Shooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation on the Western Front--World War I

Shooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation on the Western Front--World War I

by Terrence J. Finnegan

Hardcover

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932946062
Publisher: Joint Military Intelligence College
Publication date: 09/28/2005

About the Author



Colonel Terrence J. Finnegan is a recently retired USAF Reservist whose last assignment was at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, and D.C. serving the Joint Military Intelligence College.  His parallel careers in the Air Force and the Department of Defense as a civil servant covered assignments around the globe, to include the National Security Agency, European Command, NATO, Pacific Command, and Central Command during Operation Desert Storm.  As a retired civil servant, his career included the Defense Intelligence Agency, NORAD, Space Command, and recently Northern Command.   Colonel Finnegan’s career primarily centered on intelligence and policy issues supporting NATO and NORAD Alliances.  His work also covered new frontiers in intelligence such as Information Operations.   He is presently a defense contractor supporting the National Guard.

Read an Excerpt


FOREWORD
 
 
World War I marked the beginning of the era of modern warfare.  It was a conflict vast in scope, loss of life, and devastation.  It was a conflict that forced human adaptation to changing technology, and demanded the incorporation of revolutionary technology.  As recorded in this remarkable work, Shooting the Front, it was a conflict that saw the development and use of aerial photography, aerial reconnaissance, and the introduction of a vital new dimension of intelligence – that has both continued and evolved and is more vital than ever to the operational commander in the 21st Century.  Terry Finnegan’s examination of U.S., British, and French aerial reconnaissance on the Western Front is the result of superb research and makes an extremely valuable contribution to the documented history of the conflict as we approach the centennial of the Great War. 
 
This book focuses on the development of ideas in aerial reconnaissance and photo interpretation, and how some of those ideas came to be accepted during the war.  Finnegan identifies the key thinkers and developers, the artists and scientists who, working together, developed fledgling aerial reconnaissance specialties.  He shows how they were able to gain acceptance, and how they changed forever the way wars would be fought.  Exceptional personalities figure prominently in this study, among them, Edward Steichen, one of America’s leading photographers in the twentieth century.  In Finnegan’s work we find the seeds of photographic science and imagery interpretation as they are practiced today.  Therequirements and challenges have changed little – gather the best information available, analyze it quickly, and get it to units in the field and to headquarters immediately.  We learn that even in World War I, the observer could shoot a photograph, land, have the crew on the ground develop it, make pictures, quickly assess the situation, and deliver the product to its destination, all in less than half an hour. 
 
Analysts on the Western Front had the challenge of dealing with the other sources of intelligence – the French led in the development of all-source collaboration.  They brought together information from radio intercepts, from tapped phone lines, from the sound of artillery, and from visual flashes, and the image of the aerial photograph, which could confirm those sources. Aerial reconnaissance made it possible to put together a battlefield map that could be updated daily, a “plan directeur.”  From the bits and pieces of intelligence, and from this map, commanders were able, albeit imperfectly, to improve their understanding of the enemy’s intent.  This book’s fresh information on the French contribution to and leadership in aerial reconnaissance may be the most surprising aspect of the scholarship.
 
Shooting the Front will have wide appeal.  The volume serves to showcase the incredibly important research on intelligence and intelligence-related issues that is a core part of the mission of the Joint Military Intelligence College.  The college is to be commended for its publication.
GEORGE A. JOULWAN
General, U.S. Army (Retired)
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Arlington, Virginia
3 January 2006

Table of Contents


CONTENTS


Foreword

Acknowledgments

Preface

Introduction

Index

About the Author

List of Abbreviations Used in the Footnotes


Part I: Aerial Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation during the War: A Chronological Overview
Chapter 1: August to Late 1914: The Evolution of Aerial
Reconnaissance as a Force Multiplier

Chapter 2: Late 1914 to October 1915: Aerial Photographic
Reconnaissance Takes the Stage

Chapter 3: October 1915 to October 1916: Fortifications Across the
Front Line

Chapter 4: October 1916 to November 1917: Positional Warfare at its
Zenith
CONTENTS
 
 
Foreword
 
Acknowledgments
Prefacebr> 
Index
 
About the Author  
List of Abbreviations Used in the Footnotes
 
  Part I:  Aerial Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation during the War: A Chronological Overview
Chapter 1: August to Late 1914: The Evolution of Aerial
Reconnaissance as a Force Multiplier
            Chapter 2: Late 1914 to October 1915: Aerial Photographic
Reconnaissance Takes the Stage
 
Chapter 3: October 1915 to October 1916: Fortifications Across the
Front Line
 
Chapter 4: October 1916 to November 1917: Positional Warfare at its
Zenith
 
Chapter 5: 1918: Aerial Photography Refined
 
Part II:  The Architecture of Allied Aerial Reconnaissance andPhotographic Interpretation
 
Chapter 6: The Operation of Interpretation
 
Chapter 7: The Framework of the Aerial Photograph
 
Chapter 8: The Exploitation Operation
 
Chapter 9: French Intelligence and Photographic Interpretation                           
 
The Analyst
   
Chapter 10: British Intelligence and Photographic Interpretation
 
The Renaissance Man
 
Chapter 11: American Expeditionary Force (AEF) Intelligence and Photographic Organization
 
The Artist
 
Chapter 12: An Interpretation Methodology of the Front Lines                               
 
Chapter 13: Strategical Targets in the Rear Echelon
 
Chapter 14: Artillery Organizations
 
Chapter 15: Command Liaisons and Coordination of Artillery                                       
  Part III:  Challenges that Shaped Aerial Reconnaissance and Photographic Interpretation
 
Chapter 16: During the Battle
 
Chapter 17: Study of Battlefield Destructions
 
Chapter 18: Camouflage and Deception
 
Chapter 19: Arranging Aerial Reconnaissance
 
Chapter 20: The Spectrum of Technology
 
Chapter 21: Operational Aerial Cameras
 
Chapter 22: Aerial Reconnaissance Platforms and Their Configuration                            Part IV:  The Enduring Human Legacy                               
Chapter 23: Training the First Generation of Aerial Photographic Interpreters      
 
Chapter 24: The Human Experience Behind Aerial Reconnaissance                
 
Chapter 25: The Intrigue of Aerial Photographic Interpreters      
 
Conclusion:  Intelligence and Modern Warfare
 
Appendix A: Aerial Reconnaissance Platforms               
 
Appendix B: World War I Aerial Cameras (Allied)            
 
Appendix C: Aerial Photography. The Matter of Interpretation and Exploitation.            
 
Appendix D:  Lens Size Comparison Metric and Inches             
 
Bibliography                         

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