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    Posted: 27 Apr 2011 at 14:30

CAVALRY OF THE CLOUDS: Air War over Europe 1914-1918

John Sweetman

Spellmount,The Mill, Brimscombe Port,
Stroud, GL5 2QG.
224pp, 175×254mm, hardback.

ISBN 978-0-7524-5503-7, £20.00


The title is from a fatuous remark of Lloyd George›s in 1917 and this book is a romp through the war period. I started by thinking it was another ‘rather sleep in a bed than sit in a flooded lousy trench, so I applied to join the RFC’ book, but it is better than that. It mainly consists of correspondence from the famous (Ball, Richthofen, McCudden and others) and comparatively unknown (like the splendidly named Capt Orlando Beater), fleshed out with official records and documents. It is well illustrated with many photographs previously unknown to me from the collection of film director Peter Jackson. I enjoyed this light overview of the air war. There are quite a lot of interesting statistics – a quarter of the Alllied pilots on the Western Front were at one time Canadians – although in general the book is written with a broad but entertaining brush.

GM Volume 42 Number 1
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