Hornet's Sting, Derek Robinson.
Second in the author's RFC Quartet, following a fictional RFC squadron during the harsh fighting of 1917. Characters come and go with brutal frequency, while on the ground the Third Battle of Ypres turns into the muddy fiasco of Passchendaele. The focus of the story is Hornet Squadron itself, and the desperate battles forced upon it by the RFC's policy of offensive flying. The result is a harsh but compelling look at life in the RFC during one of its hardest moments.
[read full review]