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Zeppelin to Khartoum

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Robert Mann View Drop Down

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    Posted: 22 Mar 2010 at 08:23

From: Robt Mann <>
Subject: Zeppelin to Khartoum

This caper is mentioned in Jan Morris, Farewell the Trumpets, 1977.



Zepplin over Africa: The strange mission of L.59

In the infant days of aeronautics, the Germans attempted what was perhaps
the earliest long-range airlift operation in history, the 1917 mission to
send supplies from Europe to German East Africa, a flight of over 3600
miles.  Unfortunately, this amazing story remains a forgotten episode of the
little-known East Africa theater of the First World War.



Zeppelin L-59 over Egypt/Sudan Border, 1917

Giclée Print, Signed Open Edition

The German garrison in East Africa was running low on supplies in the fall
of 1917, so a plan was developed to airlift emergency supplies of medicine
and ammunition via Zeppelin.  L-59 was hastily modified for this cargo
mission and set out on November 21.  This adventurous mission ultimately
failed, but along the way the crew saw some dazzling sights, including a
mass takeoff of flamingoes on the evening of the 22nd as the big airship
crossed the Egyptian/Sudan border.  The painting shows the minutes before the
pink birds gathered.





Good discussion incl primary and secondary bibliography:



Zeppelin over the Dead Sea, 300m below sea level, 1929:


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NickForder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2010 at 08:57
Also, there are chapters in Douglas Robinson's 'The Zeppelin in Combat' (Schiffer) and Peter Kilduff's 'Over the Battlefronts'
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