ZEPPELINS IN WAR
A MENACE OR A BLUFF?
What can a Zeppelin do? asks a writer in ‘Life,’ and forthwith gives an interesting summary of the latest achievements in airship development. Three main disabilities handicapped the Zeppelin dirigible as a fighting machine, and in overcoming these vessel after vessel came to grief,, till both the Kaiser and the Count were reported to have reached the limit of their patience. These disabilities were lack of speed, limit of elevation to (say) 4,000 ft, and inability to deliver effective attacks or defend themselves from attack.
Details of construction have been preserved in strictest secrecy, but records of trials have been freely published of late, and the extent to which the handicaps referred to above have been eliminated may be judged by the following striking, not to say disquieting, facts:— The hew naval airship LIU. flew over 2.000 miles in 34 houti, and carried enough fuel to remain aloft for three days and nights. She averaged 62 miles an hour, and at one stage reached 04 miles an hour with the wind astern. All the latest Zeppelins are fitted .with 40.000 c.p. searchlights, that illuminate the ground from a height of 4,Sooft, and with wireless apparatus capable of sending messages over 450 miles. The modern Zeppelin can remain for four hours at an altitude of from 6,500 ft, to 9,000 ft, and at a pinch can climb to 10,000 ft. All Zeppelins are now coated with aluminium paint as a protection against sun-expansion and rain ; this also renders them practically invisible at great altitudes. For offence and defence the LIU. carries steel-capped torpedoes that will! pierce 6in of armor-plate, two quick- ‘ firera throwing 2iu shells and two machine guns of latest pattern in the cars, two adjustable swivel-guns on platforms above the balloons, and one below the cars. | Zeppelin V. recently scored a fair percentage of shots at a suspended aeroplane 6,000 ft across the air, and claims to shoot
accurately at any lesser distance. j It stands to reason that if Germany possessed a fleet of, say, 25 of these aerial monsters it would be a force to be reckoned with. As a matter of fact, she is reported to possess two naval airships (the huge TTTT mentioned and a Schutte-Lanz 11., with a speed of 50 miles and an altitude record of 7,500 ft) and eight military Zeppelins (including four remodelled and lengthened vessels). In addition it is certain that the adaptation of the three famous “ Delag ” passenger airships and the “ feverish activity ” reported in the cables may have brought Germany’s air fleet up to 12 or perhaps 20 vessels.
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ZEPPELINS IN WAR, Evening Star, Issue 15640, 3 November 1914