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.
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.
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.