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Aces High: The War in the Air over the Western Front 1914-18 (Bloomsbury Reader) by [Clark, Alan]
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Aces High: The War in the Air over the Western Front 1914-18 (Bloomsbury Reader) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Aces High serves to remind us that, if not an entirely scrupulous politician, nor a perfect husband, Alan Clark really was a superb military historian. There has evolved something of a myth about the war in the air between 1914-1918. The myth goes that, while in the filth and gore of the trenches below, any idealism and chivalry quickly sputtered and died in the purer air above; the last noble heroes battled with each in one-to-one dogfights like knights of old. It is a myth that Clark shoots down in flames, with characteristic iconoclasm. One of the great RFC aces was Mick Mannock, famed for his encounter with a training instructor, out in a formation of six with five of his very green-horned pupils. Mannock first shot down the instructor and then ruthlessly pursued each of the novices and shot them down one by one. This wasn't chivalry, it was war, and although more elegant to watch, it was every bit as lethal as Passchendaele. The book is also superbly illustrated; there is a photograph of another ace, Albert Ball, who died at the age of 20. Here he is in black and white, looking like Rupert Brooke, only more handsome, clean- shaven, eager, boyish ... and quietly murderous. It is an image both troubling and unforgettable--much like the book. --Christopher Hart

Book Description

A highly illustrated and compelling account of the war in the air over the Western Front in the First World War by the distinguished military historian and politician, Alan Clark.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4817 KB
  • Print Length: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader; 1 edition (28 Sept. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005O7QCQ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #205,016 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As well as a great diarist the late Alan Clark was a very good popular historian. Aces High was a slight departure for him in that field - a large format work covering the air war in WW1. With a less dense, but still highly informative, text his characteristic waspishness surfaces more often that in his WW2 histories. His choice of illustrations is first rate combining contemprary photographs with diagrammatic illustrations and the ubiquitous Michael Turner paintings. What always impresses about Clark as a military historian is his lack of peevishness about the purpose of war, death, and his genuine fascination with the tools man has created to serve that purpose. You also get a great sense of Clark's admiration for the flyers of WW1 who in their chivalry, sadism and handsomely tailored uniforms resemble very much the author himself. You can see why their story has brought out the best in his writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK, Mr Clarke was an historian as well as a politician and inveterate womaniser and snob - this is in the public domain. However, the only books of his I have previously read, namely his Diaries, have been written with a wicked sense of humour.

This book is fairly factual, by no means badly written but by no means gripping. It covers its subject well and might be essential reading for a WW1 historian but does not give much in the way of interest other than the strictly academic. We all aready knew the shockingly low life expectancy of a pilot in WW1 and this book goes some way to explaining why. The description of how advances in technology helped one side to maintain superiority until their enemy made an even greater step towards perfecting the aeroplane and regained the lead is important in the relatively short history of aerial warfare.

Do not expect it to be remotely similar to the motion picture of the same name.

On the plus side it has made me buy The Donkeys by the same author which I expect to be much more provocative. If you are still interested, buy it. If you were expecting a "Battle of Britain" type narrative don't.
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Format: Hardcover
Alan Clark's "Aces High" is a superb introduction to the airwar over the Western Front during WWI. The text is wonderful, giving a great overview of the whole conflict, and also being packed with quotes, anecdotes and useful facts. It is also chock-a-block full of fantastic photographs, coloured profiles of some of the famous aircraft, and some great paintings by Michael Turner of duelling aircraft.
This is a simply excellent book which is informative, beautifully illustrated, and gives a great overview of the coming of age of the fighter ace over the course of the Great War. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Alan Clark was as celebrated a military historian as he was notorious as a politician. Aces High is relatively minor Clark, but it provides an excellent overview of the evolution of the fighter ace, accompanied by excellent drawings and photographs.
Concise, elegiac, beautifully-presented, this is a compelling work of history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Quickly delivered by Kindle. Here is everything, set out well, about initial Air combats - and indeed the growth of the plane, in the First World War. The author airs his grievances against the Establishment conducting the War, quite rightly so, but does them little credit for seeing that this killing machine (used by those silly connoisseurs who flew them, still observing the 'old boy' rules - but killing or maiming nevertheless) was, even though representing the future, nothing but a method to kill then win, adopted by the enemy (then us) of the most brutal kind. Well worth reading to see how things in the air developed from the word 'go' - only a short time before this killing spree. Nicely written and well worth reading.
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By Henk Beentje TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
I bought this after I had read Clark's Barbarossa - this is entirely different, but this old edition (Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1973, rather than the new Cassell) is a lovely book to own. Full of very well-reproduced WW1 black and white photos, plus sixteen full-page Endsleigh Castle and Goulding diagrams of the more important 'planes, reproduced from those lovely Profiles (but in b/w, not colour); plus Clark's well-researched and well-written text. This is arranged chronologically from the early days to the killing Time of 1917 and the end in '18; each part with an introduction about new types and strategies, followed by chapters on machines, tactics, aces, squadrons and death. Very nicely written, bringing the extasy and the horror, and full of quotes and diary extracts. Four-and-a-half stars, really!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anybody that has any interest in the flying during the first world war. All aspects are covered with some very interesting details. I would have have given a even higher rating, but the latest theory is that the red baron was shot down by some Australian machine gunners on the ground,not Captain Brown.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting book on the first world war tactics and aeroplanes. Most of what is in the book can be read in many others in more detail. However Alan Clark writes in a very informative and refreshing way and includes several anecdotes that I had not heard before. He covers the war from both sides and it is a pity that he did not cover the whole subject in more debth. However I found it an interesting read.
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