An attack by armed planes on a surface target
Sinonimi: air attack
An attack by armed planes on a surface target; SYN. air attack.
Aerial attack, usually on a civilian target such as a factory, railroad line, or communications center (see also bomb. Air raids began during World War I with the advent of military aviation, but it was the development of long-range bomber aircraft during World War II that made regular attacks on a large scale possible.
During the Gulf War 1991 the UN coalition forces made thousands of air raids on Baghdad, Iraq, to destroy the Iraqi infrastructure and communications network (some 250,000 civilians were killed).
The first air raids in World War I were carried out by airships, since only they had the necessary range, but later in the war airplanes were also used as their performance improved. Bombing was generally indiscriminate due to the difficulty of accurately aiming the primitive bombs in use at the time. Despite the relatively limited nature of these early raids, there were 4,830 British and 2,589 German casualties in air raids 1914–18.
Many thousands died in attacks by both sides in World War II, notably the Blitz on London and other British cities 1940–41 and the firebombing of Dresden Feb 1945, and air raids by both bombers and rockets have been a standard military tactic ever since.
The first rockets to be used in air raids were the German V1 and V2 “flying bombs” which killed thousands in attacks on London and other W European cities during 1944. air-raid