By Clark Alan
Aces High serves to remind us that, if now not a completely scrupulous flesh presser, nor an ideal husband, Alan Clark relatively was once an excellent army historian.
There has advanced whatever of a delusion concerning the battle within the air among 1914-1918. the parable is going that, whereas within the dirt and gore of the trenches lower than any idealism and chivalry fast sputtered and died, within the purer air above the final noble heroes battled in one-to-one dogfights like knights of previous. it's a fable that Clark shoots down in flames, with attribute iconoclasm.
One of the good RFC aces was once Mick Mannock, famed for his come upon with a coaching teacher, out in a formation of six, with 5 of his very green-horned students. Mannock first shot down the teacher after which ruthlessly pursued all of the newbies and shot them down one after the other. This wasn't chivalry, it used to be conflict, and even if extra based to observe, it was once every piece as deadly as Passchendaele.
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Extra info for Aces High. The War in the Air over the Western Front 1914-1918
These were used in small numbers on ten or eleven occasions. The were roughly the same as for the British— the infantry in the trenches were more or less helpless against them, but whenever field guns appeared, the tanks were knocked out. However, conscious that this situation might not continue, the British in- in support of infantry assaults results troduced a novel tank-killer— a rifle-launched, anti-armour grenade. This was the No 44 grenade, accepted for service in April 1918. 50Z of amatol and a contact fuze.
The story of the Italian tanks in Spain and the blankets across the road was used frequently, as well as an account of a British company commander who in May 1940 gained a thirty-minute respite for his men while evacuating a French village under tank attack by laying five white soup plates upside down in the road. The German tanks, so the story went, refused to cross the soup plates in case they were mines and made a long detour which gave the company time to get clear. There were several similar stories and whether they were true or not is no longer important; they served their purpose at the time by reducing some of the terror of the armoured vehicle, but some of the advice was a little naive.
They invented the satchel charge, which 31 is simply a cloth bag with blasting explosives and fitted with a short-burning fuze pull switch. They attacked tanks by running up to them, pulling the fuze pin and throwing the charge either on to the enfilled and a gine deck or underneath the belly. The results were usually fatal for both tank and attacker, and the tanks soon learned to work in groups with each watching the other, but it also made them far some and used all sorts of simple ruses to deceive them.