zeppelin fragment, L31

Catalogue number
  • EPH 9628
  • whole: metal
  • whole: textile
  • whole: Depth 28 mm, Height 282 mm, Width 430 mm
Alternative names
  • full name: zeppelin fragment, L31
  • simple name: ZEP
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© IWM (EPH 9628)

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Object description

Fragment of canvas stave-lining from the Zeppelin L31


Fragment from the First World War period German Naval Airship Service Zeppelin L31. The L31 was commanded by Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy, the renowned veteran of numerous raids over Great Britain. On 1 October 1916 Mathy commanded the L31 on its final mission -an attempted bombing raid on London. During this operation his airship was attacked by 2nd Lieutenant Wulfstan Tempest (Royal Flying Corps) in a BE2c aeroplane. Tempest succeeded in igniting the gas in the airship, which crashed in flames at Hadley Wood, near Potters Bar, Hertfordshire. The death of Mathy emphasised the growing efficiency of British air-defences and marked an end to German attempts to attack London with airships.

Physical description

canvas stave-lining from Zeppelin L31, comprising a torn rectangular strip of canvas bearing regular-spaced holes reinforced with metal rings through which a length of cord is threaded, lengths of fine wire are wound together and coiled into one large ring tied to the canvas section at one end of the cord.

History note

Canvas stave-lining fragment recovered from Zeppelin L31.

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