By Michael O'Connor
During this most recent addition to the Airfields and Airmen sequence, Mike OConnor describes the dramatic air activities that happened alongside the Belgian and North France beach through the nice War.In addition to the Royal combating Corps and RAF point this quantity covers the Royal Naval Air carrier (RNAS) and Belgian Air provider (AMB) in addition to the German Naval Air provider.
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Additional info for Airfields and Airmen of the Channel Coast
However in a book of this kind one cannot ignore the ‘aces’ theme, though I use the information of ‘who got who’ advisedly and would hope that I have presented a reasonably balanced picture of what the first air war was like. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission The Commission never fails to impress me and any praise for them is too little. They care for my grandfather (and my mother) and maintain the beautiful cemeteries with what seems a ridiculously small workforce. I have trouble keeping my garden under control and yet they maintain acres of manicured grass and lovely flower beds to perfection, with a mere handful of staff.
The military background to the area After the initial advance of the German army through the area and then the so-called ‘Race to the Sea’, where the opposing forces endeavoured to outflank each other, the military situation settled down to a war of stalemate. This was due in part by the fact that the Belgians opened the lock gates at Nieuport in October 1914 and flooded large areas around the River Yser creating an almost impregnable defence line. The Belgian army played little part in the rest of the war until the last great Allied offensive in the late summer of 1918.
I am pleased to say that this has happened. The new handbook, entitled Cemeteries & Memorials in Belgium and Northern France, utilizes the yellow 1:200,000 Michelin maps but each cemetery now has its own individual number. In addition there are alphabetical and numerical listings. It is an excellent production and an invaluable guide to the battlefield visitor. At each cemetery the pertinent grave numbers are given, so that the visitor has a starting point for not only the individual involved but the section of associated text.