"We saw the Zeppelin above us, just ahead, amid a gleaming of clouds: High up, like a bright golden finger, quite small, among a fragile incandescence of clouds. And underneath it were splashes of fire as the shells fired from the earth burst. Then there were flashes near the ground-and the shaking noise. It was like Milton-'then there was war in heaven.' But it was not angels. It was that small golden Zeppelin, like a long oval world, high up. It seemed as if the cosmic order were gone, as if there had come a new order, a new heaven above us. I cannot get over it, that the moon is not queen of the sky by night....So it is the end-our world is gone, and we are like dust in the air."

-D.H. Lawrence  (In a letter after the first aerial bombing of London)


"The Zeppelin maneuvered over the Welwyn valley for about half an hour before it came round and passed Londonwards with the nicest precision over our house. It made a magnificent noise the whole time; and not a searchlight touched it. What is hardly credible, but true, is that the sound of the Zepp's engines was so fine, and its voyage through the stars so enchanting, that I positively caught myself hoping next night that there would be another raid."

-George Bernard Shaw (describing the same event)

Douglas Botting

Dr. Echener's Dream Machine: The Historic Saga of the Round-The-World Zeppelin


"A popular fallacy is to suppose that....flying machines could be used to drop dynamite on an enemy in time of war."

-William Henry Pickering (American astronomer at Harvard College Observatory), Aeronautics, 1908


"Air forces by themselves will never do to great cities what Rome did to Carthage, or what the Assyrians did to Jerusalem."

-Arlington B. Conway, The American Mercury, Feb 1932


"When all the powers have airships, I give you my word that no war will be possible."

General Baden-Powell


"I really believe that the aeroplane will help peace in more ways than one-in particular I think it will have a tendency to make war impossible. Indeed, it is my conviction that, had the European governments foreseen the part which the aeroplane was to play (in the Great War), especially in reducing all their strategical plans to a devastating deadlock, they would never had entered upon the war.....This illustrates the mistaken notions which were entertained concerning the practical uses of the aeroplane in warfare. Most of us saw its use for scouting purposes, but few foresaw that it would usher in an entirely new form of warfare. As a result of its activities, every opposing general knows precisely the strength of his enemy and precisely what he is going to do. Thus surprise attacks, which for thousands of years have determined the events of wars, are no longer possible, and thus all future wars, between forces which stand anywhere near an equality, will settle down to tedious deadlocks. Civilized countries, knowing this in advance, will hesitate before taking up arms- a fact which makes me believe that the aeroplane, far more than Hague conferences and Leagues to enforce peace, will exert a powerful influence in putting an end to war."

-Orville Wright, 1917


"As a peace machine, the value (of the aeroplane) to the world will be beyond computation. Would a declaration of war between Russia and Japan be made, if within an hour thereafter, a swiftly gliding aeroplane might take its flight from St. Petersburg and drop half a ton of dynamite about the (Japanese) war offices? Could any nation afford to war upon any other with such hazards in view?"

-John Brisben Walker (Publisher of Cosmopolitan mag Mar, 1904)



"Airplanes are interesting toys. but of no military value."

-Marechal Ferdinand Foch (Professor of Strategy at and Commandant of the Ecole Superieure de Guerre)1911


"To affirm that the aeroplane is going to 'revolutionize' naval warfare in the future is to be guilty of the wildest exaggeration."

-Scientific American


"Good God! This man (Billy Mitchell) should be writing dime novels."

-Josephus Daniels (U.S. Secretary of the Navy) 1921


   "Many officers aware of his plans were appalled at what he wanted to do. The United States, for example, was bombing enemy factories, railroads, and docks. Often there were vast mistakes, and civilians were killed. But at least in Europe that was never the goal of entire campaigns, and American flight officers who consistently missed their navigation targets could be removed from duty. The Royal Navy also wanted to use whatever bombers were available to concentrate on submarine factories and shipyards, and if possible, to use bombers to target enemy submarines or surface ships on the seas.

   Harris saw it differently, Enemy factories may have been his ostensible primary targets, but he was convinced it was waste of time to try aiming precisely at the factories or construction yards. Nor did he want his planes circling aimlessly over the sea on the hunt for enemy submarines. That was merely a distraction. He wouldn't allow, and if it had to happen, he wouldn't encourage it. He wanted to kill people, quite as much as he wanted to destroy buildings or equipment. The huge supplies of high explosives and incendiaries that the RAF was accumulating were to be dropped on the workers themselves, in the houses where they lived. That, he was convinced, was the most effective way to destroy the enemy's power...."

(about "Bomber" Harris...the RAF officer who first bombed the 'al-Tikriti Tribe in Iraq)

David Bodanis

Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity


'Airplanes come diving down from all directions. They go under us, over us, past us, as we lumbered along. Everyone is shooting from our airplane but my only maneuvers are to avoid ramming other Aircraft. Twice I see figures running on the ground and each time they are hunted by the fire from two or three airplanes, all jockeying for the same target. In five minutes the island is a smoking wasteland. The skeletons of the block-houses remain, but not a shack, not a tree is left. the camouflage has been seared off the single flak battery and the guns are loosed, twisted and bent like pretzels."

Gordon Forbes

Goodbye to Some



"The air war did not simply mean bombs bursting in air as techniques evolved and were refined. The bomb's detonations were understandable, expected to a great extent possible to elude, But the results of great concentrations of bombs in a city, where fire fed on fire creating an inescapable holocaust, this was difficult for the human mind to grasp; this was not a 'classic" kind of war at all. It destroyed all and everything before it, it was total, absolute and brutal. It was the Real War of the Twentieth Century. Its impact was not caused by explosives and steel, but flame."

Edward Jablonski

air war

Doubleday Co NY



"Only after the first explosions did the people of Folkestone notice the sound of engines beating the air. They hardly understood what they heard. They screamed "Zepps!" Zepps! For until then Zeppelin dirigibles had been the only mechanism of air attack they knew. "I saw two aeroplanes," a clergyman remembered who ran outside amid the clamor," Not Zeppelins, emerging from the disc of the sun almost overhead. Then four more, or five, in a line and others, all light bright silver insects hovering against the blue of the sky…..There was about a score in all, and we were charmed with the beauty of the sight." Charmed because aircraft of any kind were new to the British sky and these were white and large. The results were less charming: 95 killed, 195 injured."

Richard Rhodes

The Making of the Atomic Bomb


In Iraq  (desert Storm) we delivered 1,226,645 Air Sorties ,,,96,000 tons of bombs….


"You're low," said the annoyed voice of the LSO. "power". My eyes flashed back to the meatball and I saw that he was right. The meatball was now below the horizontal datum lights. My left hand shot forward adding lots of power. it was too big a correction, and the meatball began to rise rapidly.

   "Easy with it," said the LSO in a softer voice. "You're over-powered." In the periphery I saw the red chevron of the AOA indicator and knew that I was now high and fast. I pulled back on the throttles and the engines started to spool down. "Right for lineup," said the LSO, then followed quickly by a crescending call, "Power! Power!"

  I had drifted to the left and gave a big right-wing dip to correct but I neglected to add power for the lineup correction. I was horrified to see the meatball start a rapid descent and within an instant it changed colors to red. Ramp strike was all I could think as I rammed the throttles to the stops. Terror coursing through my veins, I was unsure whether or not I would clear the ramp. The Prowler careened onto the carrier's flight deck. My body was hurled forward violently as the tailhook grabbed the Midway's first wire. After two seconds and 195 feet of roll out on the flight deck, the jet had gone from 128 knots to a standstill. My left arm was locked at the elbow and my knees were trembling. Above the sound of my heart pounding in my chest and my hyperventilating I heard a calm voice, that of the air boss looking down at me from the tower, say, "it's OK, 605, we've got you now, throttle back, and turn off your lights." We had made it. Bhagwan wouldn't need his toothbrush after all, but I smiled with the thought that he might need a clean pair of underwear.

   I quickly pulled the throttles to idle, turned of my lights, and raised the flaps and slats lever. The terror of seeing the meatball turn red still had me shaking. Once the flaps and slats were retracted, Cave was able to fold the wings so that we could taxi around the crowded flight deck. The outboard ten feet of each wing was raised and folded across the jet's back in order to reduce the Prowler's wingspan, making it easier to avoid the many obstacles around the carrier's flight deck. I taxied toward the bow, following the signals of the yellowshirt. My legs were still shaking from the combination of utter fear and adrenaline from the landing. Pilots called it "sewing machine leg," and it was actually humorous to look down and see my legs bobbing up and down uncontrollably on the rudder pedals."

Sherman Baldwin

Ironclaw: A Navy Carrier Pilot's War Experience



Book: "A History of Bombing" by Sven Lindqvist

Book:" The Great Book Of Bombers: The World's Most Important Bombers from World War I to the Present Day" by Jon Lake

Book: "Through Eyes Of Blue: Personal Memories of the RAF from 1918" Ed. by A.E. Ross

Book: "The Genesis Of Flight: The Aeronautical History Collection of Colonel Richard Gimbel" by the Friends of the U.S. Air Force Academy Library

Book: "Air Warfare: Firepower" ed by Chris Bishop

Book: "Allied Aviation of World War I: Aviation Pioneers" by Hugh W. Cowin

Book: "Air Power: The Men, Machines, and ideas that Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II" by Stephen Buydiansky

Book: "Fighter Pilot" by Philip Kaplan

Book: "The Eye Of The Viper: The Making of an F-16 Pilot" by Peter Aleshire

Book: "Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War" by Robert Coram

Book: "John 'Cats-Eyes' Cunningham: The Aviation Legend" by John Golley

Book: "Aircraft versus Aircraft" by Norman Franks

Book: "America's Hundred Thousand: The US production Fighter Aircraft of World War II" by Francis H. Dean

Book: "A History of Bombing" by Sven Lindqvist

Book: "Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War" by Robert A. Pape

Book: "Fighting Firsts: Fighter Aircraft Combat Debuts from 1914-1944" by Jon Guttman

"The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes" by Bill Gunston

Book: "Modern Military Aircraft" by Robert Jackson

Book: "Modern Military Aircraft: The Aviation Factfile" Ed. by Jim Winchester

"The Complete Book of Fighters" By W. Green & G. Swanborough

"Rolling Thunder" by Ivan Rendall

Book: "Fight For The Air" by John Frayn Turner

"Thunder In The Heavens: Classic American Aircraft of World War II" by Martin Bowman

Book: "The World War II Warplane Guide" by Charles Catton

Book: "Warplanes of World War II" by Robert Jackson

Book: "Brassey’s Modern Fighters" by Mike Spick

Book: "The First Air War: A Pictorial History" by T.C. Treadwell & A.C. Wood

Book: "Fighting Cockpits, 1914-2000: Design and Development of Military Aircraft Cockpits" by Leslie Coombs

Book: "Fortress Against the Sun: The B-17 Flying Fortress in the Pacific" by Gene Eric Salecker

Book: "Allied Fighter Aces" by Mike Spick

Book: "Ace of Aces: The Life of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker" by H. Paul Jeffers

Book: "The Republic F-105 Thunderchief: Wing and Squadron Histories" by James Geer

Book: "German Aircraft of the Second World War (Including Helicopters and Missles) by A.L. Kay & J.R. Smith

Book: "The Man Who Flew The Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot" by Robert Morgan with R. Powers

Book: Tumult In The Clouds" by James Goodson

Book: "Battle For the Skies" by Michael Paterson

Book: "Aces in Command: Fighter Pilots as Combat Leaders" by Walter J. Boyne

Book: "Fast Movers: America’s Jet Pilots and the Vietnam Experience" by John Darrell Sherwood

Book:" Shadow Flights: America's Secret Air War Against the Soviet Union" by Curtis Peebles

Book: "To Destroy A City: Strategic Bombing and Its Human Consequences in World War Ii" by Hermann Knell

Book: "The Aerospace Encyclopedia of Air Warfare" Vol I & 2" Ed. by C. Bishop & S. Moenig

Book: "Aircraft Carriers: Firepower" by David Jordan

Book: "Ironclaw: A Navy Carrier Pilot's Gulf War Experience" by Sherman Baldwin

Book: "US Air Force: The New Century" by bob Archer

Book: Duel For the Sky" by Christopher Shores

Book: "The Mammoth Book of Fighter Pilots" Ed. by Jon E. Lewis with J. Jenkins


© 2001



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