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A bomber is any aircraft whose primary function is to drop bombs from the air onto a target on the ground or at sea. As such, a bomber is the airborne equivalent of artillery.

Aerial bombardment began during World War I with the deployment by the Germans of the hydrogen-filled rigid airship, or zeppelin. But not until World War II did such bombardment become a decisive factor in war. The decisiveness of the Allied bomber forces is due as much to the massive amounts of high-explosive and incendiary bombs they dropped in Europe and in the Pacific as to the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Bombers--often armed with nuclear weapons--formed part of the Strategic Nuclear Triad during the Cold War, and always formed a key element of the firepower of the Strategic Air Command.