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AndyK View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 Oct 2010 at 19:30
WAR OVER THE TRENCHESWAR OVER THE TRENCHES: Air Power and the Western Front Campaigns 1916-1918

E R Hooton

Midland Publishing, an imprint of Ian Allan Publishing Ltd, Hersham, KT12 4RG

352 pp, 150×230 mm hardback

ISBN 978-0-7110-3415-0, £22.50

It is no exaggeration to say that this book’s 352 pages are crammed with more facts and figures about the air (and ground) war than could be thought possible. It truly is a mine of information. From his research in the various sources available to the twentieth century historian in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and the USA, Mr Hooton has produced a masterpiece.

He writes of the opposing air and ground forces without bias and discusses their strengths and weaknesses with candour. In the process he provides a mass of detailed information of the way in which they operated and were led and the personalities involved.

 Essentially, this is a reference book and its immense value lays in its detail as it provides an almost day-to-day account of the air war. It is not a book that can comfortably be read from cover to cover without a break – there are too many facts and figures per page to make that comfortable. Similarly it is not easy to dip into, as the mass of information provided could confuse unless one knows exactly where one has stopped reading.

In addition to the Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms there are nine maps and a graphic depiction of the Inner and Outer Battle Areas of the Western Front. Dispersed throughout the book are ‘more than sixty tables’ providing vital facts and figures. The photographic section has 36 photographs of aircraft and personalities. Of the book’s 352 pages the last section comprises 32 pages of Notes and Sources (footnotes), 13 pages of Bibliography, 10 of Reference Sources, 20 of General Index and 5 of Personnel Index.

I fully appreciate the need to use abbreviations and acronyms but found the mass of them in the text confusing and wished that I had kept a copy of the three page ‘Glossary’ defining them by my side as I read. I was puzzled by the fact that while the author uses italics for German language words he does not do so for French.

But these are comments rather than criticisms. This is an excellent book and essential reading for anybody seriously interested in the war over and in the trenches (and back areas) of the Western Front. I strongly recommend it to you.                                                                                                           PSL

Click on the cover to buy from Amazon!

Edited by AndyK - 13 Oct 2010 at 22:26
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