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Fri, Oct. 10th, 2014, 11:38 am
baron_waste: “World War I in Photos: Aerial Warfare”

World War I was the first major conflict to see widespread
use of powered aircraft -- invented barely more than a
decade before the fighting began. Airplanes, along with
kites, tethered balloons, and zeppelins gave all major
armies a new tactical platform to observe and attack enemy
forces from above.

Alan Taylor

MAY 25, 2014


Over the course of the war, the role of the military aviator
progressed from one of mere observation to a deadly
offensive role. Early on, pilots would would fly off armed
only with pistols (or completely unarmed) -- by 1918,
fighter planes and massive bombers were in use, armed with
multiple machine guns and devastating explosive payloads.
Older technologies, like tethered balloons and kites were
used on the front lines to gain an upper hand. As aircraft
became more of a threat, anti-aircraft weapons and tactics
were developed, and pilots had to devise new ways to avoid
being shot down from the land and the sky. Aerial
photography developed into an indispensable tool to guide
artillery attacks and assess damage afterward. The pilots of
these new aircraft took tremendous risks -- vulnerable to
enemy fire, at the mercy of the weather, flying new, often
experimental aircraft. Crashes were frequent, and many paid
with their lives. On this 100-year anniversary, I've
gathered photographs of the Great War from dozens of
collections, some digitized for the first time, to try to
tell the story of the conflict, those caught up in it, and
how much it affected the world…

Sat, Oct. 11th, 2014 09:16 am (UTC)

These are brilliant! Thank you!