U.S. History 7th Hour
A determining factor in World War I was air warfare. At the beginning of the war, the planes were used mostly for reconnaissance, but towards the end fighting broke out between the aircrafts. Tactical bombing of enemy airbases were introduced later on in the fight. Hot air balloons were also used in World War I. But, as planes became more effective, it became difficult for hot air balloons to stay in the air. Any way you look at it, air warfare was a big part of World War I.
Although Reconnaissance missions did not originate in World War I, they were used with great effect to spy on enemies. Hot air balloons were used for stationary reconnaissance and were an important component for gathering intelligence throughout the war. But hot air balloons had limits. If the winds were too strong, the hot air balloons observation platform became very unsteady. While in the hot air balloon, the crew had a restricted view and needed further penetration in order to see the battlefield. These demands called for the use of the airplane.
Air planes were used for reconnaissance as well as attacking the opponent through gunfire during the war. Although being in the air may have seem safer to some, pilots faced greater risks. While doing reconnaissance missions, pilots would face enemy fire because the troops on the ground wanted to remain unknown. Open cockpits exposed pilots to the outside weather conditions. Sometimes pilots got frostbite on their hands and face from the brutally cold winds that they experienced while being in the air. It would sometimes take days for pilots to thaw out before being able to report their sightings to their commander. Although risky, air warfare was vital to any militaries strategy. This was the start of a new age in modern warfare. A dog fight is a term used when an aerial battle broke out between two or more planes. These dog fights were a big part of World War I. Since the war broke...
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