Read No Empty Chairs: The Short and Heroic Lives of the Young Aviators Who Fought and Died in the First World War by Ian Mackersey Online

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In the spring of 1917, when the world's first great air war was at its height, the British squadrons were losing 200 pilots a month, and British pilot life expectancy was eleven days. The aeroplanes the pilots flew were rudimentary open-cockpit biplanes, with a single machine bolted to the wood and fabric wing intended for shooting down the equally frail German planes. ThiIn the spring of 1917, when the world's first great air war was at its height, the British squadrons were losing 200 pilots a month, and British pilot life expectancy was eleven days. The aeroplanes the pilots flew were rudimentary open-cockpit biplanes, with a single machine bolted to the wood and fabric wing intended for shooting down the equally frail German planes. This book tells the story of that first great air war, illustrating its devastating emotional impact on the participants and their families in a narrative enriched by the private correspondence that flowed between them, and diaries, reports and interviews. The aerial combat tactics that the sacrifices of those First World War aviators created became so tactically effective that they were used to deadly effect in the Second World War....

Title : No Empty Chairs: The Short and Heroic Lives of the Young Aviators Who Fought and Died in the First World War
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ISBN : 9780297859949
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 374 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

No Empty Chairs: The Short and Heroic Lives of the Young Aviators Who Fought and Died in the First World War Reviews

  • E.M. Powell
    2019-01-27 18:50

    WWI aviation is not a historical topic with which I am overly familiar but I was riveted by Mackersey’s account from the first page. On the technical side, he makes his in-depth knowledge and meticulous research accessible to the non-expert. The book includes numerous powerful photographs, showing this new technology in action, in addition to the men who flew it.Mackersey’s exploration of what they went through is as unflinching as it is compassionate. The popular, romanticised depiction of the flying ace is a great untruth, an untruth which the author deftly exposes. Over two-thirds of all pilots and observers died in training accidents at flying schools. If they did survive, these terrified, traumatised young men took off daily to face frightening battles in the air. Death was usually to go down in flames, the ‘flamerinoes’, which survivors repeatedly witnessed. But they had to climb back into their planes and face it again the next day. Most only survived a number of weeks. Mackersey digs deep into the associated psychological trauma suffered by those who flew. He presents their hell in their own words, with their diaries and letters home. We recognise today the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, with accounts of men crying, stuttering, having nightmares, undergoing dramatic mood changes and drinking too much. Even Germany’s infamous Red Baron, Manfred Von Richthofen, was probably affected. No-one can give these men back their lives. But Mackersey’s thoughtful, engaging book serves as a noble tribute. Highly recommended. Note- I wrote this review for the Historical Novel Society and it has appeared in edited form in their journal, Historical Novels Review.(Aug 12)

  • John Adams
    2019-01-21 19:46

    Very good combination of detail and wider context