No Empty Chairs - The Short And Heroic Lives Of The Young Aviators Who Fought And Died In The First World War


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  • ISBN: 9780297859949
  • Author:
  • Publ Date: 2012-05-10
  • Edition:
  • Binding: HardBack
  • Pages: 384
  • Publisher:
  • Country of Publication:
  • ID - 186856


In the spring of 1917, when the world's first great air war was at its height, the British squadrons were losing 200 pilots a month, and British pilot life expectancy was eleven days. The aeroplanes the pilots flew were rudimentary open-cockpit biplanes, with a single machine bolted to the wood and fabric wing intended for shooting down the equally frail German planes. This book tells the story of that first great air war, illustrating its devastating emotional impact on the participants and their families in a narrative enriched by the private correspondence that flowed between them, and diaries, reports and interviews. The aerial combat tactics that the sacrifices of those First World War aviators created became so tactically effective that they were used to deadly effect in the Second World War.


In the spring of 1917 the Royal Flying Corps was losing 200 pilots a month, with life expectancy for young flying officers standing at just 11 days. Constructed through surviving letters and diaries, this harrowing and detailed history, written by a former pilot, looks at the terrible toll that the war took on these young men embarking on a new age of warfare CATHOLIC HERALD No Empty Chairs describes in vivid detail the often short lives of the young pilots of World War One... This book is one that has a very human feel, in that it does not simply look at the combat or the planes, but at the people who flew them, who risked their lives in them and who died in them. An appealing work that is both moving and efficiently accurate in its details WARFARE MAGAZINE an interesting overview of the whole war... I enjoyed reading this well written and researched book... the photographs are good too CROSS & COCKADE INTERNATIONAL This is a splendid addition to the literature, re-analysing with fresh, sharp eyes, and adding much THE WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION STAND TO! 20130501

Author Biography:

Ian Mackersey is a writer and documentary film-maker; his speciality is aviation biography. He began his career as a writer for The Dominion and later the New Zealand Herald, and has lived in Britain, Rhodesia and Zambia, before returning to New Zealand. Visit his website at



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