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Head of Zeus
Marked for Death
Marked for Death James Hamilton-Paterson

A compelling and fascinating account of aerial combat in World War I, revealing the terrible risks run by the men who fought and died in the world's first air war.

Little more than 10 years after the first powered flight, aircraft were pressed into service in World War I. Nearly forgotten in the war's massive overall death toll, some 50,000 aircrew would die in the combatant nations' fledgling air forces.

The romance of aviation had a remarkable grip on the public imagination, propaganda focusing on gallant air 'aces' who become national heroes. The reality was horribly different. Marked for Death debunks popular myth to explore the brutal truths of wartime aviation: of flimsy planes and unprotected pilots; of burning 19-year-olds falling screaming to their deaths; of pilots blinded by the entrails of their observers.

James Hamilton-Paterson also reveals how four years of war produced profound changes both in the aircraft themselves and in military attitudes and strategy. By 1918 it was widely accepted that domination of the air above the battlefield was crucial to military success, a realization that would change the nature of warfare for ever.

Head of Zeus * Military History
21 May 2015 * 416pp * £6.99 * 9781784970383
'A terrific story, which Hamilton-Paterson tells with tremendous relish, elegance and attention to detail'
The Sunday Times
'A superb book, not only meticulously researched but also supremely readable'
Daily Mail
'An exhilarating book ... By turns, thrilling, joyful, wistful and provocative'
Rowland White
'Hamilton-Paterson's thorough research reveals much – his book is a wide-ranging education of WWI aviation and is written by someone who really knows flying. Highly recommended!'
Pilot Magazine
'Hamilton-Paterson unsparingly exposes the truth of early wartime aviation: of flimsy aircraft and unprotected pilots who had no parachutes'
Catholic Herald
'For its mix of clear-eyed history, myth-busting and gobsmacking derring-do it's hard to beat James Hamilton Patterson's Marked for Death'
Nick Curtis, Book of the Year in the Evening Standard
'Hamilton-Paterson's book soars far above most First World War histories ... Written with beautiful clarity, this book brings alive both the exhilaration of flight and the experience of killing'
Sunday Times
'A well-researched history of the air operations of WW1 from an unusual perspective ... A high quality historical work which is at the same time highly readable'
Aerospace Magazine
James Hamilton-Paterson
James Hamilton-Paterson
James Hamilton-Paterson is a novelist and non-fiction writer whose books defy easy categorisation. Gerontius won the Whitbread Prize; Cooking with Fernet Branca was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His acclaimed books on the oceans, including Seven-Tenths, have been widely translated, and his books about aviation have set new standards for writing about aircraft.
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