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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Early Perspective of War | Rise of Total War | WWI Perspective | Context for Airpower | Aircraft as a Military Tool | Aircraft for Strategic Effects | Early Airpower Theorists | Aipower Theorists—Douhet | Douhet’s Theory | Implications of Douhet’s Theory | Douhet’s Impact | Aipower Theorists—Trenchard | Trenchard’s Theory | Implications of Trenchard’s Theory | Trenchard’s Impact | Aipower Theorists—Mitchell | Mitchell’s Theory | Implications of Mitchell’s Theory | Mitchell’s Impact | Mitchell’s Legacy | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Aircraft as a Military Tool

Voice: The appearance of aircraft in World War One offered an alternative to the static warfare of the trenches. Although aircraft were primarily employed for observation and reconnaissance, the advantages of employing them as offensive weapons soon became apparent. Aircraft provided a means of breakthrough, and they brought the concept of aerial maneuver into military operations. Aircraft offered the hope of ending static, defensive warfare by carrying the offensive to the enemy homeland. The airplane could easily cross the fixed lines of trenches and strike the enemy’s vital centers, such as their industry, population, and military forces. After years of carnage in the trenches, the ability to move easily to the enemy homeland was truly an exciting prospect. Adding to the appeal of being able to cross the deadly trenches was the concept that aircraft could strike targets that would have a significant effect on the fielded armies: their supplies and armaments. Suddenly, the ability to affect the industrial machine that fed the carnage of battle became a possibility.

Action: A background image of a head-on view of a World War One era fighter appears. Text bullets overlay the image to reinforce the narration:

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