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3802 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

to prearranged plans. One of the

pioneers in developing such fighting was the

German Baron von Richthofen, whose "flying circus" became famous. This squadron

flew in a circle, each plane being supposed

to protect the rear of the plane before it.

Aeroplanes were also beginning to perform

good service in assisting infantry attacks,

both with bombs and machine guns. Thus

in the attack upon the Chemin des Dames,

in October, the French airmen flew as low as

a hundred yards and sprayed German

infantry with showers of bullets. All the

aeroplanes taking part in the battle were

riddled with bullets. One fell blazing among

advancing French troops, but the pilot was

uninjured and joined the nearest battalion.

Aeroplanes were put to many services and

proved far more useful than Zeppelins, but

even they had decided limitations. To the

end of the war, the damage done by their

bombs was smaller than was generally supposed. They were helpful for photographic

and reconnaissance work. But the improvement of aerial defense methods forced planes

to keep higher and higher in the air, and they

frequently failed to give warning of large

troop concentrations, as was clearly shown

by the success of the British and German

surprises near Cambrai and by the Teutonic

attack on Italy. Camouflaged batteries

frequently deceived the eyes of aeroplane

observers and even those of their cameras.

Stationary balloons were more and more

used by all armies for reconnaissance work,

while some other very interesting methods

were employed to locate the enemy's guns.

One of these methods was known as "flash

spotting," and consisted in plotting the

position of a gun by observing the flash of

its shots. A still more ingenious method was

to locate a gun's position by means of a study

of sound waves. In the last year of the war,

Allied machines were perfected whereby the

position of a cannon could thus be determined within a few yards.