and maneuverability.
~~~ Many of the RFC's pilots were straight out of flying school - as they took to the air they were sitting targets for the experienced German aces. Over the course of 'Bloody April' the RFC suffered casualties of over a third.
~~~ The average life expectancy of a new subaltern on the front line dropped to just eleven days. And yet they carried on flying, day after day, in the knowledge that, in the eyes of their commanders at least, their own lives meant nothing compared to the tens of thousands of soldiers on the ground who were being lost daily.
~~~ In this book Peter Hart tells the story of the air war over Arras, using the voices of the men who were actually there. His research has uncovered a vast amount of previously unpublished information, some of which is controversial: for example, were some of the British aces being completely truthful about their fabulous victories?


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Grace, Dick, SQUADRON OF DEATH: True Adventures of a Movie Plane-Crasher. VG/G. Jacket fairly battered, with numerous tape repairs, color flaked off along hinges, price-clipped, chipped on spine-ends, but about 95% present and colors still bright. Book itself is bright & sound. Previous owner's signature on end-page.. (Sun Dial Press., 1937). Illustrated end-pages. frontispiece, photos, 304 pages.

~~~ Author flew with the Northern Bombing Group near Dunkirk during the war, and in later in Italy, but the Armistice came before he saw any real action. After the war he took up barn-storming, made his way by chance to Hollywood, and he hired on as a stunt pilot, crashing planes professionally in such WWI movies as "Wings", "Lilac Time" and "The Flying Circus".


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Hastings, H.D. & Paul Parker, Jr, WAR PLANES IN BATTLE DRESS. The authors have meticulously researched the exact markings of eight different WWI aircraft and render them in beautiful color plates with accompanying photographs and text. Each plate gives top, bottom & side view. Authors' research in many cases included interviews with the actual pilots & mechanics of the specific planes.


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Fitch, Willie S., WINGS IN THE NIGHT: Flying the Caproni Bomber in World War I. NEW copy, hardcover issued without dust jacket. (Nashville: Battery Press, 1989). Reprint of original 1938 edition. 36 photographs, 302 pages.
~~~ Fitch ws one of the 406 U.S. air cadets who graduated from the Italian primary flying school at Foggia during WW I. Assigned to the 14th Gruppo Aeroplani, Squadriglia 10, he flew the giant Caproni bomber against the Austrians, including the famous Pola Naval Base raid. This is an excellent account of America's first experience with heavy bombers and the role played by Fiorello LaGuardia as commander of U S aviation
in Italy during the war.


Gentilli, Roberto, Antonio Iozzi & Paulo Varriale, ITALIAN ACES OF WORLD WAR I AND THEIR AIRCRAFT. NEW copy, hardcovers. 9x12. (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing). Over 500 b&w photographs and color aircraft profiles, 496 pages.
~~~ For the first time, a detailed history of a little known aspect of the Great War in the air: the forty-two Italian aces. From legendary personalities such as Francesco Baracca and Scaroni to completely forgotten aces, each biography details their personalities, and their combat careers during and after the war. Charts report all their victories, with careful cross-referencing to Austrian and German losses. An introduction puts the air war on the Italian front in perspective, showing the development and actions of the Italian air force including many orders of battle, and brief histories of all fighter squadrons. Over 500 previously unpublished photographs from private sources, as well as twenty-four pages of color profiles of Nieuports, Spads, Hanriots and Macchis provide a stunning visual complement for the historian and modeler.


Jane, Fred T., JANE'S FIGHTING AIRCRAFT OF WORLD WAR I: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia with More than 1000 Illustrations. VG/VG. Small remainder dot to top edge of pages. (NY: Military Press, 1990). Book & jacket in very nice condition, with jacket in mylar. Originally published by Jane's in 1919. Forward by John W.R. Taylor. Lavishly illustrated throughout with numerous photographs, tables & diagrams on nearly every page. Planes arranged by nationality, with 75 pages given over to photographs, diagrams & detailed description of aircraft engines (arranged by manufacturer). 320 pp.
~~~ To provide readers with a more comprehensive record of the aircraft that fought aviation's first great war, the compiler of "Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War I" has supplemented the 1919 material by extracting entries on significant military aircraft from the 1914, 1916, 1917 & 1918 editions (there was none in 1915) ... It has to be remembered that in wartime it is seldom possible to describe in full detail the structures, dimensions, weights, performance and armament of contemporary aircraft built by manufacturers on one's side. Even the 1919 edition of All the World's Aircraft was compiled partly during the stilll-desperate closing months of the conflict, with some updating after it ended. So, the descriptions of individual aircraft in this book are, for the most part, based on reports and studies of German aircraft that had been captured (often in a damaged state) by the Allies, and vice versa. They are of considerable historical interest and, although they could not include all the facts and figures that became available later, they provide some of the most detailed descriptions of important aircraft that have ever appeared in any reference book.
~~~ Originally published at $80, now Out of Print.


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Libby, Frederick, HORSES DON'T FLY: A Memoir of World War I. NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Arcade Publishing, 2000). 274 pages.
~~~ From breaking wild horses in Colorado to fighting the Red Baron's squadrons in the skies over France, here in his own words is the true story of a forgotten American hero: the cowboy who became our first ace and the first pilot to fly the American colors over enemy lines. Growing up on a ranch in Sterling, Colorado, Frederick Libby mastered the cowboy arts of roping, punching cattle, and taming horses. Once he even roped an antelope. As a young man he exercised his skills in the mountains and on the ranges of Arizona and New Mexico as well as the Colorado prairie. When World War I broke out, he found himself in Calgary, Alberta, and joined the Canadian army. In France, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an "observer," the gunner in a two-person biplane. Libby shot down an enemy plane on his first day in battle over the Somme, which was also the first day he flew in a plane or fired a machine gun. He went on to become a pilot. He fought against the legendary German aces Oswald Boelcke and Manfred von Richthofen. He became the first American to down five enemy planes and won the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action. When the United States entered the war, he became the first person to fly the American colors over German lines. Libby achieved the rank of captain before he transferred back to the United States at the behest of another aviation legend, then-colonel Billy Mitchell.
~~~ Written in 1961 and never before published, Horses Don't Fly is a rare piece of Americana. Libby's memoir of his cowboy days in the last years of the Old West will remind readers of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy--- but it's the real thing. His description of World War I combines a rattling good account of the air war over France with captivating and sometimes poignant depictions of wartime London, the sorrow for friends lost in combat, and the courage and camaraderie of the Royal Flying Corps. Told in a modest, self-deprecating, and often humorous voice in a pure American vernacular, Horses Don't Fly is, as Winston Groom notes in his introduction, "not only an important piece of previously unpublished history [but] a gripping and uplifting story to read".


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Riaboff, Alexander (Von Hardesty, editor), GATCHINA DAYS: Reminiscences of a Russian Pilot. . NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986). Maps on end pages, numerous photographs throughout, bibliography, 183 pages.

~~ "Riaboff completed this slim memoir in 1980, six decades after the events he describes. Perhaps this time lapse explains the rather dry, detached style and the general lack of immediacy. Yet he has many first-hand observations to offer concerning the perils of early aviation
, his adventures in the Red Air Fleet soon after the Russian Revolution, and his subsequent defection to the counterrevolutionary Whites. The volume concludes with his arrival on American soil in 1923. Numerous photographs complement the text. The editor's notes and commentary provide coherence and continuity." Library Journal.



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