Military Air Warfare

Posted: November 29th, 2013





Military Air Warfare

Military warfare has changed over the past decades due to numerous significant reasons, which can be attributed to the evolution. Aerial warfare has been one of the military fields, which has significant developments over the years since the elapse of the First World War. Aerial warfare is considered as a branch of military, which involves the use of military aircraft and other flying machines for combat purposes (Ambrose, 13). Militaries around the world have dedicated large portions of their budgets to advance their strategic air power. The use of air power is considered as the strongest point of any military. Hence, a military with a powerful air force can be considered as the strongest military maybe in its specific region or around the world. Constant air power developments are attributed to developments and advancements in technology, which have aided further research and eventual development of powerful air machines.

The First World War in 1914 was regarded as one of the significant steps towards new developments and competition in warfare. The war involved the allies, which involved Germany, Austria, Hungary and the triple entente that consisted of United Kingdom, France and Russia. More than 9 million soldiers were killed due to technological advancements such as new machine guns, which had great firepower, and planes, which were used to make attacks on enemy bases and their troops. The First World War was the initial development of apolitical arena in Europe and the world, which shaped relations between the various countries, which were involved in the war. The war also included people in the colonies who were brought to the battlefront by the colonial governments to fight.

In 1915, after the beginning of the world war in 1914, Dutch engineer Anthony Fokker made a significant development after developing the gun synchronizer such that pilots in battle were able to shoot while flying the plane. This paved way for the use of the airplane for bombing enemy bases and their troops, attacking enemy troops on the ground with low flying aircraft which is regarded as strafing, sea location of enemy troops and anti submarine shooting and bombing. Before the end of the First World War, the countries involved in the world war had significantly developed air combat with individual countries having their own lanes leading to numerous types of planes in warfare such as bombers, fighters and reconnaissance aircraft. The First World War also saw the development of submarines, which were used to eliminate sea targets such as ships operating as naval bases for enemies.

The Second World War was another face of development of warfare skills in countries around the world. This was the most important phase in the development of airpower. Planes were also used to bomb civilian targets of enemies. This approach was used by countries in their efforts to force these countries armies to surrender. Germany was one of the driving power houses in the development of new planes for combat despite having a ban preventing it from  maintaining an air force, Germany was able to form the Luftwaffe which was an air force formed secretly before Germany could undertake any serious bombing activities (Ambrose, 23). Japanese military also used their air force to launch attacks on Chinese cities with the thought that china would surrender. Soviet Union was experiencing rapid growth due to industrialization in its cities  the soviet were able to develop more planes than the German Luftwaffe despite the Germans having a superior air force during the start of the war; this enabled them to drive the Germans out of soviet territory and take the war to Germany.

In the 1940’s the British launched massive bombing activities using their bombers, which they however used at night. This paved way for the development of mapping radar, which enabled the pilots in identifying targets at night as well as during severe weather, which was a common scene in Europe. In addition, pathfinder tactics were also developed in that they were used for the accuracy of the targets using flares. However, the bombers were inferior in comparison to the single engine fighters. Hence, a new doctrine was adopted in warfare whereby the bombers were accompanied by fighter planes. In this light in the year 1945, American planes bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki using atomic bombs. In addition, the soviet invasion of Manchuria, Japan was aided by the presence of adequate air firepower, which marked the end of the Second World War. Military transport using airplanes was also made possible by the development of large planes, which aided in the deployment of airborne troops. The use of airborne soldiers was highlighted in the Vietnamese war where only helicopters were allowed due to the existence of a treaty. In addition, naval aviation was also developed whereby the aircraft carriers were necessary in battle during the Second World War. This enabled countries at war to launch their aircraft from sea vessels.

Military air power soon evolved to the use of jet power, which was superior in terms of speed and maneuverability in comparison to the fighters and the bombers or combat aircraft. The developed jets were high altitude bombers such that they could strike their targets without being seen by the enemy. This prompted countries to develop new means of striking these high altitude bombers suing identical high altitude bombers such as the SR-71 Blackbird and the U2, which were both, developed in utter secrecy such that the developer would be able to use them in secrecy. In addition, there were developments of air-to-air missiles, which were the highlight of air combat. The air-to-air missiles were advanced. They were guided missiles with long-range striking capabilities, during attacks.

The Korean War was one of the highlights of the jet-powered aircraft such as the soviet made MiG-15, which was used, by the North Koreans and the F-84 Thunder jets and the F9F Panthers (Willmott, 71). The supremacy battles between the United States and the soviet were developed in effort to outclass each other and claim superiority in air combat. For instance the MiG-5 developed by the soviets and the F-86 Sabre developed by the United States were developed using different methodologies. However, by the end of the Korean War the USAF claimed to have shot down in excess of 792 MiG-15s in compensation for the 78 Sabres, which were shot down by the MiGs. Helicopters were also used in the war mainly as means of transport and utility services. Helicopters were widely used by the American Air Force such as the CH-21 and the T-28 for deployment of soldiers and as utility vehicles (Clancy, 45).

During the Iraqi invasion between 2003 and 2011 by the United States forces and the British forces which was aimed at removing the dictator Saddam Hussein. The United States used sophisticated aircrafts such as the B-52, stealth fliers such as the B-2 bomber and the F-117A (Clancy, 75). The aircraft were able to maneuver effectively Iraqi radar by the use of anti-radar devices and aerial reconnaissance in collecting of information regarding the presence and location of the Iraqi forces. The Iraqi forces were annihilated by the American forces due to the presence of a strong air force by the American and British forces.

In addition, the Israeli army also gained supremacy by use of its air force to annihilate the Hezbollah targets in Lebanon who posed a security threat to the sovereignty of Israel. In conclusion, the presence of the air force has been used to gauge the military prowess of militaries around the world. The majority of air forces around the world have invested and laid emphasis on a strong air force for a strong military. The changes and developments of new and advanced planes, which are superior in terms of speed has been aided by new  technologies which are evolving on a daily basis creating room for more sophisticated. Competition also plays a significant role in the development of new sophisticated planes, which have varying levels of speed and maneuverability.

Work Cited

Ambrose, Stephen E. D-day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II. New York:

Simon & Schuster, 1994. Print.

Clancy, Tom. Fighter Wing: A Guided Tour of an Air Force Combat Wing. New York: Berkley                                            Books, 1995. Print.

Willmott, H P. World War I. New York: DK Pub, 2003. Print.

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