Battleship Aerial Bombardment Demonstration Obsolete Ships 1920s Vintage Footage General Mitchell

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 Henderson
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:

The obsolete battleships bombed are/were:

Ostfriesland – A surrendered WW1 German battleship
New Jersey

For more information on General Mitchell and these tests, there is an interesting article on Wikipedia that can be found here:

Public Domain footage.

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44 thoughts on “Battleship Aerial Bombardment Demonstration Obsolete Ships 1920s Vintage Footage General Mitchell

  1. Mc007Queen says:

    Yeah and now they have a surface-to-air missile that will take out those little planes or today Jets ,and a gun that will shoot 6000 rounds per minute

  2. Crazy Funny Cats says:

    100 yrs ago Wow!
    And when the Spanish flu was going on

  3. 2020年未だに同じ事してますよwww アホですね!

  4. Salvatore Pitea says:

    Air power rules all

  5. Meanderthal says:

    Yanks even spelled “aeroplanes” incorrectly in the 1920s!

  6. panupong kathavon says:

    I see that why prinz Eugen upside down
    They not scrape her for good but nuke the good for shit

  7. Les Nesman says:

    The ships were at anchor, did not have damage control crews, and all hatches were left open. No anti-aircraft guns. Only people taking good notes were the Japanese observers.

  8. Snapdragon 9600 says:

    Which is why a modernised battleship would be an expensive failure and danger to its crew, imagine a slow moving armoured tortise of a ship with slow taverse cannons firing shells with a much shorter range and speed , vs even a frigate that can fire dozens of anti ship missiles travelling at two to three times the speed of sound at it, from up to 50 km away. Or with ballistic missiles, hundreds of km away.

  9. You cud see that that killer blow at 9:20 blew thru the hull you cud see air escape. An yup hole in the bottom of the hull as it rolls over

  10. Dang, and I have trouble making it in the toilet bowl from 3ft up.

  11. captainboing says:

    poor old girls.

  12. Valdis Freibergs says:

    ✊🐻🔞🍬Old Cockroach Got Phone in Trouble after I Made "Stairway to Heaven" to Jenny Pink.Find His "Money" and Choke Head by Plastic Wire.

  13. HorrorCraft says:

    And to think the Navy first discredited this type of warfare!

  14. Stanislav Kogan says:

    That's a good way to preserve some plutonium-free steel for later generations to use.

  15. Saltysteele says:

    i'm sure they were all bio safe

  16. canada ball says:

    Now that does a lot of damage

  17. Twenty years after the wright brothers .

  18. justanotherguy says:

    Modern man is the ultimate waste of organic material.

  19. James Frost says:

    General Billy Mitchell was right.

  20. Glen Sweet says:

    those old ships wasnt meant to take a bomb from the air lol.

  21. MaybeSo MaybeNot says:

    It's neat how the government can sink a million ton ship full of Diesel and oil… ….but we get a ticket if a soda can blows out of our boat on the water. 🤔

  22. SuperNewf1 says:

    No such things as Chemtrails? Conspiracy theory. Watch this video from 6:58

  23. locktite401 says:

    Not really a breakthrough in modern warfare, nor Mitchell's idea. A German WW1 bomber sunk a Imperial Russian Navy Battleship in the Baltic Sea during the First World War. The Russian was also fighting back.

  24. Светозар Велесов says:

    How much would the planes do if the ships were on the defensive? Now imagine that the planes are at the airport, and the ships shoot them with their powerful guns!

  25. Robert Kurowski says:

    This is what I envisioned going to war with North Korea would be like… plus may be a surprise or two.

  26. Brandon G says:

    Every ship is nostalgic to someone, you can't keep them all. Well you can but you have to raise the money privately because I doubt anyone wants half the military budget to go towards maintaining nostalgia ships. Think of them as loved dogs or horses, they sadly don't stay around forever.

  27. Herb Tanner says:

    Civil air patrol taught me this

  28. Ridzuan NurAin_Z says:

    Why they not fight back??? Fire lah anti aircraft gun.

  29. Michael Weeks says:

    Very surprised to see that level of damage done by HE given armor depth. Amazing. Thanks for posting!

  30. Cool vid, sad no sound xD
    They destroyed those ship to test weapons? kinda sad to see the ships gone but the weapons are effective ^^

  31. Not so shabby for not being shot at !

  32. albinoman13bt says:

    It's not about battleships being made obsolete, but rather the battleships themselves are of an obsolete kind. The attacks were to demonstrate that airplanes could be devastating in their own right and deserved development and a separate armed services branch. Airplanes weren't seen as much more than a reconnaissance role at the time. This is 1921, those Type Os could only carry that single 2,000 lb bomb.

    Probably because it's in the same city as the Air Force Academy and a few Air Force bases as well, my high school was named for this guy. Of course they talked a lot about him a lot.

  33. Gator McClusky says:

    and the US navy knew that ships were vulnerable to air attack how many years before Pearl Harbor? stupid

  34. Humans are excellent at killing one another…

  35. Mop Bucket says:

    Wasnt Denzel Washington XO on the Alabama

  36. PiethagorasTearem says:

    What people recorded videos about then vs what people recorded videos about now.

  37. Otis Never Quits says:

    The Army/Navy Now had Competition
    Called the US AIRFORCE

  38. OldieBones says:

    About the only thing Alabama is good for.

  39. weetyskemian44 says:

    Now that was a real life chemtrail.

  40. Vincent Porcelli says:

    Lessons that should have been learned, but weren't. Schooling came at Perl harbor and in the Java sea. Mitchell fought a valiant battle only to be disgraced. Same with Chenault. He was warning about superior Japanese technology since the mid thirties. Deaf ears.

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