History of military ballooning

balloonsfirst three observation balloons ever usedobservation balloonsair balloon reconnaissanceballoonBalloon CompaniesBalloon Corpsballoon warfarecombat balloonfirst military use
Balloons were one of the first mechanisms used in air warfare.wikipedia
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Hot air balloon

hot-air balloonhot air balloonsballoon
Austrian imperial forces besieging Venice attempted to float some 200 paper hot air balloons each carrying a 24 - 30 lb bomb that was to be dropped from the balloon with a time fuse over the besieged city.
The first military use of a hot air balloon happened in 1794 during the battle of Fleurus, when the French used the balloon l'Entreprenant for observation.

Edward Porter Alexander

Edward P. AlexanderE. Porter AlexanderAlexander, Edward P.
The first balloon "pilot" in the Confederate "air force" was Edward Porter Alexander.
Alexander was the officer in charge of the massive artillery bombardment preceding Pickett's Charge, on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and is also noted for his early use of signals and observation balloons during combat.

School of Ballooning

Balloon SchoolBalloon SectionArmy Balloon Factory
In 1888 a School of Ballooning was established at Chatham, Medway, Kent.
In 1862 two Royal Engineers officers, who had seen balloons being used in the American Civil War, drew the attention of the War Office to the potential use of balloons for observation.

Union Army Balloon Corps

Balloon Corpsballoon observersmilitary balloons
Eventually it was Prof. Thaddeus S. C. Lowe who would be awarded the title Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps.
* History of military ballooning

Aerial warfare

aerial combatcombat missionair combat
Balloons were one of the first mechanisms used in air warfare.
In the third century it progressed to balloon warfare.

E77 balloon bomb

E77 bomb
They also worked on the E77 balloon bomb, refining the principles of the Japanese fire balloon explosive-delivery system.

Reconnaissance

scoutscoutsreconnaissance in force
Their role was originally mainly for reconnaissance purposes.

Battle

firefightBattlesskirmishes
They provided humans with the first available method of elevating themselves well over the battlefield to obtain the proverbial "birds-eye view."

Sky lantern

sky lanternsKongming lanternfloating lanterns
Kongming lanterns were used as military signalling. The Kongming lantern become a common military signal in China, and it was inherited by the Mongolian troops, seen in the Battle of Legnica. Flying the Kongming lantern is now a civilian festival of memorizing chancellor Zhuge Liang in the Lantern Festival.

Han dynasty

Eastern Han dynastyHanWestern Han dynasty
The lantern was invented in late Han dynasty, when the Han dynasty chancellor Zhuge Liang (Kongming) was surrounded by Wei dynasty General Sima Yi at Pinlo, Sichuan.

Zhuge Liang

Zhuge(Zhuge) LiangChu-kot Leung
The lantern was invented in late Han dynasty, when the Han dynasty chancellor Zhuge Liang (Kongming) was surrounded by Wei dynasty General Sima Yi at Pinlo, Sichuan. Flying the Kongming lantern is now a civilian festival of memorizing chancellor Zhuge Liang in the Lantern Festival.

Cao Wei

WeiKingdom of WeiWei Dynasty
The lantern was invented in late Han dynasty, when the Han dynasty chancellor Zhuge Liang (Kongming) was surrounded by Wei dynasty General Sima Yi at Pinlo, Sichuan.

Sima Yi

Sze-ma YiEmperor Xuan of Jinthe Sima family
The lantern was invented in late Han dynasty, when the Han dynasty chancellor Zhuge Liang (Kongming) was surrounded by Wei dynasty General Sima Yi at Pinlo, Sichuan.

Sichuan

Sichuan ProvinceSzechuanSzechwan
The lantern was invented in late Han dynasty, when the Han dynasty chancellor Zhuge Liang (Kongming) was surrounded by Wei dynasty General Sima Yi at Pinlo, Sichuan.

China

People's Republic of ChinaChineseCHN
The Kongming lantern become a common military signal in China, and it was inherited by the Mongolian troops, seen in the Battle of Legnica.

Battle of Legnica

Battle of LiegnitzLegnica1241 Battle of Legnica
The Kongming lantern become a common military signal in China, and it was inherited by the Mongolian troops, seen in the Battle of Legnica.

Lantern Festival

Cap Go MehChap Goh MeiYuanxiao
Flying the Kongming lantern is now a civilian festival of memorizing chancellor Zhuge Liang in the Lantern Festival.

France

FrenchFRAFrench Republic
The first successfully flown balloons were made in France by the Montgolfier brothers in 1782–1783.

Montgolfier brothers

MontgolfierJoseph-Michel MontgolfierJacques-Étienne Montgolfier
The first successfully flown balloons were made in France by the Montgolfier brothers in 1782–1783.

Cotton

cotton woolcotton industrycotton fiber
They were rigid-style spheres made of cotton or silk stretched over a simple light wood frame resembling a large egg.

Silk

silk weavingsilk industrysilken
They were rigid-style spheres made of cotton or silk stretched over a simple light wood frame resembling a large egg.

Smoke

Smoke (web series)fumefumes
It was thought that the smoke made the balloons rise, but actually it was the hot air of the smoke that caused the elevating.

French Aerostatic Corps

Company of AeronautsAerostatic CorpsCompagnie d'Aérostiers
The first decisive use of a balloon for aerial observation was performed by the French Aerostatic Corps using the aerostat l’Entreprenant ("The enterprising one") at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794.

Battle of Fleurus (1794)

Battle of FleurusFleurusbattles of Fleurus
The first decisive use of a balloon for aerial observation was performed by the French Aerostatic Corps using the aerostat l’Entreprenant ("The enterprising one") at the Battle of Fleurus in 1794.