German airship caught by a searchlight

Caption: German airship caught by a searchlight

Although the First World War was not the first time aircraft were used in war (that happened during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911), the war did mark the debut of long range bombing missions. The Germans used rigid airships (popularly known as 'Zeppelins' after their builder, German Count Zeppelin) for night bombing missions over France and Britain. This painting shows one technique used by the defenders - searchlights to illuminate the airships, and anti-aircraft guns to attempt to shoot them down. (Private collection)