The Great War largely lives in the popular imagination as a European conflict fought over muddy fields crisscrossed by trenches running from the North Sea to the Alps. In reality, the war was truly global — with conflict ranging from China to Africa to South America — in the air, on land and sea — as colonial empires mobilized and deployed provincial troops who fought alongside their imperial masters.
At the meeting of the Institute of International Law in Madrid, legislation was proposed to limit the use of airplanes to reconnaissance missions and banning them from being used as platforms for weapons. Many senior officers, in particular, remained sceptical.
However the initial campaigns of proved that cavalry could no longer provide the reconnaissance expected by their generals, in the face of the greatly increased firepower of twentieth century armies, and it was quickly realised that aircraft could at least locate the enemy, even if early air reconnaissance was hampered by the newness of the techniques involved.
Early skepticism and low expectations quickly turned to unrealistic demands beyond the capabilities of the primitive aircraft available.
On 22 AugustBritish Captain L. Charlton and Lieutenant V.
The British High Command took note of the report and started to withdraw toward Mons, saving the lives ofsoldiers. Later, during the First Battle of the Marneobservation aircraft discovered weak points and exposed flanks in the German lines, allowing the allies to take advantage of them.
Out of a paper strength of about aircraft belonging to the army in August only or so were of any use. The initial British contribution to the total allied airwar effort in August of about aircraft was three squadrons with about 30 serviceable machines.
The initial "war of movement" largely ceased, and the front became static. Three main functions of short range reconnaissance squadrons had emerged by March The first was photographic reconnaissance: The first air cameras used glass plates.
Kodak cellulose film had been invented, but did not at this stage have sufficient resolution. Radio telephony was not yet practical from an aircraft, so communication was a problem. By Marcha two-seater on "artillery observation" duties was typically equipped with a primitive radio transmitter transmitting using Morse codebut had no receiver.
The artillery battery signalled to the aircraft by laying strips of white cloth on the ground in prearranged patterns. Observation duties were shared with the tethered balloonswhich could communicate directly with their batteries by field telephone, but were far less flexible in locating targets and reporting the fall of shot.
The technology of the period did not permit radio contact, while methods of signalling were necessarily crude, including dropping messages from the aircraft. Soldiers were initially reluctant to reveal their positions to aircraft, as they the soldiers found distinguishing between friend and foe problematic.
Reconnaissance flying, like all kinds, was a hazardous business. In Aprilthe worst month for the entire war for the RFC, the average life expectancy of a British pilot on the Western Front was 69 flying hours.
Nonetheless the beginnings of strategic and tactical bombing date from the earliest days of the war. The dawn of air combat[ edit ] As Dickson had predicted, initially air combat was extremely rare, and definitely subordinate to reconnaissance.
There are even stories of the crew of rival reconnaissance aircraft exchanging nothing more belligerent than smiles and waves. Both planes crashed as the result of the attack killing all occupants.As numbers grew and equipment improved with the introduction of the twin-gun SPAD XIII as well as the Sopwith Camel and even the S.E.
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WORLD WAR I MAIN PAGE Introduction World War I began the horrific sequence of world conflicts that characterize the 20th century.
Jul 06, · Everything you need to know about the first year of World War One in a 12 minute video. Recommended books on & WW1 (use affiliate link to buy on . World War I was a major conflict fought in Europe and around the world between July 28, and November 11, Nations from across all non-polar continents were involved, although Russia, Britain, France, Germany, and Austria-Hungary dominated.
World War I was the first big war of the 20th century. Millions of soldiers and civilians lost their lives. It ended in with a new order for Europe. Introduction; Background of World War I; The Beginning of the War; Fronts of World War I; The Russian Revolution; America Enters the War; The End of Fighting; Consequences of World War I; Peace Settlement; Aftermath of World War I.
World War I was the first big war of the 20th century.