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  • Aces Falling

  • War Above the Trenches, 1918
  • By: Peter Hart
  • Narrated by: Roger Davis
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Military
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

How the age of the great WWI aces came to an end in the skies over the Western Front.

At the beginning of 1918, the great aces seemed invincible. Flying above the battlefields of the Western Front, they cut a deadly swathe through the ranks of their enemies, as each side struggled to keep control of the air. Some were little more than boys when they started to fly, yet they were respected and feared as some of the deadliest killers in the sky. But as the press of fighting increased with the great offensives of 1918, nervous stress and physical exhaustion finally began to take their toll - and one by one the aces began to fall.  

This audiobook charts the rise and fall of the WWI aces in the context of the vast battles that were taking place in 1918. It shows the vital importance of reconnaissance, and how large formations of aircraft became the norm - bringing an end to the era of the old, heroic 'lone wolves'. As the First World War came to a close very few of the aces survived. This epic history of the final year of the air war is both a chronicle of the ways in which 1918 changed aerial combat forever, and a requiem for the pioneers of aerial combat who eventually became the victims of their own brilliant innovations.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Peter Hart (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

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utterlu fascinating, enlightening and reccommend

brilliant. ling but never boring and packed with info.
the anecdotes well placed.

narration superb.

in my top ten

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Profile Image for B Taub
  • B Taub
  • 03-03-20

A MUST READ for students of military aviation

This was an amazing book! While it's focus is the air war in 1918, the book starts with background information on how the air war had evolved since the start of World War 1. The author does an amazing job detailing how equipment and tactics had evolved and what had changed by 1918. In the book he follows the war, month by month, and details the role that aviation played as overall strategies and tactics evolved. As a result, you learn not only about the air war, but also how overall military tactics had evolved. While the author didn't draw much attention to it, the astute listener can see how the changes in aviation in 1918 foreshadowed aviation in WW2.

This book, also, isn't just about aces. The author covers them (and how their role had shifted by 1918) but also bombing crew, observation crew, and even the experiences of balloon observers. These are perspectives largely lost in other books. While discussing each mode the author loads the book with first hand accounts so you get the big picture, and the hands-on view.

Finally, the narrator did a great job. I heard few, if any, mispronunciations and he had a clear, engaging style.

In the final analysis, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military aviation and / or those with an interest in WW1.

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  • Nathaniel Bunker
  • 13-11-20

Very interesting

Very interesting book. I learned a lot of this book. I will get more of Peter Hart’s work.

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  • J.Brock
  • 23-03-21

the BEST work on WWI Flying Aces

I can't recommend this book enough. This is the very best of Peter Hart. To say its mesmerizing is an understatement. One rarely realizes the importance of the war in the air in WWI, namely the Aces, and what they actually accomplished, both Allied forces and the Germans. In 1918, the Germans were more-less alone in the fight, as Austro-Hungary was woefully weakened. Germany had its Ace in Manfred von Richthofen, while the Brits had Edward Mannock, Albert Ball, who died in 1917, and James McCudden, to name a few.

The Red Baron would not survive the war. And though few of these men would survive the war, they were instrumental in the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918. This was just the beginning of an institution, that would dominate in WWII and lead the world from that point forward. This book is about the horrors of the war, how impossibly difficult the air war was, and how deadly. It makes the reader marvel at the sacrifices and bravery of the very young men who dominated the skies. All forces are covered, and their journeys are similar. I cannot recommend this book enough. I rewound and rewound to listen again and again to each chapter. I did not want it to ever end. It's that good. Roger Clark encapsulates the book with his narration.