Concept of Fighter Escorts for Bombers
Does anyone have any knowledge of the history/development of the tactic of using fighter escorts for bomber raids?
I ask as I am looking at early 1930s RAF Home Defence exercises where they're attempting to emulate wartime conditions but Fighter and Bomber Command (or Fighting Area and Wessex Bombing Area, as they were at the time) are always operating as separate entities and there's no utilisation of fighter escorts.
In the 1933 Home Defence exercises, for example, it is intriguing to see how Wessex Bombing Area tried different tactics, including attacks in Wings (2-3 bomber squadrons), in Flights and even as individual raiders, but the two Commands operated as separate attacking and defending forces.
I appreciate that fighter escorts for bombers were used throughout WWII, but was there any use of the tactic in WWI (not my forté), or when was it otherwise introduced? Or was the tactic used throughout? I'm just trying to get a high level understanding.
Not sure where to look for an answer, so figured the RAF Commands Brains Trust would know something.
41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946