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Books > History > 1909166049
  1. No Parachute: A Classic Account of War in the Air in WWI
    No Parachute: A Classic Account of War in the Air in WWI
    No Parachute: A Classic Account of War in the Air in WWI
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  2. No Parachute: A Classic Account of War in the Air in WWI

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (59 reviews)
    Price R530.00

Additional Information

From the young airmen who took their frail machines high above the trenches of World War I and fought their foes in single combat there emerged a renowned company of brilliant aces - among them Ball, Bishop, McCuddon, Collishaw and Mannock - whose legendary feats have echoed down half a century. But behind the elite there were, in the Royal Flying Corps, many hundreds of other airmen who flew their hazardous daily sorties in outdated planes without ever achieving fame. Here is the story of one of these unknown flyers - a story based on letters written on the day, hot on the event, which tells of a young pilot's progress from fledgling to seasoned fighter. His descriptions of air fighting, sometimes against the Richtofen Circus, of breathless dog-fights between Sopwith Pup and Albatros, are among the most vivid and immediate to come out of World War I. Gould Lee brilliantly conveys the immediacy of air war, the thrills and the terror, in this honest and timeless acount.Rising to the rank of air vice-marshal, Gould Lee never forgot the RFC's needless sacrifices - and in a trio of trenchant appendices he examines, with the mature judgement of a senior officer of the RAF and a graduate of the Staff and Imperial Defence Colleges, the failure of the Army High Command to provide both efficient aeroplanes until mid-1917 and parachutes throughout the war, and General Trenchard's persistence in a costly and largely ineffective conception of the air offensive.

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Arthur Gould Lee
First Edition
Grub Street
Grub Street Publishing
Grub Street Publishing
Grub Street Publishing
Grub Street Publishing
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

To read the words of a pilot who actually flew Sopwith Camels and other planes in combat is a rare and gratifying experience for history buffs and anyone interested in the evolution of flight. This, combined with the author's reflections on the politics and prejudices of the time, and their effects on morale and tactics, contributes to a valuable literary resource. With a laptop at my side to view pictures of the mentioned planes, and GoogleEarth to follow Lee around France (and to even see the exact farm fields where he crash landed), I found this book irresistible. Few WW1 pilots survived more than a few weeks, which makes Lee's writing all the more valuable.
This book isn't for everyone, but I happen to have been lucky enough to fly fighters for 20 years. With my background I was still awe struck with the tenacity and courage portrayed in this book. The pilots flew open cockpit airplanes at 20,000 feet. They pressed to within a hundred feet to make a kill in a dog fight. They delivered ordinance at 100 ft above the ground while facing all forms of enemy fire. The book also provides insights as to the command thinking during World War I. I found it a very interesting read by an author who was in the cockpit.
Written in the form of letters back home, its more complete and more descriptive than most of the memoirs written well after the fact. It is a very good account of an airman's life for the time period covered. Also, the prologue and appendices are excellent and go a very long way towards explaining why Britain did not provide the RFC with competitive fighter planes for so long and why they never provided parachutes.
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