Cover image for Air warfare: an international encyclopedia
Air warfare: an international encyclopedia
Boyne, Walter J., 1929-
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [2002]

Physical Description:
2 volumes : illustrations ; 29 cm
v. 1. A-L -- v. 2. M-Z.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UG628 .A73 2002 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
UG628 .A73 2002 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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Written by more than 100 international scholars and experts, this encyclopedia chronicles the individuals, equipment, and drama of nearly a century of aerial combat.

* More than 900 A-Z entries zero in on the first, the best, the worst, the fastest, the highest, the latest

* Contributions from some 100 top international experts--many with combat experience

* Lavish set of illustrations with numerous photos including the Mitsubishi G4M equipped with the Okha suicide missile, the Red Baron, and the first all-female aircrew of the U.S. Air Force

* Maps ranging from the Western front as stabilized in 1915 to the Persian Gulf War in 1991

Author Notes

Walter J. Boyne is a former career Air Force officer and the retired director of the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Boyne and Sandler are distinguished military history scholars. Boyne is the former director of the National Air and Space Museum, and Sandler is a retired historian for the U.S. Army. They have respectively authored Air Warfare and Ground Warfare, which complement the earlier Naval Warfare [RBB S 15 02], by Spencer Tucker. These references cover their subjects from the earliest times possible to the present, Ground Warfare reaching back to ancient times and Air Warfare beginning its coverage with World War I. They are international in scope and have international contributors. According to the introductions, the intended audiences are scholars and general readers. With only a few differences, both sets are arranged in a similar manner. Each accompanies its A^-Z entries with an introduction; an alphabetical list of entries; a list of contributors; a list of abbreviations, terms, and acronyms; a select bibliography; and an index. Each signed entry is one-quarter to several pages in length and concludes with a short bibliography and, in most cases, cross-references. Scope encompasses biographies, battles, wars, raids, and weapons. Air Warfare's more than 900 entries are heavy on particular kinds of aircraft (Bell AH-1 Cobra, Grumman F4F Wildcat). Among its more than 1,200 entries, Ground Warfare includes some unusual discussions like Music, military; Religion and war; and Reporting, war. Both sets have entries for treatment of their subjects in the arts and for the roles played by women. Each set is enhanced by appropriately placed black-and-white maps, illustrations, and photographs. Information is fairly current. Air Warfare covers Enduring Freedom, the U.S.'s post-9/11 bombing campaign in Afghanistan, and Ground Warfare covers the troubles in Peru, Rwanda, Somalia, and Yugoslavia through 2000. Interestingly, Air Warfare has an entry for Scott O'Grady but none for the air war in the former Yugoslavia. Other military reference tools, whether more general, such as The Oxford Companion to Military History [RBB Ja 1 & 15 02], or more specific, such as Encyclopedia of the Korean War [ABC-CLIO, 2000], may treat some of the same topics but do not offer the same perspective. These unique surveys of aerial and ground combat would be useful additions to reference collections in academic, public, and high-school libraries.

Choice Review

Boyne, former National Air and Space Museum Director, pilot, and popular author, offers the aerial leg of a three-work troika on warfare, under the general editorship of Spencer C. Tucker. With more than 900 articles, including five pages of bibliography and a glossary, the work was written by some 100 international authors listed in a five-page roster. It covers the range of air combat, US and international, WW I to Afghanistan, including biography, wars and battles, aircraft, lore, weaponry, technical developments (e.g., radar). Authors (e.g., Gregory Alegi, Bill Leary, Daniel Worthington) provide clear, concise, and understandable reports, each concluding with cross-references and brief lists of recommended sources. Coverage emphasizes the first, the fastest, highest, longest, and latest, and includes some maps and black-and-white photographs. Indexing refers both to principal articles and topics mentioned in articles. It is far easier to use than its only rival, Peter Cooksley's Air Warfare (London, Arms & Armour Pr., 1997), which has a sectional arrangement. Recommended for all reference collections, particularly those without significant military coverage. M. J. Smith Jr. Tusculum College