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Historical Query: Air Recon

 
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Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/3/2019 9:05:47 PM   
MPHopcroft1

 

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Watching the playthrough on YouTube (may their shells be blighted), I was struck by both sides' use of air reconnaissance in the very early stages of the game (August 1914). Is this historical? Did any of the participants have enough faith in the airplane to use it on such a large scale then, or did that evolve later when air warfare started to come out of its infancy?

which makes it ironic that I'm watching the Blue Max mod...

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/3/2019 10:13:56 PM   
sol_invictus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MPHopcroft1

Watching the playthrough on YouTube (may their shells be blighted), I was struck by both sides' use of air reconnaissance in the very early stages of the game (August 1914). Is this historical? Did any of the participants have enough faith in the airplane to use it on such a large scale then, or did that evolve later when air warfare started to come out of its infancy?

which makes it ironic that I'm watching the Blue Max mod...


I guess both sides in the West need at least one air recon unit since these missions were conducted very early in the war. If memory serves it was a French air recon mission which discovered the gap in the German hook toward Paris that led to the Battle of the Marne. I guess in game terms it makes them more common than they were in the first few months.

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/3/2019 10:19:54 PM   
Simulacra53


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One word, Tannenberg.

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/4/2019 12:36:42 AM   
Delaware

 

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Historical question: I read that air units were used for artillery spotting. How did the plane communicate with the units?

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/4/2019 2:31:28 AM   
Mithrilotter

 

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I believe that recon aircraft communicated with ground artillery with the use of signal flags. WWI Aircraft didn't carry radios.

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/4/2019 4:56:33 AM   
seydlitz22513

 

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Military aircraft frequently used radiotelegraphy (Morse code) well into WWII, if not 'til the end. ... In World War 1 there were aircraft spark gap transmitters and the pilot could send messages in Morse code to receivers on the ground but he could not receive wireless (now called radio) signals.

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/4/2019 12:36:03 PM   
Zorch

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: seydlitz22513

Military aircraft frequently used radiotelegraphy (Morse code) well into WWII, if not 'til the end. ... In World War 1 there were aircraft spark gap transmitters and the pilot could send messages in Morse code to receivers on the ground but he could not receive wireless (now called radio) signals.

I believe the British used this when shelling the Konigsberg from monitors in 1914.

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/5/2019 2:37:27 AM   
CSSS

 

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Absolutely! The first modern use of air recon probably saved France. During the battles of the frontiers France had effectively lost four of her five field armies.
A French reconnaissance aircraft noticed the widening gap between western flank of the German marching through northern France. Thus so armed with such intelligence the Marne assaults were launched, with Historical results.

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RE: Historical Query: Air Recon - 12/6/2019 2:01:30 AM   
MPHopcroft1

 

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I've been getting quite the history lesson here. I'm curious what made commanders make the mental leap from "From the air, we can see everything the enemy does" to "from the air, we can rain death on the enemy at will".

Just the fighter plane was a remarkable feat of engineering for the day -- growing ever faster, more maneuverable, and better armed. The synchronization gear that enabled firing machine guns through the propeller arc without hitting the props and shooting down you own plane must have been especially difficult to develop.

_____________________________

"Any asset that would cost you the war if lost is no longer an asset, but a liability." -- Me

"No plan survives the battlefield" -- old Army saw.

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