Air Campaign is our series of choice for March's Book Vote. From aviation before the Wright Brothers to Russia's recent campaigns, this month's vote covers the breadth of aviation history. Read more about the full list of options below and cast your vote by clicking the link included!

 Also, keep reading for the results of last month's Weapon book vote. 

ACM: The Balloon Goes Up 1794–1903                   

ACM: Channel Front 1941

ACM: Operation Steinbock 1944

ACM: Libya 1981–89

ACM: Syria 2015-2018                         

The Balloon Goes Up 1794–1903: Military aviation before the Wright Brothers

The world’s first military aircraft opened up a new dimension in warfare. From the French Revolutionary Wars onwards, armies across Europe and America would experiment with ballooning and discover what military aviation could deliver. The French Aeronautic Corps and the Union Army Balloon Corps pioneered aerial reconnaissance, enabling commanders to see and respond to battlefield manoeuvres, and the latter developed modern artillery spotting techniques. The Austrians at the siege of Venice launched the first bombing campaign by balloon, and the siege of Paris in 1871 was evaded by a ‘balloon-bridge’ – more than 60 balloon flights over the Prussian lines to bring communications and supplies into the city.

Channel Front 1941: Rhubarbs, Circuses, and the Bader–Galland duel

In 1941, victorious in the Battle of Britain, the RAF was keen to find ways to hit back across the Channel, despite lacking the forces for an effective offensive. Its answer was to send fighter sweeps and heavily escorted bombers over occupied Europe, to draw the Luftwaffe into combat. It was guerrilla air warfare, to tie up Luftwaffe units that could otherwise be in Russia, and to attrite their aircraft. It was also a battle led and fought by two of the greatest fighter leaders of the war, Douglas Bader and Adolf Galland.

Operation Steinbock 1944: The Luftwaffe’s last blitz over England

Germany’s last strategic bombing campaign of the war, Steinbock hit back at England in early 1944, as the Allied bombing offensive reached its peak. It was a campaign for revenge and propaganda, but one which only proved the German bomber arm’s weakness at this stage of the war. Despite some new techniques, the campaign achieved little and brought heavy losses. In the wake of its failure, with manned bombers unable to crack the British defences, the V-weapon campaign was instead ramped up.

Libya 1981–89: Swing-wing combat over Sidra and Tripoli

Through the 1980s, Colonel Gaddafi’s Libya was a thorn in the side of the West, and particularly the United States under President Reagan. Challenging Gaddafi’s self-declared maritime ‘line of death’ at the Gulf of Sidra, the US Navy’s operations near Libya brought its aviators – flying the F-14 Tomcat – into combat with Gaddafi’s largely Soviet air force, flying MiGs, Sukhois and Mirages. In 1986 the air confrontation escalated dramatically, with a terrorist bombing sparking Operation El Dorado Canyon – the complex, long-range F-111 strike against the Libyan capital, flown all the way from the USAF’s English bases.

Syria 2015-2018: Russia’s expeditionary air war for Assad

On 30 September 2015, facing the prospect of the collapse of its last ally in the Middle East, Russia launched its first out-of-area deployment since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Russian airpower has been crucial in the conflict, and it is the most serious and long-running air war of modern times. What began an intensive but limited air campaign against those rebel forces most seriously threatening Assad’s regime developed into a much more extensive military deployment. The campaign has seen the latest Russian weaponry tested and demonstrated, as well as old-fashioned iron bombs and even older-fashioned mass bombing raids.

Make your vote by clicking here!

Last month we asked you what would you like to see published in our Weapon series. Thank you to everyone who voted and provided feedback, the full results are listed below! 

 WPN: Weapons of the Medieval Knight     31%   
 WPN: Weapons of the Ninja    15% 
 WPN: Early Military Rifles             18%
 WPN: Weapons of the Civil War Cavalryman               13% 
 WPN: Sniping Rifles of World War I              23%

Did your pick win? Which Air Campaign title have you decided to vote for? Let us know in the comments!

Post Comments

PAUL W posted on 8 Mar 2019 19:47:41
Came second last month and currently second this month with the English channel. I'm a bit surprised a Syria book is being considered so early on. There must be a lot of information that is currently unknown or not in the public domain and realistically the conflict is on going.
Tess posted on 1 Mar 2019 11:08:50
I'm struggling with either the most recent or the earliest. I probably go further in history.

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