Page:Aircraft in Warfare.pdf/30

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§ 1 AIRCRAFT

taken. On the one hand, if we regard the fiying corps as merely the successor to the pre-existing balloon corps, the numbers, they at present stand, may be regarded as sufficient; indeed, perhaps, even liberal. On the other hand, if we would recognise in the advent of the aero- being the point of view adopted by the author), the present strength, represents numerically one-twentieth truly a fair perspective comparison with the cavalry, to which Arm, from its function, the aeronautical Arm is most closely akin; here the accepted 1odern army is about 6 per many otherwise conpetent authori ties who would deny to the aeroplane (or to aireraft generally) the potential importance which the author hopes satisfactorily to demonstrate is its due; let us put We hear frequent reports of the work done by German aircraft, and particularly the plane the dawn of a fourth Arm (this which in no case part of 1 per cent. of the number of bayonets, is negligible quantity. In order to get of the position, it is sufficient to institute a a numerical proportion in cent. Now there are the matter to the test. effective tactical recontaissance of the German aero- planes, which appear to be continuously employed during the course of every engagement for locating positions, directing gun-fire, following up bodies of troops in retreat, etc. of operations, presumably reconnoitring the distribution of the forces of the Allies at points remnote from the eneny's liues. We may presume that the Belgian, French, and British aircraft are eqnal success; but here, in the nature of things, the in formation which appears in our Press is meagre already pointed out, the total number of machines engaged is microscopic; the Germans are at the outbreak of hostilities some 500 machines in all. our gun We also hear reports of their wider field strategic employed with As reputed to have possessed If the German cavalry had been limited to 500 mounted

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