“It is widely accepted that firing a machine gun at a man can be to his detriment.”
Above the mud and blood of the Western Front during WW1, intrepid aviators from around the world fought freezing weather and each other and often died alone in flames. Fledglings is a novel of the pioneers of air combat, in which Albatros biplanes and Fokkers do battle with the RFC as Sebastian von Bülow tries to win the war single-handedly through the sheer force of his personality. George Miller’s Sopwith Camel is one impediment to this goal, as is a squadron of F.2B Brisfits manned by an assortment of Commonwealth aircrew, including a hardened Australian by the name of Ross Burke. This is an uncompromising story of squadron life in a seemingly endless war, with a supporting cast including not only staff officers, mechanics and armourers, but also civilians who struggle to survive in an occupied town on the brink of starvation. 445 pages.