Wednesday, 13 October 2010

There was a man

On the 1st of October, 1916, over Potter's Bar in Hertfordshire, Lt. Wulstan Tempest of the Royal Flying Corps engaged with the German zeppelin L31 and shot into it using incendiary bullets, igniting the hydrogen gas that kept it afloat and turning it into a fireball.

As the burning ship spiralled to earth, the L31's commander, Kapitainleutnant Heinrich Mathy, the most successful and celebrated of the German airship aces, finally answered the question posed to him by a journalist only a week previously: 'if your zeppelin is destroyed, will you jump or burn?', hitting the ground with such an impact that the owner of the field where he landed was able to charge ghoulish onlookers a fee to look at his imprint.

1 comment:

  1. If only they taught this type of stuff in history class.