When Zeppelins Attack

Posted by – July 20, 2007

Some Jews are offended by the Ride of the Valkyries, and any music by Wagner, because it was revered by Hitler, and used
heavily in Nazi propaganda. I get that…

But it’s still a musical masterpiece.

For some reason, whenever I hear the Ride of the Valkyries, and those famous (almost Darth Vader Imperial March-esque) bombastic horn lines, I don’t think of Nazism. I think of World War I Germany, the Kaiser, and a fleet of imposing zeppelins flying over England.

While WWI-era German imperialism is sorta part of a continuity with Nazism, it’s not the same thing.

It makes me think of German zeppelins attacking England in WWI.

Did you know Germany used zeppelins like this one to attack the British mainland during WWI? They flew very high (away from anti-air artillery) and dropped 5,806 bombs on England, killing 557 people and injuring 1,358. This was a minor toll compared to the mass devastation wrought by the Luftwaffe in WWII, but when random explosions could fall from the clouds without warning, it had a terrorizing, intimidating impact beyond any concrete damage.

This plaque marks a part of London obliterated by zeppelins

However, zeppelin raids became obsolete in the latter part of the war, with the advent of fighter planes that could easily shoot them down, and military zeppelins never appeared again.

Learn more here: Zeppelins during World War I.

So that’s what I think of when I hear Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries: a fleet of the Kaiser’s scary, imposing zeppelins on the march.

There’s your historical oddity for the day….



EDIT: No, I don’t support the Kaiser. Germany was evil. Ride of the Valkyries and a fleet of zeppelins on the march are scary.
I’m just describing history. It fascinates me.

  • Blade21292

    See, and I think of tall, thick, blonde women with shiny, horned helmets riding flying beasties while scantily clad… something more valkyriish. 🙂

  • Blade21292

    … That and “Kill the Wabbit!”

  • Gerald

    There is just something remarkably cool about zeppelins and blimps. I keep hoping for some sort of technological breakthrough that would make them more commercially viable. I’d love to see them flying everywhere.

    As to German Imperialism, at least from a WWI-era perspective the British are in no position to be casting stones at Germany. Kaiser Willie might have pulled the trigger, but everyone was just too happy to go along on that hellish ride.