Menu

Fire In The Sky – Zeppelin Shot Down Over Britain I THE GREAT WAR Week 111

100 Comments



There was a fire over Britain this week, but
far from sparking fear, it sparked jubilation, for the fire was a German zeppelin being shot
down, the first victim of incendiary bullets. I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War. Okay, last week the Germans counter attacked
successfully at the Somme, Romania joined the war and occupied East Transylvania, the
British occupied Morogoro in German East Africa, and German army Chief of Staff Erich von Falkenhayn
was sacked and replaced by Paul von Hindenburg, who had ambitious plans for revitalizing the
German army. This week Hindenburg, and his right hand man
Erich Ludendorff, visited the Western Front for the first time and were horrified by what
they saw at Verdun, where the battle had raged since February. (Horne) Hindenburg said, “Battles there
exhausted our forces like an open wound… the battlefield was a regular hell and regarded
as such by the troops.” Ludendorff said, “Verdun was hell. Verdun was a nightmare for both the staffs
and the troops who took part. Our losses were too heavy for us.” They ordered the cessation of all German attacks
there. German losses by now at Verdun were 281,333
men. French losses were 315,000. On the French side, General Philippe Pétain
was having the French Second Army conserve its forces for a mighty counterstroke. From this week then, as the French prepared,
an uneasy and suspicious calm descended upon the battlefield of Verdun. Although there was one glaring exception:
on September 4th, in the Tavannes railway tunnel that was being used as a barracks and
a storage depot, a fire broke out among a cargo of rockets. In seconds the rockets set off the grenades
in storage, they in turn ignited the gasoline used for the lighting generator, which then
set off even more grenades. The whole tunnel began to collapse, and men
in a state of panic among the exploded body parts fled out into the open, only to be caught
by German shellfire. For three days the fire raged in the tunnel,
and when men could finally enter, they found over 500 dead, charred, and exploded bodies. And the body count was still rising a bit
to the northwest at the Somme, as that Offensive entered its third month. There was a big combined attack there September
3rd. The French would attack both north and south
of the River Somme, the British 4th Army would send five divisions against the line from
Guillemont to High Wood, and 4 divisions from the reserves would attack from Pozieres to
the Ancre Valley. The artillery bombardment was heavy, but not
nearly as heavy as before the successful July 14th attack. And a preliminary attack against Falfemont
Farm served only to give the Germans notice that a larger attack was coming. The preliminary attack was a disaster. The bombardment and the creeping barrage failed. The French saw this and refused to attack
but the British went ahead anyhow. The 2nd King’s Own Scottish Borderer’s
War Diary (The Somme) had this to say, “I don’t think a man of any regiment would’ve
gone to certain death the way ours did – having seen as they did the failure of both preliminary
bombardment and creeping barrage. The beautiful thing about it is that they
all knew when they went over that this would happen and not a man flinched.” The main attack on the left of Falfemont Farm
actually went quite well. The men of the 5th Division advanced nearly
three kilometers, and even outflanked Guillemont. There, the bombardment had thrown the defenders
in disarray. Also, the German machine gunners were pinned
down by a simultaneous attack from the north by the 20th Division. The two divisions linked up. The 20th had actually finally captured Guillemont. After this, with the Germans disorganized,
Falfemont Farm and Leuze Wood were also taken and the right angle around Delville Wood that
had so confounded the Allies had been eliminated. This really helped the British tactical position,
though the attacks on Ginchy and High Wood failed. The British were now 5km east of their July
1st starting point, and the French more than 6 km. And there were a lot of armies also on the
move far to the east. On September 3rd came the first Central Powers
moves against Romania, as they attacked from the south and Bulgarian aircraft bombed Bucharest. The invasion force, under German General August
von Mackensen, was mostly Bulgarian and Turkish troops, and they lay siege to Tutracaia and
its garrison of 40,000 men – nearly three times Mackensen’s forces. After one day of battle the fortress surrendered. Two days later, a second fortress, Silistria,
surrendered without a fight. More than 40,000 Romanian soldiers including
three generals surrendered to the invaders this week. To the north of that, the Russian summer long
offensive against Austria-Hungary, which had seemed to grind to a halt, showed signs of
life. On the Zlota Lipa front, the Russians took
19,000 prisoners in four days and on the 7th, Halicz, on the Dniester River was taken and
set on fire. And another fire, that was a lot more appreciated
by the locals, happened over Britain this week. On September 2nd, 16 German airships set off
on largest raid ever mounted. Ten succeeded in reaching London before midnight. One, after weaving through an antiaircraft
barrage, was shot down by Lieutenant William Leefe Robinson over Hertfordshire and the
new incendiary bullets. Zeppelin historian R.L. Rimell (Gilbert) writes,
“This was the moment that so many Londoners had waited to see for so long, and they made
the most of it. Complete pandemonium broke out as people rushed
out on the streets. Singing, clapping, and cheering… echoing
over the rooftops… children and women danced in the streets… for many it would be a lasting
impression even over sixty years later.” Robinson won the Victoria Cross for this,
and it was the only VC awarded for something that happened on – or above – British soil. In the two days after the incident, 10,000
people took the train from King’s Cross to see the wreck and get a souvenir. It wasn’t just the British whose morale
had a boost though. The Italians were still feeling on top too. A few weeks ago, on the Italian front, the
6th Battle of the Isonzo River came to an end, and though the Italians took high casualties,
they also took a real prize: Gorizia. This was a big shock to the Austro-Hungarian
high command. The road to Vienna now lay somewhat open. But even during the 6th battle, Austrian General
Svetozar Borojevic von Bojna’s engineers were building up their second and third defensive
lines. They used a labor force of a half a million
men, you heard that right, including 200,000 Russian prisoners of war (Caporetto), to deepen
the trenches, build machine gun posts, and stake out huge barbed wire entanglements. Most of this was done on the Corso, which
was where Borojevic figured the next attack would come, but really, they built up the
whole Isonzo front. And let’s take a moment to think of the
engineer Corps of the Austrian 5th army, they were the big heroes of the defenses there,
drilling, digging, and blasting deep into the hard rock, and using concrete and steel
to build pretty near indestructible supply and munitions depots. Italian Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna did indeed
plan to break through on the Corso, but he also wanted to take Mt. Rombon and the Bovec
basin. He had no problem with reinforcements at all,
the Italian war machine now had seemingly endless manpower and the northern Italian
industry had hit peak production of war materiel. By now, just weeks after the 6th battle, Cadorna
was ready to launch the 7th Battle of the Isonzo River. But this was a week of heavy rain, so heavy
that the Isonzo burst its banks and flooded the trenches. By the 7th, the weather had turned and as
the week drew to a close, Cadorna readied his artillery for the opening barrage. And now a few notes to end the week. On the 4th west of Lake Van, British armored
cars engage Kurdish forces, on the 5th, the Central Powers grant Polish autonomy, and
on the 6th, New Zealand passes conscription. Also, this week on September 3rd, Dar-es-Salaam
surrenders to British naval forces. Still, though, the British, Belgian, and South
African forces made slow going, and though the Germans had lo st two-thirds of their
land, they still continued their remarkable operations. And that was the week, Allied success at the
Somme, Romania getting its first real taste of the war and not liking it, Italian plans
afoot, a huge fire at Verdun, and another one in the British skies. People have written in a lot asking why zeppelins
weren’t shot down all the time, being just bags of hydrogen gas, but the gas was separated
into loads of compartments and shooting a few of them wouldn’t bring the ship down. Also, for the first half of the war they flew
higher than AA guns or airplanes could reach. But this was a big change. Incendiary bullets – phosphorus at this point
– ignited the gas and turned the zeppelin into a huge ball of fire, slowly crashing
to earth. The crews got to choose either jumping to
death or burning to death. I’ll say it again; it was just another harsh
new reality of modern war. If you want to find out more about these majestic
and deadly giants of World War 1, you should check out our Zeppelin special right here. Our Patreon supporter of the week is Jan Sten
Adámek – thank you for your ongoing support on Patreon which helps us improving the show
every week. If you want to support our show financially
and learn something at the same time, you should definitely check out our Amazon store
too. Though you also have to read the books.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

100 thoughts on “Fire In The Sky – Zeppelin Shot Down Over Britain I THE GREAT WAR Week 111”

  1. Shaved Alpaca says:

    7:45 Not Bovek. read the C as the double Z in pizza. All slovenian Cs are pronounced like that. No exceptions. ^^ And the O is like the O in tOrtoise. Kinda.

  2. 5Xum says:

    Guys, just a small correction: The "C" in "Bovec" is a Slavic "C", and as such is pronounced as "ts" (or like the German "Z"). Also, there is no "U" sound in the word. So "Bovets", not "Boughvek".

  3. LedAvalon says:

    so that's what happened to Bonzo…

  4. EqualLandFreePeople says:

    I keep trying to figure the real cause of this war. It might be overpopulation. As people compete for resources, they eventually have conflicts between people. Man is an inventor, we use tools, thus the one with the best tools and organization wins. Thus you need large armies and technology to win war, you need countries. It is all to get the best food. Man is often considered Man the Hunter. But the reality is we are war machines. We use tools to kill one another. This led to the rapid development of the human brain as the grazers died and the chessmen won.

  5. V.K.S Productions says:

    Are you still planning on the Arditi episode? I am not rushing you, just wondering.

  6. Joue Mushin says:

    Hi Indy and team. I have a question regarding sources. I assume since you probably do not have readily available any slavic, turkish or native African speakers you rely much more on Western sources especially given the time constraints for making the episodes. But as you know every source is skewed to their own perspective. My question is to what lengths do you go in acquiring and researching any non-western sources?
    I ask this because as I watch I feel that:
    1. the Ottoman front seems to be told mainly from the British perspective, I honestly can't tell what the Ottoman perspective is and what their generals are thinking.
    2. I have yet to see any real native afrikaans perspective, I mean some foreigners fought on their land. there is bound to be more than just statistics on how many natives they killed in their war effort.
    3. the Russian front has more detail but not nearly as much as the Western front (like this British pilot getting the medal for shooting the zepelin, I can't remember when was the last time some russian soldier got a medal for something. I assume it happened somewhere.)
    4. Anything in the Balkans seems to start and be over too fast. I felt like Serbia was overrun in a matter if minutes, Romanians just up and said screw it we surrender, and Bulgarians are just chilling there waiting for the allies to die of malaria. That seems extremely unrealistic when compared to all the details we got for Gallipoli.
    5. The far east feels like a footnote and even Austo-Hungary seems a bit lacking.

    The regular episodes feel too German, French and British centric with some Russia sprinkled on top which would make perfect sense if all the sources come from them. The specials feel a lot better. Every time I watch a special I am "Aha, so that is what they have been doing all this time".

  7. Harry Howlett says:

    Out of the trenches question:
    In history class years ago, it was discussed that lots of the footage caught was faked (soldiers pretending to be dead etc) and shown at home. How much do you think was real and do you have trouble with inauthentic video/images?

  8. Tim Rosenburg says:

    was there any urban warfare?

  9. Kevin GKN says:

    Maybe a question for out of the trenches.

    You mentioned that russian prisoners haved to build trenches for the enemys. Do you know something about any big acts of sabotage or riots by prisoners on enemy soil?

  10. Joue Mushin says:

    test

  11. anders lassen says:

    i'd love if you came to Denmark for you ww 1 locations, there's a memorial park for the battle of jutland with 8645 figures.
    i would offer you a place to stay if i didn't live in a dorm or didn't have a two hour drive to the memorial park

  12. DutchGold says:

    watching this during class

  13. Diyan Dimov says:

    I was waiting a lot for this episod, only to be a bit disappointed by the really small mentioning of the Battle of Turtucaia, I hope next week mentions the whole Dobrich epopee better, one of the few succesful cavalry actions.

  14. Mo Do says:

    Indy a dermatologist could take care of the mark by your left eye in 15 minutes. My family watches the new episodes and love them all.

  15. Ognjen Petrović says:

    There are big thigs going to happen in the folowing weaks in Macedonia.
    Monastir offensive etc…

  16. Zamolxes77 says:

    Indy, is either Turtucaia – romanian "thur-thu-ka-ya" or Tutrakan – bulgarian, no idea how is pronounced, but not a mix of both LOL.

  17. matt osterud says:

    I wish we'd talk more about specific french or allied divisions. We hear about British operations on divisional level more then french corps or even Russian or Rumanian Army level.
    Love the show, but a broader source list (language wise), would help make amazing in amazingerist. (I need a stronger word.)

  18. Fat Blunt says:

    Did you tell us anything about hired guns? If not please do

  19. Karst Reitsma says:

    I am exited for next week. Because the tank will apere for the first time.

  20. Adrian A says:

    I guess jumping to death just a little "better" than burning to death, however I have a major fear of hights :s not that it would matter at that point. But there is no nice way "to go…" in a war.

  21. Abu Abdurrazzaaq says:

    Hi Indy, how are you? hopefully good. I wanted to ask if you could also speak about "the Great Thessaloniki fire" in 1917.

  22. Mr Sniffles says:

    It wasn't actually just the invention of incendiary bullets that allowed fighters to take down zeppelins. On their own incendiary bullets were ineffective as they needed oxygen to burn so went out when they entered the pure hydrogen inside the zeppelins. The break through came when incendiary bullets were alternated with explosive bullets to blow large holes in the balloons to let in oxygen, allowing the fires to spread and engulf the zeppelins.

  23. Xander Arizona says:

    What was the German in east Africa's name that sounded like adolf hitler again? I can't remeber what episode it was in

  24. Taco says:

    Fire in the skkkkkyy with Diamonds
    I was born to late to be a beatles fan it seems :c

  25. steelhammer103 says:

    This episode really shows there was activity on all fronts this week

  26. Revolver Ocelot says:

    Did you guys notice an increase in subs/views after Battlefield 1 announcement and recent beta? Just wondering if a popular game like BF1 would spark interest for the real history behind WW1.

  27. Andrew Desaulniers says:

    Is there still a German language version of this show?

  28. sharkfinbite says:

    Ned Zeppelin….. History's greatest zeppelin pilot.

  29. TheStapleGunKid says:

    Another great episode.  I can just imagine the joy of seeing a Zeppelin shot down for the first time.  That being said, you kind of glossed over the part about New Zealand implementing conscription, just like you did when Britain did so for the first time.  These were major events that had profound impacts on both nations and I think they deserve more then a passing mention.

  30. TheStapleGunKid says:

    One additional note on William Leefe Robinson.  He died from the Spanish Flu epidemic in December 1918.  What a cruel fate.  He survived 4 years of war only to die of disease a month after the war ended.

  31. MEMES 8 says:

    Just before seeing this video I had a dream in which I was shooting a anti air gun and eventually blasted a aircraft which was of Germans
    My name in that dream was something from Hef….
    I was a private
    Comment on what do u think of it

  32. Mikeal Blackford says:

    Oof! I'm sorry but Indy & crew REALLY messed up the Zeppelin explanation.
    Q: Why weren't the big bags o' hydrogen easily shot down?
    A: Because hydrogen only burns if there's Oxygen.
    Re: Incendiary bullets. The Brits had developed those significantly before the first Zeppelin was shit down. They also had finally gotten planes that could reach that altitude before the Zeppelin was shot down.
    The Brits were also confused by their lack of success in shooting down Zeppelins–multiple raids had, by this time, been intercepted & shot at. Finally they figured out the same problem of 'hydrogen only burns with oxygen present.' The solution was to MIX regular bullets and incendiary bullets. First you punctured the gas cells so that you could get normal air with oxygen into the cells. Then after that the incendiary bullets could finally ignite the hydrogen, bringing down the Zeppelin. This is the actual story of what was going on. I recommend Wilbur Cross' book, "Zeppelins of World War I" but there's many online sources (and chemistry textbooks) that can confirm my version.
    Interesting trivia: Leefe Robinson was actually the second man to shoot down a Zeppelin and the second to get a VC for it. 
    Near Dunkirk, June 6-7th of 1915 saw a Flight Lt. Reginald Warnesford take out L37 after a Multi-hour air battle when it screwed up by diving for home which let Warnesford get above them to drop half a dozen incendiary bombs on L37. Unlike fast-moving incendiary bullets, the bombs were able to slowly burn through the skin of the Zeppelin, letting in enough oxygen to ignite the Zeppelin. There was a daring escape afterward & Warnesford was, very briefly, famed for his acts of derring-do. …For 10 days. Right up until, as part of his reward with the VC, he got a shiny new French biplane that was allegedly so new it lacked a number of standard features like, oh, seat belts. Warnesford took it up along with an American reporter, something made the plane suddenly turn (turbulence? Defect? Showing off?) and both men came tumbling out of the plane to fall to their death. Leefe Robinson was British (warnesford was Canadian), did his deed in public view, over London, beat a Zeppelin that did NOT basically just die from stupidity, and lived until 1918. Thus he is still well known and Warnesford is not.

  33. Andrew Hamilton says:

    hello and I have a question were they African American German soldiers in ww1 I am half German and African American to and I would love to know. and I love the channel u guys are great.

  34. Carson Troeh says:

    7th battle of Isonzo. I can imagine Cadorna saying "We will get them this time, I promise!"

  35. Montpelier Montgomery says:

    That August Von Mackenson is a machine!

    They should've tried putting him on the western front.

  36. Daniel Băț says:

    Can we get a Great War special about Mackensen's hat?

  37. Martin Penkov says:

    Hey Indie, you missed something really interesting about the Romania campaign. There is prehistory from the Second Balkan War – the Romanian army that moved through Bulgaria confiscated food from the local people to feed themselves. They did not harm the people but they took with them to Romania a lot of livestock. When Bulgaria joined WW1 the scenario from the Second Balkan war (Romanian army attacking in the back) was a real possibility so the Third Bulgarian Army was organized in secret. It was a surprise for the Romanians that there was an army there – that is why the initial attacks were so successful. In the Third Bulgarian army were conscripted or volunteered mainly peasants whose livestock was stolen by the Romanians. The Bulgarian High Command did that on purpose so that the troops there were really eager to fight.

    SPOILER
    Some Bulgarian soldiers refused to cross the Danube – they said – "We took what is ours(Dobruja), the foreign(land) we don't want!". Several soldiers were shot for that but the army still refused to cross the river. A young officer motivated the army by saying – "The Romanians feasted on your sheep – now lets return them the favour!"… So the troops crossed the river and they took back the stolen livestock and probably some more. Interesting fact is that the Austrian ships that were transporting the troops refused to transport the livestock so they were forced at "gun point" by the Bulgarian soldiers to do that… I guess that says a lot about the Central Powers collaboration.
    SPOILER

    Also check general Kolev – his cavalry tactics were used as a base for some WW2 blitzkrieg tank tactics. Thank you for the great show!

  38. CommandoDude says:

    Romania 100 years ago: "Oops"

  39. TheBillyReb says:

    Are you going to talk about the first time tanks were used on Sept. 15th?

  40. Ein Hauch von Tüll [RU] says:

    GreatShow Indi and Team
    I got an question

    How did Mackensen arrive so fast at Romania ???
    Did they use planes to move important Generals ?
    Or did they just use cars or trains ?

  41. RandomAsshole says:

    "crews had to choose between falling to death or burning to death" so at this point did parachutes not exist? i know they were huge in WW2 so im just wondering if they or atleast the idea of them was around in ww1?

  42. Sean Cooper says:

    Indy, I've heard that Nepal was in WW1 is this true or a myth? If you can get back to me as soon as possible thank you.

  43. Robert Bray says:

    guess a little note on the attack on the Zeppelin. Robinson the pilot of the plane was on his last magazine for his gun. The plane was armed with a Lewis gun and he only had three magazine. He had put I think 94 round into this Zeppelin with no affect that had Robinson amazed and dishearten . So he slowed his plane up making his plane an easer target so he could shot into one spot where he should hit though the gas bags. Near the end of that magazine the Zeppelin started burning. Incendiary bullet was only part of the answer to shooting down a Zeppelin.

  44. Above Average StormTrooper says:

    Is it possible to do a video on the Pacific theatre in the World War 1?

  45. URBAN LAVRENCIC WANG FEIRAN says:

    HEY INDY! THE SHOW IS GETTING BETTER AND BETTER; I REALLY LOVED THE GLIMPSE INTO YOUR LOCATION TRIP! BTW, IF I MAY, IN THE WORD BOVEC "C" IS PRONOUNCED AS "Z" IN GERMAN DIE ZEIT; SO GERMANS WOULD SPELL IT BOVEZ. ON ANOTHER NOTE, VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS BEEN ON A OFFICIAL VISIT TO MY HOME COUNTRY SLOVENIA A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, FOR THE COMMEMORATION OF RUSSIAN PRISONERS OF WAR, WHO LOST THEIR LIVES TO A SNOW AVALANCHE IN MARCH 1916, WHILE BUILDING A ROAD OVER THE VRSIC PASS, WHICH WAS AN IMPORANT SUPPLY ROUTE TO THE ISONZO FRONT. THE REMAINING RUSSIAN PRISONERS WOULD THEN BUILD A MEMORIAL CHAPEL IN A RUSSIAN STYLE. PUTIN WAS GIVEN BY OUR GOVERNMENT A SMALL PIECE OF THE CHAPPEL'S ROOF.

  46. charlie h says:

    Indy and the team, will you visit the north-east Italian region? Because I am actually visiting my grandmother over there in a few months.

  47. Ben says:

    Guynemer died 99 years ago. Would love to see a special about him :).
    Thanks for the episodes

  48. YGK Mobile says:

    you should make a channel about WW2

  49. Qasem Soleimani says:

    At last! It is time for Indy and his merry crew to discover the wonderful world of Balkan tribalism. Brace yourself, as the two opposing armies march against each other:
    On the one side, the Iranian, Scythian, Bactrian, totally not Turkic Bulgar warriors, led by Attila-Darius the Bulgarian, using Roman Imperial skulls as mugs and casually rebuilding the Persian civilization in the slopes of the Rhodope mountains.
    On the other, the Daco-Roman legions, led by Titus Decebalus Maximus Draculescu, decorating their weapons with millions of Janissaries' heads and fluently speaking in Ovidian latin.

    The ultimate fight has begun and the prize will be neither Dobruja nor Bessarabia, neither Belomorie nor Vardarska Makedonija. It is a fight for civilization itself, the last chance for the offspring of Julian to brush aside the shame of Samarra and for the successors of Khusraw Parvez to take revenge for Nineveh!

  50. DefenderMP says:

    Where coming up on the first use of the tank folks!

  51. Collin Skone says:

    Anybody else first think the thumbnail was that of the millennium falcon?

  52. Leon King says:

    incedanary bullets…#wapoledidit

  53. Богдан Виноградов says:

    Indi and team, you know, a thought just came to my mind. You have those really nice and useful recap episodes of years. However, battle of Verdun and Somme are so immense and drawn out in time that, perhaps, you could make separate recap episodes for them and perhaps some other battles you find fitting? I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts on this.

  54. Jack Mann says:

    Why didn't the Zeppelin crews have parachutes? Seems a no brainer!

  55. Lenmil says:

    My grandmother saw a Zeppelin attack over Edinburgh and bi-planes could do nothing duevto its altitude.

  56. Matt Norris says:

    What a great channel this is!

  57. baby welded to the bottom of car saves man says:

    Was I the only one that heard the Verdun (video game) gun sounds at 3:39

  58. Captian Nemo says:

    Also you cannot burn an Airship by just bursting its hydrogen gas cell. The reason this is true is because there is ZERO Oxygen in the gas cell and thus it CANNOT burn. If you need proof in practice once of the German Airships took an 75mm AA shell directly to one of the cells and while it burst it did not set the airship on fire at all. Just merely shreadded the cell.

  59. Nicolas de Fribourg says:

    something new Indy ? ty

  60. YB entertainment says:

    The zeppelins didnt combust 100% of the time for another reason aswell. When the bullets (due to small caliber) penetrated there simply wasnt enough oxygen inside the gasbags to ingnite a fire. Only when the bullets ripped a bigger hole into the skin of the airship or when the gas was ignited while leaking out the bags it had a chance to catch on fire.

  61. TheFireflyGrave says:

    Romania: 'I've made a huge mistake.'

  62. lastwolflord says:

    Can't wait to see what your new studio will look like finished.

  63. yukikaze says:

    The Zeppelin shot down was the SL11

    The Zeppelins did shoot down at least one aircraft . It will take me awhile to find it out

    German not Bulgarian aircraft bombed Burcharest

  64. Ian Davidson says:

    It was very brave of the British to attack despite the unssuccesful artillery barrages.

  65. marsnz says:

    9:27 I think I'd take my chances with jumping

  66. LaserAirsoftWeapons says:

    did i just see a gatling gun? like a literal gatling gun?

  67. Xoruam says:

    Somewhere I've heard that they couldn't shoot down the zeppelins because the tanks were filled with hydrogen, but not oxygen, so the fire had the fuel, but didn't have any air to breathe. The holes made by the bullets were too small to allow the exchange of gases, instead just making the blimp slowly bleed out the hydrogen. Then they tried opening bigger holes, but that still wasn't enough, so only after opening large holes and THEN igniting the hydrogen inside did they manage to actually get the baloons burning.

    Interesting fact: according to that program, the inside compartments with the Hydrogen (the thing you see outside is just outer layer) were often made from cow intestines, just like sausages 🙂

  68. Finch The Great says:

    We still celebrate the downing of a zeppelin here in folkestone every year

  69. BSSC says:

    4:32 It's Turtucaia in Romanian or Tutrakan in Bulgarian.

  70. Davide Sabbadin says:

    I might be arriving a bit late but here is a little correction (for the future) it's Carso and not Corso, the mountains on the italian easternmost border you refer to in the show. It's kars in slovenian, but no idea of its name in German, though. love the show, keep up the good work!

  71. Lorne Dmitruk says:

    If you're able to watch in your area or can find this through Netflix or another service, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/zeppelin-terror-attack.html is a great show on the Zeppelin raids, and how the incendiary bullet was developed. The show also covers the types of bombs the Germans used.

  72. Misty Derevage Hufford says:

    he should have added this William Robinson only shot down the Zepplin because he concentrated fire in one spot

  73. Ville Hammar says:

    5 kilometers of advance in a matter of months in Somme? Wow, that's, like, the distance from the center of my home village to the cemetery of the next village over! The battle isn't even over yet, they might still get over that one hill next to the cemetery, or even to the outskirts of the next village over! How many people died for this again?

  74. jAM Ab says:

    goin al in zeppelin style .

  75. Moto Phoenix says:

    Re that Zeppelin; my father who was nine years old at the time, used to relate the story of how he and his sister (aged eleven) cycled from Muswell Hill (London) to the crash site at Potters Bar a day or two after the event. They had seen the airship on the night of the raid and read about it being bought down in the newspaper.
    Also, where I grew up in another suburb of North London, Whetstone, in sight of our house there were some houses that were replaced in a road opposite, but some distance away, called Ridgeview Road N20, because they had been hit by bombs dropped by the crippled airship.
    Thanks for the series I enjoy viewing it from I've to time.

  76. SuperHooverman says:

    In 1978 I was out on a Sunday family walk in North London when we reached the Uxbridge road which we had to cross. I went across to a smallish traffic island which had a few trees growing over it and was covered in scrub. Much to my amazement there were several graves in this small piece of land, all of which were heavily overgrown. Looking at one I found Leefe Robinson's grave.
    I didn't know who this was at the time but I knew what the VC meant so I got my father to have a look and he realised the significance of this.
    He was the SWO at RAF Stanmore Park and sometime later organised the ATC branch with other RAF volunteers to clean up all of the grave sites and restore some respect to a forgotten hero's final resting place.

  77. Tihomir Slavchev says:

    You hear a big mistake for Bulgaria

  78. Lithilic says:

    How did Mackensen and other Germans arrive in Bulgaria to lead the invasion force from the south? Wasn't Bulgaria kind of isolated from the rest of the central powers if one were trying to get their from Germany?

  79. Luiz Alex Phoenix says:

    I expected Romania to have a rough time and regret joining the war. But that was surprisingly fast. Probably a record! They joined the war so unprepared and suffered heavy losses right away.

    No offense to the Romanian people, which I have some distant relatives and descendancy. But… That is a 'shameful dispray'!

    Declaring war without even preparing the soldiers and without a clear offensive ready either. It's basically the same as interfering in a fight of raging beasts "just because". They made themselves a target!

    Losing so many men in so little time due to surrender! Were they trying to overwhelm the Central Power's prisoner camps or something?

    Truly astounding! Thay managed to impress me in a very bad way. I guess it only further cements the tragic and futile image of WWI. That is what happens when ruling elites get so distant from reality and play games with the people's and soldiers' lives.

  80. maxmagnus777 says:

    zeppelin, the f117 of wwi, everybody has a souvenir

  81. Patrick O'Riordan says:

    It was an airship rather than a zeppelin that was shot down in Cuffley ( they were lighter than zeppelin). The attack was assumed to have started over ponders end in Enfield in north London and finished behind the plough pub in Cuffley in Hertfordshire.

  82. Liquid Bacon says:

    Can you do a special on the most successful u boat of the war?

  83. 221 b says:

    !SPOILER! Next week Montenegro offers two bottles of vodka per soldier a day for anyone who joins their army, entire Russian army and staff desert to Montenegro, Montenegro quickly conquers all of Europe and starts ramping up the pacific campaign, Albert Einstein reluctantly builds nuclear weapons for Switzerland, after the refusal of the final Swiss ultimatum by the Greater Montenegran Empire all major cities in Europe are destroyed, protected from fallout by the alps, Switzerland declares victory and the war ends on Christmas day 1916.

  84. peter forden says:

    I remember my grandmother telling me about watching a zeppelin burn, I can still remember the hardness in her voice….

  85. H S says:

    Actually, at least one airship-crew did survive the jump, from what I've heard. He waited til the airship was low, tried to jump on to a roof, but actually broke trough it, landing inside the building.

  86. Kresh says:

    just got an ad at the 8th minute lol

  87. T33K3SS3LCH3N says:

    Honestly, at this point 300,000 losses at either side of Verdun don't even appear that big anymore. Such insanity.

  88. JdV says:

    How many Battles of the Isonzo river where there?

  89. Justice Manson says:

    thanks! my whole social studies academic team are enjoying these informative videos!

  90. Mad Hatters in jeans says:

    Interesting info on Zeppelins.

  91. Steve Molloy says:

    Wat dumbass would advance after seeing many assaults fail,beaten men!

  92. Boyan67 says:

    I love how you willy – nilly describe the battle for Tutrakan (Turtucaia)- the Romanian Verdun. The fortress was really formidable and taking it in several days was no easy fit. (No it was not a 1 day battle). In the first day the first defensive line was almost entirely overrun but it took a few days and many casualties to penetrate the second (main) and third defensive lines. The fortress was well maned and armed and was getting artillery support from the Romanian Danube fleet. The mainly Bulgarian army with some German support was led by Bulgarian officers. Mackensen, who normally oversaw important operations personally came there days after the capture of Tutracan. Nobody expected such a lightening Bulgarian victory there. Not the Germans nor the Romanians. The Bulgarian high command planned it that way, seeking the psychological shock on the Romanians. A lot of the Bulgarian troops in this operation had fled Romanian occupation of Southern Dobrudzha some years ago and had personal scores to settle with the Romanians. hence the intensity of the Bulgarian attack. The psychological shock among the Romanians was why they panicked and abandoned Silistra without a shot fired. This way, without attacking Silistra and Tutrakan simultaneously (as the Germans wanted) the Bulgarian command focused on Tutrakan and took Silistra without a fight and additional casulties.
    And NO there were no Turcks at Tutrackan. I love also how you willy – nilly mention the Turks with their almost useless 2 infantry divisions that the Bulgarians did not want to begin with but the Germans insisted on having. The Ottoman Syrian troops were allegedly okay as defenders in trenches but had no place in the dynamic attacking style of the Bulgarians. At important battles Bulgarians had to plug the holes opened in the front lines by the retreating Ottomans with Bulgarian reserves.
    On the other hand you don't ever mention the Serbo- Croatians fighting with Russians and Romanians against the Bulgarians at Dobrudzha. Unlike the useless Syrian divisions sent by the Ottomans to aid the central powers in Romania the Serbo- Croatians fought like crazy and in one instance nearly defeated the opposing Bulgarian forces.

  93. Skip 8610 says:

    How many layers of Isonzo are you on? Two, maybe three right now my dude. You're like a baby, watch this. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

  94. Phiphe Dude says:

    Music at 5:40?

  95. James Focht says:

    Last name is Focht and I love the posters

  96. Yoy Joy says:

    4:44 is it Bulgarian turks or both ottoman and Bulgarian turks.

  97. Jake Slamakowski says:

    They didn't wear parachutes in the zeppelins?

  98. Mick Jenner says:

    600 rounds a minute, shooting at a balloon, something in this story makes no sence , fuselage mounted front facing twin guns would have a buzz saw like effect , why does the zepplin story sound a bit questionable ,

  99. seneca983 says:

    Why did they use the incendiary bullets instead of the rockets used against the observation balloons?

  100. Bojan Horvat says:

    The first zeppelin to be shot down was an Italian one, named "Città di Ferrara". It was shot down on the 8tf of June 1915. above Mali Lošinj (Lussin Piccolo), at that time part of the Austru-Hungarian Empire.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *