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German airship caught by a searchlight

Type: Image

Although the First World War was not the first time aircraft were used in war (that happened during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911), the war did mark the debut of long range bombing missions. The Germans used rigid airships (popularly known as 'Zeppelins' after their builder, German Count Zeppelin) for night bombing missions over France and Britain. This painting shows one technique used by the defenders - searchlights to illuminate the airships, and anti-aircraft guns to attempt to shoot them down. (Private collection)

Site: National Defence

British Bristol Fighter F2B and German Albatros D.III aircraft in combat

Type: Image

Many Canadians won distinction in the Royal Flying Corps during the Great War. The details of this contemporary painting are none too accurate, but it was this sort of image that caught the public imagination. The legend of the heroic fighter pilot - a 'knight of the air' - retains its power to this day. Despite the myths, however, the humble reconnaissance squadrons, who took photographs and directed artillery bombardments, probably had a greater impact on the war. (Private collection)

Site: National Defence