It’s November 1944 – six months after the Allies have invaded France and pushed the German forces back – and a detachment of British artillery men are dug in not far from the Belgian capital, Brussels. Then, suddenly, the soldiers see an American Flying Fortress apparently heading straight for them. Has the pilot lost his mind?
We’ll come back to that rogue Flying Fortress. But first let’s take a look at how aircraft shaped the Second World War. Of course, planes had first played a significant role during World War One. The military use of air power was in its infancy then, however; aerial warfare really came of age in WWII.
In particular, the Germans showed how air power could be effectively used as part of their blitzkrieg tactics. A notable example came when the Wehrmacht overwhelmed Belgium and France in 1940, as the key Battle of Sedan saw the German forces concentrate their air power to crush opposition.