[WWI] Balloon bombardment of submarine

Carlos Carreira carlos.carreira at netcabo.pt
Sat Dec 27 19:24:51 EST 2003

Remember this post? Today I fond the article I was looking after in Airfix Magazine July 1979. It's 8 page article by Adrian Constable describing the ship and a scratch built model in the true scale, with BC (before computer...) plans. Very impressive!


> -----Mensagem original-----
> De: wwi-admin at wwi-models.org [mailto:wwi-admin at wwi-models.org]Em nome de
> Allan Wright
> Enviada: segunda-feira, 10 de Novembro de 2003 14:50
> Para: wwi
> Assunto: [WWI] Balloon bombardment of submarine
> From a non-list subscriber comes a very interesting question. Francisco
> is not on the list so please CC him on any replies. The photo he sent me
> is at this URL: http://www.wwi-models.org/Images/Baloon-Be2.jpg 
> From: 	Francisco Cabral Pinto <fcabralpinto at hotmail.com>
> Dear Mr. Wright
> I’m sending you a picture I extracted from an old portuguese news
> magazine called «Illustração Portuguesa», issue of December 10, 1917.
> Indeed it’s not a photograph, more likely the reproduction of a drawing
> or painting:
> (please see picture)
> The caption translates to:
> Submarine bombarded with the aid of an airship
> Sir Eric Geddes, first Admiralty Lord, was well right when he stated the
> germans had already lost 40 to 50 percent of their submarines and that
> the sea war was noticeably slowing down. The small airships aimed to the
> watch of the british shores had no small contribution to such
> elimination. An airship, as shown in the picture, having detected a
> submarine, called for a destroyer. This one rushed to the site, guided
> by the aircraft, and hits the enemy which quickly sinks.
> The mileage that coastal airships run during a month around England is
> equivalent to more than five times the earth globe. This means that the
> distance they run for a 30 day period equals 200.000 kilometers.
> No matter what, the true interest of it, at least in my condition of an
> old aeroplane modeller, is the theme itself.
> My modelling pastime and the correponding study and investigation are
> almost exclusively dedicated to WWII.
> Since this subject is evidently related to the Great War 1914/18, it
> eludes me completely, namely if the «flying composition» ever was a
> reality in those days, or the mere fantasy of an «war artist».
> Unfortunately the picture is cropped in a way that little of the baloon
> element can be seen.
> As far as I can make an identification, the power element is the
> fuselage of a B.E.2a or B.E.2b (more probably the «a» because of the
> exhaust pipe), to which have been taken off the flying elements (main
> wings and rear vertical and horizontal planes), along with the
> replacement of the landing wheels by floats.
> An extra element that maybe could help to confirm the authenticity of
> the «lay-out» is the fact that the Royal Aircraft Factory, producer of
> the B.E.2’s, and previously designated Army Aircraft Factory, was named,
> in it’s old days, as H. M. Baloon Factory.
> Considering that this matter could be of some interest, at least for the
> Great War buffs as a scratch-build theme, I decided to send you this
> note, hoping to give some sort of contribution on the subject.
> If, on the other hand, I’m showing a great deal of unknowledge about it,
> please excuse me for taking a bit of your precious time.
> Whatever the case, I would be most greatful if you could send me any
> kind of reply to clear my curiosity.
> Best regards
> PS: Sorry for the poor quality of the picture but, after all, it is the
> scanning of an already poor old picture.

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