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German Air Forces 1914-18 (Elite) [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Ian Sumner , Graham Sumner
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: £11.50
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Book Description

14 Nov 2005 Elite
This book offers a concise study of the unit organization and uniforms of the legendary first generation of German pilots (such as Immelmann, Richthofen and Udet) as they fought above the trenches of the Western Front. The emphasis is on the men, not the aircraft. The author offers a concise account of the organization, missions and development of the different types of units during the war years, with tables of squadrons, aces' scores, and 'Blue Max' winners detailed. Detailed information and depiction of the uniforms worn is provided.

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German Air Forces 1914-18 (Elite) + British Air Forces 1914-18: 2 (Men-at-Arms)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (14 Nov 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184176924X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841769240
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 18.2 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 537,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


.".. a fine little reference... This handy, compact volume offeres a wealth of information on all aspects of the Kaiser's aviation forces. Despite the short length, the coverage is excellent, including observation, recon, bomber, fighter, Zeppelin, balloon, flak, and supporting forces... Especially useful are typical tables of organization and equipment for Jastas, FFAs, Schlastas, and other units... this offering has about 50 [illustrations], mostly good to excellent quality. The detailed index is helpful, rounding out a truly worthwhile offering... four stars." -Barrett Tillman, "Aerodrome"

About the Author

Ian Sumner was born in 1953 in Eccles, near Manchester, UK. He originally trained as a librarian in Newcastle-upon-Tyne but now devotes himself to full-time writing. He has written numerous titles for Osprey and also several books on the history of the East Riding of Yorkshire, where he now lives with his wife.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars German Air Forces 1914 - 1918 18 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book to complement the Osprey aircraft of the aces books. It covers training and selection of pilots as well as the aircraft they used.
It is not an in depth history of the German Air Service, it is far too small for that but it does give plenty of information about the subject and does not concentrate on fighter pilots only, there are interesting accounts of photo recce and ground attack missions. Very good colour plates of uniforms and equipment and a fine selection of photographs.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate 4 Jan 2011
By James D. Crabtree - Published on Amazon.com
This book looks at the organization of the German Air Service during WWI and how it evolved through trial and experience. The Germans, like all the other participants of the war, had little idea of how to employ aircraft but by the time of the Armistice they had reorganized their air organization into units appropriate for their capabilities and recognized many of the principles of air warfare, even if they were not always able to follow those principles (the organization of same-model aircraft into units coming to mind). The Germans also made extensive use of airships and balloons and were among the first to organize their antiaircraft units into the air arm (if not THE first).

A lot of good research went into this book and it tells, especially when it comes to a history of the types of detachments used in the air services at the beginning of the war. Well-illustrated with photographs, tables and original artwork.
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT REFERENCE BOOK TO HAVE! 20 May 2008
By P. A. Panozzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently purchased this book and was amazed at the wealth of information it contained about the German air force of World War One. This book helped me to gain a better perspective on the air force's organization and various branchs within. I have read many books on aircraft and aces from the Osprey series but they do not go into deep detail about training organizations, ground support units, anti-aircraft defence, balloons and other topics like this one does! I now have a better appreciation for the German air force. This volume helps make sense out of the organization the Germans employed during World War One. Like other Osprey titles, it is a concise, handy reference tool and a must have book for any serious World War One aviation collection! A nice companion to this volume would be Richthofen's Circus by Greg VanWyngarden. It shows the accomplishments and aircraft of the famous German fighter wing lead by "The Red Baron" Manfred von Richthofen. 'Richthofen's Circus': Jagdgeschwader Nr 1 (Aviation Elite Units)British Air Forces (1) : 1914-1918 (Men-At-Arms Series, 341) and British Air Forces 1914-18 (2) (Men-at-Arms) may be of interest as a counterpoint!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars you already know the series anyway. 4 Sep 2007
By Douglas E. Libert - Published on Amazon.com
i always wondered why balloons were used for obsevation when by 1917 aircraft were so available,and less vulnerable than a balloon and now i know. ballons were quick to put up and pull down with electric winches and gave a more dimensional picture.No need to wait for a plane to arrive after a call is placed.Also i sometimes confused a balloon with an airship,now that's cleared up too.the pictures and descriptions in this book when describing the high altitude airships,left me with "frost on my nose and chest and glandular congestion."There was a good paragraph about the famous medal "the Blue Max",and how its awarding favored officers over enlisted and may have actually been more of a disruption to troop morale than a boost.The author states although that the germans saw the air force as a tactical and not a strategic force during WW1 and this somewhat hampered them during WW2.Really from my limited knowledge of the "Treaty of Versailles"what hampered the German Air Force in WW2 was the clauses in the treaty that prevented Germany from developing a strategic wing.One clause states specifically"No military aircraft".I am sure that any nation that could develop the types of aircraft that the Germans made during WW1 would surely understand the strategic value of it.In technology a disadvantage of even a year can put a country way behind with only scissors and paste to play"catch-up".This book is an asset to the Osprey Series.
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