During World War Two, aerial reconnaissance was one of the key methods of obtaining intelligence about the enemy and their activities. Photographs provided concrete evidence - fast. Within hours of a reconnaissance sortie, the film could be developed, printed and interpreted.
Allied reconnaissance, for the most part, was classified under two main headings: mapping and damage assessment. Enemy activity was recorded and new installations were located, so that accurate maps, to be used by the ground forces, could be made. From damage assessment photographs, the exact moment when a target that had been previously hit should be re-attacked could be calculated, and the effectiveness of the enemy's rebuilding programme could be assessed.
Photographic reconnaissance and intelligence work played a tremendous role in helping the Allies to victory in World War Two. Significantly, in 1938 General Werner Von Fritsch of the German High Command prophetically observed: 'The military organisation with the best aerial reconnaissance will win the next war.'