74th Review- Recollections of the Great War In The Air- James McConnel

  • Recollections of the Great War In The Air

    James McConnel
    Pen & Sword Books
    2013
    English
    X X X X X
    96 pg.
    9781781592441
    Review written by: Joris Gonggrijp

    A hundred years after the outbreak of the Great War the market is being flooded with re-editions of books. Books appear and reappear, based on old letters and diaries, on par with newspaper articles and several broadcastings on the same subject. Comparing ‘One bridge to far’ to what happened back then is beyond imagination. If […]

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    Recollections of the great war in the air

    A hundred years after the outbreak of the Great War the market is being flooded with re-editions of books. Books appear and reappear, based on old letters and diaries, on par with newspaper articles and several broadcastings on the same subject. Comparing ‘One bridge to far’ to what happened back then is beyond imagination. If only we remember the suffering on both sides.

    We had a visit of a young couple from Down Under lately. First thing they did was visiting the poppy fields of Flanders, to pay their respect to great-granddad, whose remains must be still there. Memories of the battlefields in WW-1 are strong, even now they are told from father to son.

    This little book tells the story of a young American who served the Lafayette Escadrille, part of the French Air forces. Young American pilots volunteered the French Air Force to fight against Germans. The book shows great detail about gear and aviation technics of both sides which, up to now, I have not read in any book before. For example, the Jerries used ammunition mounted with explosive heads. According to the allied forces this was an act of war crime. Once hit on a plane, there was no way to escape death. This is why, if they could get hand of a German pilot, extra-judicial executions was often his fate.

    One tale of the Lafayette Escadrille tells the story of a captured German ‘Flieger’ who could only save his life when revealing German army positions. He opted to die stating that he would rather give his life instead, to save the lives of so many of his comrades. The unexpected outcome is that the French took him for a drink out of respect.

    What possibly saved the guy also is that he spoke the French language fluently. This and other strange stories make the book readable. If not for this reason it would probably sell a dime a dozen.


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