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Photograph of U.S. Aircraft Destroyed as a Result of the Japanese Bombing on Pearl Harbor

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Photograph of U.S. Aircraft Destroyed as a Result of the Japanese Bombing on Pearl Harbor

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Original caption: U.S. aircraft destroyed as a result of the Japanese bombing on Pearl Harbor, T.H. Dec 7 1941. Attempt at salvage after machine gun attack.

General Photographic File of the Department of Navy

The first recorded sea battle occurred about 1210 BC: Hittites defeated and burned the Cyprus fleet. Athens protected itself from Persia by building a fleet paid for by silver mines profits. Romans developed the technique of grappling and boarding enemy ships with soldiers. Constantinople invented a Greek fire, a flamethrower to burn enemy's ships. Torpedo was invented by the Arab Hasan al-Rammah in 1275. With the Age of Discovery, naval actions in defense of the new colonies grew in scale. In 1588, Spain sent Armada to subdue the English fleet of Elizabeth, but Admiral Sir Charles Howard won the battle, marking the rise of the Pax Britannica. Anglo-Dutch Wars were the first wars to be conducted entirely at sea. Most memorable of these battles was the raid on the Medway, in which the Dutch sailed up the river Thames, and destroyed most of the British fleet. The 18th century was a period of continuous naval wars, in the Mediterranean, in the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Baltic Sea. The Napoleonic Wars culminating in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. With the advent of the steamship, it became possible to create massive gun platforms and to provide them with heavy armor protection. The battle of the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor in the American Civil War that symbolized the changing times. In the 20th century, the steel-armored battleships with large shell turret guns emerged. The Russo-Japanese Battle of Tsushima in 1905 was the first test of the new concepts, resulting in Japanese victory. Airpower became key to navies throughout the 20th century, moving to jets launched from ever-larger carriers, and augmented by cruisers armed with guided missiles and cruise missiles. During the Pacific War of World War II, the carriers and their airplanes were the stars and the United States became the world's dominant sea power. The Falklands War, however, showed the vulnerability of modern ships to sea-skimming missiles. Parallel to the development of naval aviation was the development of submarines. In the 1950s the Cold War inspired the development of ballistic missile submarines.

Large WWII photograph collection made with aid of image recognition.

World War II was a period of rapid technological advancement in the field of aircraft, and these advancements have continued to shape the development of aircraft in the years since. There were significant advances in aircraft design, such as the use of swept wings and the development of more advanced aircraft materials, such as aluminum alloys and plastic composites. These advances allowed for the construction of stronger, lighter aircraft that was capable of higher speeds and greater maneuverability. Biplanes, which have two main wings stacked one above the other, were largely obsolete by the time World War II began in 1939. They had been largely replaced by monoplanes, which have a single main wing, by the start of World War II. The main advantage of monoplanes is that they are typically faster and more maneuverable than biplanes due to their streamlined design. In addition, monoplanes are able to carry a greater load for their size, making them more suitable for use as bombers and transport aircraft. However, biplanes were not completely abandoned during World War II. Some biplane designs, such as the British Hawker Hurricane and the Soviet Polikarpov I-153, saw limited use as fighters. In addition, biplanes were used in a number of other roles, including training, observation, and light transports. One of the major developments in aircraft technology during World War II was the use of jet engines, which allowed for faster and more powerful aircraft. The first jet aircraft, the German Heinkel He 178, made its first flight in 1939. However, it was not until after the war that jet aircraft became widespread. During World War II, a number of aircraft were produced in large quantities to meet the demands of the war. Here are some examples of some of the most massively produced aircraft of World War II: The Soviet Union's Ilyushin Il-2 was a ground attack aircraft that was produced in tremendous numbers, with more than 36,000 being built. It was heavily armed and armored, making it a formidable opponent on the battlefield. The German Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a mainstay of the German air force and was produced in large numbers, with more than 35,000 being built. It was used as a fighter, interceptor, and ground attack aircraft, and saw action on many fronts during the war. The American Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a heavily armed and armored fighter that was produced in large quantities, with more than 15,000 being built. It was used extensively in Europe and the Pacific and was known for its durability and long range. The British Supermarine Spitfire was a highly regarded fighter that was produced in large numbers, with more than 20,000 being built. It saw action in many theaters of the war and was known for its agility and handling.

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07/12/1941
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The U.S. National Archives
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