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First invented in Manzell, a small town in Southern Germany by Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin (The Giant Airships, 1). The Zeppelin was made of duralumin internal frames. The first of the great airships to fly was the LZ1 which was flown from its floating hanger on Lake Constance on July 2, 1900 (historical note, 1)
When the British went to war with Germany on August 4, 1914, they fully anticipated that the skies over England would soon be a swarm with the giant Zeppelin bombers. The Germans used the Zeppelins as a great advantage over England. By 1914, six Zeppelins and one Schütte-Lanz had been placed in key positions along the borders of Germany (The Giant Airships, 2). “The thing itself is not very safe”, said Navy Minister, Admiral Alfred von Tripiz (The Giant Airships, 3). The most successful raid by Zeppelin was the one on London on September 8, 1915 killing 22 people and causing one and a half million pounds of property damage. This done by the L 13 commanded by 32 year old airship ace, Lieutenant Heinrich Mathy. This one raid eventually accounted for almost two thirds of all of the Zeppelin damage inflicted upon Britain during Germany’s short lived air campaign. Mathy was later killed in the war when his Zeppelin was taken out of the sky by a British fighter (WorldWar1.com, 1). The L-30 appeared in 1916 and raided London and other cities in England as well as targets on the Eastern Front. Six hundred and forty-nine feet in length, seventy-eight feet in diameter and ninety feet high was the L-30. Able to carry five tons of bombs, packing ten machine guns for defense and cruising at 60 miles per hour made the L-30 a great airship for the Germans in World War I (American Aviation, 1)
Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the great inventor of the Zeppelin, died of pneumonia on March 8, 1917 at the age of seventy-eight. Chief of the Naval Airship Division and the
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Christy, Joe. American Aviation...An Illustrated History. Bridge Summit, PA: TAB Books. ©1987.
WorldWar1.com. (Visited: December 3, 2000). Zeppelins. WorldWar1.com.