German Airships of WWII ???

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Luftwaffe air units and general discussions on the Luftwaffe.
Ezboard

German Airships of WWII ???

Post by Ezboard » 30 Sep 2002 18:44

airships
New Member
Posts: 1
(1/15/02 9:38:34 pm)
Reply German Airships of WWII ???
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I am Russian aviation enthusiast, specialized in LTA-aircraft.
Now I collect materials for my new book "Airships in Second World War".


In every American book on this subject you can read that only USA used airships in WW II. In my book will be new information about French, Soviet and German airships in WW II.

I was very surprised, when I first time saw these photos and learn about the fact that Germans used French airship (motorized balloons) during Second World War

http://www.airships.narod.ru/germ_wwii/germ_air.html

Still I know next to nothing about German WWII airships!
If you can help me with my researches, it will be great!

Any information will be very important for me.

Thank to all of you in advance!



Ovidius
Old Fighter

Posts: 1109
(1/15/02 11:35:37 pm)
Reply
Re: German Airships of WWII ???
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
After the Hindenburg Accident of May 6, 1937, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium, or RLM, ordered the hydrogen-filled airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg's sister-ship LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II to not perform passenger flights before they would be filled with helium.

Helium never came, but this is another story.

LZ-130 performed about thirty flights on test and advertising purposes.

LZ-127 had been emptied of hydrogen and suspended in her hangar, where countless people had visited it like a museum.

Both ships were dismantled in the spring of 1940 on orders from Göring, motivated by the shortages of aluminium. Their skeletons were melted and sent to aircraft factories to be reused. The hangars had also been destroyed by dynamite, for unknown reasons. Maybe they were hazardous obstacles for the landing airplanes, maybe not. The lack of suitable hangars and the negative propaganda made by the Hindenburg Accident prevented Max Pruss' post WWII project of a new commercial airship.

I don't know any military airships to be used by Germans during WWII.

In Russia there were some semi-rigid airships built on an Umberto Nobile project in the 1930s.

~Best regards,

Ovidius

Ray the K
Visitor
(1/16/02 1:51:21 am)
Reply Re: German Airships of WWII
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ovidius wrote: "I don't know any military airships to be used by Germans during WWII"

I believe I read that LZ-130 also made electronic reconnaissance flights attempting to test [by recording transmissions] the extent of the UK radar net between September 1939 and Spring 1940. Would this count?

Best,

Ray

airships
New Member
Posts: 2
(1/16/02 6:11:41 pm)
Reply Re: German Airships of WWII
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But look at the site mentioned in my first posting. There are plenty lot of airships with German WWII markings!

Ovidius
Old Fighter

Posts: 1120
(1/16/02 8:54:29 pm)
Reply
Re: German Airships of WWII
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My mistake. Should have said "no German airships used by Germans in WWII."

~Ovidius

Edward L. Hsiao
Member
Posts: 2102
Joined: 01 Aug 2003 08:43
Location: Flagstaff,Arizona

Re: German Airships of WWII ???

Post by Edward L. Hsiao » 05 Jun 2019 07:41

Gentlemen,

Today on June 6,2019,I learned for the very first time that the Germans used French Zodiac MBZ 3 and MBZ 4 airships (motorized balloons) during WWII! I too never heard about airships used by the Germans during the Second World War before. I wonder if they were used mostly on the Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945? I remember that the Soviets also used airships during WWII. This subject is a very little known fact that didn't say in most military aviation books and websites. The German Heeresflieger must have used these airships for artillery spotting and scouting and taking photographs over Soviet lines. I don't know if the German airships were armed or not. The German pilots must be very brave in piloting these airships in combat. They can be destroyed by enemy fighters and flak. A salute to the airships pilots of WWII!

Edward L. Hsiao
Last edited by Dieter Zinke on 05 Jun 2019 21:51, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Zodiac - not "Zodic"

User avatar
Cantankerous
Member
Posts: 1277
Joined: 01 Sep 2019 21:22
Location: Newport Coast

Re: German Airships of WWII ???

Post by Cantankerous » 24 Jan 2024 17:43

From the Russian-language Live Journal forum:
After the start of the war, in 1940, the British became interested in the MBZ-3; it was proposed to transport two vehicles to Albion for testing, followed by an order for fifteen. But the German offensive disrupted all plans; by this time there were 49 Zodiac balloons in service, but only 19 or 20 of them had engine nacelles. During the Strange War, French balloons made observations along the German border, mostly at night. An example of MBZ-3 activity: on the night of May 12-13, the crew of Captain Dottin discovered the concentration of large German forces 24 km northwest of Sedan. The captain immediately reported this to headquarters, where his observation was ignored, and the next day the Germans in large forces broke through the French defenses in this section of the front. All aerial observer material was destroyed by the Stukas, and Captain Dottin and his comrades went to fight as ordinary infantrymen.

In total, 7-8 motor cylinders were lost during the German offensive; the remaining ones were taken away and continued to serve now for Germany. They were used in the Balkans, and even, apparently, in Ukraine, patrolling along communications and protecting them from partisans.

During the occupation, Zodiac produced barrage balloons; it was possible to briefly return to the motor-balloon theme only in 1950, when one example was restored from parts collected from scraps. He flew for two years, advertising some clothing company (Pernelle, in case anyone was interested).

Return to “Luftwaffe air units and Luftwaffe in general”