Bloody Paralyser: The Giant Handley Page Bombers of the First World War

ISBN 10: 1781550808 / ISBN 13: 9781781550809
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Synopsis: The First World War saw tremendous technological advancements, especially in the world of aviation. Many amazing sights were to be seen in the air during the war, and one of the largest and most impressive was that of the Handley Page bombers. The first two-engine Handley Page bomber flew in 1915, and the Handley Page O/100 and O/400 bombers flew operational missions over Germany and German-occupied Europe as well as further afield for almost two years of the war. The even larger four engine Handley Page V/1500 was all set to conduct an audacious mission to bomb Berlin, cancelled just on the eve on the Armistice. The contribution of these machines and the men that flew and operated them is largely forgotten today, with a lot of focus being given to the seemingly more glamorous single-seat scout pilots. This book aims to try and redress the balance and tell the story of the ‘Bloody Paralyser’ aeroplanes and their crews.

About the Author: Rob Langham is a Great War Historian with strong interests in the home front and the Gallipoli Campaign. He is a graduate in Aviation Management BSc and has since worked in the aviation and logistics industries. Rob currently resides in Hampshire

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Title: Bloody Paralyser: The Giant Handley Page ...
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Rob Langham
ISBN 10: 1781550808 ISBN 13: 9781781550809
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Book Description Hardback 208 pages Published Price £20 There are a number of surprises on first reading Bloody Paralyser, not least that there are actually two competing stories about how the Ôbloody paralyserÕ appellation originated. In any event, it was clear that the thinking of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) was ahead of its time in requesting an aircraft so large and with such load-carrying ability. Interestingly, Rob reveals that the aircraft were not originally intended as strategic bombers at all. The initial concept was for a battlefield weapon that could act as a form of long-range artillery, heavily armoured to protect against ground fire, inspired by the 1914 siege of Antwerp in the coastal zone that the RNAS had responsibility for. Another surprising aspect of the narrative is just how early the giant Handley Pages were conceived, given that few aircraft of such great size existed in 1915. The impressive abilities of the O/100 (named for its 100 ft wingspan) and the even more capable O/400 by 1917 standards are well communicated.Importantly, the narrative places the aircraft in their historical context. While they are likened to the WW2 ÔheaviesÕ such as the Lancaster and Halifax, this is not done in an ahistorical way. Rob charts the development of the aircraft from its original battlefield conception to an aircraft that, shorn of its performance-sapping armour, became a machine that could fly above the range of small-arms fire and carry a large bomb load far beyond the lines, well into Germany by the warÕs end, almost by accident. The fact that the Handley Pages began their operational career as naval aircraft is brought home in wonderful details such as the classification of air gunners as ÔGun LayersÕ and the use of specially constructed ÔlighthousesÕ across the Western Front as navigational aids.A fair amount of technical detail is provided where this is appropriate, including a discussion of the anti-aircraft artillery that the Handley Pages often faced and the weapons carried by the aircraft. This is by no means dry, and fits seamlessly into the narrative flow. The organisational and cultural changes wrought by the RNASÕ absorption into the RAF are also covered as they apply to the Handley Page squadrons.The most impressive element of the bookis the extent to which those who were directly involved are allowed to tell the story. The narrative, especially the chapters on the aircraftÕs operational service, is peppered with quotations from the diaries and letters of Handley Page crews and others who were directly connected with their operation. These sources provide a far better picture than any modern retelling could, and the contemporary sources reveal startling insights such as the experience of being targeted by embryonic anti-aircraft defences (such as the legendary Ôflaming onionsÕ) or the harsh conditions encountered during night flights lasting many hours. The experience of those on the receiving end of Handley Page bombing raids are not left out either, and there are numerous citations from contemporary German sources.Each theatre of war the Handley Pages served in is covered, including the aircraftÕs lesser known Middle East use and brief service with Colonel T.E. LawrenceÕs Ôair forceÕ. The development of the four-engined V/1500, which just missed service in WW1, has a chapter devoted to it, as does the postwar civilian use of surviving aircraft. Bookseller Inventory # 24946

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Langham, Rob
Published by Fonthill Media (2014)
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Book Description Fonthill Media, 2014. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # GB-9781781550809

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Book Description Fonthill Media, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1915, the biggest plane yet seen in Britain took flight, a twin-engine monster with a 100-foot wingspan. Handley Page bombers attacked German cities, disrupting the enemy s industry and crippling its war effort. The men that flew in the Bloody Paralysers were the forerunners of Bomber Command in World War 2 and their story is told in their own words. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781781550809

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Book Description Fonthill Media. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9781781550809

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Book Description Global Book Sales 2016-01-21, [England], 2016. hardback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9781781550809

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Book Description Fonthill Media, United Kingdom, 2016. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1915, the biggest plane yet seen in Britain took flight, a twin-engine monster with a 100-foot wingspan. Handley Page bombers attacked German cities, disrupting the enemy s industry and crippling its war effort. The men that flew in the Bloody Paralysers were the forerunners of Bomber Command in World War 2 and their story is told in their own words. Bookseller Inventory # AA79781781550809

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