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Old 26 November 2008, 05:18 AM   #1
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Zeppelin Airbase - bombing Paris 21.03.1915

Hi all,

During night of 20-21 march 1915, 4 zeppelins attacked and bombed Paris. They were ZX ( LZ 29 ), Z XI ( LZ 30 ), Z XII ( LZ 26 ) and LZ 35.

Two at least flew 30 km southern Brussels in Belgium. I'ld know wich of them they were.

Then I'm looking to identify the base they were coming from and if possible their route to Paris.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 26 November 2008, 09:19 AM   #2
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The bases at the time were ;

Maubeuge (France!): ZXII

Z X ; should need to check it , but or Brussel-Evere or Brussel St. Agatha.
Z XI ; need to check it , might be also one of both.
LZ 35 is Gontrode (south of Gent).
Shutte-Lanz SL II was based at Trier (Germany) and later at Brussel-Etterbeek

The normal route was from Brussel, via Gontrode, Westrem-St. Denis,Steenbrugge-special zeppelin lighttower! (near Bruges), via Ostend lichttower over sea to England.
But I need another bookwork to consult in which I have lists where the particular zeppelins were based, but not always the periods when they were based there.
Following a book of Georg Paul Neumann ,
LZ 35 , Z X , SL II got order to attack Paris (by night!) on 20 III 1915...
To this purpose were for them searchlights placed at Lille, Douai,Cambrai, St; Quantin and Noyon.
SL II got damaged by AA fire and the commandant decided break off his flight to Paris and to attack Compiègne and bommbed it (900 kg of bombs)
He gained back his shed at Trier.
At 2 am (morning 21st!) the other TWO airships (!) attacked Paris.
Z X bombed the North-East part of the city. The ZLZ 35 into the direction Courbevoie.Place de la Republique-Montmartre-St-Denis and dropped 1.800 kg of bombs. Inspoite their altitude of only 2.400 m whike cruising cruise over the fortifications for 1,5 hours, they could get away without beying damaged...But by opcoming daylight first ZX later LZ5 got under fire by by motoraised gun-cars near Noyon. Z X got so damaged that it made an emergency landing near ST-Quintin, and needed to be scrapped.
LZ 35 regained safely his base at Gontrode and inspite 70 touches by AA fire.
This raid is not considered as "groupsattack"!
Seen the low liftforce of the zeppelins the radioequipment was removed , so that the commandants had no radiocontact with each other .
This was an error as due to this they coiuldn't be warned , that meanwhile by observation planes these French "auto-canons" had been spotted near Noyon and they could not be warned by their own ground base for this danger to avoid to sail over them. if warned , they could have made at save distance another detourned route, so Z X would has gone lost!

Free translated from the book Die Deutschen Luftstreitkrafte im Weltkriege.!

But so to see the 20-21st III 1915 only these three German airships attacked Paris than!

Z X, LZ 35 and SL II (who broke of his raid to Paris!) !



For some airship bases pictures see website Rod Filan...Early Airships, however not all of them 1915 pictures! Only Trier one is such one!
Maubeuge believe was a pre-WWI one?
That airship shed was already a couple of time enlarged by the French,Kplt. Ernst Lehmann added at backside a piece on it to adapt it to the lenght of the zeppelins!

Rosebud's WWI and Early Aviation Image Archive

LZ 35 came later 13 IV 1915, at another raid down at Aeltre-two brigdes , and had also been scrapped at under fire than over Ypres, instead by sailing over the North-Sea via Ostend, took a shorter cut route to Gontrode seen it had already lost to much gas by AA fire before...
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Old 26 November 2008, 09:44 AM   #3
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Z X was based at Friedrichshafen, Düsseldorf and from 13th March 1915 at Brussel-Evere!

Z XI was based at Posen (Is that Poznan?), is thus surely not possible it could have taken part on a raid on Paris! That one bombed for more Warschau, Grodno, Kowno and other cities overthere. (Eastfront)
Commandant was Hauptmann Gaissert.
Damaged and burned on 20 May 1915 , got on drift when outshedding it from her shed due to the strong winds.


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Old 27 November 2008, 12:08 AM   #4
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Hello Jeampie,

Thanks a lot for your interesting answer. Then I suppose the 2 LZ sawn southern Brussels on 20 march 1915 were the LZ35 and ZX ( LZ29 ).

About the number and identity of the zeppelins attacking Paris, have a look at Gérard HARTMANN's article named " terreur sur la ville" available on the web. The french revue "14-18" of this month says also there were 4 Zeppelins. Then a little bit mysterious ...

Always searching more info about these zeppelin and in particular pics of LZ35 and ZX ( LZ29 )...

Thanks all.
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Old 27 November 2008, 05:33 AM   #5
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i have a word document, end years paper , made up by students of an Ypres tehnical school, they aquired some pics (but copyrighted stuff!) from the Aeronauticum Musseum at Nordholz.
However the text is into Dutch made up.The pics are all of LZ 35!
Its as result of the AA fire at Ypres, the LZ 35 was so damaged that it finally went down.
So the made up paper, telliong the life history of that particular LZ 35 only!
here is also a photo in it of the LZ 35 crew!

I accept on a lot of other airships they might have documents and photos.
But in case , or commercial purposis, copyrights fees are due!
That has to be respected!

I forgot to mention, but wasn't related to the subject, we had in Belgium-Namur also another zeppelin base, with three sheds.Shared by the German Army and Navy . On this base , I could only find myself one photopostcard of one of the three sheds! (Shed n° 2).

Other zeppelins based after the crash of LZ 35, were for more LZ 37, downed by Warneford, LZ 38 (destroyed by bombing at Evere) and LZ 39.
After the destruction of LZ 37 and LZ 38, the Germans decided to use only the sheds of Maubeuge, Gontrode and the Brussels sheds for "Notbelegung" in case a zeppelin could get in problems and couldn't gain her normal base.
Namur remained in service until march (or such), 1917.

The main bases for bombing attacks on the UK were Nordholz, Ahlhorn and Tondern...With other basis into Gemany , than, it was so that those from these basis deper situated in Germany, made a stop at Namur beying refueled, and waited there on the right weather conditions to continue their flight to London...
The reality of the Namur airship station was, that nearly constantly only 2 sheds were available, seen there was always one shed under reconstruction!
At first sail coverin, got fixed roofs, had to be enlarged seen the zeppelins became the longer and the longer, that's why!by the start the mlenght was 180 m, post war one was still under transformation (unfinished works on it about 1918!) and you had two sheds , one 200 m long , another 220 m long!

The bookwork by Neumann, tells in fact the story of the Heeres Luftschiffe,
not those about the Navy!

But sofar I cabn judge, one thing is clear, the night from 20-21st, there were only two German zeppelins involved during that raid...the SL II never made it to Paris. On that point, I wonder were they come to 4 for that particular night ?
I should need to read more about, but maybe 4 different zeppelins ever bombed Paris but spread over other raids ?
(thus during WWI ,all attacks on Paris counted together?)


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Old 27 November 2008, 01:07 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=ytarg;408006]Hello Jeampie,

About the number and identity of the zeppelins attacking Paris, have a look at Gérard HARTMANN's article named " terreur sur la ville" available on the web.

Here is a translation (I hope not too bad...)of the passage concerning the bomb raid on Mars 1915
extract of Terreur sur la ville" de gerard Hertman

"Paris was bombarded At night from 20 till 21 March 1915, by a beautiful starry night, employees of the station of Compiègne indicate at about 11 pm the passage of four Zeppelins which take off southward at high speed. Their objective is Paris. It is the attack of the survivors of the big Zeppelins of the Army, Z X (LZ 29), Z XI (LZ 30) Z XII (LZ 26) and LZ 35. The one has to go back for Ecouen ( Val-d'Oise), the second for Mantes-la-Jolie (Yvelines).
Both last ones, tracked down by the artillery of defence of Paris, are fired. Not daring to penetrate in Paris, they release about fifty bombs on the factories of the north region western of the capital, the station of the railroad of Saint-Ouen. Bombs burst in Paris 24 impasse Milord, 78 passage Ruelle, rue Dulong , 7 passage Désiré, rue des Dames and passage léger
On return they Bombard Compiègne, Ribécourt, Dreslincourt, killing 1 man and injuring seven persons. The LZ 29 steered by the Major Geissert, damaged by the French artillery, returns out-of-service."

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Old 29 November 2008, 02:29 PM   #7
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I"ll try once to figure out more about where every zeppelin was based!
It's strange indeed , the difference what Neaumann adn Hartmann tells about his particular night!
Fact is, that so to see both tells us that in fact only two of them bombed Paris!
Both tells us that or one or two airships didn"t make it to Paris!
But neumann tels us one of these who didn't make it was a "Shütte-Lanz"...
I need to trace a book into my library, in which I have all stations where each zeppelin was based.
It's a fact I don't know yet where Z XII (LZ 26) was based! It's not mentioned into the book I have at hand now, it ws used over both West and Eastfront! So there is a possibility this one could have been involved into this night bombing , but as well didn't reach Paris?
But Hartmann has it not about that Schütte-Lanz eather!

Maybe we will never find out the thruth, but I know that Schütte-Lanz SL II was indeed at the time based at Brussels-Etterbeek (the by the Germans enlarged shed (originally 90 m long, adapted for zeppelins until 180 m!)
On that point I trust Neumann...
So the only thing I can do , is check where the two other zeppelins were based,only,Hartmann mentions, and not mentioned by Neumann!
However from when to when each airschip was based at a ceratin station, in general I don't know!.

The Hartmann story is based, so to see, on articles of L'Illustration, Panorama de la Guerre, etc...and I noticed that into contemporary wartime lecture, many inaccuraties were forecoming...
It's difficult by times to trace the thruth!
During WWI, many magazines had it wrong, or were spreading incorrect information! if an author used these for making up there articles, theer were spreading again wrong informations, and so other authors (especially todays authors!) tookover these!

Both authors (Neumann and Hartmann) seems to have it about indeed both Zeppleins who bombed paris, the difference into their lecture seems to go about the two other zeppelins, mentioned by Hartmann, while Neumann has it about 1 zeppelin and 1 Schütte-Lanz ?

Tomorrow, I 'll try to trace a book I need for into my library (was moved and stored into boxes at this moment!) and see what I can figure out about those two others!
Question is, in how far we can trust that book again?????
I am not a clear voyant! I am not Madam Blanche with a cristal bol!

John Provan ( a Geerman zeppelin historian with fame!) told me once , on Marine Zeppeleins, you have all detailed reports (logs) from every flight..but on the Army zeppelins, there is barely somthing to find about "logs" on ther flights...
The Navy commandants were very punctual and detailed into making up their flight reports, , but flight logs from Army commandants , if they are preserved, it's to cry for !

Waht I noticed into Hartmann's article is in special his photos! most of them totallly irrelevant, for WWI period totally out of date! nearly all from pre-WWI period!
That "light-rower from WWI period "somshere in Germany, well we had one at some miles (Steenbrugge-Bruges) from where I, live, but was it such one ?
Never seen a photo from it!
And from my translation I made from Neumann's book, you remark that the Germans placed some lights to gyuide them to Paris over a number of places, what were these, how they lookliked? I haven't an idea!

The only thing which is for sure , two of them bombed that night Paris, the others didn't make it ?????

I tried , trusting books I have, to give an answer...but other books are available, which I do not have myself! (Toland for more, about wartime zeppelins!)


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Old 29 November 2008, 03:33 PM   #8
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Seems the book I need is still after a move into a garagebox!
Thinks again Hartmann had it wrong!
Z X ,LZ 29 had two commandants, Gaissert and after him Horn!
It lookslike the raid on Paris was done by Horn!
LZ 30 , Z XI seems indeed after she left the factory immediately been based at Posen with as commander Gaissert!
Commandant was Gaissert, it bombed Warschau during the night of 10-11th MARCH ( Thus unlikely he could heve been the commandant for,that raid on Paris!!) and 15-16th APRIL that same year!

Thus not Gaissert!

Sorry, but it lookslike more and more, P G Neumann gives the correct info!

The book I need gives also the day, month and year from the maidenflight of each airshiip, the same when it was destroyed or dismantled, the different statons it was based , etc...
To get a clear view on all elements, the problem is I need three or four books, to check and counterckeck, and even that's not enough!

I wished me I had more!

But forget that ZXI for that raid on PARIS !It was never there, it was at that moment at the Eastfront and based at Posen with commandant GAISSERT!
That Hartmann, sorry! ut's again following my opinion , soemone who writes things down, takingover from some sources, but never went to check and countercheck it!


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Old 30 November 2008, 01:30 AM   #9
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Hello Jempie

I am not specialist for Zeppelins at all
My aiming was only to try to give a translation of article of Hartman about the raid of Paris
May be you know this site which gives the complete list of zeppelins involved
in WW1 ?
List of Zeppelins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

here is that they say about the zeppelins which should concern the raid of paris inn 20-21 march 1915:

LZ26 Z XII (Z 12) December 14, 1914 11 attacks in northern France and at the eastern front, dropping 20,000 kg bombs; By the summer of 1915 the LZ 12 had dropped around 9 tons of bombs on the trunk railway line between Warsaw and Petrograd and the stations at Malkin and Bialystok; one flight carried a load of 3 tons.[11] Decommissioned on August 8, 1917.

LZ29 Z X October 13, 1914 Two attacks on Calais and Paris, dropping 1,800 kg of bombs; on way back damaged by enemy fire and dismantled after forced landing in St. Quirin

LZ30 Z XI November 15, 1914 Used for raids on Warsaw, Grodno and other targets near the eastern front. Destroyed in an accident on May 20, 1915

LZ35 January 11, 1915 Two raids on Paris and Poperinghe (Belgium), dropping 2420 kg bombs; forced landing near Aeltre (Belgium) due to heavy damage by enemy fire, then destroyed by a storm.

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Old 30 November 2008, 11:28 AM   #10
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Hi all!

I did find my own bookwork I needed so!

Indeed ZXII (I accept with commander Ernst Lehmann was based since 8th March 1915 at Maubeuge!

Confusion might be from my sight because P.G. Neumann nowhere has about Marine airships which participated to raids! Only about Army Airships!

But when it goes about the French eyewithesses report having seen coming over 4 zeppelins, one thing is for sure one of them was that Schütte-Lanz II!
But this was something they didn't know, they kept it for a "zeppelin"!

Thus that 3rd zeppelin involved should have to be been the LZ 26, ZXII!

So : ZX, ZXII, LZ 35 and Schütte-Lanz SL II would be correct than!
(These wer based at Gontrode,Maubeuge, Brussels!)

But I got a very confusion report in from someone who had it from Nordholz Aeronauticum museum!

An original WWI report on the raid by LZ 35, iun which is written that LZ 35 made that raid with SL II and LZ 32! (Marine uftschiff L 7!)
LZ 32 was at that moment in fact based at NORDHOLZ!

This seems to be also to me , at first sight totally unlogic, nonsense ?

For this LZ 32 he mentions above especially Commander Horn as having done with it the raid, and noramally I have Horn only as commandant on the ZX, nowhere as having been commandant on that LZ32 too!
But that report is "original made up by a commander at Nordholz after the raid of LZ 35 on Paris, but further it's a release on the event on what happend about the LZ 35 than during this raid!
I checked some things again, as I remembered from Ernst Lehmann's book a Marine zeppelin had been sent to Gontrode , and indeed LZ 33 (marine airship L8 - had been based there, but due to French AA fire damaged finally stranded at Tirlemont/Belgium on 27th February 1915!
I guess LZ 35 came than as replacement at Gontrode for it?
The Navy , which made in fact those attacks, got an army airship 'in laon' to continue their bombing on Paris tasks!

The West-Front attacks or bombings were the tasks and srood under command of the Navy, the East front bombings stood under command of the Army in fact!

Again about that "L8" fact Neumann tells nothing at all in his book too! reason again he wrote only about Army airships (Herees Luftschiffe !
These were normally those LZ's, but by the start those Z's could be as well belonging to Marine or Heer! Later they made a difference with indicating them as L's for marine, LZ's for Army!)

Very , very strange that report from Nordholz!!!
It's all I can tell about!



I have at this moment no proof it was ever based oberhere! Must check now a book written by Ernst Lehmann, if he mentions in there he participated at that raid on 20-21st march 1915, in case he mentions other zeppelins who participated to it too!
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