Tethered balloons have ben used for aerial observation since the French Revolution, but in World War 1 they reached their zenith as a means of providing an observation platform above the battlefield. Although their hydrogen contents made them vulnearble, they could be quickly pulled down with mechanical winches, and were well protected by a cordon of anti-aircraft guns and nearby fighter aircraft.
It took a special breed of daredevil to take on such odds deep in enemy lines in order to destroy a balloon, but the spectacle of a burning 'gasbag' - which assured confirmation - instilled an obsession with going after them that other pilots called 'balloon fever'. This book tells the story of the balloon-busters from both sides through a mix of first-hand accounts and expert analysis that compare tactics, theatres of operation, aircraft types and the overall odds for success. It also features 48 specially produced colour profiles and planforms and more than 100 archival photographs.