Military Review

Fireworks over london


100 years ago, 5 September 1916, Lieutenant William Leaf Robinson received the highest British military award - the Victoria Cross, because two days earlier the Schutte-Lanz bomber airship SL-11 was shot down over the suburbs of London. It was the first German airship destroyed over Great Britain.

On the night of September 2 to 3, the Germans launched the largest air raid over the English Channel since the beginning of the war, in which four army and 12 naval airships. They dropped a total of 17,6 tons of bombs, but the effect of the bombing was rather insignificant. On the ground, four people were killed, 12 were injured, and the British estimated the material damage at 20 thousand pounds. The airship shot down by Robinson was more expensive, not to mention the fact that his entire crew was killed - 16 aeronauts led by Hauptmann Wilhelm Schramm.

To destroy the air giant 174 meters long, 20 meters high and weighing more than 20 tons, the lieutenant had only a few incendiary bullets, recently entered service with the British aviation. The airship burned in the air, and its wreckage fell near the village of Kuffli, where they were found the next morning. Despite this loss, the Germans did not stop using the airships for bombing. On the night of September 22-23, another Zeppelin raid on London took place, from which two airships had not returned. One was shot down by anti-aircraft guns, the second by a fighter.

On the night of November 27-28, eight airships bombed industrial sites in Central England. And again two of them were shot down by interceptors. The following year, the Germans began production of new-type airships with an increased working ceiling, hoping that a high flight altitude would protect them from enemy fighters and anti-aircraft artillery. But these hopes were not justified, the losses remained high.

As a result, a very costly and resource-intensive program of building an "inflatable fleet" completely failed. Huge “hydrogen bombs” when used over enemy territory turned out to be more dangerous for their own crews than for the enemy. It is strange that it took the Germans two whole years to understand this.

Airship "Schutte-Lanz". In order to disguise, these night bombers were painted black and black from the bottom and sides.

Lieutenant Anderson in the cockpit of the RAF BE2C fighter, on which he fought in September 1916.

The British on the site of the death of SL-11. On the left - a portrait of the pilot who managed to destroy him.

One of the motors "Schutte-Lanza". The airships of this company, in contrast to the "zeppelin", had a wooden rather than an aluminum frame. Therefore, after the fires from them there was almost no debris.

The funeral of the crew of the downed airship.

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  1. Kostya Andreev
    Kostya Andreev 11 September 2016 09: 18
    And then I hung my ears. I think I'll read about the airships, and other airplanes, and about the bombing of London, And about weapons. So to say, I’ll broaden my horizons, and then bam, a few photos and paragraphs. Disappointment.
    1. V.ic
      V.ic 11 September 2016 10: 45
      kgstya andreev "So to speak I will broaden my horizons, and here bam, a few photos and paragraphs. Disappointment."

      Do not worry, roll your ears. What m. interesting in a dead end industry (aeronautics)? After Umberto Nobile - nothing interesting ... Sorry!
      1. moskowit
        moskowit 11 September 2016 22: 08
        Why are you doing this. Cut wings to a man. Any knowledge is a huge plus!
        1. Simpsonian
          Simpsonian 12 September 2016 11: 04
          Well, why? To avoid them ... After the rogue Umberto Nobile, in the USA all PLO and air defense were on helium airships until 1965, the last base was closed only in March 1977.

          Regarding knowledge, Just a few incendiary bullets to hydrogen airships could do nothing. For this, several unguided missile hits were required. As soon as they entered service and the English engines became powerful enough to raise planes with them to a sufficient launch height, then the German airships began to burn and fall, and their ceiling had to be increased. Prior to this, the British Air Force during the attacks of 2 years only suffered meaningless losses from their powerful machine-gun defensive weapons. It is strange that the author did not know anything or forgot. On the French land front, airships suffered losses from anti-aircraft artillery and stopped flying a year later.
          After curtailing the bombing program, they carried naval reconnaissance.
          1. AUL
            AUL 12 September 2016 13: 59
            After the crook Umberto Nobile,

            What is it that you are so for? It seems to be a decent man, flying on airships in the cold, and not a sofa expert. Why would he be a rogue?
            1. Simpsonian
              Simpsonian 13 September 2016 12: 30
              And how successfully did he fly? With the fact that the embezzler and rogue, almost got under execution. In the USSR during the Trotsky frost German LZ-127 flew. True, the Germans left the maps of the Arctic and Siberia to themselves.
    2. avt
      avt 11 September 2016 15: 04
      Quote: Kostya Andreev
      I think I'll read about the airships, and other airplanes, and about the bombing of London, And about weapons. So to say, I’ll broaden my horizons, and then bam, a few photos and paragraphs. Disappointment.

      Watch the old Howard Hughes movie, Hell, s Angels and there will be happiness about airships, bombing of London and airplanes of the First World War.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 11 September 2016 10: 27
    Could have been more detailed ...
  3. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 13 September 2016 10: 05
    Probably an attempt to use military airships
    for bombing was the most expensive of the deadlock programs
    new weapons.
    1. Simpsonian
      Simpsonian 13 September 2016 12: 35
      Was the Colossal supergun cheaper and better? The Germans know how to count money, not everyone is catching up. By the way, for some reason, the Belgian author of the Iraqi supergun was slammed by Israel.