We tend to think that armoured attack aircraft were a Second World War invention. But in fact the need was recognised in 1917!
Playlist - First World War
The soldier of the First World War initially went into action with no personal protection at all. For headgear they were issued only with caps, kepis or, at best, a leather helmet like the famous Pickelhaube. But the effect that artillery had – specifically its ability to produce fragments and shrapnel – would soon change this.
Edward Synnott O’Reilly (1880-1946), universally called “Tex” by those who knew him, would enjoy a career that not just saw him fight as a soldier and mercenary but also work as a journalist, teacher, script writer and movie star.
Charles Michael Sweeny (1882-1963) is describable as the soldier-of-fortune but it would probably be fairer to call him a soldier-of-conscience. Sweeny played a role in many of the major conflicts that occurred in the first half of the twentieth century where his natural aptitude for soldiering saw him rise from the ranks of rebel and private soldier to various command positions in armies around the world.