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Old 11-21-2019, 10:54 PM   #1
The future is unwritten
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 69,451
November 22nd, 2019 : Zeppelin, no Led

In war the best weapon is information about your foe. During the US Civil War they would send someone up in a balloon
basket with binoculars to spy on enemy troop strength and position. He’d draw pictures and write notes to drop to the
brass in charge. He also hopes there weren’t any sharpshooters close enough to hit that fragile wicker basket.

Then comes The War to End All Wars, WWI, and the Germans had Zeppelins to spy from and drop bombs too.
But Zeppelins are not very fast and a big target for Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel and others in the Type 22s.
Even the Handley Page bombers could catch them.

Herr General we could use the help of the Zeppelins for spying and bombing.
Dummkopf, they would get shot down by artillery or enemy planes if they were low enough to see the targets to bomb.
But Herr General, I have a plan.

One of the most perilous positions in the crew of a German Zeppelin during the First World War was that of the aerial lookout, whose job was to observe the ground for enemy position and bombing targets while dangling at the end of a long tether suspended from the belly of the aircraft.
The lookout sat in an observation car called the spy gondola or spy basket that was lowered from the zeppelin through the cloud, while the zeppelin itself stayed shrouded within the cloud layer and out of enemy view. The aerial lookout then became the eyes for the zeppelin’s pilot instructing the pilot on an appropriate course via a telephone. Although the job was alarming, it was said that many crew members enjoyed lookout duty because it was the only place where they were allowed to smoke.

The spy gondola was used successfully during a bombing raid on Calais, in northern France, in March 1916. Baron Gemmingen and Lehman both wanted to be the first to ride in the observation car, but it was Gemmingen who eventually won the argument. Gemmingen was lowered about a half mile below the ship and the zeppelin ascended into the clouds.
Peering out of the control car we could not see anything, not even Gemmingen. The darkness and mist surrounded us like an impenetrable wall; but Gemmingen by this time was sending up his orders through the telephone, giving directions by compass. We circled over the fortress for 45 minutes, Gemmingen taking his time so that he could plant his bombs with precision. He had little difficulty directing the operations and at intervals be would quietly order a few small bombs dropped, then larger ones and so on. Five separate attacks were made, taking in the railway station, the storehouses on the docks, the arsenal and other points. Occasionally, emerging from the upper surface of the clouds, we saw light ovals made by the searchlights as the rays struck the clouds and were blocked as if they were playing on a great layer of cotton thousands of acres in extent.

At the Imperial War Museum in London, you can see an actual Zeppelin observation car that was found near Colchester after the Zeppelin air raid on September 1916. It is believed that the winch which deployed the suspending cable accidentally ran out of control and the observation car crashed into the ground along with 1,500 meters(359 feet short of a mile) of cable. Fortunately, the observation car was unmanned at that time.
Tony Montana, Tony Soprano, Walter White, Frank Underwood, and Donald Trump.
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Old 11-22-2019, 11:51 AM   #2
Diaphone Jim
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,707
The daring young men in their flying (?) machines.
Curtained mica windows and wool mattress.
And don't piss off the winch crew.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:04 PM   #3
The Un-Tuckian
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: South Central...KY that is
Posts: 38,746
From the thread title, I thought this was gonna be about JFK's assassination.

Couldn't see the Zeppelin part...or didn't, one or the other.

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