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Lionel Morris and the Red Baron (Hardback)

Air War on the Somme

Aviation WWI Somme Aviation in WWI 1916 Military

By Jill Bush
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 247
ISBN: 9781526742223
Published: 15th July 2019


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Nineteen-year-old Lionel Morris left the infantry for the wood and wires of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front in 1916, joining one of the world’s first fighter units alongside the great ace Albert Ball. Learning on the job, in dangerously unpredictable machines, Morris came of age as a combat pilot on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, as the R.F.C. was winning a bloody struggle for admiralty of the air.

As summer faded to autumn, and the skies over Bapaume filled with increasing numbers of enemy aircraft, the tide turned. On 17 September 1916, Morris’s squadron was attacked by a lethally efficient German unit, including an unknown pilot called Manfred von Richthofen. As the shock waves spread from the empty hangars of No.11 Squadron all the way to the very top of the British Army, the circumstances surrounding Morris’s death marked a pivotal shift in the aerial war, and the birth of its greatest legend.

Told through previously unpublished archive material, the words of contemporaries and official records, Lionel Morris and the Red Baron traces a short but extraordinary life; and reveals how Morris’s role in history was rediscovered one hundred years after his death.

I have a relative by marriage who was part of the ground staff during the early days of the Royal Flying Corps, which was shortly to become the RAF, and to read about the exploits of one of its pioneering pilots who actually fought and flew against von Richthofen was an extreme privilege for me. Fantastic.

Books Monthly

This is a homage to a fallen relative but is also much more than that; thoroughly researched and eloquently written it is well worth a read.

Read the full review here

WW1 Geek

Featured in

Great War July 2019

Featured "On The Bookshelf" by Neil Smith for

Wargames Illustrated, June 2019

About Jill Bush

Jill Bush worked mainly in the arts after graduating from Aberdeen University. Her research on the Royal Flying Corps began when she became curious about a family legend of a connection with the Red Baron. She lives in Sussex and blogs on history at www.jillbushwrites.com. Lionel Morris and the Red Baron is her first book.

Perfect Partner

The Red Baron A History in Pictures (Hardback)

Keen First World War aviation enthusiasts will be familiar with Norman Franks’ previous books covering the life of Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, so why this new one? Well Manfred, the iconic Red Baron, has constantly remained at the forefront of First World War studies and, in commemorating the one hundred years that have elapsed since the beginning of hostilities, it seems like a good time to introduce a new arrangement of photographs covering the entire span of von Richthofen’s war (most of which will have been seen, but spread over a whole variety of books and magazines about…

By Norman Franks

Click here to buy both titles for £30.98
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