It will be absolutely necessary for them tocommence the fight in the air with none but planesalready successfully tested at the front in thevarious branches of the aërial service. It matterslittle what types they select from among the bestnow in use by the French, British, Italians, andeven by the Germans; the important point is theachievement of swift and sure results, and thesecan be obtained only with such aircraft as haveproved their worth in actual warfare.
One of these sections hit and brought down aZeppelin near Verdun in February, 1916; anothershot down, near Compiègne, in the spring of1917, a large Zeppelin on its way back from England.Quite recently five Zeppelins returningfrom a raid on London were brought down inFrance by airplanes and anti-aircraft cannon.We mention these well-known events as indicatingthe unquestionable superiority of the airplaneover the dirigible, which, we repeat, has been ofreal military service only at sea. They alsodemonstrate that by increasing the number ofanti-aircraft sections both behind the front andin proximity to the whole enemy line, the raidson open towns can be rendered impossible.
As communications between the advanced linesand the rear have become so very difficult duringthe preparation bombardment and the barrages,which are often uninterruptedly kept up for severaldays, the western armies have again had recourseto the carrier-pigeons, which are furnished in largenumbers by private societies, existing before thewar. Their co-operation is very useful and helpsto save many human lives. They are also sentout by airplanes whenever the use of wirelesstelegraphy is not deemed expedient. They rendergreat service in keeping the front in communication146with the rear, and are also of priceless valuefor connecting the rear with the front. 59ce067264