Page:Aircraft in Warfare.pdf/16

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viii.
PREFACE.


nor is it advisable that I should do much towards indicating those on which we are in agreement

There are two theories, however, evolved by Mr. Lanchester to which I may safely draw attention The first he has called the -square law, and it is, to my a most valuable contribution to the art of war It mind, is the scientific statement of a truth which, although but dimly perceived, has been skilfully used by many great captains, both Naval and Military, but it is now for the first time stated in figures and logically proved. We can never be governed by the rules of exact science; there are too many couflicting factors, too many fortuitous circumstances; but there are certain rules, whether based experience lightly transgress. rules, and dispersion is valuable. The examples chosen from sea and land warfare illustrate the working of the law with admirable precision.

In the other case, Mr. Lanchester's calculations are less satisfactory. In considering the proportion of air- craft which is suitable for the requirements of an army in the field, the aircraft are aeroplane with a for calculation. To begin with, a single aeroplane absorbs, on the average, the services of men, and its cost, which is not au provide accurate display of comparative figures wiil bring commander may calculation, which Concentration of force is one of these or no on a statement of the inevitable disadvantages of compared with cavalry, and the sound basis single trooper. This is no some twelve officers and immaterial factor, would more than a score of horses But even the most Us no nearer to a correct result. The aeronautical arm is a new force in war, performing its activities every day and, at present, recognising but few limitations to its possible development. There is, functions, extending new as