A look at vintage ships and aircraft as General William “Billy” Mitchell hosts this demonstration of aerial bombing of obsolete World War I era battleships. Tests like these paved the way for major advances in aerial and naval warfare. High explosive, smoke, gas, and chemical bombs are used along with a demonstration of a smoke curtain dropped from an airplane. Original title: “Aerial Bombing of Obsolete Battleships”.
The film opens with a shot of General Mitchell and dignitaries aboard the U.S. mine “planter”, “General J.M. Schofield”. Other ships shown (but not targets) are:
Secretary Denby’s yacht, “Sylph”
USS Pennsylvania, flagship of the fleet
USS Olympia, Admiral Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila Bay
(the Olympia, launched in 1892, is the oldest steel warship afloat in the world and can be seen at the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, PA. You can also see it here: http://www.phillyseaport.org/olympia
The obsolete battleships bombed are/were:
Ostfriesland – A surrendered WW1 German battleship
For more information on General Mitchell and these tests, there is an interesting article on Wikipedia that can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Mitchell
Public Domain footage.
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