Lanchester, 1916, Aircraft in Warfare

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Frederick William Lanchester. Aircraft in Warfare: The Dawn of the Fourth Arm. London: Constable and Company Limited, Orange Street, Leicester Square, 1916
With introductory preface by Maj.-Gen. Sir David Henderson, K.C.B.

Full text online at Internet Archive.

Henderson in the introduction comments on the parade of people calling themselves aeronautical experts and remarks: "As a matter of fact, there are no experts in military aeronautics. [...] Yet there are some students who, by reason of their receptive minds, and their wide and varied experience, have mastered so many of the fundamental problems that they are well qualified to review the general position, and to put forward ar easoned statement of their views. And of those so qualified, none has a wide view than Mr. Lanchester." He goes on to identify the precise value of airplanes in war as an area of disagreement between himself and Lanchester.

Lanchester, in his preface, says his writing gets plagiarized and gives an example.

The book itself begins with general comments on the strategic value of the airplane and gets into more technical and tactical issues such as air-to-air combat. The book predicts correctly that despite their small sizes at present, national air forces will develop into independent branches of military service. (The first three "arms" are infantry, cavalry, and artillery, with naval forces treated as a separate domain, useful only in certain cases.)

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