Kites were used by the Chinese early in their history to gain military advantages over their enemies. Han Hsin of the Han Dynasty used a kite to help him capture a city. The kite was flown over the city and allowed to go over the city's walls. The line was marked and the kite hauled in. Next, a tunnel was dug, using the kite's line as a guide to the length the tunnel needed to be to enter the city under the wall. His troops thus were able to surprise the enemy from within the city and it fell.
Kites were also used militarily in other ways. Observers were lifted up into the air to spy on enemy troop positions. Some were used to lift fireworks into the air to confuse and terrify enemy troops in battle. Different shapes of kites were flown to send certain types of messages to troops during battle, and some were flown after being set on fire to deliver other types of messages. The history of kites used in battle is a long and storied one.
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History of Flight and Avaition