THE FIRST WORLD WAR 1914 - 1918: THE WAR IN THE AIR
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German naval airship L43, commissioned on 15 March 1917, was the first naval airship capable of operating at over 18,000 feet. This was intended to put it beyond the reach of enemy fighters and anti-aircraft guns but weather conditions at such a height posed serious problems for its crew. L43 raided East Anglia on 23 May 1917, but was shot down on 14 July by a British seaplane which surprised it on patrol off the Dutch coast at only 1,500 feet.