Fighter Aces (2005)
In 1915 the armies of the Great War were locked in a stalemate of the trenches but a new form of combat would soon put an end to stationary battles - the aerial duel. Almost from its conception air-warfare captured the popular imagination, turning men into heroes, pilots into Fighter Aces. High above the trenches the courage and skill of men such as Baron Von Richthofen, Oswald Boelcke, Edward 'Mick' Mannock, Billy Bishop and Hermann Goering would make them legends in their own lifetime. During the Spanish Civil War a new generation of German Aces won its spurs, with the tactics and machines being perfected for the forthcoming "Blitzkrieg". Throughout the Battle of Britain the hastily trained fighter pilots of the RAF learnt tactics "on the wing" against the Luftwaffe veterans of Spain. The heroisms and determination of the RAF Aces such as Joseph Frantichek and Ginger Lacey were all that stood between Britain and invasion. In Europe and North Africa the flying skills and tactical genius of men like Werner Moelders, Adolf Galland and Hans Marseilles won the respect of friend and foe alike. On the Eastern Front Erich Hartmann, the Ace of Aces won 352 victories, an astonishing achievement never equalled in the history of aerial combat. This DVD charts the history of aerial combat from the Great War to the dawn of the jet age using rare archive footage, much of which has been unavailable in the West since World War Two.