Reviews - What do customers think about Aces High, Vol. 2?
Supplement to Shores' Aces High! Apr 18, 2008
Five years after he published his classic ACES HIGH volume on Commonwealth aces of WWII, Shores put out this volume, which supplements and complements the 1994 work. Anyone interested in Commonwealth aces in action will want to pick up a copy of Volume 2.
The bulk of Volume 2 is devoted to updating and revising over 700 of the 1,200+ pilot biographies found in Volume 1. In some cases, this translates to a single sentence(!) or, in several cases, an entirely rewritten page-long biography. In some cases Shores has been able to identify the actual enemy pilot downed, his unit, etc. Some ace's scores have been revised in Volume 2 as a result of Shores' research.
Other chapters in the book deal with pilots claiming four victories, V-1 'Diver' aces, Commonwealth combats in subsequent conflicts (Korea, Falklands, etc.), corrections to Frank Olynyk's STARS AND BARS compendium, etc. Volume 1 also features a 12-page photographic insert.
Shores' take on what constitutes an ace stretches the traditional definition. Historically that's been five confirmed aerial kills over manned aircraft. By that standard, some pilots found in Volume 2 don't qualify. For instance, B. R. Bennetts is credited with 3 confirmed and 2 shared destroyed. If they're shared, doesn't Bennetts' score come to 4? Cedric Masterman is down for 2 and 4 shared destroyed. Again, doesn't that give him 4 total? The ultimate stretch is probably Archibald Hope whose total is 1 and 2 shared destroyed, 2 unconfirmed destroyed, 3 and 1 shared probable, 4 damaged. That equals 5?? Perhaps Shores should have included a section on Questionable Aces.
In any case, ACES HIGH is brimming with tidbits, facts and stats. It doesn't always make for the most exciting reading but that's the nature of the beast. Recommended.