Cover

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Half Title, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xviii

The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921 is a comprehensive study of the development and significance of airpower in World War I. This history of the rise and decline of military aviation from 1909 to 1921 compares various military, political, technological, industrial, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xix-xx

During many years of research for this book, I have received invaluable assistance from numerous institutions and individuals. I sincerely hope that I have overlooked no one in these acknowledgments. ...

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Chapter One: To 1914

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pp. 1-58

From its origins flight offered the prospect of a new arena of warfare. Within 10 years of the Montgolfier brothers' first ascent in a hot air balloon in 1783, the French Revolutionary army had formed an airship company of captive balloons for observation. In July 1849 Habsburg unmanned balloons launched from ships bombarded Venice, ...

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Chapter Two: Into the Fray, August to December 1914

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pp. 59-88

In August 1914, when European air services answered the call to arms, they had existed for no longer than four years. In their fledgling state, they faced the herculean tasks of evolving daily air operations and mobilizing the aviation industry. Had the war been over in six weeks or six months, as many contemporaries predicted, ...

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Chapter Three: 1915

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pp. 89-130

The shocking and costly initial battles of 1914 and the epic struggles of Verdun and the Somme in 1916 often overshadow 1915. Yet in 1915 the war continued to grow, and the west's siege warfare and the east's seesaw battles continued with no end in sight to the stalemate. New arenas of conflict were added to the Eastern and Western Fronts: ...

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Chapter Four: 1916

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pp. 131-196

In 1916 the three major combatant powers—France, Germany, and Britain—were locked in desperate battles of attrition on the ground and had amassed so many aircraft over the battlefields of Verdun and the Somme that aerial mastery became the crucial issue. In the east General Brusilov's fall and summer offensives were imperial Russia's last major military efforts, ...

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Chapter Five: 1917

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pp. 197-280

The grinding war of attrition continued in 1917, as the combatants mobilized further and fought on. The British, who now bore the brunt of the conflict on the Western Front, pounded away at the Germans. The French army's disastrously abortive attack at the Chemin des Dames in April ended in mutiny, the French troops' refusal to attack, ...

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Chapter Six: 1918

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pp. 281-348

Since the airplane had become the instrument to be used en masse over the battlefield, 1918 promised a continuation of 1917's tremendous development in military aviation and a heightened mobilization of the aviation industry. Although winter weather caused a relative lull in operations, both sides prepared for another year of siege warfare. ...

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Chapter Seven: Aftermath and Conclusion

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pp. 349-378

After four and a half years of titanic struggle, the Great War had ended. The Western Allies stood victorious, if exhausted, and ready to pursue the struggle to complete victory with U.S. forces in 1919 if necessary. The Central Powers were defeated and prostrate, Austria-Hungary disintegrating and Germany threatened with political collapse. ...

Notes

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pp. 379-422

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 423-442

Index

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pp. 443-458

Image Plates

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