A Short History of the Zeppelin: Background information when reading Flight From Berlin

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Flight From Berlin

A Novel

by David John

Flight From Berlin by David John
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2012, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
A Short History of the Zeppelin

Print Review

In Flight from Berlin, Richard Denham inherits his love for and fascination with zeppelins from his father. The highlight of his press coverage of the 1936 Olympic games is flying into Berlin on the Hindenburg with a film crew. At that time, passenger zeppelins were mostly a uniquely German phenomenon having been developed in the late 1800s by German war hero Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 – 1917).

Ferdinand von Zeppelin The Count first encountered so-called lighter-than-air travel during his visit to the United States in the 1860s with permission from president Abraham Lincoln. The flight was aboard a coal-fired hot air balloon. Years later, after he retired from the army, he began work on a steerable balloon-type airship and developed his first prototype in 1898. It was only able to fly for about eighteen minutes covering three and-a-half miles. Zeppelin continued to work on perfecting his design, and in 1908 he made possible the world's first 24-hour endurance flight that gained him financial support from the German government.

The first ascent of LZ1 over Lake Constance (the Bodensee) in 1900 By the beginning of World War I Germany had ten zeppelins that were overseen by aeronautical engineer Hugo Eckener who also taught German soldiers how to fly the airships. They became invaluable military tools as they could silently approach unsuspecting targets on surprise bombing raids and flew beyond the reach of earthbound firearms. Airplanes were not sufficiently developed in those early years to be considered much of a threat. Beginning in 1915 Germany carried out airship bombing raids in England and France. Once airplanes took flight, as it were, the zeppelin's stealth bombing usefulness came to an end.

The Hindenberg explosion One American airship, the USS Los Angeles ZR-3, made over 200 commercial flights in the 1920s and the Graf Zeppelin flew more than one million miles on almost 600 trips between 1928 and 1938. The Hindenburg (LZ 129), launched in 1936 as the Zeppelin Company's proudest achievement, heralded a short-lived era of luxury airship travel that ended in a fiery crash on May 6, 1937. In America, since the 1920s, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has built and maintained a small fleet of airships, called blimps, for noncommercial or military service.

Present day blimps, are kept aloft by helium gas rather than the treacherously flammable hydrogen gas that propelled the likes of the Hindenburg skyward and triggered its tragic demise.

Article by Donna Chavez

This article was originally published in July 2012, and has been updated for the June 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...
  • Book Jacket: Long Black Veil
    Long Black Veil
    by Jennifer Finney Boylan
    "This was a long time ago, before my first death, and none of us now are the people we were then. ...
  • Book Jacket: Proving Ground
    Proving Ground
    by Peter Blauner
    More than a decade after winning the 1992 Best First Novel Edgar for Slow Motion Riot, Peter Blauner...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Gypsy Moth Summer
    by Julia Fierro

    One of the most anticipated books of 2017.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.