Evolution of Airpower Essay

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CETC 1172 70C – Beginning PC Repair
21 July 2013
Evolution of Airpower
The evolution of airpower is a very broad subject that you could spend a lifetime researching and writing about (definitely not my objective). It is not my intent to get into the weeds on this subject but rather, give a “30,000 foot view” as one of my Colonels was famous for asking for on almost any subject that he needed to be briefed on. With that being said, the outline I intend to follow is:
I. The Wright Brothers
II. World War I
III. Between the Wars
IV. World War II
V. The Cold War
The Wright Brothers

It has been almost 110 years since the Wright Brothers made their first powered flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. I believe it is highly
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Although the two camps did agree on some conceptual ideas such as Pershing supporting to some degree, strategic missions, he strongly disagreed with Mitchell’s desire to create an air force independent of the ground forces (ix). Not agreeing with your boss is not a new concept, especially in the military, but Billy Mitchell seemed to want to make an art form of it. Being a bit outspoken, he attacked the War and Navy Department for being insufficiently farsighted regarding airpower (Meilinger). He believed that surface fleets were obsolete and proved the point, to at least him, with the sinking of several battleships during bombing test held in 1921 and 1923. His flamboyant actions, like his disregard for the rule of engagement in the sinking of the German battleship Ostfriesland (and the dropping of a bomb on the still churning spot were the ship slipped beneath the waves to add injury to insult) brought attention to his ultimate goal of an independent air force, but his inability to keep his mouth shut finally lead to his undoing. In September 1925, the US Navy dirigible Shenandoah (ZR-1) crashed in a storm in Ohio, killing 14 of the crew. This event, on the heels of another aviation disaster when US Navy flying boat PN9 No. 1 was lost at sea
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