The Role of the Bomber by Ronald William Clark

By Ronald William Clark

An outline of the strategic and tactical operations of the bomver from the times of ballooning to the current.

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The attitudes are not incompatible. Similar operations were carried out by the British in Somaliland and Aden and by the French in their struggle with Abdel Krim in Morocco. This use of the bomber in colonial wars, in which the defences were negligible or non-existent, tended to draw attention away from the problems that would be met if such attacks were to be made on a sophisticated and industrial nation. Nevertheless, there was a growing belief that 'the bomber', as the unlucky Baldwin was later to claim, 'will always get through'.

The number of searchlights in the defence anti-aircraft organization was increased and a complex early-warning system of observers was set up. These measures, together with the British weather, brought about a steady increase in Zeppelin losses and although the raids continued until the summer of 1918 they continued with steadily decreasing effect. But, like the separate Gotha bombing campaign succeeded in keeping from the Western Front men and materials that were badly needed there, a result probably more important than the much-questioned loss in arms production that the raids brought about.

Before this, however, he 36 . Liberty engines and capable of lifting a 5,000-pound bomb-load. The aircraft was limited to a range of less than 100 miles when huge load, was subject to disastrous teething troubles, and abandoned after it had become known as Mitchell's Folly '. Nevertheless, there were more successful successors and Mitchell's propaganda kept the concept of the bomber in existence in the United States throughout the years that followed the war, even though the debate continued about how it could, and should, be used.

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