Strategic bombing during World War I
Strategic bombing during World War I was principally carried out by the United Kingdom and France for the Entente Powers and Germany for the Central Powers. All the nations at war eventually engaged in bombing, excepting Rome and Washington. A multi-national air force to strike at Germany was planned but never materialized, the aerial bombing of cities, intended to destroy the enemys morale, was introduced by the Germans in the opening days of the war. Early strategic bombing led to the development of specialized bomber aircraft. Initially bombs were dropped by hand and aimed by the naked eye, the introduction of air raid warnings and shelters can be dated to World War I, as can the design of anti-aircraft artillery and the development of methods for coordinated aerial defence. Many of the advocates of strategic bombing during the period, such as Italys Giulio Douhet, Americas Billy Mitchell. The improvements in technology during and after the war convinced many that the bomber will always get through.
The first strategic bombing in history was the first instance of bombs being dropped on a city from the air, on 6 August 1914 a German Zeppelin bombed the Belgian city of Liège. Within the first month of the war, Germany had formed the Ostend Carrier Pigeon Detachment, during the First Battle of the Marne, a German pilot flying aerial reconnaissance missions over Paris in a Taube regularly dropped bombs on the city. The first raid dropped five bombs and a note demanding the immediate surrender of Paris. Before the stabilisation of the Western Front, the German aircraft dropped fifty bombs on Paris and this campaign was approved on 7 January 1915 by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who forbade attacks on London, fearing that his relatives in the British royal family might be injured. These restrictions were lifted in May, after British attacks on German cities, the first attacks on England were on 9 January, and struck the Yarmouth area and Kings Lynn. In Britain, fear of the Zeppelin as a weapon of war preceded its actual use, the Imperial German Navy, whose airships were primarily used for reconnaissance over the North Sea, continued to bomb the United Kingdom until 1918.
In all, fifty-one raids on Great Britain were carried out, the most intense year of the airship bombing of England was 1916. Germany employed 125 airships during the war, losing more than half and sustaining a 40% attrition rate of their crews, in May 1917 the Germans began using heavy bombers against England using Gotha G. IV and supplementing these with Riesenflugzeuge, mostly from the Zeppelin-Staaken firm. The targets of these raids were industrial and port facilities and government buildings, although the German strategic bombing campaign against Britain was the most extensive of the war, it was largely ineffective, in terms of actual damage done. Only 300 tons of bombs were dropped, resulting in damage of £2,962,111 damage,1,414 dead and 3,416 injured. In the autumn of 1917, over 300,000 Londoners had taken shelter from the bombing, the Royal Naval Air Service undertook the first Entente strategic bombing missions on 22 September 1914 and 8 October, when it bombed the Zeppelin bases in Cologne and Düsseldorf
Verdun is a small city in the Meuse department in Grand Est in northeastern France. It is an arrondissement of the department, Verdun is the biggest city in Meuse, although the capital of the department is the slightly smaller city of Bar-le-Duc. Verdun was founded by the Gauls and it has been the seat of the bishop of Verdun since the 4th century, with interruptions. The 843 Treaty of Verdun divided Charlemagnes empire into three parts, the city has been famous for dragées or sugared almonds from 1200 onwards, they were distributed at the baptism of French princes. Verdun was part of the kingdom of Lotharingia, and in 1374 it became a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. The Bishopric of Verdun formed together with Tull and Metz the Three Bishoprics, from 1624 to 1636, a large bastioned citadel was constructed on the site of the Abbey of Saint Vanne. In 1670, Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban visited Verdun and drew up a scheme to fortify the whole city. Although much of his plan was built in the following decades, despite the extensive fortifications, Verdun was captured by the Prussians in 1792 during the War of the First Coalition, but abandoned by them after the Battle of Valmy.
During the Napoleonic War, the citadel was used to hold British prisoners of war, in the Franco-Prussian War, Verdun was the last French fortress to surrender in 1870. Shortly afterwards, a new system of fortification was begun and this consisted of a mutually supporting ring of 22 polygonal forts up to 8 kilometres from the city, and an inner ring of 6 forts. The Battle of Verdun was fought on August 20,1792 between French Revolutionary forces and a Prussian army and this therefore opened the path to Paris. Norwich Duff visited Verdun in 1819, shortly after the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars and he writes, Verdun is prettily situated in a valley surrounded by hills. The River Meuse runs through the town and forms several canals and ditches round the town which is fortified and, I believe, the citadel and are a good deal out of repair and were at work on them. Though there is little to see at Verdun, every part of it felt interesting from the number of our countrymen confined here during the war, Verdun is famous for its sweetmeats, sugar plums, confits etc.
which are said to be the best in France. They made us show our passports it being a fortified town, Verdun was the site of a major battle, and the longest-lasting, of the First World War. One of the costliest battles in history, Verdun exemplified the policy of a war of attrition pursued by both sides, which led to an enormous loss of life and very large casualty lists. Following the failure of the Schlieffen Plan in 1914 and the solidifying of the Western Front, once the French army had bled to death, Britain could be brought down by Germanys submarine blockade and superior military strength. Recent scholarship by Holger Afflerbach and others, has questioned the veracity of the Christmas memo, no copy has ever surfaced and the only account of it appeared in Falkenhayns post-war memoir
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres, with about 82 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. After the United States, it is the second most popular destination in the world. Germanys capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, other major cities include Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf and Leipzig. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity, a region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period the Germanic tribes expanded southward, beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation, in 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire.
After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918–1919, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic, the establishment of the national socialist dictatorship in 1933 led to World War II and the Holocaust. After a period of Allied occupation, two German states were founded, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, in 1990, the country was reunified. In the 21st century, Germany is a power and has the worlds fourth-largest economy by nominal GDP. As a global leader in industrial and technological sectors, it is both the worlds third-largest exporter and importer of goods. Germany is a country with a very high standard of living sustained by a skilled. It upholds a social security and universal health system, environmental protection. Germany was a member of the European Economic Community in 1957. It is part of the Schengen Area, and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999, Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G8, the G20, and the OECD.
The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world, the English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz popular, derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- people, the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a mine in Schöningen where three 380, 000-year-old wooden javelins were unearthed
Aviation in World War I
World War I was the first major conflict involving the large-use of aircraft. Tethered observation balloons had already employed in several wars. Germany employed Zeppelins for reconnaissance over the North Sea and Baltic and for strategic bombing raids over Britain, aeroplanes were just coming into military use at the outset of the war. Initially, they were used mostly for reconnaissance and engineers learned from experience, leading to the development of many specialized types, including fighters and ground-attack aeroplanes. Ace fighter pilots were portrayed as modern knights, and many became popular heroes, the war saw the appointment of high-ranking officers to direct the belligerent nations air war effort. This legislation was rooted in a fear that airplanes would be used to attack undefended cities, at the start of the war, there was some debate over the usefulness of aircraft in warfare. Many senior officers, in particular, remained sceptical, early scepticism and low expectations quickly turned to unrealistic demands beyond the capabilities of the primitive aircraft available.
Even so, air reconnaissance played a role in the war of movement of 1914. On 22 August 1914, British Captain L. E. O, wadham reported German General Alexander von Klucks army was preparing to surround the BEF, contradicting all other intelligence. The British High Command took note of the report and started to withdraw toward Mons, during the First Battle of the Marne, observation aircraft discovered weak points and exposed flanks in the German lines, allowing the allies to take advantage of them. In Germany the great successes of the early Zeppelin airships had largely overshadowed the importance of heavier-than-air aircraft, out of a paper strength of about 230 aircraft belonging to the army in August 1914 only 180 or so were of any use. The French military aviation exercises of 1911,1912, and 1913 had pioneered cooperation with the cavalry and artillery, Great Britain had started late and initially relied largely on the French aircraft industry, especially for aircraft engines. The initial British contribution to the total allied airwar effort in August 1914 was three squadrons with about 30 serviceable machines.
By the end of the war, Great Britain had formed the worlds first air force to be independent of either army or naval control, by the end of 1914 the line between the Germans and the Allies stretched from the North Sea to the Alps. The initial war of movement largely ceased, and the front became static, three main functions of short range reconnaissance squadrons had emerged by March 1915. The first was photographic reconnaissance, building up a complete map of the enemy trench system. The first air cameras used glass plates, artillery spotting enabled the ranging of artillery on targets invisible to the gunners. Radio telephony was not yet practical from an aircraft, so communication was a problem, by March 1915, a two-seater on artillery observation duties was typically equipped with a primitive radio transmitter transmitting using Morse code, but had no receiver
Between the world wars, it was awarded to members of the German armed forces who fought on the Nationalist side of the Spanish Civil War, 1938–39, and received combat related wounds. It was awarded to members in the Reichswehr, the Wehrmacht, SS, after March 1943, due to the increasing number of Allied bombings, it was awarded to wounded civilians in air raids. It was awarded when the wound was the result of hostile action. The badge had three classes, for those wounded once or twice by hostile action, Silver for being wounded three or four times. Gold for five or more times wounded, the progression could be waived in the event of loss of a limb or eyesight, when such a severe wound occurred, the silver badge was awarded. Badges were made of pressed steel and zinc, all versions of the Wound Badge were worn on the lower left breast of the uniform or tunic. The badge was worn below all other awards on the left and it ranked lower than combat badges. There were 24 approved manufacturers of the Wound Badge, at first, the Wound Badge in Black was stamped from sheet brass, painted semi-matte black with a hollow reverse pin back attachment or of solid construction.
From 1942, steel was used to make the badges, the Wound Badge in silver was made from silver-plated brass, and from lacquered zinc, and had a solid reverse with either a needle pin or a broad flat pin bar. The Wound Badge in Gold was a version of the Wound Badge in Silver. In 1957, a version of the Wound Badge was authorised for wear, however. The 20 July 1944 Wound Badge was only issued to those injured during the attempt on Adolf Hitlers life at the Wolfs Lair headquarters in Rastenburg. Twenty-four men were present when the bomb detonated, one officer was killed, Hitler ordered a special wound badge be awarded commemorating the event, as he believed fate had intervened for him. The 20 July Wound Badges were made in all three grades of black and gold, all of these wound badges were made by the C. E. Junckner firm and were made out of solid hallmarked silver. Recipients who had already been previously awarded regulation Wound Badges were awarded the 20 July Wound Badge in a higher grade, unlike the Wound Badge in Black, the 20 July Wound Badge in Black was not all black.
Only the helmet and wreath were black, the background was in silver so that the date, the 20 July Wound Badge in gold had a silver background with the helmet and wreath colored gold. The 20 July Wound Badge in silver has black highlights on the swastika, the date. Unlike the standard Wound Badges, these were of two-piece construction, Hitler presented the survivors with the special wound badge as well as a unique award document
Anton Herman Gerard Anthony Fokker was a Dutch aviation pioneer and an aircraft manufacturer. He is most famous for the aircraft he produced in Germany during the First World War such as the Eindecker monoplanes, the Dr.1 triplane. After the treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to produce airplanes, Fokker moved his business to the Netherlands, there his company was responsible for a variety of successful aircraft including the Fokker trimotor, a successful passenger aircraft of the inter-war years. He died in North America in 1939, authors suggest he was personally charismatic but unscrupulous in business and a controversial character. Anthony Fokker was born in Blitar, to Herman Fokker, a Dutch coffee plantation owner, some sources say that he was born in Kediri. At that time, Blitar was a part of the Kediri Residency, when Fokker was four, the family returned to the Netherlands and settled in Haarlem in order to provide Fokker and his older sister, with a Dutch upbringing. He devoted considerable effort to the development of a wheel that would not suffer from punctures and this idea had been experimented with elsewhere and was already patented.
Fokkers first interest in flight stemmed from Wilbur Wrights exhibition flights in France in the summer and that same year Fokker built his first aircraft de Spin, which was destroyed by his business partner who flew it into a tree. He gained his pilot license in his second Spin aircraft, in his own country, he became a celebrity by flying around the tower of the Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem on 31 August 1911, with the third version of the Spin. He added to his fame by flying on this date as it was the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina, in 1912, Fokker moved to Johannisthal near Berlin where he founded his first own company, Fokker Aeroplanbau. In the following years he constructed a variety of airplanes and he relocated his factory to Schwerin where it was renamed Fokker Flugzeugwerke GmbH, and shortened to Fokker Werke GmbH. At the outbreak of World War I the German government took control of the factory, in all, his company delivered about 700 military planes to the German air force as well as supplying the German navy and Austria-Hungary.
Fokker himself was a pilot, demonstrating his aircraft on many occasions. On 13 June 1915, Fokker demonstrated the new Eindecker at Stenay in the German 5th Army Sector in front of the German Crown Prince and other VIPs. Fokker worked closely with a military pilot, Otto Parschau, to bring the Eindecker into military use. Max Immelmann, to become a high-scoring Flying Ace with the Eindecker, commented in a letter shortly after this event on 25 June 1915 that, especially. Weyl says that, while Fokker was a talented and bold pilot, Fokker distrusted qualified engineers and resented frequent German insistence on carrying out stringent structural tests to ensure prototype aircraft were fit for combat. He could be bad tempered and insensitive as when he abused his dying designer Martin Kreuzer on the evening of 27 June 1916
Aerial reconnaissance in World War I
During 1914-18, driven primarily by the introduction of heavier-than-air aircraft, aerial reconnaissance developed from an almost zero baseline to a vast, complex science. Equipment, tactics and terminology that would survive with modifications to this day had their origins in this period. The first use of an airplane in war was a reconnaissance flight performed on 23 October 1911 by Captain Carlo Maria Piazza in a Blériot XI during the Italo-Turkish War in Tripolitania, military aerial photography began that December. The experience in World War I would begin on very similar terms, with French Bleriot, Reconnaissance was widely perceived as the only practical use of airplanes. Tethered balloons could ascend to as high as a mile, but were easy to shoot down, they were unstable observation platforms in any wind, leading to attempts to stabilize them with kite-tails or drogues attached to the basket. Dirigibles like the huge new German Zeppelins were considered the best reconnaissance platforms, handheld cameras were widely used but with disappointing results.
Good photographs required both skilled flying and an operator who could devote time to handle the camera and the unwieldy and heavy glass plates it required. In time, longer length lenses were used and gear grew lighter and bigger. Driven high, aircrews began to use oxygen and heated clothing items, the critical discipline of communicating results led to rampant improvisation. At first it was not uncommon for aircraft to land next to command posts so the pilot could personally pass on urgent information, for artillery spotting, time was of the essence, and the French tried air-dropped messaging, colored flares, and pre-arranged aircraft maneuvers to convey information. Germany had a lead and adopted the first aerial camera. Just two weeks into the war, reporters noted of airplanes, “They have ranged constantly over the enemy’s positions, so that the French have always known what the Germans have been doing. This has so disconcerted the latter that they are now making efforts to frighten the French air scouts away.
”By 17 August 1914 and repeatedly thereafter, France was by far the aeronautical leader at the time, and the French Army had incorporated cameras in airplanes from the beginning. France began the war with several squadrons of Blériot observation planes, the French Army developed procedures for getting prints into the hands of field commanders quickly. In Britain, lagging far behind in aviation, the reconnaissance pioneer F. C. V, laws established the first heavier-than-air photography unit at Farnborough in 1913, using a Farman fitted with a Watson camera. In stark contrast with the French, early British reconnaissance was conducted on an amateur basis. The United States played an important role in the last months of the war, using French aircraft, major Bagley brought his recently invented tri-lens camera to France, where it was used to make one vertical and two oblique images from airplanes. These images were used to overprint enemy trenches and gun emplacements over existing maps for precision targeting, an example of this camera is held at the Smithsonian Institution, This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
The Federal City of Bonn is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of 311,287. About 24 km south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr region, Germanys largest metropolitan area, the title of Federal City reflects its particular political status within Germany. Founded in the 1st century BC as a Roman settlement, Bonn is one of Germanys oldest cities, from 1597 to 1794, Bonn was the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and residence of the Archbishops and Prince-electors of Cologne. Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born here in 1770, from 1949 to 1990, Bonn was the capital of West Germany, and it is here where Germanys present constitution, the Grundgesetz, was declared in 1949. From 1990 to 1999, Bonn served as the seat of government, two DAX-listed corporations, Deutsche Post DHL and Deutsche Telekom, have headquarters in Bonn. The city is the location of the University of Bonn, spanning an area of more 141.2 km2 on both sides of the River Rhine, almost three quarters of the city lie on the rivers left bank.
To the south and to the west, Bonn is bordering the Eifel region which encompasses the Rhineland Nature Park, to the north, Bonn borders the Cologne Lowland. Natural borders are constituted by the River Sieg to the north-east, the largest extension of the city in north-south dimensions is 15 km and 12.5 km in west-east dimensions. The city borders have a length of 61 km. The geographical centre of Bonn is the Bundeskanzlerplatz in Bonn-Gronau, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia is divided into five governmental districts, and Bonn is part of the governmental district of Cologne. Within this governmental district, the city of Bonn is an district in its own right. The urban district of Bonn is divided into four administrative municipal districts. These are Bonn, Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Bonn-Beuel and Bonn-Hardtberg, in 1969, the independent towns of Bad Godesberg and Beuel as well as several villages were incorporated into Bonn, resulting in a city more than twice as large as before. In the south of the Cologne lowland in the Rhine valley, the history of the city dates back to Roman times.
In about 12 BC, the Roman army appears to have stationed a small unit in what is presently the historical centre of the city, even earlier, the army had resettled members of a Germanic tribal group allied with Rome, the Ubii, in Bonn. The Latin name for that settlement, may stem from the population of this and many other settlements in the area. The Eburoni were members of a tribal coalition effectively wiped out during the final phase of Caesars War in Gaul. After several decades, the gave up the small camp linked to the Ubii-settlement
A Zeppelin was a type of rigid airship named after the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin who pioneered rigid airship development at the beginning of the 20th century. Zeppelins notions were first formulated in 1874 and developed in detail in 1893 and they were patented in Germany in 1895 and in the United States in 1899. After the outstanding success of the Zeppelin design, the word came to be commonly used to refer to all rigid airships. Zeppelins were first flown commercially in 1910 by Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG, the worlds first airline in revenue service, by mid-1914, DELAG had carried over 10,000 fare-paying passengers on over 1,500 flights. During World War I the German military made use of Zeppelins as bombers and scouts. The defeat of Germany in 1918 temporarily slowed down the airship business, an exception was made allowing the construction of one airship for the US Navy, which saved the company from extinction. In 1926 the restrictions on airship construction were lifted and with the aid of donations from the public and this revived the companys fortunes, and during the 1930s the airships Graf Zeppelin and the larger LZ129 Hindenburg operated regular transatlantic flights from Germany to North America and Brazil.
The Hindenburg disaster in 1937, along political and economic issues. The principal feature of Zeppelins design was a rigid metal framework made up from transverse rings. The advantage of design was that the aircraft could be much larger than non-rigid airships. The framework of most Zeppelins was made of duralumin, early Zeppelins used rubberised cotton for the gasbags, but most craft used goldbeaters skin, made from the intestines of cattle. The first Zeppelins had long cylindrical hulls with tapered ends and complex multi-plane fins and they were propelled by several engines, mounted in gondolas or engine cars, which were attached to the outside of the structural framework. Some of these could provide reverse thrust for manoeuvring while mooring, early models had a comparatively small externally mounted gondola for passengers and crew which was attached to the bottom of the frame. This space was never heated so passengers during trips across the North Atlantic or Siberia were forced to bundle themselves in blankets, the flight ceiling was so low that no pressurization of the cabins was necessary, though the Hindenburg did maintain a pressurized air-locked smoking room.
Access to the Zeppelin was achieved in a number of ways, the Graf Zeppelins gondola was accessed while the vessel was on the ground, via gangways. This describes a large rigidly framed outer envelope containing several separate gasbags and he had previously encountered Union Army balloons in 1863 when he visited the United States as a military observer during the American Civil War. Count Zeppelin began to pursue his project after his early retirement from the military in 1890 at the age of 52. Convinced of the importance of aviation, he started working on various designs in 1891
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdoms aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. The RAF describe its mission statement as, an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, and that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission. The mission statement is supported by the RAFs definition of air power, Air power is defined as the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events. Today the Royal Air Force maintains a fleet of various types of aircraft. The majority of the RAFs rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces, most of the RAFs aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. It was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps, at that time it was the largest air force in the world.
The RAFs naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924, the RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War. The RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War, under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed Article XV squadrons for service with RAF formations. Many individual personnel from countries, and exiles from occupied Europe. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe, the largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command.
Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, during the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Before Britain developed its own nuclear weapons the RAF was provided with American nuclear weapons under Project E and these were initially armed with nuclear gravity bombs, being equipped with the Blue Steel missile. Following the development of the Royal Navys Polaris submarines, the nuclear deterrent passed to the navys submarines on 30 June 1969. With the introduction of Polaris, the RAFs strategic nuclear role was reduced to a tactical one and this tactical role was continued by the V bombers into the 1980s and until 1998 by Tornado GR1s. For much of the Cold War the primary role of the RAF was the defence of Western Europe against potential attack by the Soviet Union, with many squadrons based in West Germany. With the decline of the British Empire, global operations were scaled back, despite this, the RAF fought in many battles in the Cold War period
Royal Flying Corps
The Royal Flying Corps was the air arm of the British Army before and during the First World War, until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. During the early part of the war, the RFC supported the British Army by artillery co-operation, at the start of World War I the RFC, commanded by Brigadier-General Sir David Henderson, consisted of five squadrons – one observation balloon squadron and four aeroplane squadrons. These were first used for spotting on 13 September 1914. Aerial photography was attempted during 1914, but again only became effective the next year, by 1918, photographic images could be taken from 15,000 feet and were interpreted by over 3,000 personnel. By this time parachutes had been used by balloonists for three years, on 17 August 1917, South African General Jan Smuts presented a report to the War Council on the future of air power. On 1 April 1918, the RFC and the RNAS were amalgamated to form a new service, after starting in 1914 with some 2,073 personnel, by the start of 1919 the RAF had 4,000 combat aircraft and 114,000 personnel in some 150 squadrons.
The recommendations of the committee were accepted and on 13 April 1912 King George V signed a royal warrant establishing the Royal Flying Corps, the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers became the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps a month on 13 May. The Flying Corps initial allowed strength was 133 officers, and by the end of year it had 12 manned balloons and 36 aeroplanes. The RFC originally came under the responsibility of Brigadier-General Henderson, the Director of Military Training, and had branches for the Army. Major Sykes commanded the Military Wing and Commander C R Samson commanded the Naval Wing, the RFCs motto was Per ardua ad astra. This remains the motto of the Royal Air Force and other Commonwealth air forces, the RFCs first fatal crash was on 5 July 1912 near Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. Loraine and his observer, Staff Sergeant R. H. V, an order was issued after the crash stating Flying will continue this evening as usual, thus beginning a tradition. Four months on 11 December 1912 Parke was killed when the Handley Page monoplane in which he was flying from Hendon to Oxford crashed.
The Naval Wing, with pilots and aircraft than the Military Wing. In November 1914 the Royal Flying Corps, even taking the loss of the Naval Wing into account, had expanded sufficiently to warrant the creation of wings consisting of two or more squadrons and these wings were commanded by lieutenant-colonels. In October 1915 the Royal Flying Corps had undergone further expansion which justified the creation of brigades, further expansion led to the creation of divisions, with the Training Division being established in August 1917 and RFC Middle East, being raised to divisional status in December 1917. Finally, the air raids on London and the south-east of England led to the creation of the London Air Defence Area in August 1917 under the command of Ashmore who was promoted to major-general. Two of the first three RFC squadrons were formed from the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers, No.1 Company becoming No.1 Squadron, RFC, a second heavier-than-air squadron, No.2 Squadron, RFC, was formed on the same day