Tethered balloons reached their zenith as a means of providing a stationary observation platform above the battlefield during World War I. It took a special breed of daredevil to take on such odds deep in enemy lines in order to destroy a balloon, with Balloon specialists such as Willy Coppens, Pierre Bourjade and Michel Coiffard rising to the challenge. This book covers the story of these 'balloon busters' from both sides in World War 1 through a mix of first-hand accounts and expert analysis, which compares tactics, theatres of operation, aircraft types and the overall odds for success.
A resident of Leesburg, Virginia, Jon Guttman is senior editor, research director and contributing writer for Primedia Enthusiast Publications. Specialising in World War I aviation, he has written six titles in the past; this is his first volume for Osprey.
"Text and color drawings...cover a variety of aces and aircraft types from both sides. The introduction that covers development and operational use of balloons during WWI is a valuable nugget for anyone studying lighter-than-air craft, whose load-carrying capacity, range, and endurance may actually motivate their return to military and civil service in the not-so-distant future." -Aerospace Modeler (January 2009)
"Overall, this is a very interesting book, and if you have any interest in balloons I would strongly recommend it to you." -Rob Auer, Proceedings