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Zeppelin L59


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#1 MelPack

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 03:31 PM

Hello

I was just browsing through a book review on the East Africa campaign and came across this intriguing reference:

This world was populated with characters out of Rider Haggard and John Buchan: music hall artistes enrolled in the "Legion of Frontiersmen"; adventurers disgracing themselves in the "lowest haunts in Elizabethville"; an intriguing, fleeting reference to two of the few women to get a mention, "Calamity Kate" and "Hellfire Jane", the resident nurses in Zomba, the capital of Nyasaland (now Malawi). There was bush rat pie and ration biscuits smeared with monkey brains as mess fare for the starving and swamped Nigerian Brigade. And then there was Zeppelin L59, sent in 1917 on a doomed German mission to von Lettow-Vorbeck, and ending up 4,340 miles later in Jamboli, Bulgaria, with its crew fevered, frozen and oxygen-starved.

link: http://books.guardia...8-99937,00.html

I would be interested if anyone could shed some light on the matter.

Regards

Mel

#2 anthw

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:30 PM

Hi,

Found this site http://www.pilotundl...Afrikafahrt.htm

It's in German unfortunatly but a web based translation comes up with

"The airship L 59 undertook a travel of Jamboli into Bulgaria from 21 to 25 November 1917 toward East Africa, in order to bring the there troops ammunition and medicines. When the airship on the height of Karthum was, it reached a fictitious radiogram, thus it again turned around. After the landing in the Jamboli after 95 hours flying time, had put the airship back a distance of nonstop 6756 km. This remote travel became only after end of the First World War admits and is considered as one of the herausragensten road performances of the zeppeline."


I think that means that the Allies sent a false message to the Zep that sent it home again! blink.gif

Anth

#3 anthw

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:33 PM

Also this http://www.tin-soldier.com/zep.htm


Own your own Zeppelin!

#4 MelPack

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 09:13 PM

Anth

Thank you for all your endeavours.

I just love the Altavista translations - like the Babelfish in the Hitch Hiker's Guide, I suspect that its translations could be the cause of more wars than any other! tongue.gif

I will pass on the model wink.gif - but that was one hell of an achievement of flying to Khartoum and back non stop.

Regards

Mel

#5 Adrian Roberts

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:41 AM

This is a somewhat more accurate picture of L59, the Afrika-Zeppelin - I suspect it came from the same site that Anth found.

It's journey was far and away the longest made to that date, with a duration of 95 hours. The airship was the largest flown in WW1 (after two extra hull sections had been added) at 743 feet long - a Boeing 747 is about 220 feet. 5 x 240hp Maybach engines; payload of 52 tonnes.

The crew fell for a false radio message saying that von Lettow-Vorbeck had surrendered and returned to Bulgaria. The ship was later lost in an unexplained fire while attempting to raid Valletta.

Adrian

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