AVSC 1010 Lecture 3
How to proceed: you will first read the lectures and answer a few brief questions in
the text. In the lectures, you will also find various activities and opportunities to further explore
the subject area on the Internet. Next you will read through the FAQ (frequently asked
questions) for the lecture. You should visit the classroom's bulletin board to read other
classmate's comments and submit your own.
In this lecture you will learn about the incredible advances of flight during World War I,
barnstorming, and the great record setting pilots following the Great War. You should be able
to respond to the short answer questions, participate on bulletin board discussions, and score
at least an 80% on this portion of your first mid-term examination, which you should take after
The Great War: World War I
No man had ever known a battlefield so grim, where technology, including airplanes, made
the work of war so deadly efficient. World War I, once more commonly known as the Great
War, took place from 1914 to 1919, just a decade after the birth of the powered airplane. This
would be the first war where aviation became a tool of death. It would be the first war of
aviation heroes and villains, bombing of civilian populations, and aerial duals fought in the
once peaceful sky. To understand how aviation affected and became an important part of the
war, it is important to understand why and how the Great War took place?
The war was years in the making, as Europe's great powers fought each other for dominance
in the world. Jealous cousins from the Continent's ancient monarchies met together at sailing
meets and bragged of the size of their navies as if they were toys.
Most jealous of all was Germany's Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II. The German Empire was less
than 100 years old, thrown together at the end of the Napoleonic era wars from dozens of tiny
kingdoms, duchies, and principalities. The new Germany, under the leadership of the
Prussian Hohenzollern Kings, became an industrial powerhouse.
Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm II
Germany, however, had fallen behind in the race to grab colonies in the Americas, Asia, and
Africa. The greatest empire of the age was Great Britain, where the 'sun did not set' on her
far reaching colonies. Britain was ruled by King George V, the grandson of Queen Victoria
and first cousin to Kaiser Wilhelm. Great Britain had the greatest navy in the world, twice the
size of any other leading power. During this era, the size of the nation's navy was the
greatest measurement of military strength and prestige.
The Republic of France also had huge colonies, as did Belgium. The Russian Empire was so
large itself, that no other nation could match its size or physical resources.
In the middle of Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Empire of Emperor Franz Josef stood in stark