It might not seem like it, but searchlights were really powerful weapons in their day. It doesn't hurt that they look really cool.
- Fact 1: The searchlight first became viable in the late 19th century with the advent of electric lights, and was quickly adopted by naval forces.
- Fact 2: Searchlights were first used in night combat in the 1882 Bombardment of Alexandria by British Royal Navy ships, painting artillery batteries on shore with bright light.
- Fact 3: During WWI, ship-based searchlights were often used as "artificial moonlight" for troops invading dark shores.
- Fact 4: Searchlights saw their widest wartime use during WWII, where they lit the skies over besieged cities and highlighted enemy aircraft for targeting by gun crews.
- Fact 5: Today; searchlights are more closely associated with entertainment, and often light the sky over festivals and film premieres.