Guide Royal Flying Corps Handbook 1914-18

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Book Description The History Press, Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory FV More information about this seller Contact this seller. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory B Language: English. Brand new Book. This period was also one of dramatic technological advances, in which both air arms made significant contributions to the development of air interception and strategic bombing.

In the late nineteenth century, both the British Army and the Royal Navy were seriously considering the viability of air support, mainly for reconnaissance and surveillance duties. Two years later, just over a month before the outbreak of the First World War, the Royal Naval Air Service was created as an independent unit. At this stage it was already predicted that battles for supremacy of the air by armed aircraft were only a matter of time.

The Royal Flying Corps explores a wide range of subjects, from aircraft, airships, balloons and motor vehicles to pay, rank, the women's branches, uniforms and even the origins of the RAF's eagle badge. Peter Cooksley's authoritative text is complemented by many previously unpublished photographs, line drawings and maps. Seller Inventory AA Dimension: x x Weight in Grams: Book Description Sutton Publishing, Soft Cover.

Blue finished card covers with blue and white lettering to spine and front. Covers are generally in very good order. Rear lower corner has had a bump, other corners just very slightly so.

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Spine is intact and bright. Textblock is tight, bright and clean. When securely packed this item will weigh in the region of g. The quoted postage for international orders is based on a standard book weight. Where a book is lighter, we will reduce the postage accordingly. If the book is heavier, we will request additional postage.

We make no profit on postal charges. All our books are photographed so you can see what you are buying. ABE may, however, display a stock image whilst processing ours. Royal Flying Corps Handbook Publisher: The History Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis : In the late 19th century, aviation was dismissed by some military personnel as a waste of time.

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  • An unusual mission for the RFC was the delivery of spies behind enemy lines. The first mission took place on the morning of 13 September and was not a success. The plane crashed, the pilot and spy were badly injured and they were both captured two years later the pilot, Captain T. Mulcahy-Morgan escaped and returned to England. Later missions were more successful. In addition to delivering the spies the RFC was also responsible for keeping them supplied with the carrier pigeons that were used to send reports back to base.

    In a Special Duty Flight was formed as part of the Headquarters Wing to handle these and other unusual assignments. The obvious potential for aerial bombardment of the enemy was not lost on the RFC, and despite the poor payload of early war aircraft, bombing missions were undertaken.

    Front line squadrons at the prompting of the more inventive pilots devised several methods of carrying, aiming and dropping bombs. Lieutenant Conran of No 3 Squadron attacked an enemy troop column by dropping hand grenades over the side of his cockpit; the noise of the grenades caused the horses to stampede. At No 6 Squadron, Captain Louis Strange managed to destroy two canvas-covered trucks with home-made petrol bombs. Attacking Courtrai railway station. Strange approached from low level and hit a troop train causing 75 casualties. In October No 41 Wing was formed to attack strategic targets in Germany.

    Four aircraft failed to return. Aircraft were increasingly engaged in ground attack operations as the war wore on, aimed at disrupting enemy forces at or near the front line and during offensives. While formal tactical bombing raids were planned and usually directed at specific targets, ground-attack was usually carried out by individual pilots or small flights against targets of opportunity. Ground attack sorties were carried out at very low altitude and were often highly effective, in spite of the primitive nature of the weaponry involved, compared with later conflicts.

    The moral effect on ground troops subjected to air attack could even be decisive.

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    Such operations became increasingly hazardous for the attacking aircraft, as one hit from small arms fire could bring an aircraft down and troops learned deflection shooting to hit relatively slow moving enemy aeroplanes. During the Battle of Messines in June , Trenchard ordered the British crews to fly low over the lines and strafe all available targets.

    The cost to the RFC was high, with a loss rate of ground attack aircraft approaching 30 percent. In the UK the RFC Home Establishment was not only responsible for training air and ground crews and preparing squadrons to deploy to France, but providing squadrons for home defence, countering the German Zeppelin raids and later Gotha raids. The RFC and the Royal Naval Air Service initially had limited success against the German raids, largely through the problem of locating the attackers and having aircraft of sufficient performance to reach the operating altitude of the German raiders.

    With the bulk of the operational squadrons engaged in France few could be spared for home defence in the UK. Therefore, training squadrons were called on to supply home defence aircraft and aircrews for the duration of the war. Night flying and defence missions were often flown by instructors in aircraft deemed worn-out and often obsolete for front-line service, although the pilots selected as instructors were often among the most experienced in the RFC.

    By December there were 11 RFC home defence squadrons:. As the war moved into the period of the mobile warfare commonly called the Race to the Sea , the Corps moved forward again. On 8 October the RFC arrived in Saint-Omer and a headquarters was established at the aerodrome next to the local race course. Over the next few days the four squadrons arrived and for the next four years Saint-Omer was a focal point for all RFC operations in the field. Although most squadrons only used Saint-Omer as a transit camp before moving on to other locations, the base grew in importance as it increased its logistic support to the RFC.

    Trenchard's time in command was characterised by three priorities. First was his emphasis on support to and co-ordination with ground forces.

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    This support started with reconnaissance and artillery co-ordination and later encompassed tactical low-level bombing of enemy ground forces. While Trenchard did not oppose the strategic bombing of Germany in principle, he opposed moves to divert his forces on to long-range bombing missions as he believed the strategic role to be less important and his resource to be too limited.

    Secondly, he stressed the importance of morale, not only of his own airmen, but more generally the detrimental effect that the presence of an aircraft had upon the morale of opposing ground troops. Finally, Trenchard had an unswerving belief in the importance of offensive action. Although this belief was widely held by senior British commanders, the RFC's offensive posture resulted in the loss of many men and machines and some doubted its effectiveness.

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    Before the Battle of the Somme the RFC mustered aircraft, with 4 kite-balloon squadrons and 14 balloons. These made up four brigades, which worked with the four British armies. By the end of the Somme offensive in November , the RFC had lost aircraft and aircrew killed all causes since July , with tons of bombs dropped and 19, Recce photographs taken.

    As dawned the Allied Air Forces felt the effect of the German Air Force's increasing superiority in both organisation and equipment if not numbers.

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    To support the Battle of Arras beginning on 9 April , the RFC deployed 25 squadrons, totalling aircraft, a third of which were fighters scouts. The German Air Services lost just 66 aircraft from all causes. By the summer of , the introduction of the next generation of technically advanced combat aircraft such as the SE5 , Sopwith Camel and Bristol Fighter ensured losses fell and damage inflicted on the enemy increased. Close support and battlefield co-operation tactics with the British Army were further developed by November , when low-flying fighter aircraft co-operated highly effectively with advancing columns of tanks and infantry during the Battle of Cambrai.

    In the Middle East units had to make do with older, often obsolete equipment before being given more modern aircraft. The German Offensive in March was an all-out effort to win the war before the German economy collapsed from the pressures exerted on it by the Royal Navy's blockade and the strains of war [18] In the weeks following the launch of the attack, RFC crews flew unceasingly, with all types of aircraft bombing and strafing ground forces, often from extremely low level, meantime also bringing back vital reports of the fluid ground fighting.

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    The RFC contributed significantly to slowing the German advance and ensuring the controlled retreat of the Allied Armies did not turn into a rout. The battle reached its peak on 12 April, when the newly formed RAF dropped more bombs, and flew more missions than any other day during the war. The cost to halting the German advance was high however, with over aircrew killed and aircraft lost to enemy action. Pilots were seconded to the RFC from other regiments and could return when they were no longer able to fly but in a separate service this would be impossible.

    The formation of the new service would make underused RNAS resources available for the Western Front, as well as ending the inter-service rivalry that at times had adversely affected aircraft procurement. After starting in with some 2, personnel by the start of the RAF had 4, combat aircraft and , personnel. Many pilots were initially seconded to the RFC from their original regiments by becoming an observer.