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The very name 'Zeppelin' spread fear and alarm through Britain during the First World War. These slow-moving craft flew, at first, virtually unopposed over the skies of Britain, arousing both intense fear and curiosity. By 1916 the raids were becoming increasingly costly as British air defenses improved, particularly given the limited military damage the Zeppelins were inflicting, and in the final year of the war only four raids were launched. Nevertheless, the Zeppelins remain an indelible part of the history of early aviation, and the First World War.
The author of this book, Horst Freiherr Treusch von Buttlar Brandenfels, commanded Zeppelins during the war, and flew on missions over England a number of times. In April 1918 he was awarded the famous 'Pour le Mérite' (sometimes called 'the Blue Max'), Prussia's highest military order. He describes in vivid and exciting prose what it was like to fly in and command a Zeppelin, braving not just the British air defenses but treacherous weather conditions. Sometimes simply keeping these enormous craft aloft was a challenge to the crew, before any enemy was even encountered. Von Buttlar Brandenfels was also constantly aware that his Zeppelin was a horrific fire hazard. Yet a spirit of adventure and bravery shine through his account, which is a highly readable personal story, allowing the reader to really get a feel for what it was like to take to the skies in a Zeppelin over England.
This edition has been newly typeset and has been expanded by a new introductory essay providing further details about the author's career and the German Zeppelin raids over Britain. This fascinating account is being published in a strictly limited edition hardback run of just 250 copies, each copy individually numbered.
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