History 2x52’

The Aces' War

August 1914, one month after the First World War broke out, Paris was bombarded by enemy planes. An unprecedented event that Parisians observed as a spectacle of a new kind. Had the airplane become a weapon of war? Aviation had begun to take off at the start of the 20th century. But the pace of development picked up with the start of the Great War. The new stars of aviation would become heroes of the war, known as "aces".

Through the destinies of these five outstanding pilots, originating from France, Germany and the British Empire, this docu-drama reveals the story of the greatest flying aces of the First World War. Richthofen, the god; Guynemer, the star; Fonck, the Ace of Aces; Udet, the challenger; and Mannock, the squadron leader. How did these young men become worldwide famous stars, out of the blue?

Based on accounts by the protagonists, these two episodes will use immersive 3D reconstructions and dramatized reenactments to understand how these pilots became international stars. Alongside, we will experience the intensity of the greatest aerial battles from 1914 to 1918, including the terrible Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme. A unique opportunity to get inside the private world of these men from widely varied backgrounds, but who all had a shared wish to use their flying skills to serve their country.

Direction: Fabrice Hourlier

Production: Indigènes Production for ARTE France

Languages: French, English

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