Review – The First Great Air War by Richard Townshend Bickers

The First World War has been sliced and diced just about as many ways as it can be, and in some ways I feel like authors need to find a ‘new’ angle to catch my interest. I realise this was published some time ago, but received a copy for review through Netgalley from the publisher.

I recently finished a similar – although much more focussed – book called Fighting the Flying Circus, by Eddie Rickenbacker, which gave an insight into a particular aspect of the air war. This book, by contrast, was much wider in scope, but managed to maintain the personal aspect of the war, bringing it down to earth (no pun intended) by relating personal insights and stories with historical detail, and technical information about the ongoing developments in air power.

I also enjoyed the comparison to events and characters in the Second World War – particularly the Battle of Britain – which I understand the author has also written extensively about. This book brought home to me just how widespread the war in the air was, not just limited to the war over France.

I thought the book was well-paced, informative, and easy to read.

4/5 stars

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