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Albert Ball, V.C.
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When I was a very small boy my father's bedtime stories were often tales about his boyhood heroes - Manned, McCudden, Tuck, Bader...or Albert Ball. At the age of about 7 or 8, we were on holiday in England and visited Nottingham Castle. I was fascinated by the display of Ball memorabilia, particularly the gIass windshield pierced by a bullet hole. In the photographs he looked so young and so serious.
Having picked up this book, I had a look at the second page, on which are listed other books written by the late Chaz Bowyer - what it breadth of interest and knowledge. I therefore very much looked forward to reading this book, the story of the al-too-brief life of a man I had greatly admired for more than 40 years, written by an author of quality and renown. Having read It, I can state with absolute assurance that I was not disappointed in the slightest degree.
It is obvious from page one that the author is deeply interested in his subject, he some what modestly claims in the preface he wrote to the revised edition that it is not a "full" biography. I could not disagree more - it is a thorough, fascinating and quite outstanding biography with all the detail one could possibly require of Ball's background, family, thoughts and deeds. It is not complete only in the sense that Ball was not permitted to live more than a bare 20 years. It is very apparent from the copious quotes from his letters that emotionally he was just out of boyhood, with his senses and nerves stretched to the very limit by the demands imposed by a form of warfare that was being invented while he fought it. He writes like an enthusiastic fifth former - anything good is ripping or topping, anything bad is poo-poo. The most poignant and moving quote is on page 78. Ball put immense moral, mental and physical pressure on himself - flying up to eight times per day, more often than not alone as he preferred. His RFC commanders gave him a fairly free rein, which in the end burned him out after less than a year of operational duties all told.
All of his combats are described; the technical detail on the aircraft show's the depth of the author's knowledge of the period. I have only one minor quibble - it is surely a typing error that should have been spotted by the editor, to name the German two-seater as an LUG several times - when as we all know, the correct name was LVG. Ball's final flight analysed in some detail and certainly this reviewer would not argue with the author's sage judgment..
The book was first published in 1977 and then re-issued in 1994 with greatly expanded photographic content. The photos are marvelous and are worth the cover price in themselves - the current publishers, who have recently issued this reprint, are to be congratulated on the high standard of reproduction. It concludes with some very useful appendices Iisting the aircaft Ball is known to have flown in combat, describing the Austin AFB Scout, providing the citations for the seven awards for gallantry he received and thoroughly examining his combat record.
In summary then, this is a really fine book and should be enjoyed by the widest possible audience, who wish to gain a greater understanding of one of the young men who fought the first war in the air. If you want to read more about the period, have a look at Wind in the Wires by D Grinnel-Milne, Winged Victory by VM Yeates and Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis to name but a few.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Hardback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR004735757
Book Description Bridge Books, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Used; Acceptable. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. The book is perfectly readable and fit for use, although it shows signs of previous ownership. The spine is likely creased and the cover scuffed or slightly torn. Textbooks will typically have an amount of underlining and/or highlighting, as well as notes. If this book is over 5 years old, then please expect the pages to be yellowing or to have age spots. Aged book. Tanned pages and age spots, however, this will not interfere with reading. Inscription on the first page, typically just a name but may include a dedication or a brief personal message. Ripped/damaged jacket. The dust jacket of this book is slightly damaged/ripped, however, this does not affect the internal condition. Seller Inventory # CHL4884388
Book Description Bridge Books, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Seller Inventory # wbb0012772756
Book Description Bridge Books, 1994. Revised edition, 8vo 197 pages illustrated with black & white photographs. Fine blue cloth hard back with a fine unclipped dust jacket. No inscriptions or marks. This book is a compelling and meticulously researched account of this tragic hero, who seemed almost destined to die young and so immortalise his own legend as one of the very first fighter aces. Seller Inventory # 16476
Book Description Bridge Books 1994-10-07, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: G. Slight shelf wear on jacket and a crease on top corner of a few pages. Content is fine. Book. Seller Inventory # 074457-9
Book Description Condition: Used: Acceptable. Ex-library book, usual markings. Well read copy with some water damage, still very useable. Quick dispatch from UK seller. Seller Inventory # L_M08-E06_0001_ZZ_11/19
Book Description Bridge Books. Condition: Very Good+, Very Good+. reprint, 1994. 4TO, 197 PGS, B/W Photos, Hardcover Hardcover: Blue cloth binding with title on spine in gold. Paste-downs and endpapers are spotless. Frontispiece, title, text, photo pages printed on coated paper are crisp and clean. Albert Ball was Britain's first universally recognized air hero. He was the first man in the British Army to be decorated with the DSO and two bars. Illustrated. Nice tight binding.Dust jacket is in excellent condition. Photo illustrated front and back covers. Lightly sunfaded. Very attractive copy in protective mylar. Seller Inventory # 031459
Book Description Bridge Books 1994-10-07, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Books is in good condition. Some moderate creases and wear. This item may not come with CDs or additional parts including access codes for textbooks. Might be an ex-library copy. Seller Inventory # DS-1872424392-3
Book Description Bridge Books, Wrexham, 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. Revised Edition. 197 pages, illustrated, maps, appendices, bibliography, index, repaired dust jacket with slight loss to bottom edge of front cover. Seller Inventory # 155262
Book Description 1994. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 2nd Edition. Blue biinding with gilt titles. Second (revised) edition, 1994, including additional content and illustrations. The subject, Alfred Ball, was the first man in the Army to be decorated with the DSO and two bars. This biography includes a detailed account of his career, with appendices of aircraft flown, combat record and bibliography. The book near fine with owner embossing stamp to half title. DJ also near fine. 197 pp. Seller Inventory # 12375