The introduction of aircraft to warfare in the early 20th Century required a defense, initially machine guns. As aircraft gained in range, power, and maneuverability defensive anti-aircraft artillery was developed that could shoot a powerful shell fast enough and high enough to intercept and down the target planes. During World War II, fire director electronics, radar, and the variable time (VT) fuse kept the AAA defenders equal to the threat. But the development of jet aircraft in the decades following WW II made cannon and machine guns obsolete for AAA defense. Modern anti-aircraft missiles were introduced to counter tactical aircraft and strategic bombers while the goal of anti-missile defense has been pursued to counter strategic missile threats.
A static display of US Army Antiaircraft Command 90mm and 75mm Skysweeper guns, radars, and support equipment, 1955. Image courtesy of Paul Freeman.
25 Nov 1942 British SOE team and anti-Nazi Greeks blow up the Gorgopotamos railway viaduct, the first significant sabotage in occupied Europe [Operation Harling, Nov 25-26]. 25 Nov 1943 Battle of Cape St. George between Buka and New Ireland, off Papua New Guinea, fought by US and Japanese naval forces. 25 Nov 1944 In Philippine waters, USS Intrepid [CV-11] hit by two Japanese kamikaze planes within five minute period, killing 69 and seriously wounding 85 of the crew. 25 Nov 1944 Most deadly German V-2 rocket attack in Britain happened at New Cross Road, destroying a Woolworths store and surrounding area, killing 160 people, seriously injuring 120 others. 25 Nov 1944 Japanese occupy Nanning, a transportation hub in south China, for the second time, in final stages of the Ichi-Go offensive. 25 Nov 1944 Last American airborne troops withdraw from unsuccessful Operation Market Garden positions. Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.
Chart of Anti-Aircraft Artillery
In this chart anti-aircraft artillery (AAA), click on the photo link to go to the page of photos and information for the specific weapon. Additional photos on the Olive-Drab.com Artillery page in the Military Firepower section. See also: