The period covered by this book saw the emergence of the first true fighter aircraft, and with them the first air aces. The balance of power in the air was constantly changing, as each side introduced new aircraft or new tactics, or reorganised their fighter units. The air ace emerged from this background.
This book follows the standard Images of War format, with each chapter beginning with a few pages of explanatory text, followed by a large chunk of photos. In this case the chapter introductions combine a brief history of the war in the air (looking at the introduction of new aircraft, new tactics, new unit organisations) and the exploits of the key figures on both sides. This includes a number of men who had a long term impact on fighter combat (such as Immelmann or Boelcke), famous aces and less familiar figures.
The picture sections focus very heavily on the aces themselves, with a mix of formal portraits and less structures pictures taken around their aircraft. A smaller number of photos look at the aircraft themselves, including some of the ace's victories. Each picture is supported by a useful caption.
This is quite a specialised book – if you aren't interested in First World War fighter aces then it isn't for you, but if you are then it provides a useful collection of pictures of a wider range of people than normal.
1 - The First Air War
2 - Things Get Serious
3 - The Fokker's Day
4 - Fokker Aces Supreme
5 - Knights of the Sky
6 - Nieuport Scouts
7 - Autumn Chill
8 - The End of 1916
Author: Norman Franks
Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation