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Surveillance and reconnaissance were the primary military uses of LTA aircraft in the nineteenth century. These capabilities were harnessed in great power wars and especially in colonial wars, along with the related activity of mapmaking.
- Hildebrandt, 1908, Airships Past and Present, p. 165. "In China the balloons were used not for discovering the position of the enemy, but for the preparation of maps, and in this useful service the English were ably assisted by the French."