Airfields & Airmen Arras (Battleground Europe) by Jack Sheldon

By Jack Sheldon

The newest quantity within the Airfields and Airmen sequence covers the Arras zone. It contains a stopover at to the grave of Albert Ball VC and the graves of Waterfall and Bayly, the 1st British fliers killed in motion. there's a stopover at to the aerodrome from which Alan McLeod took off from to earn his VC and to the grave of Viscount Glentworth, killed whereas flying with 32 Squadron. The German aspect is easily lined with visits to their cemeteries and aerodromes. This good researched publication relives the lethal thrills of battle within the air over the battlefields of the Western entrance.

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In 1884 the Prussian Army set up a detachment to examine the use of balloons and by 1901 this had grown to two Companies. Like the RFC they used spherical balloons both tethered and free, but then moved onto the sausage-shaped kite balloon similar to the observation balloons used in the First War. Even though most of their efforts were directed at airships, in October 1908 the General Staff set up a technical section to observe various areas, including aviation. The War Ministry, bowing to the suggestions of the General Staff, authorised financial help to the most promising of the private aeroplane constructors.

Jasta 30 was not one of the most successful German fighter units but by the end of the war had claimed 63 Allied machines for the loss of twelve pilots killed in action, five taken prisoner of war and three killed in accidents. A concrete bomb store at Phalempin. This has now gone but there is another similar structure still remaining. Picture No. 5: The pilot’s readiness hut. Note Allied rudder on the roof. Return to the roundabout on the D925 and drive south west towards Carnin. In Camphin-en-Carembault turn right on the D41 to Carnin.

Ball epitomised the lone hunter, attacking regardless of odds and was an inspiration to his fellow fliers and a hero to his countrymen. Today he occupies an honoured grave surrounded by his former adversaries. For an excellent account of Ball’s life I recommend Albert Ball, VC by Chaz Bowyer (see Further Reading). Return to the D39 and turn left to Provin. Continue through the village and after the level crossing pick up signs ahead for Billy-Berclau. Pass over the canal to the roundabout and follow signs to Centre Ville.

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Airfields & Airmen Arras (Battleground Europe) by Jack Sheldon
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