Why Air Forces Fail: The Anatomy of Defeat, edited by Robin Higham and Stephen J. Harris (ISBN 0-8131-2374-7, University Press of Kentucky, 663 South Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40508-4008, Web site: www.kentuckypress.com. Hardcover, 6 1/4" x 9 1/4", 382 pages, 31 black and white photos, 2006, $39.95).
The reason why various air forces have suffered collapses is the subject of this collection of eleven essays by twelve notable aviation historians. The debacles they examine include those of the air forces of Germany/Austria-Hungary in WW I, Poland, France, and the individual Axis powers in WWII, the Arabs from the 1967 Arab-Israeli war to the 2003 Gulf War, and Argentina in the Falklands War. Additionally, there are essays covering air forces that suffered catastrophic defeats but went on to recover and win, including the Soviets, the British, and Americans in WWII.—George Schmidt