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No 56 SQN Raf/rfc
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By the autumn of 1916, with the formation of the new Jagdstaffeln, the pendulum of aerial supremacy had once again swung in favour of the German Air Force. The battle of the Somme in 1916 saw the RFC suffer losses of nearly 400 aircrew between September and November, and British casualties were to reach a zenith in the 'Bloody April' of 1917 when 319 aircrew were lost, killed or taken prisoner of war. This was the situation when No 56 Squadron arrived in France at the end of April 1917. Equipped with the superb new SE 5, it was the first fighter squadron of the RFC to be able to meet the Albatros and Halberstadt fighters of the Jagdstaffeln on equal terms. The squadron's pilots won an incredible tally of decorations, and by the end of the hostilities many famous fighter pilots had passed through its ranks - Albert Ball VC, Canadian Hank Burden and American Robert Caldwell to name but a few. In this study, Alex Revell uncovers the early days and development of No 56 Squadron, its victories and losses, and the birth of a proud tradition.
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About the Author

Alex Revell has been interested in World War 1 aviation since the age of six and he began serious aviation research in the early 1960s. Primarily interested in people and their role in the 1914-18 air war, he traced and interviewed many ex-members of the RFC/RAF/RNAS and is particularly proud that many of them became personal family friends. An internationally acknowledged researcher into the history of the RFC/RAF and RNAS during World War 1, Alex Revell has had many articles published in specialist aviation magazines and the journals of Cross and Cockade International and The First World War Aviation Historical Society, of which he is a founder member. His has written a number of aviation-related World War 1 titles over the years. Alex Revell's latest book, British Single-Seater Fighter Squadrons on The Western Front in World War 1, was recently awarded 'Book of the Month' in Aeroplane Monthly. The author lives in Cornwall, England.

Reviews

"While I readily admit to a heavy bias towards WWI aviation, I maintain that this is the best Osprey book on wartime aviation now in print. And, I've bought plenty of them. You should buy this one whether your interest in WWI aviation is slight or intense for this is an important, well researched and written look at one of the most famous and influential air fighting groups in history. I recommend it without reservation." --Michael Scott, International Plastic Modellers' Society (January 2010) "The author does an excellent job of telling the story of 56 squadron in this series' usual diary format. There are highlights of some of the more memorable missions to add spice to the read. All of this is even more enhanced by a superb collection of period photos of the pilots and aircraft . In addition there are 28 full color profiles profiles and upper/lower drawings. Appendices include an aces listing, fatalities in the unit and those Germans who were victorious over 56 squadron aircraft." --Scott Van Aken, Modeling Madness (October 2009) "Even readers familiar with Alex Revell's High in the Empty Blue - The History of No. 56 Squadron 1916-1920, will find this new 128-page book to be a proportionally comprehensive look at the unit's men and missions in World War I." --Peter Kilduff, Between the Bookends ..".does a fantastic job ofpresenting a comprehensive sotry of 56 Squadron and is highly recommended for your World Wat I aviation library!" --Jim McCloskey, Aerodrome (#158)

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