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British Airships 1905-30

British Airships 1905-30 Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2009 Title British Airships 1905-30
Author Ian Castle Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2009 ISBN 978-1-84603-387-2
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $17.95


Here is another interesting title hot off the press from Osprey - British Airships 1905-30. When many folks think of airships, they think of the large rigid airships like the Hindenburg, but Hindenburg wasn't flown until 1931 and met its fiery end in 1937. This title looks at the different classes of British airship from the simple 'blimp' to the rigid types that operated in the years prior to Hindenburg.

The author has compiled a 'short course' on British lighter-than-air aviation starting with Army airships and then covering Royal Navy airships. The title provides a good insight into the cause and effect of airship development that resulted in some interesting solutions for operational and technological problems that arose.

The coverage of this title is broken down in the table of contents as:

  • Airship Types
  • Army Airship Organisation
  • The Army Airships
  • Early Navy Airships
  • Early War Service
  • Naval Airships 1914-18
  • Semi-Rigid (SR) Airships
  • Rigid Airships
  • British Airships at War

The book contains a nice range of black and white period photography of the various airship types covered including some combat photos shot by German bombers that were adapted to hunt for British airships.

This book is a must-have for the early aviation historian and military analyst to understand how these aircraft was designed and employed during the First World War and the brief advances in development after the war before airships were finally declared too vulnerable in a hostile environment. This title is recommended!

My sincere thanks to Osprey Publications for this review sample!