Airpower Over Gallipoli, 1915-1916
Airpower Over Gallipoli, 1915–1916, focuses on the men and machines in the skies over the Gallipoli Peninsula, their contributions to the campaign, and the ultimate outcomes of the role of airpower in the early stages of World War I. Based on extensive archival research, Sterling Michael Pavelec recounts the exploits of the handful of aviators during the Gallipoli campaign. As the contest for the Dardanelles Straits and the Gallipoli Peninsula raged, three Allied seaplane tenders and three land-based squadrons (two UK and one French) flew and fought against two mixed German and Ottoman squadrons (one land-based, one seaplane), the elements, and the fledgling technology. The contest was marked by experimentation, bravado, and airborne carnage as the men and machines plied the air to gain a strategic advantage in the new medium. As roles developed and missions expanded, the airmen on both sides tried to gain an advantage over their enemies. The nine-month aerial contest did not determine the outcome of the Gallipoli campaign, but the bravery of the pilots and new tactics employed foreshadowed the importance of airpower in battles to come.
This book tells the lost story of the aviators and machines that opened a new domain for modern joint warfare. The dashing, adventurous, and frequently insouciant air commanders were misunderstood, misused, and neglected at the time, but they played an important role in the campaign and set the stage for joint military operations into the future. Their efforts and courage paved the way for modern joint operations at the birth of airpower.