11 JULY 1931, Page 28

The third volume of The War in the Air by

IT. A. Jones, being the official history of the Royal Air Force in the late War (Clarendon Press, with case of maps, 28s. 6d.), deals mainly with the air-raids on Great Britain up to the end of 1916, and with the Western Front in 1916-17. Here the facts about the Zeppelin raids are fully recorded for the first time from British and German official sources. It is made plain that the early Zeppelin attacks did considerable damage because we were wholly unprepared to meet them and because the task of air defence was divided between the Admiralty and the War Office. As soon as the defence system was developed, warnings given and lights extinguished, while efficient aeroplane patrols were provided with incendiary bullets, the Zeppelin menace -was at an end. Mr. Jones gives many instances of the German airmen's difficulties of navigation. They honestly thought that they had bombed London—as the German bulletins told us—when they had in fact dropped bombs on Ongar or Deal. One squadron wasted many bombs on a Yorkshire moor, because the heather took fire. Mr. Jones maintains that from the German military standpoint the Zeppelin attacks were justified. It may be so. But from the political standpoint they did more harm to Germany than almost any other incidents, except the executions of Nurse Cavell and Captain Fryatt, since -they intensified the general determination to defeat such an

enemy. * * * * _ .