The College Board

Advanced Placement Examination

 

EUROPEAN HISTORY 1984

SECTION II

Part A

(Suggested writing time-45 minutes)

Percent of Section 11 score-50

 

Directions: The following question is based on the accompanying Documents 1-13. (Some of the documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.) Write your answer on the lined pages of the pink essay booklet.

This question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. As you analyze each document, take into account its source and the point of view of the author. Write an essay on the following topic that integrates the analysis of the documents. You may refer to historical facts and developments not mentioned in the documents.

 

Explain the role of the German army in the development of the German aircraft industry between 1908 and 1918. Did the army support or hinder the technological development and the production of aircraft?

 

Historical background: The frst German aircraft firms were founded in 1908. The firms, which were small in scale, experimented with various designs. In the course of the First World War the airplane became an indispensable weapon of warfare. By the end of the war, most of the European powers had recognized the military potential of airplanes.

 

 DOCUMENT 1

 Excerpt taken from the German army publication, Annual Report on Aviation, September 1908
 The German army presently believes that its own work in the field of aviation technology is not yet absolutely necessary, since no type of flying machine has yet demonstrated its suit-ability for military purposes. The solution to the problem should therefore be left to private firms with whom the army should maintain constant contact.

 DOCUMENT 2

 Taken from a memorandum issued by the German Army Transportation Research Unit, March 15, 1910
 The development of the airplane has been the fastest of any modern technical creation. A special military aviation organization is necessary to make the airplane useful for military purposes. Otherwise the creation of exceptional aircraft with high performance under good conditions will occur, but not the creation of aircraft that will be usable and safe in the field under difficult conditions.

 DOCUMENT 3

 Taken from a memorandum of the chief of the German general staff to the War Ministry, November 8, 1911
 I am pleased that the newly created military aviation commission provides for prizes, subsidies, and contests to promote the further development of our domestic aircraft industry. In light of the anticipated heavy loss of aircraft in the field, the presence of an industry capable of delivering sufficient and usable replacements in time of war is a vital matter.... I also request that the military aviation research unit be as well equipped as possible, so that it can test all aircraft improvements that appear to be militarily worthwhile.

 DOCUMENT 4

 Figures taken from Statisticson Aircraft Manufacture, 1914-1918, German Archives, Freiburg, 1919

 

 DOCUMENT 5

 Letter from the War Ministry to the German Aircraft Manufacturers' Trade Association, May 6, 1912, published in the German Aviators' Journal, May 19, 1912
 It must be concluded that the army will be almost the sole customer for aircraft in the immediate future. Therefore, in the opinion of the army, it seems in the interest of the national aircraft industry that any new factories be large-scale, well-capitalized, and build only types of aircraft that are assured of success. The army recommends that the Aircraft Manufacturers' Trade Association impress these conditions upon its members.

 DOCUMENT 6

 Recommendations of the Military Aviation Crash Commission accepted and enacted by the German army, October 1913

 In order to prevent further accidents like Lieutenant Eckenbrecher's recent crash, the aviation commission proposes that the army proceed in the following manner in the future:

 

*Subject all army aircraft types to practical weight tests to ascertain their strength.

*Establish and publish requirements (standards) for materials used in aircraft construction.

*Continue to award monetary prizes for instruments that measure the stresses on aircraft in flight.

 

In stating the above points, the commission believes that the army flight safety codes will still allow the factories sufficient freedom to innovate; thus the army will not be saddled with responsibility for the performance of the manufacturerst aircraft.

 DOCUMENT 7

 Letter from Director W. Froebus of the LFG Aircraft Company to August Euler, aircraft manufacturer, December 2, 1914
 The army recently set new performance requirements for airplanes. Aircraft firms however are pointing out that they cannot meet these demands overnight and that several months will be necessary for construction and testing. Furthermore the firms have already prepared the materials for a planned large series of aircraft machines. These materials must first be used up before the firms can consider starting a new type of aircraft.

 DOCUMENT 8

 Memorandum issued by the chief of field aviation of the German army, June 5, 1915
 Military aviation must presently rely upon a few factories whose capabilities are totally inadequate to meet the great demands of the near future. Thus the firms avoid costly experiments. Progress is retarded, and achievement stands still. Without fail, we must induce our large industrial enterprises to undertake aircraft construction, either by building new plants or by buying the most proven small factories and transforming them into large plants.

 DOCUMENT 9

 Anthony Fokker, quoted in Flying Dutchman: The Life of Anthon y Fokker, 1931
 In late 1915 I was asked by the army to cooperate with Hugo Junkers, father of the thick wing and all-metal airplane, in developing an all-metal single-seater monoplane. Professor Junkers is one of the pioneers in airplane construction. His theories have frequently been in advance of his time, but he has trouble modifying them for immediate practical purposes. For example, I persuaded him to construct many parts of his planes of steel tubing, and urged him to permit the rudder, elevator, and ailerons [movable parts of an airplane wing] to be fabric-covered to facilitate manufacture. Yet Junkers refused to give up his all-metal construction for the sake of wartime necessity.

 DOCUMENT 10

 Anthony Fokker, quoted in Flying Dutchman: The Life of Anthony Fokker, 1931
 In the fall of 1916, I concentrated on designing an altogether new and advanced pursuit plane. Soon I had developed a biplane of radical appearance, with cantilever wing construction which required no external bracings. It had both speed and climb, and went through all combat maneuvers like greased lightning. I telephoned a request to army officials in Berlin to come at once. Staring coldly at my biplane, they walked around it as if it would bite. Someone wondered idiotically what was going to keep the wings on. They wanted something visible supporting the wings. This was the sort of thing to which they were accustomed. Desperately I flew the plane as it had never been flown before. They seemed a little disappointed that the wings hadn't fallen off in the air to confrm their views. Even the so-called scientific members of the group could not bring themselves to recommend it for military use. After an entire day of futile argument, I was forced to admit that the ship was simply too far in advance of its time.

 DOCUMENT 11

 From a position paper prepared by the German Aircraft Manufacturers' Trade Association in defense of patent protection during wartime, May 30, 1916
 With regard to aviation technology and research, more was achieved before the war for the war than has been achieved during the war for the war. Those changes that the war has brought about are limited more to specialized technical matters, such as bombing, photography, radiotelegraphy, instrumentation, and accessories. The enlargement and development of the aircraft industry caused by the war contracts is almost completely a matter of expanded production.

 DOCUMENT 12

 From a memorandum on German and Allied aviation from the records of the United States Army Air Force, September 20, 1918
 The German army has controlled its aircraft manufacturers by a central technical organization which has given the general contractors technical instructions to follow. These directions have permitted a reduction in the number of types of military aircraft being produced. The results of this method are perhaps a slower improvement than ours in machines, but a steadier and more equal advance by the different manufacturers. Builders have been brought in contact one with the other, and they cannot keep their discoveries or the result of their studies to themselves. In other words, the Germans have brought about a far greater standardization in construction than have the Allies. Standardization has simplified and cheapened production.

 DOCUMENT 13

Richard Blunck, Hugo Junkers: A Life for technology and Air Travel, 1951
 It was often asserted that Hugo Junkerst firm had made huge profits during the war. One can only reply that it was not a matter of profits as huge as other armament firms, but that Junkers ploughed his profits completely into new research work. Junkers maintained the essence of his enterprises-research. Research tasks dominated, enabling his firm to recover quickly after the apparently hopeless collapse of aircraft factories at the end of the war.