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352 AIRCRAFT ENGINEERIN G November, 1938 A n Assortment of Books Dealing with Aspect s of Air Warfare A.R.P . By J. B. S. Haldane, F.R.S. Mr. Spaight. Here is no emotional atmosphere views—his belief, for instance, in the future of (Gollanez. 7s. 6d.) of political hysteria but a calm, reasoned th e multi-gun fighter firing shell—to appreciate Out of the nine chapters in this book, three analysis of facts—well-documented and well th e soundness of many of his conclusions. In (Chapters I, III and VI) contain a good deal of presented. In a chapter aptly entitled some ways the most valuable parts of the book interesting information, well worthy of its are the series of sketch maps showing the "Flight s of Fancy, and the Facts," Mr. Spaight distinguished writer. Unfortunately, practic distances to the frontiers of various countries, compares the present rates of aircraft pro ally the whole of the rest is compounded of duction with those of 1918 and points out how th e meaning to England of the radius of action sneers and gibes at those who hold different fantastic are the alarmist visions of universal of the modern German bomber and the new political views from the author and is quite destruction from bombing raids. In 1918, situation in the Mediterranean caused by the unworthy of a Fellow of the Royal Society. Germany was producing about 2,000 aeroplanes advent of the aeroplane. If the chapters we have enumerated were lifted a month, compared with her present probable out and republished in the form of a pamphlet, outpu t of 600 a month; while England is selling at sixpence or a shilling, this would believed to be turning out 300-350 a month, Le s Flottes de l'Air en 1937. By Robert richly deserve the wide circulation it would compared with 3,500 a month in 1918. In Gruss (Société d'Editions Geographiques, undoubtedly receive. In its present form we connexion with these figures and their meaning Maritimes et Coloniales). are afraid it is impossible to recommend the in comparison with " first line " strength (which This is an interesting handbook for easy expenditure of seven shillings and sixpence on is usefully defined on pp. 117-118), he recalls a reference. Photographs, general character political diatribe. Professor Haldane is highly memorandum prepared by Lord Weir in 1917 istics, performance figures and, where possible, critical of the Home Office and its A.R.P. which showed that a monthly production of general arrangement drawings of the aero advice, but in fact during the recent crisis the 1,500 machines is necessary to maintain 1,000 planes used by the world's air forces are given. hasty measures taken for the immediate pro a t the front. The book would be of the very greatest service tection of the public were almost exactly on if a little more care had been taken in its com Like Mr. Langdon-Davies, Mr. Spaight refers the lines he suggests. The more elaborate forms pilation as its arrangement is rather vague and t o the Barcelona raid of March 16-18, 1938, of shelter he describes as having been found meandering ; however, it is always easier to bu t he gives the number killed and injured (on effective in Spain would no doubt have followed. criticize tha n to produce such a book. Taking th e authority of a statement made by the The author has visited Spain and studied the i t all in all, and having due regard for the Mayor of Barcelona on March 26) as 875 killed effects of air raids there at first hand. It will difficulties inherent in the production of a and 1,500 wounded—a very different story from not surprise any informed student of such treatise on military aeroplanes, the book is tha t given by the other author. matter s to learn that very early on in the reasonably well up to its publication dale and On p. 105, and again on pp. 118-119, an operations both gas and incendiary bombs were does not include too much obsolete material. excellent summary of Schemes F and L of the discarded as quite ineffective. This is in All military types are included and a footnote British Expansion Programme is given. accordance with the view consistently main indicates whether the aeroplane was known to tained by the best opinion that high explosive Mr. Spaight's book can be unreservedly be actually in service a t the time of writing. is far th e most effective form of attack from the recommended to all who wish to form a sane air. idea of the possibilities and limitations of air warfare. Di e Deutsche Luftwaffe. By Dr. Kürbs. (Junker und Dünnhaupt Verlag. Km. 1.) Ai r Raid. By Langdon-Davies. (Routledge. This is more a picture book of the attractions 2s. 6d.) Breath e Freely ! The Truth About Poison of life in the German Air Force arranged for the I n this little book also the fact of the Gas . By James Kendall, F.R.S. (Bell. laity than anything else. Nothing strikingly exclusive employment of high explosive bombs 3s. 6d.) novel is contained therein, but it is of interest in Spain is stressed. The author confines him I n this book another Fellow of the Royal t o anyone wishing to get a n idea of the manage self almost entirely to an examination of the Society, writing of what he knows, lays th e bogy ment, routine and equipment of the Luftwaffe. 13 air raids made on Barcelona within a period of poison gases by analysing the effects of their of 40 hours on March 16-18, 1938. He provides Th e whole range of duties connected with use in th e last war and discussing their composi a map of the town showing the areas hit and military and naval aviation are covered, tion and characteristics. As well-informed publishes a number of photographs of detail including the anti-aircraft defences, which are opinion has all along been aware, gas is nothing damage of buildings. According to him, the par t of the Air Force, not the Army, in like so lethal or as permanently crippling to casualties were 3,000 killed and 25,000 injured Germany. personnel as high-explosive. Statistics quoted in a town of one and a half million inhabitants. by Professor Kendall show tha t in the last war Wha t the author describes as "th e technique On th e Top of the World. By L. Bronfman. th e ratio of death to injuries was only 7·3 per of silent approach" was employed, the aero cent in gas attacks, compared with a ratio of (Victor Gollanez. 16s.). planes throttling their engines a considerable 24·6 per cent in casualties from all causes. distance from their objective and gliding down This is the account of the Russian expedition Furthermore, only 3 per cent of the gas casual- t o attack. It is none the less astonishing that to the North Pole in 1937 to land the party of tics were any the worse after three months. apparently not one of th e raids was spotted until meteorologists who later drifted southward and Professor Kendall has a neat phrase for th e actual moment when bombs began to drop were finally recovered off the east coast of Green typifying the sort of sensational nonsense that —in fact it is stated that the raiders were land in February, 1938. It is written by a is foisted upon the public on the subject of gas. usually on their way back, after completing journalist who accompanied the expedition and They are told, for example, he writes, of new, th e raid, within 75 seconds of the air-raid unfortunately contains the minimum of bu t unspecified, gases, "one drop of which, warning being given. One cannot help feeling, technical information. The aeroplanes used placed upon the tongue of a dog, will kill a if all credit be given to the method of approach, appear to have been similar to the four-engined horse! " tha t the defence must have been extremely A.N.T.14 type described in AIRCRAFT EN ineffective and without any properly organized GINEERING in January, 1935, and it is some An interesting book which most admirably system of observers. wha t surprising that so fine a performance put s the whole subject in correct perspective. should have been put up by such obsolete After describing what he calls this "Italo- machines. It is difficult to be certain how many German manoeuvre" or "exercise " the author Th e Chosen Instrument. By Norman men were actually flown to the Pole, as no list proceeds to give his views on the best methods is given of the members of this part y as distinct Macmillan. (John Lane. 5s.) of evacuating the non-essential, and safe from the whole expedition, some of which guarding the essential, population of London in This little book is written from the frankly remained a t Rudolf Land, bu t it appears to have similar circumstances. insular point of view an d examination of th e new been about 34 or 35. It is stated that each position of Great Britain in war in the light of aeroplane weighed, fully loaded, 24 tons— Ai r Power in the Next War. By J. M. th e development of the air arm. Though in which would seem to be an outside estimate. Spaight. (Geoffrey Bles. 5s.) popular language it discusses in a reasonable I t is an indescribable relief to turn from manner the possibilities of air attack. It is The book is certainly worth reading as the Professor Haldane and Mr. Langdon-Davies to not necessary to agree with all the author's record of a remarkable achievement.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 1, 1938
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