Friday, August 2, 2013

August 2nd... Chapter 3 progress

Happy Friday to all... It is AUGUST 2nd....

99 years ago today, German troops seized the crucial railway hubs in Luxembourg in preparation for the Marne Campaign.  Once seized, the "period of concentration" began.  The mobilization timetable was being followed perfectly to the letter regarding the movement of troops, guns, animals, and supplies across Germany’s rail lines to the area of concentration. As Evelyn Princess BlΓΌcher stated “Germans take to war as a duck takes to water”.[i]  The deployment of all the forces were done according to Moltke’s “Revised Deployment Plan”.[ii]  In 312 hours 11,000 trains transported 119,754 officers, 2.1 million men, and 600,000 horses to the various marshaling areas in preparation for the “Attack March” orders.  1.6 million men were transported to the Western Front at a rate of 560 trains, each carrying 54 cars per day between August 2-8.[iii]  As this was happening, all German aviation units were likewise receiving their deployment orders and were traveling to their respective staging areas on Germany’s western border.  Most FFAs spent the period of concentration giving last minute training to pilots, observers and the mechanics.  The aircraft were made ready for the coming campaign.  Engines, flight surfaces and controls were all checked and made ready.  Pilots and observers oriented themselves with both the area in which they would be operating and the officers in which they would be reporting to.  Several FFAs, primarily belonging to IV V and VI Armies, flew over enemy lines and monitored troop movement and rail traffic.


Regarding the book, I am completing Chapter 3 "Battle of Frontiers August 1914".  The Chapter covers German aviation activity at Liege, Alsace, the Battles of Morhange and Sarrebourg in Lorraine, the various battles of German IV and V Armies in the Ardennes, II and III Armies at Namur/Charleroi/Dinant, Kluck's I army at Mons and Le Cateau and finally the French counter attack at Guise/St.Quentin.

Chapter 4 will cover the Allied "Great Retreat" & the Battle of the Marne. 
Chapter 5 will cover the "Race to the Sea" and the rest of 1914


The Book is going to be the first of its kind... a operational history of all Central Powers air services throughout the entire war split into fronts. ie Part 1:Western Front 1914-1918 2: Eastern Front 1914-1917 3: Italian Front 1915-1918 4:Balkans 1914-1918 5:Ottoman Turk Front 1915-1918

 After the operational histories there will be short 2-5 page histories on aircraft, aviation personalities (commanding officers/aces/pilots/observers), squadrons full of color profiles of the aircraft of the squadrons,aces,etc as well as photos and detailed information on victory claims, aerodromes, etc.

Using previously unpublished information and photos from the "history of aviation" special collections department at UT-Dallas the book will contain unique information and images never before used, making the book a must have for any world war one aviation enthusiast.

 My Chapter 1: "Birth and Development of Aviation in the Central Powers"
       Chapter 2: "Training and Mobilization of Central Powers Air Services"

 are both completed... if anyone would like a look contact me and I'd be happy to share.

-Matt Bowden- 

[i] Holger Herwig "The Marne 1914" Random House (2011) p.49.
[ii] Herwig p.50
[iii] Herwig p.48

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