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ardized as fabricated ships or Ford cars. Air-fleets will then increase so rapidly that a new difficulty will be encountered — how to spare enough valuable building-space in and around great cities to create ports of call for them. The answer will probably be found in huge high platforms covering warehouses and elevators and docks.
Precisely in the direction where utility and necessity have been found urgent, even imperative, is where we find the most complicated questions to be solved; questions as yet unformulated. Scouting in war remains and will remain a function of air-craft, but it has already been overshadowed by the crying need of them in the battle-line. Were scouting all we need, a single, standardized type would be quickly procurable—a plane of long endurance, reasonable mobility, and complete steadiness. But a machine that answers these requirements we find to be utterly useless in an air-battle. It climbs slowly, it manoeuvres badly, and it presents an almost unmissable target. We must have such air-planes to direct artillery fire afloat and ashore, to drop bombs, to hunt submarines, to scout, to make photograph maps of distant enemy naval bases. To use them to advantage, we must, however, have reasonable certainty that they will be able to fly unmolested.
It is the old sea-problem in a new element — to exploit the air in wartime we must command it. In other words, we must fight for it. Sailors, for five thousand years, have died to teach the flyer this lesson, — too often forgotten, — that to use our power we must first destroy the enemy's power. An attempt merely to guard against the enemy's blow may, by extreme good fortune, succeed once or twice. Never three times. Delenda est Carthago, and to destroy we must attack, court a battle, and fight it to a finish. If the enemy
is stronger than we, the attack is more difficult, but more than ever imperative; and to a battle of weapons is added a battle of wits. We must outwit him, outmanoeuvre him, outshoot him; but to have even the faintest hope of victory, we must attack him, put him on the defensive—make him do the guessing and take the weight of the first blow.
Even to the layman, the necessary characteristics of the fighting air-plane are thus made apparent — speed, snakelike mobility, hitting-power. Speed and mobility mean small size and immense engine-power. If that were all, this question too would be simple. But to hit hard means weight. Carefully guarded planes now exist in every country, which can stand a great many hits from any ordinary machine-gun, and are fairly impervious in any vital spot to a glancing blow. A direct hit at present-day maximum speed is a matter of luck. Air-planes will soon carry cannon-like machine-guns — in fact, they already are carrying 37-millimetre guns and straining to attain a practicable 3-inch gun, baulked only by this matter of weight of gun and ammunition. Speed and ability to 'stunt' cannot be lessened, for the'upper-hand' in an airfight is as important as was the weather gauge to sailing-ships.
This brings the war-plane designer up sharp against his second stumblingblock. The inherent nature of the service means that little available weightcarrying capacity is left after the pilot and his motor are aboard. That little must be given mostly to weapons. And fuel weighs something, and fuel means endurance. A line-of-battle plane that can stay aloft three hours at battle speed is a marvelous plane indeed. In battles between armies, much can be done in three hours, especially where practically the entire three hours can be spent in fighting. Afloat, it is different. Battleships of to-day are hard to sink, and there is no victory until they are irrevocably sunk. The battle between fleets may last intermittently for days, if there is sea-room; and may conceivably commence several thousands of miles away from the bases of either belligerent. To get our battleplanes into the battle-line, we must carry them there; and so one more type is added to the complicated surface fleets of the world, a type as helpless as a collier, but one which must have great size and battle-cruiser speed — the first non-fighting auxiliary to demand admission to the fighting-line. A small ship will not do, for her landing-deck must be not-missable at sixty to eighty miles an hour. A slow ship is worse than useless, for the air-plane carrier must be swift enough to lessen materially the relative velocity of the home-coming plane by running away from her, and also to keep safely out of gunshot behind the crashing, swaying, hurrying battle-fleet that she serves and by which she is guarded.
There is a third problem upon which this matter of command of the air depends, which as yet has made little progress toward solution. It is not so much an air-plane problem as a warproblem, and armies and navies have solved it at terrible cost. The present designs; even the best of them, make an air-battle a matter of individual duels and a melee, no matter how great the air-fleets participating. Tactical formation is usually possible only before battle. Once joined, battle is man to man, plane to plane, and control of a fleet by a single commander is confined to individual indoctrination and training beforehand, must often be suspended during contact, and can be resumed only after the fight is over. In other words, air-fighting tactics are the land tactics of the Trojan War, the fleet tactics of the Phoenicians. Victory depends upon supermen, and supermen cannot be
made to order. Eventually, designers must find us a machine that can be one unit of an integral fighting fleet instead of one of a number of skillful duelists.
The underlying necessities of this problem have been made plain by the history of war on land and sea. The manner of applying them to the air has not been found. The root of the matter is that in its infancy every known weapon, from a bare-handed man to a machine-gun, fights dead ahead. Eyes and blow are directed against the nearest enemy directly in front. The first soldiers, the first ships, and the present air-planes have one thing in common — they fight 'bows on,' have no time to watch for signals from their commanders, and no space on either side to obey a command of movement without hindering their comrades. Edward III formed his bowmen into thin lines, presented the broadside of these formations to the enemy, and inaugurated controlled volley-fire. Man for man, the chivalry of France fully equaled that of England, and greatly outnumbered it; but no Roland, no Bayard, could avail against the disciplined storm of arrows, speeding on their deadly errand at the word of the single commanding brain of the English army. England, too, disciplined Spain at sea by an application of the same principle. The Great Armada was admirably handled, with consummate seamanship and in strict accord with naval science of centuries; but its tactics were bows-on, ship to crush ship with a ramming blow, and to reduce her by hand-to-hand fighting on her shattered decks. The English relied on broadside gunfire and handiness. Every phase of that cruelly longdrawn-out battle shows a gallant attack bows-on by the Spaniards in line abreast, met by a single line of closehauled English ships entirely under the control of a single mind, raking ship
after ship with the full weight of their superior broadside guns.
On land and at sea, fighting is in one plane, however; so broadside fire, with its advantages of manoeuvring and concentration of fire and controllability, is soluble. A flying-machine fighting broadside to the enemy has not been found, for the enemy will probably never be exactly on our own level. We must find a ship which can fight broadside up and down, as well as on either beam.
Command of the air once gained, the steady improvement of existing types will serve to exploit it to the discomfiture of an enemy. Torpedo-carrying airplanes will harass his surface ships; spotting-planes will enable us to crush him with gunfire before he can so much as see us; bombers can destroy his train and cripple his capital ships with explosives and gas.
Command of the air — this is the vital problem of military aviation; and in its wake arise problems and necessities in the path of every activity ashore or afloat. To armies and to cities it brings the necessity of bomb-shelters that will not fill up with poison-gas, and of accurate anti-air-craft batteries. To battleships, still panting from the long struggle to make themselves reasonably immune to torpedoes under water, it brings the new necessity to grow a tough turtle-back impervious to torpedoes from the air, and to rake the open funnels horizontally, or astern, in order that their gaping apertures may offer no chance for a luckily dropped bomb to wreck their vitals, and also to screen the glow of their boilers, now plainly visible from the air on the darkest night. It makes imperative a still undiscovered gas-mask, in which soldiers, sailors, yes, and civilians, may
live and work for long periods. It is forcing upon the submarine a new method of underwater propulsion, yet to be found; for an exploding bomb far outboard will cripple the present electric engine and force the submarine to the surface, where she becomes easy prey to bomb and shell.
Eight years of devoted, perilous, quiet work; seven years of feverish development — that is the history of aviation; and it is to-day probably the most far-reaching existing influence on future history. Gone forever are the sickly, thirsting expeditionary columns, which in the past have punished raiding savages in the jungles and deserts of the world at hideous cost. A few men, a few air-planes, a few days, and the chastisement is complete. Gone is the immunity of colliers and repair-ships lagging in the wake of the sea-borne fleets; and gone is the safety of the island cities.
In fifteen years aviation has superposed itself upon civilization. Its future is limitless, not predictable. It is daily demonstrating its ability to extend the scope of our economic fabric to lengths undreamed of, and in ways which were but yesterday fantastic dreams. And it has already proved its power to destroy utterly the world as we have built it; has forced us to take sober and urgent thought as to how this mighty and as yet irresponsible force may besubordinated to the common good. The industrial changes following the introduction of steam and electrical machinery are trifling and infinitesimal in comparison with those already following in the wake of mankind's new-found ability to fly.
The future of all the world is in the air — a future either glorious or terrible. Your generation and mine will decide which it shall be.
BY CARY GAMBLE LOWNDES
Somehow, May always reminds you of Horace and barns. True, the poet rarely mentions the months by name; but —'With leaves all a-flicker at breath of Spring's advent'—is n't that May, the beauteous o' the year?
Thou shun'st me, Chloe, as a fawn seeking its timorous dam within the trackless mountains, panicky with vain fear of breath of air, and of the forest. For whether the thorn with its facile leaves shudders to the caress of the breeze, or the green lizards stir the brake, at once it trembles both in heart and knees. But not as a tiger fierce do I pursue to rend thee, nor as a Gsetulian lion. Now, at length, a maiden grown, cease to cling to thy mother.
Wandering about the farm, some mid-May afternoon, you will think of that. You are on a fishing trip — your second visit: the first was in November, quail-shooting. It is singular that you, who never cared much for fishing, should suddenly have decided to try a place so lacking in game-fish that a white perch is a surprise, a 'spot' is an event, and a rockfish as big as the cork used on the eighteen-foot fishing-poles common here would cause a riot. All the same, with rod, reel, and basket, here you are. You have been here a week, and have n't caught anything but catfish, eels, and 'yellow-neds.' But there's the farm. You like farming. After all, what's time or fishing compared with agricultural research?
The farm, with its old buildings and broom-grassed, piny solitudes, is interesting to explore, especially when, in dove-gray skirt and snowy shirt-waist,
her wine-dark hair deftly coiled, walks at your side the Spirit of the Farm, who is 'showing you around.' She is rare. Her walk is pheasant-like. Her clothes seem to caress her — a perfect model for a picture by the famed artist of Society, whose Grecian heroines, in tailored suits, on pages torn from magazines, adorn her room. They are the inspiration, perchance, of those curves of grace, the classic carriage, and the proud little sway from the waist. Or, happily, it is her Devon blood, renascent, for all its centuries of poverty and struggle, that moulds again in her slight form the lines of haute noblesse.
Among her sisters your eye had instantly singled her. She understood. At first she was reserved and dignified, shy; but now, free companions of the woods and fields, you wander where you will. You watch the broken-winged wild goose, tied to a post on the lawn and honking disconsolately. You feed the tiny 'just-out' bantams, hunt eggs in the tool-shed and the musty stalls, and find a guinea's nest under the weed-grown reaper. You gather armfuls of lilacs, but drop them all to burn a tattered last-year's hornet castle. No use telling her that the long-dead hornets are n't 'playing 'possum.'
You race across the pasture, hurdle the bars, are introduced to the cows, name a calf, and are presented with a young and very black kitten, which, taking instant fancy to your feet, sticks thenceforth at your heels, making playful pounces at your leggin-cords. Somehow, for all its idiotic attentions, you like it, with that red ribbon about its neck.
You slide back the huge barn-doors. Together you mount the worn rungs of the loft-ladder. 'Pioneers! O Pioneers!' Up, up, you go. Up. Still up. High — so high! To the very roof o' the world —the great, wide, hollow, odorous barn.
'Tand' qu'aux bords des fontaines,
Ou dans les frais ruisseaux,
'Eho! eho! eho!
Eho! eho! eho!
'Eho! Eho! Eho!' The resonant echoes, rolling, return the shouted refrain of the old Burgundian shepherd song. 'Eho! Eho! Eho!' That's the first French this barn — and Somebody — have ever heard. Somebody likes it, too, and is silent. Off from the gables storm the startled pigeons. Out from their nests, on beam and rafter, dart the twittering swallows. It is pleasant, lying on the hay before the wide window, awaiting their return. Back they come, the proud, iris-necked cock-pigeons, a-rou-cou-coo-ing, a-bookity-boo-ing, on the sill; the swallows, Spirits of the Loft, hovering stationary in the grayframed azure of the window. Brave they look, in their new dress-suits, steelblue-backed, white-and-chestnut-fronted. 'Now, what,' they twitter, 'what, in the name of common sense, can this pair of human nuisances be up to, high, so high, in our domain?'
'Eho! Eho! Eho!'
'Tell me something about the swallows,' she begs, when the Spirits of the Loft are a-nest once more, and all is the silence of the hay. 'You know so many verses. Tell me one, please. I love birds.'
She does n't have to beg very hard. It was on your lips, unvoiced: —
'I stray and sob in the forest:
The throstle sits on the bough;
"Thy sisters, dear, the swallows.
You don't like it? I'm sorry. Yes; it is sad, but sad things are the loveliest and the farthest from earth. You will like this one. It is old English. Perhaps one of your Devon ancestors wrote it. Those morioned harriers of the Spanish Main grew poetic, sometimes, in the alehouse.
'The martins and the swallows
"The laverock and the Untie,
'For swallows on Mount Calvary
What's that? You don't see how I can shoot" a bird? You would n't shoot one, of course. How about that quail somebody shot with my gun, last fall? Sitting, too. And right under old Hector's nose, while he was holding his point so patiently! Somebody's so tender-hearted she would n't think of going hunting again. What? She is? And is going to tramp ten miles of sedgefields, tear her stockings to rags, scratch her hands, and shoot at anything that will sit still long enough? Good for you! Won't we have a time! We'll be coureurs de maraia, in your canoe, on the river. With old Hector up front, to watch for falling mallards, we'll follow the happy day. I'll be here when the shooting season opens — it's only six months off. I 'll bring my sixteen-gauge