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Employment Of Air Craft On And Near The Firing Line In The Theater Of Operation

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

Airplanes will move far out, perhaps hundreds of miles, in front of our

most advanced cavalry for the purpose of gathering general information

of large bodies of the enemy's forces. This is called Strategical

Reconnaissance. Other airplanes do more local scouting. They go but

comparatively short distances from the firing line for the purpose of

determining the location of trenches, supports, reserves, artillery

s, etc. This is called tactical reconnaissance. They give their

artillery commanders information as to where their projectiles are


During siege operations (as in Europe, where some trenches have remained

in about the same place for long periods) photographers go up in

airplanes each morning and photograph the enemy's trench lines. Blue

prints are made of these lines. By comparing these with the lines of the

previous day it is easy to determine the changes that have been made

during the night.

Other airplanes are detailed for the purpose of combat. They prevent

opposing airplanes from gathering information.