Bloody April 1917

An Exciting Detailed Analysis of One of the Deadliest Months in WWI

Norman Franks, Russell Guest, Frank Bailey

A detailed account of the massacre of British and French crews which made April the worst month for flying casualties the WWI had yet seen.
Date Published :
May 2017
Publisher :
Grub Street Publishing
Illustration :
Illustrated throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781910690413
Pages : 192
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Even those people who know little of WWI’s air war will have heard of Bloody April. After more than eighteen months of deadly stalemate on the Western Front, by April 1917 the British and French were again about to launch yet another land offensive, this time on the Arras Front. This would be the first opportunity to launch a major offensive since the winter and would require enormous support from the Royal Flying Corps and French Air Force in, hopefully, improved weather. However, the air offensive was to be countered fiercely by the new German Jagstaffeln – Jastas – that had been the brainchild of Oswald Boelcke in 1916. By the spring of 1917, the first Jasta pilots, with new improved fighters – the nimble Albatros DIIIs – were just itching to get to grips with their opponents over the Western Front. What followed was a near massacre of British and French aircraft and crews, which made April the worst month for flying casualties the war had yet seen. Here is a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account of these losses, profusely illustrated with original photographs and expertly told.

About The Author

Norman Franks is a respected historian and author. Previous titles for Pen and Sword include InThe Footsteps of the Red Baron (co-authored with Mike OConnor), The Fighting Cocks, RAF Fighter Pilots Over Burma, Dogfight, The Fallen Few of the Battle of Britain (with Nigel McCrery) and Dowdings Eagles. Over the course of his career, Frank has published some of the most compelling works on First World War fighter aviation, being one of the worlds leading authorities on the subject.

He lives in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.


"For those interested in aviation history, this book is essential reading. The authors have written a highly detailed work that is meticulously peppered with eyewitness testimony, quality research, original photographs and accessible statistics. It also recreates the period for the reader and has a keen eye for accuracy and as a reference work it comes highly recommended."

- History of War

“The book does not dwell on the why, but it is a true masterpiece of the who, when, and where. Nowhere will you find such an exhaustive book on the day to day events of the aerial war over the Western front in April 1917.”

- A Wargamers Needful Things

“Filled with excellent research and analysis, this book is highly recommended.”

- Over the Front, Autumn 2017

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