Author(s): Paul R. Hare
Soon after entering the war in April 1917, American propaganda promised that the country would ‘darken the skies over Europe’ by sending over ‘the greatest aerial armada ever seen’.
Encouraged by the French Government, America promised to build no fewer than 22,000 aeroplanes within a year and to field and maintain a force of 4,000 machines, all of the latest type, over the Western Front during 1918.
This was to provide adequate air support for her own troops, as well as a way of using her industrial strength to bypass the squalor of the war in the trenches, and so bring an end to the stalemate of attrition into which the war had descended.
However, by the time of the Armistice more than eighteen months later, just a few hundred American-built aeroplanes had reached the war fronts and several investigations into the causes of the failure of the project were already in progress.
Undarkened Skies: The American Aircraft Building Programme of the First World War examines the fascinating history of American aircraft manufacturing during the latter years of the First World War, in addition to investigating the causal factors of America’s lack of progress in the air.
|234 x 156 mm
|15 December 2017
|74 black-and-white photographs