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Flying Fury: Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps (Greenhill Military) by James Thomas Byford McCudden (30-Sep-2000)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Flying Fury: Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps (Greenhill Military) by James Thomas Byford McCudden (30-Sep-2000).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    James Thomas Byford McCudden(Author)

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Read online or download a free book: Flying Fury: Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps (Greenhill Military) by James Thomas Byford McCudden (30-Sep-2000)

 

Review Text

  • By howard on January 28, 2018

    McCudden was not a literary man, and he was writing for a wartime audience who wanted tales of patriotic fervor. Yet he is so honest that the account is riveting. His lessons on aerial tactics were widely disseminated in the RFC, and helped make the RAF a worthy successor. This stands as a classic in the memoir field.Even though he doesn't say so, the reader gets the sense that he was getting burned out by the stress and the sheer physical toll of flying miles above the earth in unheated cockpits, and without oxygen or pressurization. It probably explains why his life ended in what he himself would have considered a stupid accident.This was a brave man who pushed himself to the limit, and maybe a little beyond. A century on, we still get the sense of him, and of his time.

  • By John McCarty on January 11, 2018

    As an aviation buff I found this book interesting and a good read. It is much like going back and reading you pilot log book for those of us aviators who have slipped the surly bonds of earth.

  • By Piaras on September 9, 2013

    This is a very interesting and informative account about the daily activities and heroic performances of a First World War fighter pilot. The amount of heroism this young man showed during his young short life, many of us couldn't achieve in a lengthy lifetime.James McCudden and his comrades were truly remarkable young men. He gives a firsthand account of the air warfare fought, showing even extraordinary respect for the enemies' ability.From humble beginnings to his rise to become one of the greatest fighter pilots in the Royal Flying Corps, is truly a remarkable and inspiring story. If ever role models were needed today, these young men's lives and heroism should be part of the educational curriculum to inspire and remind us all of their sacrifice.I absolutely enjoyed reading this fascinating book. And, for anybody with the slightest inquisitiveness about what air warfare was all about during the Great War, this would be the book to read. I highly recommend it.

  • By Erl Gould Purnell on December 13, 2015

    It is rare to read an account of a regular soldier rising in the ranks to Major. Consider too that McCudden transferred into the RFC as a mechanic, became an observer and gunner and then a Sargent pilot. His achievements as a aerial warrior are well told. Likewise, his leadership acumen is obvious and certainly was appreciated by all around him—Victoria Cross etc. As he became a "friend" during my time reading his memoir, I was ever-so saddened when he died of a foolish accident, an approach turn stall at low altitude. For an excellent look at the experience of WWI aviation and fighting, read this account.

  • By h lynn keith on January 18, 2012

    1. Short review: :-D2. Long review:2.1. What I liked: The first-person account from one of the First World War top aces. (The Aerodrome lists him seventh in confirmed kills among all Aces.)Roller-coaster or walk-in-the-park? Historical roller coaster.2.2. What I did not like: McCudden's account of his early years in the RFC -- 1913 to 1915 -- read slow and he tried too hard to be droll. It is useful for the details that you will not find anywhere else, but his story finds its pace once he gets into FEs.2.3. Who I think is the audience: History buffs, especially air combat history buffs.2.4. Is the book appropriate for children to read? Yes. That is odd since this is a book about killing.2.5. On the basis of reading this book, will I buy the author's next book? I would if there were any, but Major McCudden died when his SE5 crashed in July 1918.2.6. Other: James McCudden was the most technical pilot of the First World War. He had mechanical abilities that other pilots did not, and he used them. He tweaked the performance of his airplane and got more speed and more altitude from it than other pilots got from their SEs. He used that improved performance to hunt high-flying German two-seaters -- observation airplanes. Of his 57 kills, 43 were two-seaters.Besides his talents as a mechanic, McCudden also studied air combat; that is, the best practices for approaching enemy aircraft and for shooting at them (distance, angle, position).Given all the study and practice of McCudden, I found it astounding how many times he reported that he returned to his aerodrome with his aircraft 'shot about'. Even in 1918 he returned from patrols with bullet holes in his airplane. From this I realized that survival in the air in the First World War was a matter of luck.In Flying Fury, McCudden provided the definitive example of the role of luck in air combat. He remarked often on the fighting qualities of a German pilot who flew an Albatross fighter with a green-painted tail. McCudden respected this foe for the way he maneuvered to reduce his risk. One day McCudden caught 'Green Tail' leading a formation, dove on the formation, surprised them, and shot down 'Green Tail'.In many ways, 'Green Tail' was McCudden's German equivalent: a student of air combat who worked to reduce risk. Both died in the war; 'Green Tail' because he was surprised in the air, McCudden because his engine failed on take-off.(Addendum:There are many discussions on The Aerodrome website -- a site devoted to WWI air combat -- about the identity of 'Green Tail'. From what I gather there, all pilots in Jasta 5 flew Albatrosses with green-painted horizontal stabilizers and elevators trimmed in red. McCudden may have mistakenly conceived there was only one German pilot who flew a green-tailed Albatross.The experts on The Aerodrome disagree on whom it was that McCudden shot down 18 February 1918. McCudden's description was consistent with the Albatross flown by Vzfw Otto Koennecke, but Koennecke survived the war. That alone is not definitive. He might have been shot down and survived. Rittmeister Manfred von Richtofen, aka the Red Baron, was shot down twice before his death 21 April 1918. But Koennecke was not shot down that day.Some say McCudden's victim was Vzfw Martin Klein of Jasta 5. Others say it was Uffz Julius Kaiser of Jasta 35b. As with all things, you pays your money, you takes your choices.)


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