British Airship Postcard

This week’s image is rather a fun one, as these things go. This postcard depicts an airship off the coast with the phrase “Keep a Good Look Out. Don’t let this guy give you a fright. Just look inside it- we’re alright.”SKM_C284e18110611560 - Copy (4)This gives a hint of the cards novelty- the airship lifts up and a set of four tiny views of Richmond are hidden beneath:imageThe airship does not resemble the design of the German Zeppelins, and is far more the shape of the early British airships:SKM_C284e18110611560 - Copy (5) - CopyThis is backed up by the fact that the airship is flying the white ensign rather than a German naval flag! Early British airships were shorter and fatter than the long German craft:_59623058_ghw03_ns06Below the illustration of the airship can be seen a battleship:SKM_C284e18110611560 - Copy (4) - CopyThis postcard was sent in 1915 and balloons and airships were still very much cutting edge technology. Britain lagged far behind both France and Germany in the development of lighter than air craft, preferring to focus more of her energy on fixed wing aircraft. The airships the British did develop were designed far more as defensive platforms to patrol the seas of Great Britain rather than having an offensive element like those of Germany. German zeppelins were designed for long range bombing missions over enemy territory, British airships patrolled the North Sea looking for enemy ship and submarine movements that could then be reported by wireless to allow Royal Navy ships to be directed onto target.

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