1917: ‘Bloody April’
To say that a lot happens in 1917 would be an understatement, especially when it comes to military aviation. It is a year that sees rapid aircraft development on all fronts: reconnaissance, fighters, bombers, and seaplanes. It is also another year of great chance, sometimes spurred by tactical necessity, sometimes spurred by public outcry. It would be the year of ‘Bloody April’, a dark time for the Royal Flying Corps, it would see many great aces rise and fall, and it would see America enter the war whilst Russia is rocked by revolution.
Perhaps the two most important developments, at least in terms of aviation, was the formation of even larger fighter wings and the beginning of sea-borne fighter and bombing aircraft. Despite fighter squadrons being formed by the end of 1916, these groups were quite small and easily dispersed in combat, with most aces earning victories in single engagements – this would changed by the end of the year. Meanwhile on the sea, the first steps are made to creating the first true aircraft carriers – a ship class that would forever change the face of naval warfare, and unseat the battleship as the ultimate projection of power at sea.
Credit to : Rex’s Hangar