Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Thesis

Department

History

First Advisor

Gillian Glaes

Abstract

Although the idea of aviation has existed since the dawn of time, it has only been within the past century that these ideas have been realized through the invention of the airplane. One of the airplane’s most notable contributions to history has been its use and involvement in warfare. The stage for its place was set during the First World War and although its involvement was crude, strategies began to develop as leaders saw the potential. This potential was further explored during the interwar period as military strategists published their predictions while Hitler was building up an army. Many of these ideas did indeed come to fruition throughout the course of warfare in the Second World War Ear on both the side of the Allies and within the Axis Powers. This documentary seeks to explore both the origins of the involvement of the airplane as well as the means by which it contributed to success in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters. The contributions will be analyzed: chronologically in battles where airplane contribution was significant; through examining what mechanical advancements that particular plane possessed in the battle; and by seeing how accurately the predictions made in the interwar period reflected the reality of how the airplane was involved in the Second World War.

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