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By James L. Stokesbury

This concise account of the army use of the plane over the past seventy-five years covers significant conflicts in Spain, Korea, Vietnam, and either international wars, in addition to the adjustments in expertise, strategies, and attitudes towards using air energy.

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Of the British pushers, the Fee and the D. H. 2 could meet the Eindekker on more or less equal terms, but they did not come into squadron service until early 1916, and they reached numbers only by spring of The French were pressed to even more desperate the front in significant that year. alternatives in their attempts to counter the threat, and to that end they produced what was arguably one of the most vicious airplanes of the war. This was the infamous Spad A2. The A2 was in most respects a conventional tractor airplane, except that it had the rotary engine set right at the forward edge of the two wings; forward of that again, in a nacelle or a sort of pulpit, stood a gunner with a machine gun.

The others ditched here and there, one alongside a destroyer, one near a Dutch trawler. The most dramatic rescue was of three seaplane crews by the submarine E-ll, which saved the men but had to abandon the planes when bombed by a Zeppelin. Air warfare at sea was thus off to a rather unpromising start. Just as with the Friedrichshafen raid, losses were heavy, especially of equipment, and the return was small. On a cost-efficiency accounting, it was hardly worth the effort. But, as with the earlier raid, it was a beginning; there would someday be better airplanes, and better techniques, and greater results.

By the middle of 1915, the war had assumed the grinding quality of a battle of attrition between huge, dull-colored masses men. The public at home, desperate for some of the glamour and glory they had been taught to expect the heroic exploits that would keep them interested in, and supportive of, the war soon fastened on the names of pilots that began to appear in effort the reports of the fighting. If thirty infantrymen were blown to pieces of nameless — — barrage in some unidentifiable mudhole, that was not some daring flier shot down two or three equally daring enemy fliers, that was news.

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