The first military aircraft to be acquired by the German Army entered service in 1910 – forming the nucleus of what was to become the Luftstreitkräfte in October 1916. The duties of such aircraft were initially intended to be reconnaissance and artillery spotting in support of armies on the ground, just as balloons had been used during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and even as far back as the Napoleonic Wars.
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