During World War One, the role of airplanes and how they were used changed greatly. At first planes were only used for sport, but people started realize that not only could airplanes be useful but they could even influence an outcome of the war greatly. Soon the war was filled with blimps, planes, and tethered balloons. By the end of the war, planes became a symbol of fear, but they were not always treated with such respect. In the time leading up to the war, the general feeling about planes was, they were a sneaky, unfair tactic that should not be used in warfare. During The 1899 Hague Peace Conference it was put on record that the dropping or shooting of any projectiles or explosives from the air during a time of war was forbidden and was considered a crime of war. It was also decided that airplanes could only be used for reconnaissance or spying missions. (Villard-227) “The airplane may be all very well for sport, but for the army it is useless” (Quoted in Villard-227) Even by the beginning of the war in 1912, the use of planes in war was still prohibited by the War Office. Shortly thereafter this changed, people awakened to the possibilities of air warfare. The world soon started to realize the effectiveness of planes in war and how the control of the skies could influence the outcome. Although the French were the first to have a working, conscripting air force and to license fliers, their trust in airplanes still was not up to par. Their lack of trust was justified, for the planes had no armaments, too many wires, and no reliable motor. (Villard-228) Soon all countries in the war effort had their own little air force, built hangers, and started to train pilots. The first bombing occurred in November 1911. Although the first bomb was dropped by the Italians, soon all countries were involved in bombing raids. (Villard-229) It was followed by the first aerial dogfight in 1912. This consisted of a primitive exchange of pistol fire between British and German planes . (Harvey-95) The first flying experience for the United States occurred in 1862, during the Civil War. General McClellan went into battle against the South with a balloon corps floated by hydrogen and pulled by four horses. (Saga-51) Literary fiction started to breed ideas about the use of planes in warfare. The most famous writer to explore the idea was H.G. Wells. He wrote The War In The Air, a book about the future in which battle is conducted with planes. (Wohl-70). In Germany, literary fiction preceded the actual development of warfare in the air.
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For as long as most of the world can remember aviation has played a major factor in how wars are fought. Starting in World War I the worlds fighting forces began using aircraft to conduct surveillance missions over enemy territory. While these aircraft were not the masters of stealth that todays aircraft are there was no technology to take down these planes at the time. Air-to-air combat was an event that rarely happened and was almost never effective.
In today’s world, the use of airplanes in wars or in everyday life has become a part of how we live as human beings. Removing the air forces of the world is like taking a step back in time when wars were only fought on land or sea. WWI began only eleven short years after the Wright brothers achieved powered flight in 19031 and yet aircrafts were being used for surveillance and eventually combat purposes. It is understood that these aircrafts were primitive, but they laid down the foundation for what we know today as fighter jets. The Fokker Eindecker “revolutionized air combat by successfully employing a synchronized forward -firing machine gun mounted on the engine cowling”2. Because this airplane became the first to successfully use a synchronized machine gun, it allowed its pilots to become the first aerial combat tactitions3.
The name General Carl ‘Tooey’ Andrew Spaatz has become synonymous with the phrase air power and strategist. Air power has come along way since Wilbur and Orville launched the first airplane in 1902 in the city of Kitty Hawk. Famous engineers have taken the Wright-Brothers design and made great improvements to them while slowly integrating these new powerful means of transportation, weaponry and communication aids into the military. Since the onset of World War I there has been a debate on how to most effectively use these new airplanes in the Army’s collection. Most individuals believed that airplanes should be under control of the Army theater commander, while very few felt that these airplanes should be a separate entity from the Army. One of these few people who believed that the Air Force should be separate is General Spaatz. General Spaatz possessed perseverance, leadership attributes and military knowledge; all factors leading him becoming a substantial proponent of a separate Air Force. Spaatz legacy continues to live on; his leadership skills continue to influence people today as General Spaatz is still able to impact air power in the 21st century.
Armies and Navies have clashed since antiquity, but the airplane that enables aerial combat is barely a century old. Airplanes saw widespread combat in the First World War, and, despite the doubts and financial concerns of military leaders of the time, the brave men who fly them have gained their own dedicated military division, the United States Air Force. Billy Mitchell, through his charisma and an image that endeared him in American culture, was an instrumental figure in developing the modern Air Force.
World War One was known as the war that would end all wars. At first, airplanes in the war were thought to have just little combat use. An unknown British general even commented, " The airplane is useless for the purpose of war." In the beginning of the First World War, the airplanes were pretty simple and raw. By the end of the war, aircraft had become more advanced and had split off into fighters, bombers and long-range bombers. The specifications of the airplanes were changed to meet the war's requirements. When the War started in August of 1914, British airmen were associated with the British army and their commissioned officers had army ranks. Before the United State’s declaration of war in 1917, American nationals had enlisted in British and French air services including the Lafayette Escadrille. By the time the war ended in November of 1918, the Royal Flying Corps no longer prevailed and was absorbed into the recently developed Royal Air Force. The Royal Air Force now had its own command structure away from the army and provided its own ranks.
Sister Claire Evelyn Trestrail was the eldest of five being born on the 10th of December, 1877 in Clare, South Australia. Trestrail served in the First World War as a nurse following in her mother’s footsteps who was a trained nurse, Acting Matron of King Edward Hospital in Perth and also had involvement within the Red Cross and the Saint John’s Ambulance Services. Trestrail’s younger siblings also had involvement within the First World War with her two younger brothers; John Henry and Amarald Glen, serving in the royal Flying Corps and respectively, 1 Machine Battalion. Amarald was also presented with a Military Medal for Gallantry at Villaret. Sister Ella also served as a nurse, got married, but tragically returned as an amputee. It was only her youngest sister Amy who did not serve during the war.
During World War II (WW2) the aeroplane proved to be the military’s greatest asset. It was dominant as it was versatile. Unlike the tank, boat or even the foot soldier the planes can serve in all areas of one countries military, land, sea and of course the air. They could fight where ever needed. Not only did they attack in dog fights or bombing raids they could go for a surveillance or reconnaissance to assist their forces. They destroyed many enemies industrial plants and provided many ground combat support.
World War II was one of the deadliest military conflicts in history. There were many different battles that took place within this war; some more important than others. World War II began once Germany’s new dictator, Adolf Hitler, decided that he wanted to gain power for Germany and for himself. One of Hitler’s first moves in power was invading Poland on September 1, 1939. Many other countries became involved in this war because of the alliance system. The two sides during this war were the Allies and Axis powers. German, Italy and Japan were on the Axis powers; France, Britain, and the United States were on the Allies. Germany first began with the Blitzkrieg tactic meaning “lightning war”. This tactic is based on speed, surprise and was the most popular tactic. It is set up with military forces based around tanks which are supported by planes and infantry. The Blitzkrieg tactic lead to air wars with airplanes between countries. All of the countries were allowed to participate in the air wars but the four main countries were United States, Japan, Britain, and Germany. During the 1920’s and 1930’s airplanes grew in size and structure giving them more power, and making planes more effective. Planes made it easier to drop bombs, or plan attacks. All of these countries fought over air superiority. Air superiority is the position in which the air force has control over all of the air warfare and air power of the opposing forces. Germany began with air superiority but they lost it when Britain defeated them at the Battle of Britain. Gaining control over the air is a very big advantage because it is easier to plan an attack on an opposing country. All of the countries relied on their aircrafts during this war. The issue about the use of...
At the 1899 Hague Peace Conference, it was declared that any combat from aircraft would be considered a war crime. (Eyffinger 227) Merely 20 years later, World War One had seen the daily use of airplanes and pilots for unyielding combat. While slow at first, the recognition of the power of aircraft was quick as the Great War started. Out of all countries involved in the war, Germany had the deepest trust in their aircraft, and this would shortly be to their advantage. Whereas numerous air forces were by now in working condition, the fighting usage of airplanes was minimal. The airplanes were used mainly as recon, but the potential for air combat was yet to be seen. As the number of air force recruits increased, the number of planes manufactured followed suit. Through “hero pilots,” the air forces were used as propaganda tools, and the honour of being a pilot was never modest. Whether multiple wings for stability or lighter frames for speed, airplanes were under continuous upgrades. The rise of airpower overshadowed any other advancement of WW1. Through the advancement of aircraft and the use of hero pilots, WW1 transformed the role aircraft played, gave a much needed boost to morale and pride and presented vital advancements to aircraft technology.
Since the time of the World Wars and the Wright brothers, aviation has become a huge part of global society. The Orville and Wilbur Wright’s names will forever be remembered into United States history as the first men who were the first to fully realized human flight. Their successful invention of a working, powered airplane brought about whole new ways of wars, including new strategies for both offense and defense. Many technological advances might not have occurred without the need for new weapons and systems for airplanes. Travel and commerce would be much slower without the usage of airplanes. Orville and Wilbur have made a lasting impact on the world with their invention of a working, human-controlled, powered airplane; who knows what the world would be without it.
Unikoski, Ari. “The War in the Air - Summary of the Air War”. First World War.com. 2009. http://www.firstworldwar.com/airwar/summary.htm
World War 1 World War 1 was called “The Great War”, “The war to end all wars”, and “The first modern war”. It has many causes and a few repercussions and I will describe them in detail. The most widely known reason for the start of World War 1 was the assassination of the Arch Duke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary in the Serbian capital of Sarajevo. The ArchDuke was there to talk to the Serbian leaders about peace on the Balkan Peninsula. After a Serbian was arrested for the assassination, Austria-Hungary pulled out of the peace talks and declared war on Serbia.
The invention of the airplane, ever since it was invented in 1903 has impacted the world in many ways. It has increased the job rate, boosted the economy, created cultural diversion, and created less pollution than most means of travel. Orville Wright once said, “The airplane stays up because it doesn't have time to fall.” The airplane never did fall and excelled in everything it did, not falling once. The airplane, one of the most important inventions created in the 20th century, impacted travel ways across the world.