Academic journal article Air Power History

British Airship Bases of the Twentieth Century

Academic journal article Air Power History

British Airship Bases of the Twentieth Century

Article excerpt

British Airship Bases of the Twentieth Century. By Malcolm Fife. Stroud, England: Fonthill Media, 2015. Photographs. Illustrations. Appendices. Notes. Bibliography. Pp. 320. $47.00 ISBN: 178155281-9

Are airships still relevant in the 21st-century? In short the answer is yes. A quick internet search shows that both commercial and military ventures are still active in this arena. The grand size of an airship easily overwhelms the senses. The slow elegance of its movement across the sky is like nothing else. We still stop and gawk at the blimps which are ubiquitous sights at large outdoor events. They provide, even in the age of drones, a wonderful platform from which to observe and record events from on high.

A number of books have been written on airships before, during, and after World War I. Many of them concern the Germanbuilt Zeppelins, and there are even a few on British-built rigid and non-rigid craft. This book adds much to that short list. The British airships, which were operated by the Royal Naval Air Service, were used to patrol the coasts against German U-boats and to reconnoiter for raiders. Some even made their way to the Mediterranean.

Well over 200 of these magnificent machines played their part during the war and in the peace that followed. This important and interesting book details the supporting infrastructure and bases, the linchpin to safe and efficient operations. Airships are neither dainty nor inconspicuous, and to handle or supply and maintain them requires sizable support facilities. …

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