British, French, and German Aircraft. [For Official Use Only].

"The dawn of air combat": Scarce first edition of the August 1916 publication of British, French, and German Aircraft; printed for the use of British military staff in combat in WWI

British, French, and German Aircraft. [For Official Use Only].

ADMIRALTY WAR STAFF, Intelligence Division.


Item Number: 137319

Scarce first edition of this official British Admiralty Intelligence Division publication produced for the use of military staff in the identification of British, French, and German aircraft in the first World War. Oblong octavo, original wrappers, illustrated with numerous photographs of British, French, Belgian, and German aircraft entered in alphabetical order and a chart in color of the distinctive lower wing markings of each, index. Among the photographs of British, French, and German aircraft, aeroplanes, seaplanes, and airships are, notably, the British B.E.2, British De Havilland Fighter, British and French Breguet de Chasse, French Spad, German Ago and Albatross, British Coastal Zeppelin, and German Zeppelin. In very good condition. A scarce piece of WWI military history, documenting the dawn of air combat.

The Admiralty War Staff was instituted on January 8, 1912 by Winston Churchill in his capacity as First Lord of the Admiralty as a division of the wartime Naval Intelligence Department. World War I was the first major conflict to employ the the large-scale use of aircraft carriers in combat with aeroplanes just coming into military use at the outset of the war. Germany employed Zeppelins for reconnaissance over the North Sea and Baltic and also for strategic bombing raids over Britain and the Eastern Front. Pilots and engineers learned from experience, leading to the development of many specialized types, including fighters, bombers, and trench strafers. Ace fighter pilots were portrayed as modern knights, and many became popular heroes. The war also saw the appointment of high-ranking officers to direct the belligerent nations' air war efforts. While the impact of aircraft on the course of the war was mainly tactical rather than strategic, most important being direct cooperation with ground forces (especially ranging and correcting artillery fire), the first steps in the strategic roles of aircraft in future wars were also foreshadowed.

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