This is a long-overdue study of Sir Frederick H. Sykes, Chief of the Air Staff of Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) during the First World War. Historians, for the most part, have either overlooked Sykes or misinterpreted him, leaving a gap in the story of British flying. Contrary to previous images of Sykes, we now see that he was not a secretive intriguer or a tangential subject in RAF history. Rather, he played a fundamental part in organizing and leading British aviation from 1912 to the end of 1918. He provided organization, visionary guidance and efficient administrative control for the fledgling service that tried to survive infancy in the heat of battle.
Pilot, October 1999
"A carefully researched, absorbing and thought provoking account."
Choice, Vol. 37, No. 2, Oct. 99
"This is definitely a work to be read and considered."
American Aviation Historical Society- " This book is number eight in the excellent Cass series: Studies in Air Power"
Journal of Military History, Vol 64, No 2, 4/1/2000
"There is much to commend this book. The research is prodigious, and the prose is clear and concise … Overall, this is an excellent book. Ash has done a remarkable job of putting a fresh interpretation on these important events. I would strongly recommend this book to all students of military and airpower history."
Journal of Strategic Studies
"Ash moves beyond a study of air power and throws light on the struggles within the British decision-making elite on how the war would best be won. This will be of value to scholars interested in general British war strategy…a lively read that should provoke a counter-blast from supporters of Trenchard