Air Power & The Arab World, 1909-1955, Volume 2
...Arab Side Shows, 1914-1918, from Helion & Co, via Casemate
Title: Air Power and the Arab World 1909-1955
Author: Dr David Nicolle
Publisher: Helion & Company
Number 26 in the Middle East @ War series, Volume 2, Arab Side Shows, 1914-1918. We get to the second volume in this series of stories which tell us the story of the development of airpower in the Arab world, along the length of the North African coast and on to Egypt and the Middle East. This part of the story focuses on the years of the First World War, then the Ottoman Empire which controlled much of the region, and other European powers wanted to change that. Hence we see involvement from not only the UK but also Italy and France, as well as German interests of course.
An 80-page softcover book as usual for this series, this one is split into 5 sections. These cover British Air Operations in the Arab World; The Egyptian Military and Air Power; Events in the Italian Colonies; The French on the Levant and North Africa, and finally, Spanish Morocco During the Great War. The text tells the story of what happened, along with many of the personalities involved. It is supported by a large number of rare and interesting archive photos of some well known and some quite unusual aircraft types of the WW1 era, while military aircraft were still in quite early stages of development. Even French dirigibles are included. In the middle you will find 8-pages of colour artwork, including one full-page map of the region, and the rest with some fine colour profiles illustrating a range of period aircraft, and these give some good potential inspiration for modellers.
I think I am being fair to say it is a topic within the period of WW1 that is often overlooked, and I learnt a lot in here. The images of some fascinating period aircraft, some rather ugly and others with some beautiful, stylish designs. A quite specific period in the story, one perhaps usually overshadowed by events of the war in Europe. An interesting part of the overall story, I look forward to seeing future volumes in this series.
Thanks to Helion & Co and their distributors, Casemate UK for our review copy.