• Terrorizing the 'Fortress of London'? German Bombings, Public Pressure, and the Creation of the British Home Defense System in World War I

      Platt, Brandon (2010-07-20)
      Aeronautical warfare played a greater role in the First World War than initially given credit, forcing the British government over time to develop a competent ‗Home Defence‘ system to ward off German bombings and satisfy the British public‘s pressure for protection. By juxtaposing early aerial history with the British public‘s perceptions and the government‘s response, this study reveals a vital transition in the nature and perceptions of warfare during the First World War, providing a socio-military perspective rarely seen in pure military or social histories. Debunking the misconception of the reliance of aerial warfare for just scouting and reconnaissance, this study demonstrates that aerial bombardment, focusing particularly on the German bombing campaign over Britain, had a significant psychological impact on the British people. Moreover, studying these bombings illustrates the rapid technological and tactical advancements that transpired as the war progressed, eventually leading to the creation of the ‗infant‘ British Royal Air Force and an aerial defense system that would become the foundation of Britain‘s defense system during World War II. The enduring results of these German bombings was Britain‘s reunion with the European continent – no longer allowing it to remain in isolation – while simultaneously contributing to the general ‗totalization‘ of warfare that occurred in the First World War.