Reading Aerial Photographs

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Learn more about the evolution of aerial reconnaissance during the First World War by exploring the kinds of information revealed in aerial photographs, and how these images were used by military planners.

Older children and adults will enjoy examining reproductions of actual aerial photographs and the symbols they used, while also seeing how the photographs could be overlapped to create tactical maps. Visitors will also learn about the observers who took their lives in their hands to fly over enemy territory, providing information to forces on the ground. Equipped with machine guns for self-defence, observers were eventually tasked with attacking the targets they spotted below. Although lacking the cachet of flying aces, observers and their pilots had a greater impact on the outcome of the war as aerial reconnaissance became not only an invaluable tool, but a deadly weapon.

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