First World War 'Fokker Scourge' focus of Cleethorpes author Paul Hare's new book
AN AVIATION author has released his latest book about unarmed planes which became fodder to German fighters in the First World War.
Lifelong aviation enthusiast Paul Hare, 64, of Itterby Crescent, Cleethorpes, has just released his sixth published book.
The book is about the SL5 which the British Government bought thousands of when they were built in 1914, then later adapted with weapons.
However, when the Germans introduced the Fokker in the summer of 1915 – their first purpose-built fighter plane – British and French planes were virtually defenceless.
It began the period known as "the Fokker Scourge', in which pilots referred to themselves as "Fokker fodder" – thus the title.
The crisis even led an MP to stand up in the House of Commons and accuse the British Government of murder.
"The crisis was very serious and eventually led to the introduction of the Royal Air Force so it really is a pivotal part of Britain's military history," said Mr Hare. The author has been researching the period for more than 40 years and first thought of writing the book more than a decade ago.
However, it wasn't until the former plumbing and heating engineer retired that he sat down to write it.
Mr Hare said: "Writing can take some time but not nearly as much as the research and it can be very engrossing.
"Everything else in my life can take a back seat when I start writing – even family life.
"This book was something I have wanted to write for so long that it wasn't until I retired that I thought I could give it the commitment that it deserved."
Mr Hare was brought up in London and believes his love for aviation was first discovered during a school trip to London Airport.
He later became a plumbing and heating engineer and first came to the area when he was awarded a three-month contract to design the heating system for Grimsby Leisure Centre in 1971 – and he never left.
It is his love of engineering that now fuels his interest.
"I think I was born an engineer – I have just always loved finding out how things work.
"These old planes were made of wood, wire and linen which sounds crude now, but it was amazing given the materials they had available to them."
Fokker Fodder: The Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c, is available to buy online at Amazon now and can be ordered at any bookseller.
The cover price is £18.99 – although many booksellers sell it at a discounted rate.