Zeppelin's in the service of Austria Hungary

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JLEES
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Zeppelin's in the service of Austria Hungary

Post by JLEES » 09 Feb 2006 01:42

Hello,
Did the Austrian Hungarian Empire have Zeppelins in their military?
James

kozhedub
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Post by kozhedub » 09 Feb 2006 22:22

Yes:

K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.I (Parseval)
K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.II (Lebaudy)
K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.III (Körting)
K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.IV (Boemches)

All these ships were decommissioned or destroyed by accident before WWI

kozhedub
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Post by kozhedub » 10 Feb 2006 16:54

Addition:

The Stagl & Mannsbarth Austria was build in 1911 for the military, but never accepted by them.

Of course, none of these airships was of "Zeppelin" construction...

JLEES
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Zepplins

Post by JLEES » 12 Feb 2006 14:06

Outstanding information! Many thanks,
James

JLEES
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Zeppelin WWI Postcard

Post by JLEES » 20 Feb 2006 23:56

I believe this is a Austria-Hungarian multicolored postcard depicting a dramatic looking nocturnal image of a Zeppelin in their service attacking Venice with bombs exploding below and fires spreading throughout the city. Across the top of the card in Czech it states, “Austrian Hungarian Airship successfully attacks the arsenal and fortress of Venice.” But, based upon the information received it appears this card might have been depicting a German Zeppelin attacking Venice, is this correct? Were all of Austria-Hungary's Zeppelins out-of-service before the Great War started? Can anyone identify the type of Zeppelin depicted on this postcard?
James
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kozhedub
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Post by kozhedub » 22 Feb 2006 21:16

The airship depicted on the postcard is certainly not a Zeppelin, but looks rather as a Parseval, of which the German Army and Navy had some in service during World War I. I have no knowledge of German Parsevals bombarding Venice. I will try to verify.

The same kind of postcards depicting airships attacking different cities appeared almost immediately after the beginning of the war. They served only as propaganda.

In this case an Austrian airship is very improbable.

In brief the history of the Austro-Hungarian military airships before and during World War I.

Before World War I Austria-Hungary had four military airships.

The first was the K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.I, of German Parseval design (PL4) and build in Austria in 1909. The airship was decommissioned in the spring of 1914.

The second was the K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.II, of French Lebaudy - Julliot design, and also build in Austria. It was commissioned in July 1910 and decommissioned in the autumn of 1913.

The third was the Körting K-I, known by the military as the K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.III. It was an Austrian design, build in 1910.

The fourth was also an Austrian design, the K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.IV, the constructor of which was Hauptmann Friedrich Boemches. It was built in 1911/1912. After the military test flights no more flights were made.

Also in 1911 the "Austria" of Stagl and Mannsbarth was build, but never went in Army service. It was broken up in 1914.

The interest in the airship was rather small in Austria-Hungary. One of the reasons was certainly financial. The airship base at Fischamend had only one hangar, so only one ship at a time could be operational, while the others were deflated and stored.

On 20 June 1914 the K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.III collided with an Army Farman HF.20 above Fischamend. In the ensuing explosion both the crew of the airship and of the airplane lost their lives. It was the symbolical end of the first episode of the Austro-Hungarian involvement in airship operations.

The second episode came in 1915. Inspired by the successes of the German Zeppelins the Autro-Hungarian Army sent four officers to Germany for training on airships. One of the officers was Hauptmann Franz Mannsbarth, the constructor of the "Austria" airship and who had the Austrian airship pilot licence Nr. 2 (8 March 1911). After their return from Germany the Army planned to acquire two German Zeppelins, but the whole project came to nothing and was the final chapter of the airship in the Austro-Hungarian Army.

In 1917 the Navy got interested in small agile airships for coastal reconnaissance. Franz Mannsbarth designed such a ship, of which four were to be build. The first was ready at the war's end. The three others were in different stages of construction. All four were seized by the Allies after the war and broken up.

I never saw a photograph of this Navy airship. Has anyone?

JLEES
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Parseval over Venice

Post by JLEES » 22 Feb 2006 22:04

Thanks for the great information so far. If possible please try looking this issue up. It may be something as simple as a propaganda image having no relation to reality. I’m trying to explain this postcard and having difficulties do this. But, what is a Parseval? How does this differ from a Zeppelin?
James

kozhedub
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Post by kozhedub » 23 Feb 2006 21:55

I can't find any reference to a Parseval attack on Venice. The postcard could be wishful thinking…

Concerning the Parseval airships:

Basically there are three types of airships:

1. Non-rigid airships (in German: Prall-Luftschiffe), e.g. the German Parseval airships before and during World War I (except PL 26 and 27).
2. Semi-rigid airships (in German: Halbstarre Luftschiffe), e.g. the German M-types of Groß-Basenach before World War I and the Parseval-Naatz ships of the twenties and thirties.
3. Rigid airships (in German: Starrluftschiffe), e.g. the German ships of Zeppelin and Schütte-Lanz (Zeppelin with structure in aluminium, Schütte-Lanz in wood).

Major August von Parseval (1861-1949) was the constructor of a number of non-rigid airships before, during and after World War I:

• Versuchsluftschiff (1906) - experimental airship
• PL 1 (1909) - modified Versuchsluftschiff; last flight in 1910
• PL 2 (1908) - in Prussian Army as P.I until 1912
• PL 3 (1909) - in Prussian Army as P.II until 1910
• PL 4 (1909) - to Austria-Hungary as K.u.k.Militärluftschiff M.I
• PL 5 (1909) - small civilian airship; accidental destruction in 1911
• PL 6 (1910) - civilian airship for up to 12 passengers; also used for publicity
• PL 7 (1910) - to Russian Army as "Grif"
• PL 8 (1912) - to Prussian Army in 1913 as Ersatz P.II
• PL 9 (1913) - to Turkish Army
• PL 10 Sportluftschiff (1910) - small civilian airship
• PL 11 (1912) - to Prussian Army as P.III; decommissioned in 1914
• PL 12 Charlotte (1912) - civilian airship for passenger flights and publicity; in service till 1914
• PL 13 (1912) - to Japanese Army as "Yuhi"
• PL 14 (1913) - to Russian Army as "Burevestnik"
• PL 15 (1913) - to Italian Army as "M-3"
• PL 16 (1913) - to Prussian Army in summer 1914 as P.IV; decommissioned on 24 March 1916
• PL 17 (1912) - to Italian Army
• PL 18 (1913) - to British Royal Navy as "HMA Nr. 4". Decommissioned in July 1917.
• PL 19 (1914) - ordered by the Royal Navy as "HMA Nr. 5", but seized by the German Navy at the outbreak of the war; lost on 25 January 1916.
During World War I in Britain Vickers built three envelopes and two gondolas based on the design of the PL 18 (named HMA Nr. 6 and Nr. 7) and a replacement HMA Nr. 5.
• PL 20 (not built) - ordered by the Royal Navy
• PL 21 (not built) - ordered by the Royal Navy
• PL 22 (not built)
• PL 23 (not built)
• PL 24 (not built)
• PL 25 (1915) - to German Navy; decommissioned on 30 March 1916
• PL 26 (1915) - built for German Navy, but crashed during tests; semi-rigid airship
• PL 27 (1917) - built for German Navy (semi-rigid airship), but not used operationally; after the war modified for passenger flights, but seized by the Allies and broken up.

In the twenties and thirties appeared the Parseval-Natz PN 28, PN 29 and PN 30.

JLEES
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Airships

Post by JLEES » 23 Feb 2006 22:07

Well then in your best guess how would you explain this postcard? Do you think it's just wishful thinking?
James

kozhedub
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Post by kozhedub » 24 Feb 2006 20:41

James

Your postcard really puzzles me. I will try to give my humble opinion.

First the facts:

Venice was a priority target for aerial attacks by the k.u.k.Seeflieger from the beginning of the war with Italy in 1915 till the very last days of the war (last attack on 23 October 1918).
No airships participated in these attacks. Austria-Hungary didn't have any, and no German airships participated either. In December 1916 Austria-Hungary wanted German Zeppelins with German crews to mount attacks over Italy. Talks with Germany led to nothing, as Germany didn't have enough airships herself for her own operations.

My guess:

The postcard is typical for the propaganda postcards depicting airships attacking enemy cities (with much exaggeration of the effects). The propaganda effect of an attack by airships was enormous in those days (a new kind of monstrous machine). The value of a nimble aircraft dropping some small bombs was much less.
In contrast to Austria-Hungary Italy did have some non-rigid and semi-rigid airships and used them operationally against Austro-Hungarian targets. Possibly as a reaction the propaganda machine of Austria-Hungary tried not to be inferior to the enemy, even if it was on a postcard.
Why depict a rather "exotic" airship as a Parseval and not a mighty Zeppelin? No idea…

Wishful thinking is probably an exaggeration. In my opinion it was simply propaganda. In any war the first victim is the truth.

JLEES
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Postcard

Post by JLEES » 24 Feb 2006 20:58

This actually makes sence and in my opinion I think you are correct. The card is more propaganda than reality.
Thanks for you kind opinion and interest in this situation.
James

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