[ The Zeppelin base in Tønder]

The Zeppelin base in Tønder

The Zeppelin base a couple of kilometres north of Tønder is from World War I. The German Ministry of War built the base for the enormous airships in 1915. Tønder was Germany territory back then. The site was chosen because from here the military could fly on reconnaissance over the North Sea to London. The zeppelins were totally unsuitable for bombing missions. They were too difficult to manoeuvre and too slow. The base at Tønder has three large hangars for zeppelins, a plane hangar, barracks for the 500 or so marines, and a gasworks for producing hydrogen.

High explosives

  • Story written by: Inger Lauridsen
  • Time / Periode 1915 1918

The huge hydrogen-filled zeppelins were the height of engineering quality. But they were also incredibly vulnerable to friction and stray sparks. Hydrogen is extremely volatile. For example, many marines were needed to help the zeppelins land after their missions. When they were down, they had to be immediately discharged of electricity before being led into the huge hangars at the base. This was achieved via cables attached to copper plates in the earth around each hangar. Occasionally, a zeppelin would go up in flames simply because it touched a lit lightbulb hanging from the ceiling. On 19 June 1918 the British attacked the base at Tønder and destroyed a large part of the area. World War I ended before the airbase could rise from the ashes once more.

Read more about The Zeppelin base in Tønder at 1001fortællinger.dk