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1 WW 2 History Club 22 – Feb - 2012 The Air War The Experts Speak.

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Presentation on theme: "1 WW 2 History Club 22 – Feb - 2012 The Air War The Experts Speak."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 WW 2 History Club 22 – Feb The Air War The Experts Speak

2 2 “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” Lord Kelvin (renowned scientist & President of British Royal Society), 1895 “It is apparent to me that the aeroplane, which 2 or 3 years ago was thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and we must turn elsewhere” Thomas Edison, 1895 “Man will not fly for 50 years” Wilbur Wright, 1901

3 3 The Experts Speak “Airplanes are interesting toys, but of no military value” Marshal Ferdinand Foch, 1911 “Pershing won the war (WWI) without even looking into an airplane, let alone going up in one. If they had been of such importance, he’d have tried at least one ride … we’ll stick to the army on the ground and the battleships on the sea” John Weeks (US Secy of War), 1921

4 4 The Experts Speak Comments regarding Billy Mitchell’s boast: “The idea is so damned nonsensical and impossible that I’m willing to stand on the bridge of a battleship while that nitwit tried to hit it from the air” Newton Baker (US Secy of War), 1921 “Good God! This man [Billy Mitchell] should be writing dime novels” Josephus Daniels (US Secy of the Navy), 1921

5 5 The Experts Speak Comments after Mitchell sunk the Ostfreisland: “Such an experiment without actual conditions of war to support it is a foolish waste of time …” Theodore Roosevelt, Jr (US Asst Secy of War), 1921 “It is highly unlikely that an airplane, or a fleet of them, could ever sink a fleet of Navy vessels under battle conditions” FDR (Former Asst US Secy of the Navy), 1922

6 6 The Experts Speak “With the possible exception of having more pleasing lines to the eye while in flight, the monoplane possesses no material advantages over the biplane” Glenn Curtis (founder of Curtis Aircraft), 1911 “The Director of Military Aeronautics of France has decided to discontinue henceforth the purchase of monoplanes, their place to be filled entirely by biplanes … This decision sound the death knell of the monoplane as a military investment” Scientific America, September 1915

7 7 The Experts Speak The official program for the Army-Navy game on Nov 29 th, 1941 had a picture of the USS Arizona and the caption: “It is significant that despite the claims of air enthusiasts, no battleship has yet been sunk by bombs”


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