2/2/1916 The short-lived triumph of the L-19 Zeppelin

German Zeppelin L-19 is returning from a bombing raid over England. Its intended target was Liverpool but it got lost and ended up bombing Burton-on-Trent and Birmingham instead. On its way home it finds itself crossing the North Sea in the early hours of the morning. Spotting a British collier below, the Zeppelin moves to the attack, dropping some more bombs on the unfortunate ship. The collier is sunk, the first ship to ever be sunk by an airship.

The L-19’s crew do not have long to celebrate their success. Due to a navigation error, they find themselves flying low over the Netherlands. The Dutch do not take kindly to this violation of their neutrality and open fire on the Zeppelin, damaging it and forcing it back out to sea.

The L-19 crash-lands on the North Sea. A British trawler comes across the still floating Zeppelin. However, William Martin, its captain, declines to rescue the German crew, fearing that they will overpower his men and take over the ship. The trawler sails away, leaving the Germans to their doom; they all drown when the Zeppelin sinks beneath the waves.

image source (Wikipedia)

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