A nail-bitingly exciting narrative, this is the history of a specialist RFC Scout squadron formed in in 1916. which served above the western front in the battles of the Somme, Arras, third Ypres (Passchendaele) and the German offensives in March 1918, when it became Sixty Squadron of the new RAF. Although there is a full discussion of technical problems, a glossary of technical terms and a guide to the aircraft with which the Squadron was equipped, the main aim of the book is telling the thrilling story of air combat against the formidable German enemy. As Lord Hugh Cecil writes in his vivid Preface: ‘Many people feel apprehensive at flying at all….but to fly and fight, to sit alone in an aeroplane thousands of feet above the ground, to catch sight of an enemy, to go to attack him, flying faster than an express train moves, to venture near as may be dared, knowing that the slightest collision will cast both helpless to the ground, to dodge and dive and turn and spin, to hide in clouds or in the dazzle of the sun, to fire a machine gun while not losing mastery of the control and rudder of one’s own aeroplane, to notice the enemy’s bullets striking here and there on one’s machine, and know that if a bullet hits the engine it means either death or a precarious landing and captivity, and if a bullet hits the petrol tank it means being burned alive in the air, and yet to fight on and, escaping, to go forth afresh next day – surely to read of this is to realise with new and penetrating force the stupendous measure of what human skill can do and human courage dare’. Illustrated with 21 photographs and pictures; and two maps, and accompanied by two appendices listing officers who served in the squadron and their fates, this is a book that no-one remotely interested in the Great War in the air will want to be without.
SIXTY SQUADRON RAF: A History of the Squadron in the Great War From its Formation
Scout squadron on the Western Front, excellent history with officers’ rolls and casualties, and many unfamiliar illustrations.