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Old 18th March 2012, 11:31
Andrey Kuznetsov Andrey Kuznetsov is offline
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The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

Hello friends,

Whether there is a significant difference between the book "The Luftwaffe: A Complete History" (2010) by E.R. Hooton and his earlier 2-volume set (Eagle in flames)?

Best regards,
Andrey
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Old 8th May 2012, 23:54
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

Hello!

A bit late, but better late than never! The 2010 book incorporates material from books by other authors published in the early and mid-2000s. So there is a significant amount of additional information, but the fundamentals are the same.

Paul Thompson
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Old 9th May 2012, 00:56
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Jim Oxley Jim Oxley is offline
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

One has to wonder just what has been left out of "The Luftwaffe: A Complete History". After all it's only 304 pages. Hooton's two earlier books each were larger than this.....
Phoenix Triumphant: The Rise and Rise of the Luftwaffe, 368 pages.
Eagle in Flames Defeat of the Luftwaffe: The Fall of the Luftwaffe, 384 pages.
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Old 10th May 2012, 21:11
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

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Originally Posted by Jim Oxley View Post
One has to wonder just what has been left out of "The Luftwaffe: A Complete History". After all it's only 304 pages. Hooton's two earlier books each were larger than this.....
Phoenix Triumphant: The Rise and Rise of the Luftwaffe, 368 pages.
Eagle in Flames Defeat of the Luftwaffe: The Fall of the Luftwaffe, 384 pages.
You are right, I was surprised by this myself when I got the 2010 the edition. A substantial part of the difference is due to the small font of the new book, which I found quite unpleasant. The rest is primarily a thinning out of the Western front chapters, presumably because Ted Hooton thought this information was adequately covered by other titles.

The basic statistics of the book are as follows: the main text takes up 236 pages divided into 10 chapters, extensive endnotes cover 23 pages and a list of sources another 19 pages. There are 52 tables in the book.

Have you seen Mr. Hooton's book about the First World War, by the way?

Paul Thompson
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Old 11th May 2012, 00:53
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

Do you mean "War Over The Trenches"? Yes, I have that.

It's an excellent read, and interestingly delves deeply into the role, activities and impact of two-seater recon aircraft; rather than the more popular fighters. Which until this book has been sadly lacking. By concentrating more on the role of reconnaissaince, photography, contact and ground attack, Hooton's book provides a more realistic assessment on the effectiveness of air power in WWI.
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Old 12th May 2012, 00:50
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

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Originally Posted by Jim Oxley View Post
Do you mean "War Over The Trenches"? Yes, I have that.

It's an excellent read, and interestingly delves deeply into the role, activities and impact of two-seater recon aircraft; rather than the more popular fighters. Which until this book has been sadly lacking. By concentrating more on the role of reconnaissaince, photography, contact and ground attack, Hooton's book provides a more realistic assessment on the effectiveness of air power in WWI.
Yes, that is the book I meant. I am glad to know its a good one, because I am getting it soon! Does it concentrate more on tactics, or is it a strategic and operational overview like the Luftwaffe books?
My interest in First World War air power is relatively new, so I wonder if there is there another overview book that you could recommend.
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Old 12th May 2012, 03:41
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

The air war in WWI was very much a tactical war, so Hooton's book concentrates on the tactical and operational aspects of that war. He does especially well in discussing the 'inner and outer battle zones' ie areas around and behind the front lines. He also cover's the few instances where strategic war was attempted eg the airship and Gotha raids over Britain, and the French and British raids into Germany. Most importantly Hooton places the development and impact of each major air force into the context of what each 'could' achieve; given resources, manpower, tactical limitations and industrial power.

As far as other books go..... whew! Where to start? In many ways there were two distinct air war's being waged concurrently during the Great War. One was the wild melee of air combat between opposing fighters which were trying to dominate a particular part of the Front so that it's own side's recon, and artillery spotting could take place unmolested. This is the side which is most often portrayed in books - the aces and stories of daring-do. It's a valid topic and makes for great reading, but in only a few key instances did fighters have a direct impact preventing the Army Co-op units from successfuly carrying out their duties. For example French Chasse units ultimately dominted the skies over Verdun and stopped the German FFA units from spotting the highly vunerable Voie Sacree, the single road that led from Bar-Le-Duc to Verdun and over which all reinforcemenrts anf material passed. The RFC dominated the skies over the Some in mid 1916. The Jasta's dominated the skies over Arras in 1917. But for most of the war recon, artillery spotters and ground support managed to successfully carry out their duties.

The real nitty gritty of the air war (that which was of direct benefit to the ground war) was that done by the reconnaissaince, artillery spotting, contact patrols, bombers and ground attack Squadrons. Rarely do these key units figure in general histories, other than to be mentioned as background detail. Yet it was these very same units that the generals relied on to stage their various offensives, or counter the enemies attacks. The ground war in many ways revolved around how well these units did their job.

There is a common belief that it was only the 'offensively minded' British that constantly patrolled well into enemy territory. Whilst this is in part true for fighters, it is not so with Army Co-op units. Patrols of 15-20 miles behind enemy lines were standard for the recon and bomber units of all sides; and to my mind they more typically illustrate the role of air power during the Great War.

Sorry for the rambling. Here are a few recommendations, which lean towards to recon, arty, bomber ground attack units:
* In The Teeth Of The Wind, by CPO Bartlett
* French Strategic and Tactical Bombardment forces of WWI, by Rene Martel
* Biplanes and Bombsights: British Bombing in WWI, by George Williams
* German Army Air Service, by Alex Imrie
* Sharks Amongst Minnows, by Norman Franks
* First Blitz, by Neil Hanson
* First Of The Many, by Alan Morris
* The Royal Flying Corps in WWI, by Ralph Barker
* Hostile Skies, by James Hudson
* Independent Force, by Keith Rennies
* The French Air Service War Chronology, 1914-1918, by Frank Bailey
* RFC Communiques 1917-1918, by Chaz Bowyer
* Schlachtflieger!, by Rick Duiven and Dan-San Abbott

To name just a few! Some can be quite expensive, so AddAll is a good site for finding good quality second-hand editions.
http://used.addall.com/
And Amazon as well.
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Last edited by Jim Oxley; 12th May 2012 at 04:17.
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Old 12th May 2012, 17:35
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the book list, Jim!

Your description suggests that Ted Hooton has addressed the aerial operations side quite extensively, with I presume the usual exception of the fronts other than the Western. It's also great to hear that he has covered air force resources, although I presume that I would need to get a different book to really understand the aircraft industry of the war. May I ask you again for any ideas?

I very much agree with you that the significance of fighter combat is usually exaggerated in all histories of the war. However, you mention that the Entente secured air superiority over the Somme and Verdun. I wonder whether that had a disproportionate significance, since I understand that the Germans were far superior to the Western powers in ground attrition warfare in 1916. So better reconnaissance could have been the straw to break the back of the allied armies and vindicate Falkenhayn's approach to the positional stalemate.

The Martel, Bailey and Duiven books in particular look like ones to read. Although I can see a long search for the first and last of these at a cheaper price! Does anything like the Bailey chronology exist for the Luftstreitkräfte?
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Old 13th May 2012, 04:15
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

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Originally Posted by Paul Thompson View Post
although I presume that I would need to get a different book to really understand the aircraft industry of the war. May I ask you again for any ideas?
"The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921", by John Morrow. He covers the technical, industrial and material side of all the major airforces. Almost an economists viewpoint. A bit dry, but provides an excellent basis for understanding why and how each of the combatants went about fighting the war in the way they did.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Thompson View Post
The Martel, Bailey and Duiven books in particular look like ones to read. Although I can see a long search for the first and last of these at a cheaper price! Does anything like the Bailey chronology exist for the Luftstreitkräfte?
They can be a bit pricey. For Baileys equilavent there are various books on the Jasta's eg "Jasta War Chronology: A Complete Listing of Claims and Losses, August 1916-November 1918" by Norman Franks. However nothing is available in such detail covering the FFA Army Co-op units as such. The best oen I've found to date is the book mentioned above by Alex Imrie, namely "German Army Air Service". That and Rick Duviens book does provide as much detail of these units as is available in print at present. For the RFC the "RFC Communiques 1917-1918", by Chaz Bowyer is a good start.

For other theatres try "In The Clouds Above Baghdad: The Air War in Mesopotamia, 1916-1918 by John E Tennant; and "Aces and Kings" by L. W. Sutherland.

Good luck!
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Old 13th May 2012, 16:19
Paul Thompson Paul Thompson is offline
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Re: The Luftwaffe: A Complete History (2010) by E.R. Hooton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Oxley View Post
"The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921", by John Morrow. He covers the technical, industrial and material side of all the major airforces. Almost an economists viewpoint. A bit dry, but provides an excellent basis for understanding why and how each of the combatants went about fighting the war in the way they did.
Thank you again! I've just bought a cheap second-hand copy of that title without being sure what I was in for and haven't opened it yet. Now I know I chanced upon a good book!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Oxley View Post
They can be a bit pricey. For Baileys equilavent there are various books on the Jasta's eg "Jasta War Chronology: A Complete Listing of Claims and Losses, August 1916-November 1918" by Norman Franks. However nothing is available in such detail covering the FFA Army Co-op units as such. The best oen I've found to date is the book mentioned above by Alex Imrie, namely "German Army Air Service". That and Rick Duviens book does provide as much detail of these units as is available in print at present. For the RFC the "RFC Communiques 1917-1918", by Chaz Bowyer is a good start.

For other theatres try "In The Clouds Above Baghdad: The Air War in Mesopotamia, 1916-1918 by John E Tennant; and "Aces and Kings" by L. W. Sutherland.

Good luck!
Thank you for yet more book titles. I'll start looking for Duivens and Franks, and then see where I go from there
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