|Primordial air-power ~ shamans soaring through
the sky ~ Zeus casting thunderbolts ~ Indra keeper of the universe
striking with vajras ~ an archeological hot-air fantasy imagines Nazca
Indians flying a smoked balloon Peru, 500
BCE – 500 CE
|| Cyrano’s trip to the moon with bottles of sun
heated dew 1655 ~ the mythical Chinese
dragon becomes a war kite, a windsock with a smoking torch used by
Mongols, Dacians and Romans as a signaling device and to scare their
|| Then the Chinese dragon takes the shape of a two-stage
gunpowder rocket setting cities ablaze ~ Samurai warrior borne aloft
by giant Wan-Wan kite, also used to enter or leave besieged cities..
||"Will You sweep away the righteous with the wicked?"
asks Abraham ~ in the end only Lot and his daughters escape God’s
judgement of fire and brimstone that devastates Sodom and Gomorrah
||The semi-devine monkey Hanuman destroys the corrupt
city of King Ravana on Lanka with his lashing tail of fire: "The
friendly wind conspired to fan the hungry flames that leapt and ran"
Ramayana book LIV.
|| ‘The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and
the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth,
even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of
a mighty wind" Revelation 6:12.
||The Revelations of St. John become an apocalyptic human
judgement when German catholic troops bombard German protestants in
Magdeburg in 1631: 20,000 dead (symbol of the horrors of war in it's
||Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519,
painter of the Mona Lisa, was also a military engineer travelling
with the armies of his warring patrons, producing 'undiscovered inventions':
ballistic machines and flying vessels.
||Swift’s flying island of Laputa 1727
casts stones or crushes earthly rebels ~ Jesuit priest Lana Terzi
1631-1687 decides - God forbids
it - not to develop a vacuum and wind driven airship capable of bombing
ships and cities.
|| The hot-air balloon not just for pleasure cruises or
scientific observations, but also imagined as a war machine, as in
this British plan 1799 for the annihilation
of the French fleet by timed self-exploding balloons.
||Jules Verne’s airship, the Albatross 1886
as intervention force against West African "barbarians"
~ US fleet bombards the Lybian pirate city of Tripoli 1810
beginning of interventionist American 'Big Stick' naval policy.
||Graf General Von Zeppelin 1838-1917
perseveres in his plan for an invincible imperial German air fleet
and sows terror in Antwerp, Paris and London during World War I: "Zeppelin
||The Italian general Douhet 1869-1930
calls for bombardments on the ‘will of a nation’ Il
dominio dell’area, 1921 Douhet finds supporters among
strategists from all emerging air-power nations, though civil moral
proved to be stronger as thought.
|| The Japanese bombardments of Chinese cities like Shanghai,
Canton, Nanking and Hankow in 1937
were condemned by British and American governments as 'barbaric acts'
against defenseless civilians.
|| The Second World War took the bounds of 'barbarity'
even further levelling the difference between combattants and civilians
completely, everything, everybody on ennemy territory became a 'legitimate