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Strategic bombing targets the enemy’s entire war-making capability, and includes both civilian and military targets. It is closely linked to the idea of total war, wherein entire societies war with each other. The most well-known examples occurred during World War I and especially World War II.

Almost as soon as powered flight was demonstrated, armed forces looked for ways to use airplanes in war. The earliest examples of airborne bombing occurred in 1849, with Austrian balloons dropping bombs on the Venetians. There are also examples during the First Balkan War in 1912.

Bombing added a third dimension to warfare and threatened the safety of civilian populations. It also changed the role of nature in warfare. Natural features such as the English Channel or Mediterranean Sea, which offered ...

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