The War in The Air

By: Maxwell Garrett

A letter a british general sent to his family during world war 1.

September 9th, 1918

Dear Family,

I want to remind you of the many significant ways I've used planes in my position as a british general which have had significant importance in this war which is to end all wars. I am just reminding you as I will be coming home soon but I wish you know all the important ways I've helped the war effort. I hope things have been going well at home since I departed for my journey in war. Planes have greatly aided the war effort in many ways before unimaginable as this is our first war using planes to this extent(Match Fred).

Captain William A. Bishop, V.C., Royal Flying Corps, who has up to this date shot down 37 German aircraft.

One of the most significant ways I used planes at the beginning of the war to assist us in knowing when and how to attack was using scouting planes (Taylor David). It significantly eased the planning I did ahead of sending troops out so that we can have fewer casualties. It provided us with the location of the enemy trenches which in turn helped us suffer fewer casualties when attacking. For example I saved lives through the use of air intelligence which told me to have my troops retreat when the german army was surrounding us for attack on August 22nd, 1914(Feltus Pamela). It was still very tough, the Germans were much ahead of us in aircraft at the beginning of the war.(Henderson Ian) We also had a few pilots who brought their guns on board which sparked the idea for planes with machine guns which would later be used in the war.(Taylor David) Altogether it furthers the importance of planes in the war to end all wars.

Image of the Airco DH.2 Biplane Scout (1915)

There was also a large significance of planes with machine guns in the war. These planes started a new way of fighting instead of only fighting on the ground for us. We now had to strategize how to attack in the air with our new technology. It was very exciting at the time to have a new way to fight against the enemy. For example I as a general had to weigh out lives over causing kaos on the enemy by using the planes machine gun against the enemy on the ground. I had to weigh out lives because it had a high mortality when shooting towards ground torops. (Tim Cook)That is why machine guns on planes were significant.

I also had the chance to use the planes to help command the shooting down of zeppelins which was a German bomber flying ship(Taylor David). It was very difficult to attack the zeppelin bombers because they climbed to higher heights than many of our planes could easily(Tim Cook). But many of the attacks I've worked on have shot down zeppelins successfully not allowing them to bring terror home like they had in January 2015.(Tim Cook) This is furthering why I think our air force was crucial so far in the war.

Picture of the Bristol Scout Biplane Fighter

In conclusion my family I miss you very much but I just wrote to remind you of the extreme importance of aeroplanes in this war, and how they have greatly assisted me in my planning. I just know how much you miss me, and I know you would really enjoy to hear about the aeroplanes.


John Smith

Other Perspectives:
A housewife



  • Cook, Tim. "The Great War in the Air." The Canadian Encyclopedia. 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <>.
  • Pamela, Feltus. "Air Power:Aerial Reconnaissance in World War I." Air Power:Aerial Reconnaissance in World War I. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <>.
  • Shadwick, Martin, and Fred Match. "Military Aviation." The Canadian Encyclopedia. 6 Feb. 2006. Web. 22 Feb. 2015. <>.
  • Taylor, David. Key Battles of World War I. Oxford: Heinemann Library, 2001. Print.
  • Henderson, Ian. World Affairs: Defining Canada's Role. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford UP Canada, 1998. Print.

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