The introduction of flight to warfare has altered the way wars are waged forever. Flight warfare was first widely used in the Great War and has played key roles in most of the wars since. Throughout the years aerial tactics have evolved to attain dominance in the war field. Using aircrafts in war has changed the purpose and design of aircrafts. Flight has forever changed the outlook of war from tactical strategies to the purpose and design of aircrafts.
From the Great War to now, flight warfare has played key roles in most of the wars since it was first used. We saw limited use of aircraft in the Great War, due to the recent discovery of this technology. The Japanese used planes to wreak havoc at Pearl Harbor. Following the Great Wars we saw the usefulness of air transport in the Berlin Airlift. Since then planes have evolved to a technology that can crush a nation’s ability to wage war in mere months, as we saw with Operation Desert Shield.
During the Great War, captive balloons, a type of hot air balloon, played a limited role and were mostly used for observations. The average balloon was able to lift about 300 pounds, or about two people. When using these balloons the user would, at a height of about 600 feet, have about 28 miles of surrounding country that he could observe (Scott, 2000). The average range of vision from someone on the ground was about three miles on flat country.
Dirigibles, motorized captive balloons, were thought to be a promising avenue of aerial warfare, however due to construction and drag issues, it never really made much show during the war. Attempts were made to utilize the dirigible as a reconnaissance vehicle and as a method to drop bombs from above. Large bombs were too big to launch from dirig...
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... all highways, railroads and canals from western-occupied Germany into western-occupied Berlin. This, they believed, would make it impossible for the people who lived there to get food or any other supplies and would eventually drive Britain, France and the U.S. out of the city for good. Instead of retreating from West Berlin, however, the U.S. and its allies decided to supply their sectors of the city from the air. This effort, known as the “Berlin Airlift,” lasted for more than a year and carried more than 2.3 million tons of cargo into West Berlin…. During the Berlin airlift, an Allied supply plane took off or landed in West Berlin every 30 seconds. The planes made nearly 300,000 flights in all.” (Staff, 2011)
With the Berlin Airlift operation being a huge success, airplanes had shown a side of warfare that would help shape the diverse roles airplanes could fill.
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