SPAD XII/XIII Aces of World War I, Jon Guttman

SPAD XII/XIII Aces of World War I, Jon Guttman

Osprey Aircraft of the Aces

The SPAD XIII had a troubled introduction to service, suffering from mechanical problems. As a result the first chapter of this book has slightly more aircraft history than is usual in this series, although the pilot's stories still dominated. Chapter two looks at the events of 1918, when the SPAD XIII had matured into a fast reliable fighter. Guttman brings out the changes of tactics that this speed forced on the French pilots - the SPAD XIII could be used to "bounce" enemy fighters in the same way would happen in the Second World War.

Chapter three covers a type of aerial combat not seen after the First World War - the battle against the balloons. Observation balloons were used by both sides on the Western Front, and shooting them down was a hazardous task - they were often well defended by anti-aircraft guns and enemy fighters. Fifteen squadrons of the US Army Air Service also used the SPAD XIII and Guttman devotes his final chapter to this part of the story.

The book is supported by sixteen pages of colour illustrations, including a good section on the many different wing shapes used in attempts to make the SPAD XIII more manoeuvrable. The appendix provides a list of all units known to have used the aircraft.

Author: Jon Guttman
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 96
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 2002

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