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Thread: Zeppelin L4 Kaisermarine

  1. #1
    Chris Woods

    Default Zeppelin L4 Kaisermarine

    I am looking for information about the career of German Naval airship L4 {LZ27} and her commander.

    She was famous for being one of the 3 Zepplins in the first raid on Britain in WW1 on 19th. January 1915, when L3 bombed the Great Yarmouth area, and L4 flew over the western Norfolk coast and dropped bombs on King's Lynn, etc. The 3rd. airship had turned back before reaching Britain.

    I know sufficient information about this well documented raid but am interested in the career of this naval airship, and her commander Magnus von Platen-Hellermund.

    He joined the Imperial Navy (Kaisermarine) in 1901

    1st. Sept. 1914 Magnus appointed first commander of airship LZ27, naval designation L (Luftschiff) 4

    The raid in January 1915 was the only raid this airship made. She carried out 48 flights including 11 scouting missions - probably trying to locate the British fleets in the North Sea, and then on 17th. February 1916 she had a forced landing near Blaavands Huk in Denmark, with 11 of the crew being interned and 4 'mssing'

    Magnus escaped from internment 19th. December 1917 and was appointed to the German Baltic Division 'Expeditionary Korps to Finland'

    He died in Hamburg 21st. July 1943.

    I would be particularly interested to learn more about his scoting flights, and also whether the date of his death in Hamburg may have conincided with one of the big R.A.F. raids over that city.

    Thank you,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    Chris,

    I'm not saying you won't get a response from this forum - although it's really concerned with WW2, the range of knowledge is unparalleled - but you might do better posting this query on the Aerodrome Forum.

    Go to http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/forum_index.php and you will see what I mean. It deals almost exclusively with WW1 aviation matters and many of its contributors are specialists in German aviation. I suggest the section at http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/other-wwi-aviation/ would be the most suitable.

    Brian

  3. #3

    Default

    There is a detailed description of the loss of the L4 in the book "Zeppelin Adventures" by Rolf Marben. This book was first published in 1931 but went on to at least 2 further prints. I have a copy of this book, if you require any more information please let me know.

  4. #4
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    Chris,
    There were no Bomber Command raids on Hamburg on the date you quoted,ie 21 July 1943. The so-called "Battle of Hamburg" culminating in the "firestorm" began three days after your man's passing.
    Regards,
    Bill

  5. #5
    Chris Woods

    Default

    Thank you to both Brian and Philllip,

    I thought I might have been able to squeeze the question onto this forum by noting his death in Hamburg in 1943. Thank you very much for the recommendation of the aeroforum, which did indeed help me with my early researches.

    I would be interested in some more detail from your book Zeppelin Adventures - would you like to contact me of site at chris.woods45@tiscali.co.uk ?

    Thank you both again for your help,
    Chris

  6. #6
    Chris Woods

    Default

    Bill,

    thank you for that. I had a feeling his date of death might have just missed the major firestorm raids, but wonder whether there may have been any ?trial runs a few days earlier?

    Chris

  7. #7
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    hello Chris,

    I've checked "The Bomber Command War Diaries" by Martin Middlebrook & Chris Everitt, and there's no mention of a raid against Hamburg on 21st July 1943. Neither in "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" by Roger A. FREEMAN.

    The death of this German airman seems to have nothing to do with an allied air operations against Hamburg.

    Joss

  8. #8
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    Peterborough UK
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    Chris,
    The only Bomber Command activity over Hamburg prior to that was at the beginning of July when Mosquitoes carried out nuisance raids in small numbers (4 on 3/4 July and 4 on 5/6 of the month.), the previous heavy raid was back at the beginning of March.

    Bill.

  9. #9
    Chris Woods

    Default

    Thank you both for checking for raids for that period.

    Well, at least we can say we did not take our revenge for his raid on King's Lynn, which my mother and her cousin watched. Apparantly Magnus was flying so low they could be heard discussing on the airship on where to drop their bombs!
    Chris

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