When it comes to books about French World War One aviation history one immediately thinks of the likes of researchers like Bill Bailey, James Davilla, Jon Guttman, and Alan Toelle who in books and articles have revealed various aspects of the Aviation Militaire. It is true that these researchers have all concentrated on different aspects, Bailey on the unit combat histories and related data, Davilla on the aircraft types and units in which they served, Guttmann on unit markings and personalities, and Alan Toelle on the French aircraft types, their correct colors and markings, and those that served with the U.S. Air Service and their personalities. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence of activity among French researcher/authors and the results, to say the least, are definitely worth a look. Many of these publications are in French. However, this book, by Marc Chassard, titled 'René Dorme Joseph Guiget, La Guerre Aérienne de Deux As' (René Dorme and Joseph Guiget, The Air War of Two Aces), is published with full text in both French and English. Marc translated the text himself, but wisely handed the text over to Mike Pearce, French speaking Committee Member of Cross & Cockade International, who polished it some more which made for a highly readable volume. The text, although translated retains a French character.
The name of René Dorme is legend, but how much has really been published about him in English other than an article here or there. This book tells the story in an impressive package, in narrative and from personal letters from himself and his comrades. The story also covers his comrade in arms Joseph Guiguet, a fellow member of C.94 and N/SPA 3 in 250 pages and 250+ rare photos, plus maps, color profiles, and more. The photo quality is very good, with many surprises in store for the reader. Marc has taken on a lot with this volume, including the color profile artwork, which is very cleanly rendered of the various aircraft types flown by the two aces.
Mr. Chassard has thought about the needs of the English speaking world and has rendered a unique service by providing this large dual language volume. The book cover is graced with a beautiful painting by Francis Bergèse of the two aces Nieuport 17s in flight. The book is comprised of 16 chapters, organized into five sections, plus appendices and interesting inserts detailing the history of Pau, Night Flight Techniques in 1915, Types of Missions flown, The Escadrille mascot, Hélène, and much more.
submitted by Aaron Weaver