Military force, especially airpower, was used by colonial powers to conquer, dominate, and preserve control over their territories despite resistance and struggle for independence by local populations. There were some 40 wars, conflicts, and military actions of this kind in the twentieth century. The most distinctive feature was their one-sided character: the indisputable air dominance of colonial powers. In the two exceptions (the Italo-Ethiopian War of 1935–1936 and the First Chechen War of 1994–1996), the European powers rapidly and decisively eliminated their potential air opponents.
The colonial experience also had a significant influence on technological development, organizational evolution, and expansion of major world air forces as independent services, as well as their air doctrines, combat performances, tactics, and operations.
The first recorded attempt to use airpower in colonial conflicts was by Napoleon in Egypt in 1799, with he used balloons to undermine the morale of the hostile population ...read more