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Zeppelin L15


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#1 Andrew Hesketh

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Posted 15 November 2004 - 11:20 PM

I've just received the following e-mail:

"I found a posting on RootsWeb that you made about L15's attack and final demise in the Thames. Did you manage to find out anything else about the AA guns that helped bring it down? I am very interested in this incident as I have been given a framed piece of the material that made up the L15's hull. It is enscribed :

"L15"
Brought down April 5th 1916
Off The Kentish Knock.
Bombed by Lt. Brandon ** ** (Two words I cannot make out !)
Anti Aircraft Guns.

Any further information you have would be grately appreciated."


I cannot help at all. Can anyone else?

#2 Pete Wood

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 08:32 AM

The commander of the L15 was Kapitanleutnant Joachim Breithaupt. On the 31st March 1916 (note date!), at 21.45 hours, the L15 received a direct hit from the AA gun at Purfleet, Essex.

The AA shell damaged four of the gas cells (numbers 9, 11, 12, and 16), and the L15 began to lose height - despite the crew chucking out everything, to lose weight.

While the L15 got closer to earth, it was attacked by 2Lt Alfred de Bathe Brandon RFC, 19 RA Sqn (Hainault Farm), in a BE 2C. Brandon climbed above the L15 and tried to destroy it by dropping incendiary bombs, and Ranken darts onto the top of the hull. He was not succesful.

But eventually the Zeppelin became too heavy to fly, and she came down in the sea off Margate at 00.15 (1st April) - close to the Kentish Knock lightship. One crew member, ObsigMt Willy Albrecht, was drowned. The rest of the crew (16 members in total) were rescued by the armed trawler Olivine (and then transferred to HMS Vulture).

The sodden, half-sunk remains of the L15 were then taken under tow but the airship broke up off Westgate and only small sections were hauled ashore, where parts were obviously liberated by souvenir hunters. Eventually the sea reclaimed what was left of the airship on the beach.

Please be so kind as to ask the owner to get in touch with me. I would very much like a photo of this small piece of Zeppelin history.

#3 Deleted_deepathart_*

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 09:27 AM

R.T

You absolutely amaze me - do you own a library? The information you give out is incredible laugh.gif

Dee

#4 MattyBoy

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Posted 16 November 2004 - 07:30 PM

Hi Dee,

Attached is a website with a small biography of Captain Brandon.

www.dnzb.govt.nz/dnzb/default.asp?Find_Quick.asp?PersonEssay=3B46

I have to admit I'm afraid that my information is always likely to be eclipsed by
Pete (aka Racing Teapots) !

Matt.

#5 Andrew Hesketh

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Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:25 PM

Thanks for the above.

Pete, I've passed this on and asked him to contact you.

#6 MattyBoy

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 11:49 AM

Hi Andrew,

Just found this short book for sale>

'The Story Of The WW1 Zeppelin Raid On Eldon 5TH/6TH APRIL 1916'
by Margaret Beith. 20 pages.

This covers Zeppelin L15.

Onl;y one record of the book on Abe.com !

Regards
Matt.

#7 MattyBoy

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Posted 04 December 2004 - 11:50 AM

Hi Andrew,

Just found this short book for sale>

'The Story Of The WW1 Zeppelin Raid On Eldon 5th/6th April 1916'
by Margaret Beith. 20 pages.

This covers Zeppelin L15.

Only one record of the book on Abe.com !

Regards
Matt.

#8 fotonix

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 02:16 PM

Mrs. Beith's book is actually about L-16, not L-15!!

#9 Jempie

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 11:26 PM

Hello!

When using Google it sems indeed so to be that pieces pretended to be from L15 are offered under one or another shape!

Further you find that Lord Mayor colonel Wajefield promised an award of 500 for him or those who could bring down as first a zeppelin which bombed London...

Howver in the case of L15 so many gunners crews, including the pilot(s ) involved , all claimed less or more to be responsable for bringing down the L15...

Lord Wakefield stood for a problem, he seems to have solved by a King Solomons judgment...

He let made 353 ,14 karat gold medals by Hallmark at Birmingham, which he offered at tyhose who made the claims, seen he dedided that not one person was involved, but that the downing was the result of many!
In each medal was than the name of the awarded person engraved!(In general the gunners name!)
Some links I found, as a sale by Sotheby are dating from 1999!(so not of value anymore)

But there are probably still a few for sale! (I saw prices as 835 and 1,200 USD !)

So if there are interested people, you can try it out!

VBR
Jempie

(Added one of the photos on L15 drifting at sea)

#10 fotonix

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 05:38 PM

The Wakefield medal is 0.325 AU, or 8 carat gold, not 14 carat.

#11 Mike Cross

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 03:03 PM

This medal was presented to a man of A section RGA "...for destroying the Zeppelin L15". Not a good quality photo; just copied from contemporary newspaper.

MC

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#12 Brigantian

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 06:11 PM

Mike

Thank you for sharing this, the Wakefield medals are an interest of mine. Have long been looking for a full list of recipients, but there doesn't appear to be one.

Can't quite make out the engraving on this one - who is it to please?

Also, would be interested to know the newspaper and date of publication.

Regards

Mark

#13 third generation

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:41 PM

1285783874[/url]' post='1480053']
Mike

Thank you for sharing this, the Wakefield medals are an interest of mine. Have long been looking for a full list of recipients, but there doesn't appear to be one.

Can't quite make out the engraving on this one - who is it to please?

Also, would be interested to know the newspaper and date of publication.

Regards

Mark


I can add some information on the L15, which may be of interest to members of the Forum. My grandfather, then Captain (later Lt.Col.) Joseph Harris in the Royal Artillery Regiment, was awarded one of the Wakefield 9 carat gold medals when commanding the A.A. Battery at Purfleet on the night of 31st Mar/1st April 1916. I have inherited the medal which, naturally, is not for sale.RegardsPeter Harris