In our World History class, we have been discussing the way warfare effected world war one, and working on project to demonstrate this. Aircrafts, as weapons, played a significant role in impacting World War 1 and changing warfare. From their immaterial start, to their usage during battles, and the effect they had on war, these planes of combat proved to be a lot more than the “eyes of artillery”.
Airplanes in the First World War originally began as ‘useless’ in the sense of warfare, and their main purpose was observing military actions to locate enemies or discovering strategic qualities, otherwise known as reconnaissance. They were also used because of their ability to fly over enemy positions and photograph them, a task valued by planners. One of the first idea’s to include Aircrafts in combat was sparked when a plane with a machine gun attached to it, invented by Frenchman Roland Garros, crashed in German territory. It was studied by the Germans and redesigned to allow it to be used in fighting. This started the invention of aircrafts that could be used for more than basic jobs and was known as the birth of aerial combat.
As the use of aircrafts rose around the world, so did aerial development. Because of the plane and pilot trainings that were taking place, advantages were being tossed back and forth to each side of the war. Instead of reconnaissance, fighter planes, bomber planes and other aircrafts were armed with bombs, guns, air launched missiles and canons that could be mounted in the wings, between the banks of the engine or the ‘nose’. The evolution of air battle and strategy meant that “by 1918, there could be a hundred planes all working in the same area” (2). By the end of WWI, there were a total of 142 types of aircrafts built. Similar to a timeline, each type of airplane designed in the war advanced to a certain extent. For example, the Farman Bi plane, invented by French pilot Henry Farman in 1913, and recruited in the starting phases of The War was slow at a top speed of 37 mph, fragile and could be easily targeted. The Fokker DVII, a fighter craft developed by Manfred von Richthofen around 1918, just years after the Farman, was speedy at 116 mph, skilled for combat, and was considered the best German aircraft of the First World War. The lead in modifications The Fokker DVII had over the Farman proved the rapid evolution of the aircrafts over a short period of time that was World War One.
In conclusion, Aircrafts in warfare changed the way airplanes were used in combat, from reconnaissance to becoming battle planes, to how they were developed as weapons of war, and .
- 1) http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/aircraft_world_war_one.htmhttp://ww1facts.net/war-in-the-air/ww1-planes/
- 2) http://www.wwiaviation.com/development.html
- 3) http://www.theaerodrome.com/aircraft/statistics.php
- 4) http://www.wwiaviation.com/german1918.html
- 6) http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/worldwar1/a/Aircraft-In-World-War-1.htm