Air Combat: From World War I to the Present Day
The first aerial warfare took place in 1911, but since then the weapons, techniques and outcome of warfighting in the air have changed immensely. Air Combat is a comprehensive history of airborne warfare, from the first pre-WWI skirmishes in converted reconnaissance aircraft to present-day operations in the Middle East and Asia. The very first fighters and bombers were simple flying machines from which the pilot or navigator would aim a gun or ‘dumb’ bomb visually, leaning out into the slipstream. In contrast, modern warplanes are capable of destroying a target without ever seeing what they are firing at, using laser guidance and GPS to pinpoint the enemy. Illustrated with action photographs and full-color artworks, the chronologically ordered chapters outline the developments and landmarks in aerial combat through the decades, focusing on campaigns including the Spanish Civil War, the Blitzkrieg which began World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Falklands conflict. The book ends with an analysis of the use of U.S. and allied air power to fight insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.