Submission Guidelines


In Volume 4, Number 2 of Over the Front the Editorial Staff provided authors with guidelines that were to be followed in the preparation of articles being submitted for publication. The purpose of the following material is to provide Issue Editors with updated information that potential authors may find of help in preparing articles for the Journal.

First and foremost, contact an Issue Editor or the Managing Editor. Surely you don't want to spend months researching and crafting the perfect article on the impact of rubber shortage on the manufacture of German aircraft tires during 1917 only to hear, "Gosh, that's a great article... but we just published something very similar last issue." The editors are there to help you. They are as much a resource as your library.

Secondly, while it sounds antiquated, an old fashioned paper copy of your article is incredibly helpful. Don't underestimate its usefulness in the editorial process.

A. How to work with the Editorial Staff

  1. Basic guidance in the preparation of any material for the Journal can be found in the latest edition of the CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE and STYLE TIPS prepared by the Managing Editor. Additional guidance is provided below:
  2. Text should be typed with a word processor and delivered on a diskette, preferably as a Microsoft Word or WordPerfect file. Documents should be single-spaced, on standard 8 1/2" x 11" paper with 1" margins on each side. A double-spaced, printed one-sided paper copy of each manuscript should be supplied to the Issue Editor. Words useful for the index should be marked with a yellow marker.
  3. Care should be exercised in the typing and spelling of all proper names and foreign words, and in the typing of figures and numerals.
  4. Mark paragraph indications carefully, noting where each new paragraph begins. As a general rule of thumb each new thought should mark the beginning of a new paragraph. These indications will serve as a guide to the editor.
  5. Number all pages. This should happen automatically when you insert pages in your word processing program.
  6. Use the spell check features in your word processor or a good dictionary as an aid in spelling. Spelling errors only waste the editor's time. Don't guess at a word--use your dictionary. For foreign words make sure that all accents and inflections are properly noted. Do not expect this to be done for you by the editor
    (Note: If you are a Windows user go to the Start Menu/Programs/System Tools/Character Map. The Character Map accessory shows how to get the accents and markers for umlaut, ü, ö, ä, and other special characters used in foreign words. Macintosh users can go to the Control Panels and access the Key Caps feature.)
  7. Try to present all the facts when names are presented or mentioned for the first time in your manuscript. Research the full name, rank, squadron, or unit and use it when introducing a personality in your manuscript.
  8. Always keep a printed copy of your manuscript in addition to your computer and disk files. It will greatly assist you in coordinating with the editor on any given part of information and/or question that may arise.
  9. Make certain of your facts! Document your evidence in the endnotes. Do not guess at anything--look it up and check before placing it in your manuscript. If you do not know for sure and have to make an assumption, state this and provide your reason. If there is conflicting information, provide references in the endnotes.

B. Working with Photographs

  1. As a rule, photographic prints should be submitted for all illustrations, they will be returned when the issue is completed. The reason for this is that in our print production processes we use high-resolution scanning equipment, and not the less expensive consumer versions. If you want to submit scanned photos on disks, contact the editor to obtain the specifications required by the layout team.
  2. If you are making photographic copies of your illustrations, don't use glossy paper. A matte paper allows for a better scan with less light reflection. Some of the best results are obtained from the old original bromolith paper prints from the First World War, because of the matte, non-shiny quality of the paper. Also, don't use textured paper. Some photo finishers have used a textured paper with little honeycomb-like bumps that doesn't scan or reproduce well.
  3. Xerox copies do not replace prints! The Xerox process lacks the subtle gradation information necessary to equal a print on photographic paper.
  4. Laser Printed copies: To the naked eye these look almost as good as photographic prints. But when scanned, the row and dot pattern of the laser can be seen and is hard to get rid of. When combined with the screen printing process this can result in what is called a moiré pattern. Again, we need to ask that prints be used.
  5. Photographs are very important. While not mandatory they can significantly contribute to a manuscript. Caption your photos as thoroughly as possible. Identify every individual that you can by rank, name, and unit (and victories, if appropriate or if any). If the identity of individuals in a photo is not known, then state that fact. If possible, give the date and location of the photograph. Identify by make and model, all aircraft and call attention to unique distinguishing features, markings, serial numbers, heraldry, modifications, or other pertinent information. Do not be concerned about submitting lengthy photo captions; it is easier to shorten something than it is to pad it. Remember, too much information is better than not enough.
  6. Care of photographic prints, negatives, or transparencies. Avoid handling photographic prints or negatives with your bare hands. Oils are very damaging to prints and can cause the emulsion on the paper to break down. Light cotton gloves can be purchased at photo or beauty supply outlets. Fingerprints are hard to remove once they are on a print or negative and show up when the photos are reproduced in print.
  7. If a photo is controlled by copyright, the acknowledgement should so note, as well as the number of the negative or print. At the end of the manuscript, a paragraph of acknowledgment should include the source(s) of the photos.
  8. Number each photo and include the main author's name for ease of identification. This is best done with sticky labels. If you write on the back of the photo, be sure to not write with a hard point that can put a dent in the photograph. Avoid using a marker that can bleed through the photo paper. An alternative is to photocopy the photos and number them on the paper copy to accompany the photos. It is best to ship the photos in plastic print preservers.
  9. Include photo captions in a section identified "Illustrations" at the end of the article. The caption number should match the number of each photo with a corresponding number. This will reduce the chance of error. Bear in mind that there is no reason to assume that your editor is familiar with your photos; you are responsible for accurate identification and captioning.

C. Headers, Endnotes, Bibliography, Acknowledgements, etc.

  1. Headers, unique to your article, are included on each sheet of your manuscript in addition to the page number, although the page number may be included within the header itself. This will help the graphic designer to know which page belongs to which manuscript.
  2. Information, direction or guidance meant to assist your editor in the preparation of your article are placed either between the typed lines or in the margins of your manuscript. Indicate on each page, where a specific photo should be placed, taking care to keep the placement of each photo as close to the related text as it is possible. If such information is lacking, the editor and the graphic illustrator preparing the article will rely upon their own judgment for suitable photo placement.
  3. Endnotes: Using a numerical sequence system, endnotes should be clearly marked in the body of the manuscript. The appropriate note is placed at the end of the article, which is done automatically in most word processing programs.
  4. Bibliography: Referencing of bibliographical sources is recommended at the end of each article. Books, magazines, periodicals, or other publications used in support of your text, should be quoted according to the Chicago Manual of Style: (a) author's last name with comma; (b) first name and initial(s) with comma; (c) co-authors' first, initials and last names with commas; (d) reference title with comma;  
    BOOKS: (e) city of publication with colon; (f) publisher's name with comma; (g) edition if other than first with comma; (h) year of publication with comma, and (i) specific page number(s) (p. or pp.) of reference.  
    CHAPTERS (e) title of book with comma; (f) edited by {first name, initial(s), last name; (e) city of publication with colon; (f) publisher's name with comma; (g) edition if other than first with comma; (h) year of publication with comma; and (i) specific page number(s) (p. or pp.).
    JOURNALS: (e) title of journal with comma; (f) Vol. with comma; (g) No. [of issue] with comma; (h) year of publication with comma; and page(s) of quoted reference.
    The following examples are presented for information and guidance:
    Bodenschatz, Karl, Jagd in Flanderns Himmel, Munich: Knorr & Hirth, 1935, p.206.
    Immelmann, Max, Der Erste! In Flieger am Feind, edited by Werner von Langsdorff, 14th ed., Gütersloh, Bertelsmann, 1943, pp. 33-35.
    Bailey, Frank W., and Alan L. Roesler, The History of Groupe de Combat 14, Over the Front, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2001, pp. 241-242.
  5. Acknowledgments at the conclusion of an article are nice tokens of appreciation to those assisting in the preparation of your article. These should be kept brief and to the point. Avoid superfluous acknowledgments.
  6. To the extent practical, the use of terms should be consistent with the country of origin of the research topic and its references. For example, in Germany the aircraft fuel was Benzin or Benzol, not gasoline, while in England it was petrol; there is a difference between "engines" and "motors"; and in England the Bristol fighter was known as the F.2B, while in the vernacular and in the U.S. it has also been described as the "Brisfit". In addition, care needs to be taken when using the phrases "Great Britain," "United Kingdom," and "England." They are significantly different and this must be recognized. Remember, the Germans called all members of the United Kingdom, even of Great Britain, Engländer.


  1. World War I aviation historians generally communicate in many original terms used during the 1914-1918 period. That enables us to maintain a sort of historical purity that eliminates many problems. But, for the benefit of new enthusiasts, certain points should be followed.
  2. By all means, do use foreign words. In the first instance, spell them out and translate them within parentheses immediately following the usage. For example: "And the pilot yelled Bremsklötze weg!" (German for "Pull the chocks").
  3. If the foreign word is a military rank, please spell out the first usage and translate it; the second usage can be abbreviated. For example: "Both Hauptmann (Captain) Keller and Hptm. Zorer were members of Kampfgeschwader der Obersten Heeresleitung 1 (Kagohl 1--Battle Squadron of the High Command)."
  4. There is no central source of spellings and translations of the various foreign words used in our research. An excellent source of German terms, ranks, etc., is the glossary in Alex Imrie, Pictorial History of the German Army Air Service, London: Ian Allen, 1971, pp. 65-68, or The British General Staff, Vocabulary of German Military Terms and Abbreviations, 2nd ed., July 1918, reprint London and Nashville: Imperial War Museum and The Battery Press, 1995. In the same reprint series, one can find handbooks on the Austro-Hungarian, French, German, Russian, Turkish and other armies of the World War I era useful to find terms and translations.


Spell out from one through ten and use numerals for all from 11 and higher , except when using a sequence of numbers starting with ten, e.g., "there were 10 to 15 aircraft in line." Numbers may be mixed as follows: "The record showed Smith's fourth victory and Jones' 12th"--again, spelling out first through tenth. Furthermore, if a sentence begins with a number greater than ten, the number should be spelled out, rather than using a numeral.


Identify units the way their countries did , e.g., 95th Pursuit Squadron, USAS; No. 206 Squadron, RAF; Jagdstaffel 40, Escadrille SPA 103, 9me Escadrille de Chasse, 76 a Squadriglia, Flik 41J, etc. Abbreviations (covered below) should also reflect World War I usage.


Consulting the best contemporaneous or historical sources, use the designations actually used in World War I--even to the extent of splitting hairs, e.g., the British used the D.H. 4 while the Americans used the DH-4. Other examples are: S.E.5a, Albatros D.Va, Fokker Dr.I, SPAD S VII (variations seen in print as 7.C1, 7, and VII without the "S"), Caproni Ca. 45, and the Curtiss JN-4C. Note that there are no apostrophes in normal plurals (only possessive plurals): D.H. 4s, DH-4s, S.E.5as, Albatros D.Vas, Fokker Dr.Is, SPAD S VIIs, Caproni Ca. 45s, and Curtiss JN-4Cs. Sometimes it is possible, following this guidance, to formulate very tenuous sequences. As a preferred alternative, then, it is permissible to clarify, e.g., if one were to be discussing the spark plugs used in the Albatros D.Va it would be confusing to use "Albatros D.Va's spark plugs"; an alternative would be to use the phrase "the Albatros D.Va fighter's spark plugs."

Examples of the correct usage of the aircraft serial numbers are: S.E.5a C.1057, Nieuport 27 N5690, Pfalz D.IIIa 8143/17, Fokker D.VII (Alb) 6828/18, Fokker D.VII (OAW) 8425/18, etc.


Many languages provide additional guidance in the proper pronunciation of words. Authors must be aware of such guidance and need to take them into consideration in the preparation of manuscripts. Typical examples of such indications are: Armée, Pour le mérite, Bébé, Führer, aôut, Gnôme, Le Rhône and Schütte-Lanz


RFC BK 20 DH-4 h.p.
RAF USA AFP B.E.2c (no space)
RNAS USAS BG F.E.2b (no space)
N 65 VB 102 DOW Fl.Abt. (A) 283
LVG mm CAP 115 G.D.E.
mph SOP 111 SAL 122 Staaken R.II (no space)
APO cm CIACB C.IVa (no space)
EOW GB 1 OEF Rumpler C.I (no space)
BG IV BR 66 Jasta 11 Hannover Cl.IIIa (no space
AR 258 F 110 kg S.E.5a (no space)
FA(A) 227 V 97 U.S.
Jage II JN-3 Pfalz D.IIIa (no space)
POW KEK Jametz D.S.O.
JG I Fokker D.VII(OAW) (no space)


There are some instances where abbreviations appear only in capital letters, e.g., SPAD and SAML.


It must be recognized that there is no definitive listing of abbreviations used amongst WWI aviation historians. Even in official publications there are differences in commonly used abbreviations--both among official publications and within official publications. The partial listing of World War I abbreviations is based on a listing of abbreviations commonly used by authors of various WWI aviation journals, as well as in official publications and is provided with the objective of achieving a sense of uniformity and consistency in the material presented in the Journal.

L. Ranks

The rank lists attempt to provide a reasonably comprehensive compilation of both the military and naval rankings used by the belligerents during the war. The list is perhaps somewhat overly long, but due to the wide range of interests and the breadth of research efforts of the League members, the list is made as complete as possible. As not all ranks, or their equivalents are included, the editorial staff of Over the Front would appreciate additions and corrections from readers.  


Times and dates should be listed in the military manner in which they were originally described, e.g., dates are noted as is the custom in the country of origin with either the date preceding the month or following the month, depending upon the custom. An acceptable form of variety would be: "The unit's first encounter was on 9 May 1917, and was followed by engagements on the 10th, 11th, and 13th. After a brief respite, operations were resumed on the 16th of the month." It is pretty clear that all of this activity took place in May 1917. Times should be indicated in a manner consistent with their origin, e.g., military times were typically indicated in the same form as civilian times while naval times used the 24-hour clock. When using civilian times care needs to be exercised to insure the omission of errors between ante-meridiem and post-meridiem times. In describing events occurring at different times the following would be acceptable: "Smith achieved his second victory at 9:20 a.m. and his third at 9:30 a.m.; Jones scored his 11th at 10:15 a.m."

Apostrophes are used only in the possessive case. Others are omitted (i.e., SPADs, etc.) unless its presence absolutely is necessary (as previously mentioned).

A distinction needs to be made between dashes and hyphens. A hyphen is used both to separate a word into syllables at the end of a sentence and to separate a word that is constructed from two separate words, e.g., "Lt. Jones received a war-ending wound on the 30th." Note that there is no space between the end of the word 'war' and the beginning of the word 'ending'. A dash is a double hyphen and is used to set out a secondary thought within a sentence, e.g.,  

"All my life I have longed for the Legion of Honor--not only for my own sake, but for that of my family--and now that I have at last the opportunity to receive it, they give me this."

Note that there is no space between the dashes and the words in the sentence.


No style sheet is ever complete and we will no doubt be refining various usages in Over the Front for years to come. This revision to the originally supplied guidance is nothing more than a refinement in the evolution of the use of common terminology so that the high degree of uniformity needed to communicate effectively is achieved. Comments and additions to this Style Guide are welcome and should be addressed directly to the Managing Editor.