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Two books on Carlton Ware were published in 2012. See our Publications page for details.
1 October 2014
A tribute to all who died & suffered as a consequence of World War 1.

This is the tenth of a series of articles featuring Carlton China models relating to the war.

Part 10 - Airships

Although there was only one Carlton China model of an airship, it was decorated to represent the German Zeppelin and a British airship. Before we show you these, below are two posters and a Russian painting from the time of the War.

WW1 posters featuring Zeppelins
Left - WW1 recruitment poster c.1915.
Middle - Russian painting of warfare 1914.
Right - Australian WW1 recruitment poster printed in Sidney.

Zeppelin

Below is a Carlton China model of a Zeppelin and a picture of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a pioneer of ridged airship development. Warplanes and airships of Imperial Germany carried the black Tatzenkreuz or footed cross, which was embossed onto the side of the model and picked out in black enamel.

Carlton China model of a Zeppelin with picture of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Left - Carlton China model of a Zeppelin with embossed enamelled black Tatzenkreuz.
Right - Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, pioneer of rigid airship development.

After leaving the Army in 1891, Zeppelin devoted his full attention to airships. This is about the same time that Wiltshaw & Robinson, makers of Carlton Ware, was founded. Ferdinand died in 1917 at the age of 79.

Peter Strasser
Peter Strasser.
Sheffield during a Zeppelin raid c1917.
Sheffield during a Zeppelin raid c1917.

Peter Strasser, Chief Commander of the German Imperial Navy Zeppelins, was determined that his airships would bring England to her knees.

Strasser believed that "modern warfare was total warfare" which meant civilians were to be targeted.

The first bombing raids over England took place in January 1915, attacking Great Yarmouth, Sheringham and King's Lynn.

Zeppelin Incendiary Bomb

A card sold in aid of those who<br />
				suffered from Incendiary bombs.
A card sold in aid of those who
suffered from Incendiary bombs.
Carlton China Model of German Incendiary Bomb.
Carlton China "Model of German
Incendiary Bomb."

As well as bombs, the crew of Zeppelins dropped incendiary devices. These were containers filled with kerosene and oil and wrapped with tarred rope. A fuse would ignite all.

The picture on the left shows a contemporary photograph of a recovered incendiary dropped on Staffordshire in January 1916, when 9 Zeppelins executed a large mass raid over the Midlands. A copy of this device was made in Carlton China, shown right.

Civilian casualties made the Zeppelins an object of hatred, and they were widely dubbed “baby-killers”. The raids caused fear and panic as well as greatly reducing morale.

It is easy to imagine the terror that the giant ridged airships must have caused as they loomed above.



Zeppelin Finder

The German raids were carried out under the cover of night. Searchlights were used to seek the airships out so that attempts could be made to shoot them down. A model of such a searchlight was made in Carlton China inscribed Model of a British Searchlight. The Zeppelin finder.

Artists 
				impression of Zeppelin crew in the control gondola and CarbonAarc searchlight in operation.
Left - Artists impression of Zeppelin crew in the control gondola.
Right
- Carbon Arc searchlight in operation.
Carlton China Model of a British Searchlight - The Zeppelin Finder.
Carlton China Model of a British Searchlight - The Zeppelin Finder.

British Airship

The Royal Navy realized that airships similar to von Zeppelin's designs could be of great use and ordered construction of a ridged airship in 1909. It was completed in 1911 but was wrecked while leaving the hanger before being flown. Another British ridged airship, launched in 1917, is shown below illustrating its similarity to the German Zeppelins.

His Majesty's Airship 23 at Pulham St Mary, Norfolk in 1917.
His Majesty's Airship 23 at Pulham St Mary, Norfolk in 1917.
HMA 23 was used to extend the range of fighter aircraft by suspending them from the spine between the gondolas. The spine allowed crew to move between the gondolas. It was removed on later airships to decrease weight and improve lift.
Because of the similarity with the Zeppelin it is not surprising that the Carlton China model was also used to represent a British airship simply by adding the RAF roundel and not painting the embossed Tatzenkreuz black.

Carlton China model of a Zeppelin with RAF roundel to make it look like a British airship and British airship crew.
Left - Carlton China model of a Zeppelin with RAF roundel to make it look like a British airship. Note the undecorated embossed Tatzenkreuz.
Right - British airship crew. Note the essential warm flying suit, called a "Sidcot", worn over normal uniform.

This concludes our article on Carlton China models of airships.

Our penultimate article, Part Eleven, looks at Carlton China models of WW1 military caps and hats.


Other Articles in this series on Carlton China models relating to WW1

Part 1   Men in the Military.
Part 2   The role that women played.
Part 3   Weapons of war.
Part 4   Battleships.
Part 5   Other ships.
Part 6   Submarines.
Part 7   Tanks.
Part 8   Armoured vehicles.
Part 9   Aeroplanes.
Part 11 Military Caps & Hats.
Part 12  Miscellaneous.

© Harvey Pettit 2014.
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