mercredi 29 décembre 2010
des ouvrages traduits dans toutes les langues
Today great airliners cross the Atlantic with the regularity of trains. The service has become a commonplace - so much so that the daring and heroism of the pionneers who paved the way is already growing dim in the public mind.
Ask most people today who first flew the Atlantic, and you will probably get a wrong answer. For the record, it was two Englishmen, Alcock and Brown, in a converted Vickers-Vimy bomber, and such a long time elapsed before it was flown again (eight years) that their triumph was largely forgotten. And it was another Englishman, Major Scott, and his crew who first flew an airship to America ans back-again years before the achievement was repeated.
But, of course, the final conquest of the Atlantic was the joint work of the flyers of many nations. An American named Wellman was the First World War. Two Germans (Baron von Huenefeld and Hermann Kohl) and an Irishman (Major Fitzmaurice) made the first East-West crossing. A young American, Charles A. Lindbergh, made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic.
Not all those who tried were succesfull, however, and many of them lost their lives: the gallant Frenchmen Nungesser and Coli; Hamilton, Minchin and Princess Loewenstein-Wertheim; Lloyd Bertaud, Hill and Payne; Tully and Metcalfe; the French and Jean Mermoz - and all too many others. Some of them were experienced flyers with a sober purpose who ran into bad luck; others were irresponsible sensation-seekers. But all were men and women of high courage.
Robert de la Croix re-tells their story here, and it makes a thrilling and often heart-warming tale of extraordinary adventures, hair-breadth escapes, triumph, disaster - and ultimate victory.