chapter  2
38 Pages

The dawn of the era of flight and the formation of the Imperial German Naval Air Service, from its inception until the end of 1915

ByDennis Haslop

Chapter Two examines the origins of German naval aviation and the creation of an air service, a subject that does not appear to have been attempted before by any known historian. Unlike the creation of the RFC, the IGNAS (Imperial German Naval Air Service) was not influenced by newspapers and public opinion. Primary sources show that the voice of public opinion (such as it was) was represented by the elected members of the Reichstag to debate and question plans put forward by the senior naval executive. The press had no say in the matter. The air service went through various stages of expansion, and the organizational changes that took place are examined. After the outbreak of war, a separate Marinekorps division was established, primarily to provide air power in support the army on the Western Front and secure the harbor facilities in Flanders. There is a detailed discussion of IGNAS organization and an examination of how early doctrine was developed and employed.