Death Comes Flying

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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The bomb, a container filled with an explosive for dropping or hurling, gradually became more harmful throughout the years. It originated in China as early as the nineteenth century. The bomb was dropped off city walls and tall buildings or catapulted at the enemy. The bomb was intended to "wound the skin and break the bones." This seemed like a great idea at the time. People could fight without killing. They could spend less money and time and do far more damage to their enemies. Yet that was just the problem.

Humans dreamed up big ideas of dropping the bomb out of the sky. The early theoreticians of flight realized that the bomb could be a terrible weapon if thrown from the air. "No country, no city would ever be safe from attacks from above." After the hot air balloon was invented in 1783, a Prussian lieutenant by the name of J.C.G

Heyne thought of all the military possibilities humans could have. "The balloon could, he wrote,`rain down fire and destruction on whole towns with catastrophic results for the inhabitants.' " Balloons did not prove to be worthy of such destruction since they were hard to steer and vulnerable to attacks.

On December 17, 1903 the first motor-driven airplane lifted off and flew. "Finally humans could fly!" This brought out a new way of fighting, an easier way for destruction and war. Nobody stopped to look at the dangers they were creating by mixing weapons with flight. The future only seemed that much brighter at the time. "Even when airplanes were used to kill people on the ground, air war was generally considered "purer" and "nobler" than other forms of warfare." People were said to be less inclined to begin war because they were just as exposed by flight as was everyone else.

The first bomb was dropped from an airplane on November 1, 1911 in Tripoli. The idea that bombs would affect only the lawbreakers and would leave the innocent unharmed was flowing through everyone's mind. This concept was soon forgotten and bigger, more destructive bombs were being produced throughout the countries. "...Bombs that were specially made not to focus their effect but to spread it to as many living targets as possible" were being dropped from Spanish planes onto Morocco.

Countries began surprise attacks and the death toll went up quickly. "Loss of life was, after all, what made the greatest impact on morale." Wars became more destructive and easier to fight with airplanes and bombs. The wars and fights were no longer aimed towards the guilty. Innocent women and children became the targets to get to the heart of the country. And what a better way to get there than through innocent civilians? "It could not be denied that airplanes and bombs were examples of progress in military technology." The more power and possibilities introduced to countries, the more annihilation people experienced. Where would the world be if the bomb was never invented? Maybe there would be more peace and less hate or violence.