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Aviation in Peace and War   By: (1877-1954)

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First Page:

AVIATION IN PEACE AND WAR

BY

Major General Sir F. H. SYKES G.B.E., K.C.B., C.M.G. LATE CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF AND CONTROLLER GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION

LONDON EDWARD ARNOLD & CO. 1922 [ All rights reserved ]

Transcriber's Note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note, whilst more significant amendments have been listed at the end of the text. The oe ligature is represented by [oe].

CONTENTS

PAGE INTRODUCTION 7

CHAPTER I. PRE WAR 9

Early Thoughts on Flight. The Invention of the Balloon. First Experiments in Gliders and Aeroplanes. The Wright Brothers and their Successors in Europe. The First Airships. The Beginnings of Aviation in England. The Inception and Development of Aircraft as Part of the Forces of the Crown: the Balloon Factory; the Air Battalion; the Royal Flying Corps, the Military Wing, the Naval Wing. Tactics and the Machine. Conclusions.

CHAPTER II. WAR 44

General Remarks on War Development. Co operation with the Army: Reconnaissance; Photography; Wireless; Bombing; Contact Patrol; Fighting. Co operation with the Navy: Coast Defence, Patrol and Convoy Work; Fleet Assistance, Reconnaissance, Spotting for Ships' Guns; Bombing; Torpedo Attack. Home Defence: Night Flying and Night Fighting. The Machine and Engine. Tactics and the Strategic Air Offensive. Organization.

CHAPTER III. PEACE 96

The Future of Aerial Defence. Civil Aviation: as a Factor in National Security; as an Instrument of Imperial Progress; Financial and Economic Problems; Weather Conditions and Night Flying; Organization; the Machine and Engine. Air Services: British, Continental and Imperial.

CONCLUSION 131

INTRODUCTION

Since the earliest communities of human beings first struggled for supremacy and protection, the principles of warfare have remained unchanged. New methods have been evolved and adopted with the progress of science, but no discovery, save perhaps that of gunpowder, has done so much in so short a time to revolutionize the conduct of war as aviation, the youngest, yet destined perhaps to be the most effective fighting arm. Yet to day we are only on the threshold of our knowledge, and, striking as was the impetus given to every branch of aeronautics during the four years of war, its future power can only dimly be seen.

We may indeed feel anxious about this great addition of aviation to the destructive power of modern scientific warfare. Bearing its terrors in mind, we may even impotently seek to check its advance, but the appeal of flying is too deep, its elimination is now impossible, and granted that war is inevitable, it must be accepted for good or ill. Fortunately, although with the other great scientific additions, chemical warfare and the submarine, its potentialities for destruction are very great, yet aircraft, unlike the submarine, can be utilized not only in the conduct of war but in the interests of peace, and it is here that we can guide and strengthen it for good. Just as the naval supremacy of Britain was won because commercially we were the greatest seafaring people in the world, so will air supremacy be achieved by that country which, making aviation a part of its everyday life, becomes an airfaring community.

Our nation as a whole has been educated, owing to its geographical situation and by tradition, to interest itself in the broader aspects of marine policy and development... Continue reading book >>




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