A Dart (French—Flêchettes; German—Stahlpfeil) was a device used in the earlier part of the war for attacking troops from a aeroplane. These darts were made of steel, about the size of a pencil, grooved, sharp-pointed and were dropped in clusters with deadly effect. On one occasion one dart from a French aeroplane killed a German General and his horse, the dart passed through both bodies into the ground. In March 1915, a British merchant ship in the North Sea, the Teal, was attacked by a German aeroplane, the darts striking the decks and giving the appearance, as spoken by someone on board, "pins in a pincushion." Dart is also the name of a type of small and very fast aeroplane, intended for attacking warships by driving down at high speed and dropping a torpedo when at close range and just clear of the water.
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.71.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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