No Empty Chairs (Book) Review
by Pen And Sword Books
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Author: Ian Mackersey
Buy No Empty Chairs from Amazon
No Empty Chairs describes in vivid detail the often short lives of the young pilots of World War One. The life expectancy of these young officers who had only just arrived in France was just eleven days, as the rudimentary planes that they flew were unpredictable at best and death-traps at worst. This stressful experience that these men experienced everyday caused severe mental illness in some of the pilots.
However, before getting this far the pilot had to survive the training course during which over half of the prospective pilots would be killed accidentally. Even on the battlefield accidental deaths occurred due to planes being hit by shells from their own allies. All of this contributed to the high death rate of these soldiers of the air which gives a very touching feel to this book.
This book is one that has a very human feel, in that it does not simply look at the combat or the planes, but at the people who flew them, who risked their lives in them and who died in them. An appealing work that is both moving and efficiently accurate in its details.
Of further interest...
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Talk on Soldiers of the Forgotten War- the Battle of Spion KopTue 28th March
Jane Robinson, author of Tracing Your Boer War Ancestors did a talk at the Fusiliers museum on the anniversary of Spion Kop and has now written a piece all about it. Read more here... Read article...