FACTORS IN SUCCESS OF WAR IN THE AIR (Reconnaissance (AIR PHOTOGRAPHY…
FACTORS IN SUCCESS OF WAR IN THE AIR
USE OF BALLOONS
Balloon observers took photographs, checked maps, identified targets and reported on artillery accuracy by telephone
balloons were not that easy to shoot down.
Bullets could pass through the balloon fabric without igniting the gas
USE OF AEROPLANES
They were used as support for the army by scouting and artillery spotting
On 19 August 1914, Gilbert Mapplebeck and Philip Joubert de la Ferté flew the first RFC reconnaissance mission
RADIO AND ITS IMPACT
German soldiers who saw the radio antennas dangling from British planes were apprehensive
Jancke wrote later that artillery direction from the air, with shell-fire corrected almost immediately by wireless, was intimidating, and seemed the ultimate in new-style warfare.
Impact of radio on the enemy was significant
pilots could locate targets that gunners could not see, observe the fall of shells and correct the aim
identify enemy gun positions, at first marking targets by circling above to drop ribbons or other markers, firing their guns or sounding horns or sirens
Using the 'zone call system (from 1915), pilots sent target information by radio in Morse code to RFC signallers (wireless operators) on the ground and assigned to artillery batteries.
the system relied on maps with numbered zones, each battery firing into its designated map zone
RADIO EVOLVED THIS ^
Mapping the battlefield Air photos supplied intelligence for the Somme offensives of 1916, and for all later battles.
By 1918, however, planes were taking air photos from 15,000 feet.
Too high for most anti-aircraft fire and fighters, and from this altitude, a photographic plate could cover about six square miles of ground.
On the ground, around 3,000 photo interpreters analysed millions of photos
Advancement in reconnaissance
TAKING A MORE AGGRESSIVE ROLE
At the start of the war, aircraft had no guns.
By 1915 aircraft had largely taken over the reconnaissance role on land formerly carried out by cavalry, but numbers of scout planes were small
Most were two-seaters, with the observer manning a machine gun, but slow-flying reconnaissance planes were still vulnerable to fighter attack
the answer was to provide fighter escort
The fighters could also take an offensive role, to contest the air space above the trenches, and deny the enemy air intelligence by shooting down reconnaissance planes
:red_cross: HINDER THIS. IS THIS ACTUALLY PROGRESSING? YES IN A WAY BUT NOT THE SPEED THEY NEED! :red_cross:
Haig felt air power was essential to support his policy of continuous offensive.
The RFC also had this aggressive approach and lost lots of men and machines which needed replacing. As a result of the importance Haig put on this, aircraft production was increased, as was pilot training. Lloyd George agreed with Haig that the army needed to be properly supplied with planes and that this was a priority
DEVELOPMENT OF THE AIRCRAFTS
RFC AND RECON ARE THE MAIN PLAYERS
Reconnaissance and the RFC are so important when it comes to the success of the war in the air for reasons listed, however, they were ONLY successful because they were advanced and improved. so ADVANCEMENT is the MAJOR FACTOR of SUCCESS.