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Monday, February 28, 2011

BILLY & DREADNOUGHTS

How a lone Army General Forever altered the face of Seapower

Oh yes, this 'Maverick' of an Air Corps officer was bound and determined to prove that aerial bombs could sink a 'Dreadnought'.
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The nascent potency of air power embodied in aerial bombardment of Naval ships was demonstrated by the sinking of the target battleships Ostfriesland off the Virginia Capes and Alabama in the Chesapeake Bay during 1921 and in further experiments off the Carolina coast against the New Jersey and Virginia, sunk in 1923. The US Army Air Service conducted the experimental bombing with Martin biplane bombers upon the obsolete ships, which were at anchor and , obviously, without crews. To the chagrin of the US Navy, proud of its fleet of battleships, the demonstrations proved the “utter vulnerability of the battleship to attacks from above,” as Brig. Gen. William Mitchell, commanding the pilots and mechanics of the First Provisional Air Brigade and the 2nd Bombardment Group, declared. Mitchell discovered demonstrable proof in the ordnance tests of July 1921, culminating in the sinking of the captured Berman dreadnought Ostfriesland, “that sea-craft of all kinds....including the most modern of battleships, can be destroyed easily by bombs dropped from aircraft.”  The traditional rivalry of Army and Navy was later manifest in ugly.....................

Ok....if you've let your eyes dance over the above words.....and this sort of "Naval History" interest you...I do believe you'll find some interesting material in this 14 page article.  Tell you what.....in my opinon this guy was all "blood and guts"....and he certainly had a hand in "What the U.S. Navy is today"...

Well if you care to give this article a going over....you can click on this:

Hope you find the article informative and interesting

Enjoy