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December 2, 2020 at 11:20 pm #23798Ginny OdomGuest
Legend, Memory and the Great War in the Air
by Dominick A. Pisano, Thomas J. Dietz
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
- Release date: November 1, 1992
- Format: paperback, 144 pages
- Author: Dominick A. Pisano, Thomas J. Dietz
- ISBN: 9780295972169 (0295972165)
- Language: english
About The Book
From the outset, our understanding of aviation in World War I has been tangled in myth and legend. The airplane was not a decisive weapon in the conflict, yet virtually every hero to emerge from the war was involved with aviation. After three-quarters of a century, the image of gallant knights of the air, locked in single combat high above the trenches, still captures the imagination. Legend, Memory and the Great War in the Air, published to document a new permanent gallery of the same name at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, contrasts the romantic myth of gallant combat in the sky with the grim reality faced by the aviators who fought and died during the war. It provides an accurate picture of aviation’s role in the war and examines the interplay between perception and reality in history. From the earliest battles to the final offensive of 1918, military leaders tried to integrate the airplane into their strategy to win the ground war. After aircraft had proved successful as observation platforms at the battles of the Marne and Tannenberg in 1914, the combatants continued to use them to reconnoiter enemy positions before launching attacks, to direct artillery fire, and to attack enemy troops. Aircraft were also used to bomb metropolitan areas in an attempt to destroy public morale. But despite its widespread application, air power was often misused and its effects were inconclusive. Nevertheless, government ministries and the press singled out fighter pilots, the most visible representatives of the air war, as marketable heroes. By the end of World War I, the aces (fighter pilots who had shot down substantial numbers of enemy aircraft) had becomecelebrities, even though their aerial triumphs had little noticeable effect on the course of the ground war. World War I changed the nature of warfare and the world’s social and political order. In the years immediately after the war, policy planners and decision makers made the war’s
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