Greatest Air Aces of all Time. A chat with the Author Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd)

Very early in aviation, aerial platforms began being used for air-strikes and air combat. A flying Ace, fighter Ace, or Air Ace is a military aviator credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The concept of the “Ace” emerged in 1915 during World War I, at the same time as aerial dogfighting. It was a term often also used to create heroes for domestic audiences, in what were otherwise wars of attrition. The individual combat actions of Aces were widely reported and disseminated as a chivalrous knight reminiscent of the ancient era. It also was intended to demoralise the adversary.  For a brief early period when air-to-air combat was just being invented, the exceptionally skilled pilot could shape the battle in the skies, and approximately five percent of combat pilots account for the majority of air-to-air victories.

          French newspapers were the first to describe Adolphe Pégoud, as an Ace in World War I, and later Manfred von Richthofen, known as the “Red Baron”, scored the most officially accepted kills. There were a large number of Air Aces in World War II. Germany clearly led the figures with high scores on the Eastern front with the Soviet Union. There were Air Aces later in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq-Iran, and Arab-Israeli wars. This book covers 25 of the greatest Air Aces across wars, nationalities, and countries.

Aadi Anchit od Defence Talks had a chat with the Author Air Marshal Anil Chopra (Retd)

Published by Anil Chopra

I am the founder of Air Power Asia and a retired Air Marshal from the Indian Air Force.

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