How the Airplane Changed 20th Century Warfare
The idea of flying is as old as mankind. People attempted to fly but continuously failed. Birds made flying look simple but no one could imitate them. Aviation was a mystery until the Wright Brothers invented the first airplane. People saw the world from a new perspective. They soared above the land and could oversee the movement of people. This prompted the idea that the plane could be used to follow troop advances and retreats. The technology advanced quickly allowing it to play a major part in the Great War. The airplane made its wartime debut dramatically transforming warfare through swiftness of innovation, advantage of observation, and strategic use of weapons. The airplane advanced rapidly after the Wright Brothers accomplished the first controllable flight. In The Century Magazine, the picture of the Wright Brother’s first flight illustrates how fragile the technology was. Only a mere, “Six years elapsed between the Wright brothers’ first flight in 1903 and Louis Bleriot’s flight across the English Channel” (Ross 38). All the inventors raced to design the most advanced aircraft. Tensions brewed between the European powers. In 1914, as World War I began, airplanes traveled 300 miles to attack the enemy and three years later planes carried bombs (38). Countries wanted to have the most innovative technology so they continued to work endlessly until they achieved a safe and advanced version of the plane to manufacture and use in the war. And thus, an arms race began. Countries tried to surpass each other with the next best airplane. War was the main focus of the countries involved in the Great War but they also wanted to have to most up to date technology. France, for example, had less than 140 planes at the beginning of the war and by the end they had about 4,500 planes (Unikoski 1). Planes were assembled as quickly as possible but they were not made with the greatest care. France had a plane loss rate of 77%...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document