S u m m a r y
||Aviation New Vanguard
101 - Zeppelins: German Airships 1900-40
by Charles Stephenson
||Soft cover, 48 pages
GB£8.99 online from Osprey Publishing
||Good basic coverage of
German Airship use.
||In view of the title,
additional pages would help.
"Zeppelins: German Airships 1900-40” will be available online from Squadron.com
Airships have always had an air of mystic about them. In World War I
the perils of being a crewmember were very real. Anyone that has read
the diaries of these brave souls can attest to that.
Charles Stephenson has made the latest contribution to Osprey’s New
Vanguard series with a look at the use of these giants.
The book starts off with a summery of the often-confusing numbering
scheme that occurred when the airship entered into military service. Not
only was there a manufacturer’s designation and number but also a
military service number and designation. The numbering system differed
between the Army and Navy with the former employing some very unusual
practices, especially when renumbering replacement airships.
We are then taken through the first attempts by Count Zeppelin to
develop a practical airship. After numerous failures, he found success
and was able to translate this into much needed sales. To provide
competition for Zeppelin, the Army fostered a rival in the form of the
Schütte-Lanz Airship Company.
The next section sees the reader told of these gas filled giants being
used during the First World War. This includes raids against London,
being attacked by enemy aircraft and the development of other classes of
Zeppelins. For a detailed look at these classes, one must seek
The development of airships continued after the war with their use in
the civil environment culminating in the tragic destruction of the
Hindenburg. This is related in the final part of the book.
A useful appendix contains a table of all the known airships, their
specifications, and their fate.
Ian Palmer provides eight pages of colour plates. These include twelve
profiles of airships from the pre WWI period through to the start of
WWII. It would have been helpful to have a title under each image
instead of having to dive to the captions at the end of the book.
There are 40 black and white photographs that show a broad range of
subjects and some interesting diagrams are also added to the mix.
There is certainly a lot to cover between the pages of this book.
It is not one that is designed to take the reader through the technical
aspects of the airship. That would take a book many more times the size
of this one but one can’t help wanting a little bit more information in
Nonetheless it is a good book that will give the “first timer” a good
introduction to this fascinating aspect of air travel.
Zeppelins: German Airships 1900-40
Illustrator: Ian Palmer
US Price: $14.95
UK Price: £8.99
Publish Date: July 25, 2004
Details: 48 pages; ISBN:
Review Copyright © 2004 by
Page Created 1 August, 2004
Last updated 25 May, 2004
HyperScale Main Page