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Details about  WWI ALBERT BALL V.C. Royal Flying Corps RICHTHOFEN McCudden SOMME Arras Boelcke

WWI ALBERT BALL V.C. Royal Flying Corps RICHTHOFEN McCudden SOMME Arras Boelcke See original listing
WWI-ALBERT-BALL-V-C-Royal-Flying-Corps-RICHTHOFEN-McCudden-SOMME-Arras-Boelcke
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Item condition:
--not specified
Ended:
27 Oct, 2011 14:01:14 BST
Starting bid:
£69.99
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Postage:
£3.05 Standard Delivery | See details
Item location:
Flamborough, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Description

eBay item number:
380377841630
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
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Item specifics

Format:

Hardback

Special Attributes:

1st Edition

Subject:

Military & War First World War

Language:

English

Sub-Subject:

Aviation History Captain Albert Ball VC

Condition:

Used

Printing Year:

1933

 
 
 
 


 

Captain Albert Ball

V.C., D.S.O. (two bars), M.C.,
Croix De Chevalier, Legion d’Honneur, Russian Order of St. George

A Historical Record


by

R. H. Kiernan

With a Foreword by Air-Marshal Sir J. F. A. Higgins,
K.C.B., C.M.G., C.V.O., D.S.O., A.F.C.
and an Introduction by H. A.Jones, British Official Air Historian



 

This is the rare 1933 First Edition

“This book gives an authentic account of the brief, but crowded life of Albert Ball and sets out the matter in a way which Ball would, I think, have liked. The manner is quiet and modest, as he was himself, but when we have read to the end we realise we have been given an intimate picture of this great fighting pilot of the war. We shall not see his like again. The day of the individual pilot who roved the skies in search of combat had really ended long before the close of the war. In 1918 the fighting pilot still had opportunity to influence the air situation through his personality and skill, but he could only do this as a formation leader.”

“In the late afternoon of September 22nd, 1916, a Fokker D.I. biplane took off from the aerodrome at Velu on the Bapaume-Cambrai road. The pilot, a lieutenant of Boelcke’s Jagdstaffel 2, was patrolling towards the Somme lines where the busy English corps aircraft might provide good hunting. The weather was convenient for this form of sport, for there was plenty of cloud down to three thousand feet, from the layer at five thousand over which he was flying, and this would screen his approach and provide covert from pursuers when the raid had been made. The corps aircraft would be intent on their artillery registration, but he would have to be wary of fighter patrols above them. Even these more cumbersome artillery workers might prolong the fight too far, if they were not taken by surprise. The lieutenant looked down through a gap in the clouds and saw the huddled ruins of Bapaume ahead.”



 

Frontispiece

 

 

Front cover and spine

Further images of this book are shown below



 

 

 



 

Publisher and place of publication   Dimensions in inches (to the nearest quarter-inch)
London: John Hamilton Limited   5¼ inches wide x 8¾ inches tall
     
Edition   Length
1933 First Edition   [xxii] + 203 pages + publisher’s catalogue 
     
Condition of covers    Internal condition
Original black cloth gilt. The covers are rubbed and there is a noticeable indentation on the top edge of the front boards and also a shallow diagonal crease in the rear boards (please see the images below). There are some indentations along the edges of the boards. The spine is faded and very dull. The spine ends and corners are bumped and slightly frayed.   There is a previous owner's name inscribed on the front free end-paper (dated Christmas 1933), and the same name ("Patrick Browne") appears on the rear pastedown. There are no other internal markings and the text is clean throughout. There is occasional foxing and the paper has tanned with age. The edge of the text block is lightly foxed and dusty. Nevertheless, this remains an internally clean and attractive example.
     
Dust-jacket present?   Other comments
No   Despite some damage to the edges of the boards, this remains a Very Good example overall of the rare First Edition.
     
Illustrations, maps, etc   Contents
Please see below for details   Please see below for details
     
Post & shipping information   Payment options
The packed weight is approximately 700 grams.


Full shipping/postage information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing.

  Payment options :
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Full payment information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. 



 



 

Captain Albert Ball

Contents

 

FOREWORD
INTRODUCTION
PREFACE
CHAPTER

I "Wings"

II "John"
III The Battle of the Somme
IV A Winter of Discontent

V Arras
VI The Last Patrol

APPENDIX

I A Hunting Squadron (No. 60)
II German results
III Offensive Patrols (No. 56 Squadron)

 

 

Illustrations

  • Captain Albert Ball

  • Ball at Trent College

  • The Nieuport Scout

  • Captain Ball in 'plane showing top mounting of the Lewis gun

  • The Roland "C," Two Seater

  • The Bapaume-Cambrai Road

  • Oswald Boelcke-German Ace

  • The Albatros DV, Single-Seater

  • Major J. B. McCudden, V.C., D.S.O., M.C.

  • The Austin-Ball Scout

  • A group of No. 56 Squadron

  • The Albatros Two-Seater of Spring 1917

  • Leaving for France in the new type S.E.5

  • Air view of ruined Annoeullin

  • Lothar von Richthofen



 


 

Captain Albert Ball

 

FOREWORD
by
Air-Marshal Sir J. F. A. Higgins, K.C.B., C.M.G.,C.V.O., D.S.O., A.F.C.

 

 

NO LIST of outstanding personalities which the War of 1914— 1918 brought to light would be complete without the name of Captain A. Ball, V.C.


Here indeed is an exemplar of the great fighting men who have been the pride of Great Britain for many centuries past. All these men had a touch of genius in their personalities: Captain Ball showed this genius in himself evolving the technique of the use of a new arm in single combat. He was no one's pupil: at the time he joined the R.F.C. past experience in air fighting was so little as to afford no guidance; yet, although by no means a finished pilot, this youth worked out his own system of fighting in the air, a system which it is no exaggeration to say made him the terror of airmen opposed to him.


When he came to France he was posted to a squadron used for general army co-operation purposes. At this time there were no special fighting squadrons, but two single-seater fighter machines were allotted to squadrons to be used at the discretion of brigade commanders.


It was soon seen that Ball's capabilities did not lie in the line of general co-operation work. From the first he wanted to try his hand on the single-seater fighters and almost from the time he was allowed to do this his true vocation in the Flying Corps was evident. He grasped at once the essentials of the work: he spared no pains in practicing his shooting and in looking after the machine gun on his aircraft.


Last but not least, he was always thinking out the tactics of fighting in the air and was never happy till he had tried out his theories in practice.


It would not be true to say that the morale of the R.F.C. was ever shaken, but it was undoubtedly the fact that when Ball started his career the casualties among the British airmen exceeded those among the Germans by very considerable numbers. There can be no doubt that sooner or later this state of affairs must have been disastrous. The encouragement given to the whole Force by Ball's startling series of successes cannot, in my opinion, be overestimated. It can be asserted without fear of contradiction that from this time until the end of the War the British airmen felt that moral superiority over their opponents which any military force must have if it is to win out in the end. This to my mind was Ball's great work, and the reason why his name is always to be thought of first amongst the many distinguished air fighters whom Great Britain and her Dominions produced during the War.



 


 

Captain Albert Ball

Introduction

 

THIS book gives an authentic account of the brief, but crowded life of Albert Ball and sets out the matter in a way which Ball would, I think, have liked. The manner is quiet and modest, as he was himself, but when we have read to the end we realise we have been given an intimate picture of this great fighting pilot of the war.


We shall not see his like again. The day of the individual pilot who roved the skies in search of combat had really ended long before the close of the war. In 1918 the fighting pilot still had opportunity to influence the air situation through his personality and skill, but he could only do this as a formation leader. What mattered then were his qualities of leadership and his tactical judgment. Ball inspired affection and confidence in those who flew with him, and it is probable that, had he survived, he would have become just as outstanding as a formation leader as he was as an individualist, but it is certain that he would have been less happy. It would have meant, for him, a severe schooling and, possibly, some mental stress. When only his own life was in question his judgment, in combat, was never fettered by any thought of risk. He took his measure of a situation and, with swift decision, and often supreme daring, made his attack Time and again he flew, single-handed, against German formations and shot one or more aeroplanes down almost before his opponents knew what was happening. But on those occasions when he was not alone, one is conscious of a difference. The lives of others were in his keeping, and because he was finely sensitive the responsibility weighed on his spirit. There was a time when he piloted a two-seater aeroplane and chafed when he remembered the restraint imposed on him by the presence of a passenger. He did, before his end, lead his formation on offensive patrols, but he was happier when he could get away alone in his Nieuport.


There are many points in common between Boelcke and Ball as there are between McCudden and Voss, and between Mannock and Manfred von Richthofen, alike in character and achievement. Richthofen loved to be at the head of a formation, the bigger the better. He was cool and calculating and entirely ruthless in the air, a born fighter who sought an advantageous position and then struck unflinchingly and with precision. His head was always in command and he never hesitated to break off a fight at the exact moment when he judged that the tactical advantage had passed to his opponents. It was this calculation and iron control which, added to his other fighting qualities, made him so formidable and so elusive in the air. Edward Mannock had similar qualities and much the same outlook and his achievement, especially when it is remembered that it was compressed into a considerably shorter space of time, was no less remarkable than that of Richthofen.


McCudden and Voss had more elasticity of temperament. Werner Voss, who, at the time of his death in September 1917, was second on the list of successful German fighting pilots, with forty-nine aeroplanes to his credit, began as a non-commission-rd officer pilot in May 1916. So did James McCudden about the same time. McCudden shot down his first aeroplane in September 1916 and Voss claimed Ins first victim in November of the same year, and thereafter their successes ran very much along parallel lines. There were, however, differences in their methods. Although they were both good alone or in formation, McCudden flew oftener by himself and he showed more of the calculation which actuated Richthofen and Mannock than did Voss. He made a particular study of the habits and characteristics of German aeroplanes which crossed the trenches to reconnoitre the British lines of communications, and he stalked them with unlimited patience. So it was that a great number of his victims fell within the British lines. Both McCudden and Voss seem to have been endowed with the same warm and generous natures, and perhaps no finer tribute to an enemy has been paid than that set down by McCudden in his book, Flying Fury (p. 187), when he wrote of the fight in which Voss, at the age of twenty, was killed, a fight in which McCudden himself took part. "As long as I live," he said, "I shall never forget my admiration for that German pilot, who single-handed fought seven of us for ten minutes, and also put some bullets through all of our machines. His flying was wonderful, his courage magnificent, and in my opinion he is the bravest German airman whom it has been my privilege to see fight."


Oswald Boelcke was killed when Voss and McCudden were at the beginning of their fighting careers and when Albert Ball was the leading fighting pilot of the Royal Flying Corps. Ball and Boelcke seem to have been singularly alike in temperament. They were kind-hearted and killed their enemies with real regret. Both inspired their respective services with an enduring inspiration. In point of time the achievement of Ball may be said to come first, and to appreciate his influence it will be well to recall the conditions which obtained when Ball began to fly on the Western Front. Throughout the winter of 1915—1916, the Royal Flying Corps in France had an unhappy experience. In 1915 Anthony Fokker had introduced the gear by which the working of the machine-gun was synchronized with the engine to allow the bullets to pass between the blades of the revolving propeller. The Fokker monoplane, so equipped, dominated the air from about October 1915 to May 1916. In that period Max Immelmann achieved fame as a fighting pilot. The reign of the Fokker came to an end when the F.E.2b., a two-seater, the D.H.2., a single-seater, both of the 'pusher' type, and the single-seater Nieuport Scout, a tractor, got going in France. The Nieuport had a Lewis gun which was fired over the top plane by means of a Bowden cable operated by the pilot. It was with this type of aeroplane that Ball achieved fame. When he began, the Fokker monoplane was still dominant and it is not too much to say that he more than any one single person, brought about a change in the air situation. The story of his successes acted like a tonic. At the battle of the Somme, which began on the ist of July 1916, the Royal Flying Corps achieved a measure of dominance over the German air service which was more complete than in any other period during the war. Many pilots who flew at that time have testified that for them Ball symbolized the offensive spirit. During the Somme battles the morale of the German air service was at a low ebb. The German infantry, who suffered much from the Royal Flying Corps bombing attacks, and from the help which the air observers gave to the British artillery, became incensed against their own airmen. "Their irritation," it has been said, "found expression in remarks such as, 'May God punish England, our artillery, and our Air Force.'" (Neumann, The German Air Force in the Great War, p.220).


This atmosphere of distrust and recrimination was dissipated by Boelcke. In the middle of September 1916 he appeared on the Somme front in command of a fighting squadron equipped with a new-type aeroplane, fitted with twin synchronized machine-guns of better performance than anything in possession of the Royal Flying Corps. On Sunday the 17th of September he led his new fighters into the air for the first time and they shot down six Royal Flying Corps aeroplanes, one of them falling to Richthofen—his first victim. In the following month Boelcke was killed, but he had lived long enough to see the morale and repute of his service restored, and the inspiration of his achievement lived on. So it was with Ball. What he was and what he did is woven into the fabric of the Royal Air Force, and of no one, perhaps, may it more fittingly be said that nothing is here for tears, only what may quiet us in a death so noble.


H. A. JONES



 



 

Please note: to avoid opening the book out, with the risk of damaging the spine, some of the pages were slightly raised on the inner edge when being scanned, which has resulted in some blurring to the text and a shadow on the inside edge of the final images. Colour reproduction is shown as accurately as possible but please be aware that some colours are difficult to scan and may result in a slight variation from the colour shown below to the actual colour.

Some of the illustrations may be shown enlarged for greater detail and clarity.

 

 

 

The Nieuport Scout.

 

 

 

Captain Ball in plane showing top mounting of the Lewis Gun

 

 

 

The Roland, "C", Two-seater, Ball's favourite prey in 1916.

 

 

 

The Albatros D. V., Single-seater.

 

 

 

The Austin-Ball Scout; designed by Ball and built by Austin's of Birmingham.

 

 

 

Leaving for France in the new type S.E.5. The machine in the photograph is that in which Ball was killed.

 

 

 

The covers are rubbed and there is a noticeable indentation on the top edge of the front boards and also a shallow diagonal crease in the rear boards. There are some indentations along the edges of the boards. The spine is faded and very dull. The spine ends and corners are bumped and slightly frayed.

 

 



 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE BIDDERS



 

U.K. Bidders:

To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-box). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figures below. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from postage and packaging. Postage can be combined for multiple purchases.

 

Packed weight: approximately 700gr

 

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  • Please contact me with name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item.



 


 

International Bidders:

To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-box). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figures below. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from shipping and handling.

Shipping can usually be combined for multiple purchases (to a maximum of 5 kilograms in any one parcel with the exception of Canada, where the limit is 2 kilograms).

 

Packed weight: approximately 700gr

 

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Due to the extreme length of time taken for some deliveries, surface mail is no longer a viable option and I am unable to offer it even in the case of heavy items. I am afraid that I cannot make any exceptions to this rule.
 

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  • Regretfully, due to extremely high conversion charges, I CANNOT accept foreign currency : all payments must be made in GBP [British Pounds Sterling]. This can be accomplished easily using a credit card, which I am able to accept as I have a separate, well-established business.

  • Please contact me with your name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item

Prospective international bidders should ensure that they are able to provide credit card details or pay by PayPal within 7 days from the end of the auction (or inform me that they will be sending a cheque in GBP drawn on a major British bank). Thank you.



 


 

(please note that the book shown is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of this auction)

Book dimensions are given in inches, to the nearest quarter-inch, in the format width x height.

Please note that, to differentiate them from soft-covers and paperbacks, modern hardbacks are still invariably described as being ‘cloth’ when they are, in fact, predominantly bound in paper-covered boards pressed to resemble cloth.



 


 


Fine Books for Fine Minds


I value your custom (and my feedback rating) but I am also a bibliophile : I want books to arrive in the same condition in which they were dispatched. For this reason, all books are securely wrapped in tissue and a protective covering and are then posted in a cardboard container. If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund. Unless the size of the book precludes this, hardback books with a dust-jacket are usually provided with a clear film protective cover, while hardback books without a dust-jacket are usually provided with a rigid clear cover.

The Royal Mail, in my experience, offers an excellent service, but things can occasionally go wrong. However, I believe it is my responsibility to guarantee delivery. If any book is lost or damaged in transit, I will offer a full refund.

Thank you for looking.



 


 

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Resurgam Books

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Return policy details
If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund, including return postage. All books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard container.

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