The First World War – The ‘Ace’ Myth.

Crime Scribe

Knights of the sky..?

We had a strict code of honour. You didn’t shoot down a cripple and you kept it a fair fight.

Captain Wilfred Reid May, Royal Flying Corps, 13 victories

Fighting in the air is not sport. It is scientific murder.

Captain Edward “Eddie” Rickenbacker, U.S. Air Service, 26 victories

Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock, René Fonck and Eddie Rickenbacker were once household names, legends in their own lifetimes.. Manfred von Richthofen, the “Red Baron,” is still the most famous ace of all time. Remembered today as the founding fathers of aerial combat, an entire generation watched these shooting stars blaze through the skies over the battlefields of the First World War. Their stars burned brightly (and often briefly). The ‘Cavalry of the clouds’ became almost instant legends, but subject nowadays to increasing debate.

Was there really chivalry between opposing fighter pilots? And did they really have the military…

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