British Air Forces: 1914-1918 by Andrew Cormack

By Andrew Cormack

The outbreak of global battle i discovered the British Army's Royal Flying Corps with simply over 2 hundred fragile, unarmed reconnaissance airplane, and a uniformed power of simply over 2,000 all ranks; the Royal Naval Air provider had a few 50 seaplanes. via the Armistice of 1918 the unified Royal Air strength was once the most important on the earth, with approximately 22,650 aeroplanes and 27,330 males working from a few seven-hundred bases. this primary in a two-part examine describes and illustrates, in remarkable element, the uniforms of the RFC and RNAS in 1914-18-20. an in depth and engaging examine.

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Enid Lea, to whom he became engaged before his active service and whom he married after it, was less reticent: the war was ‘awful… awful’. My father, Edward Stevenson, who served in the Second World War, awoke my interest in its predecessor by giving me, when I was fourteen, a copy of A. J. P. Taylor’s The First World War: an Illustrated History. Although in what follows I have qualified Taylor’s interpretations, I remain enormously indebted to him, as well as to the landmark (and recently re-released) BBC television history of The Great War.

The Conservative and the National Liberal Parties (which normally the government could rely on) were losing support, mainly because of the rise of the Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands or SPD), which in the 1912 elections became the strongest in Germany. Despite its anti-capitalist rhetoric the SPD was mostly law-abiding and unrevolutionary, but its leaders did want greater democracy, as did those of the left-liberal Progressive Party. The Centre Party, representing the one-third of Germany’s population who were Catholics, held the balance, but was pulled between left-and right-wing tendencies.

I have deliberately kept the notes to each chapter limited, but they are intended to acknowledge those obligations that it would be invidious to single out here, and to direct the curious towards further reading. Among the other debts I have incurred are those to the Service historique de l’armée at Vincennes, the Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv at Freiburg im Breisgau, the Liddle Hart Centre for Military Archives in King’s College London, the Liddell Collection in Leeds University Library, the manuscripts section of Birmingham University Library, Churchill College Archive Centre, the Public Record Office (now renamed The National Archives), and the Imperial War Museum.

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