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Военная историяRaf Bomber Command and Its Aircraft 1936 - 1940

Raf Bomber Command and Its Aircraft 1936 - 1940
Raf Bomber Command and Its Aircraft 1936 - 1940
By James Goulding, Philip Moyes

Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing 1975 152 Pages
ISBN: 071100627X

The first organised British bombing raids were made in the autumn of 1914 — just a few weeks after the out­break of World War I - by aircraft of the Royal Naval Air Service operating from Antwerp on the Belgian coast. Their weapons were 2olb Hales bombs aimed by eye from low level and their targets were German air­ships. Bad weather in the target areas rendered the first raids, on September 22, abortive, but in the next attack, on October 8, an airship was destroyed in its hangar at Dusseldorf.
These were the first strategic bombing attacks ever made, and thereafter the bomber element of the RNAS mainly continued in this role, a notable event during this period being the introduction, in late 1916, of the first true British heavy bomber, the famous twin-engined 0/100 biplane developed by Handley Page for the Admiralty and able to carry three quarters of a ton of bombs. The bomber element of the Royal Flying Corps confined itself, in the main, to tactical targets, one of its squadrons (No 100, formed in February 1917 and equipped with FE2B single engined 'pusher' biplanes) gaining the distinction of being the first British squadron formed specifically for night bombing.
In October 1917, as a direct result of increasing German air raids on Britain by twin-engined Gotha aeroplanes, latterly by night and in conjunction with specially-built multi-engined 'Giants' {Riesenjlugzeuge or R-Planes), the British Government ordered the for­mation in France of an 'independent' strategic bombing force to bomb munition factories in the German home­land, partly in retaliation but also in the hope of breaking the deadlock which had followed the great land battles of 1916 and 1917. Named the 41st Wing and based in the Nancy area, the force was organised by General Trenchard, C-in-C of the RFC in France, and initially comprised one RNAS (Handley Page) and two RFC (single engine) squadrons.

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