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Remembered Today:

Zeppelin L-23 Capture of Norwegian ship "Royal"


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Do any of you air war experts out there have any detailed information on the L-23's capture of the "Royal", Leutnant Bockholt's first brush with fame (but which apparently earned him a "rocket" from Peter Strasser for jeapardizing the airship)? I'm working on a novel and need some details about the escapade.

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The very best account I have come across of the incident you mention is contained in 'Zeppelin Adventures' by Rolf Marben, published, I believe in the 1930s. It contains an 11 page chapter covering the capture of the Royal, written by 'Petty Officer K' one of the crew of L.23.

It contains fascinating titbits such as:

"Then we began to climb down from the cabin into their boat, and all the time they stared at us as if we were ghosts from another world.

It was not so easy to get down into that boat, and just at the moment when the third man of the prize-crew was safely inside, something happened which in our hustle and bustle we had forgotten to allow for. The loss of three men's weight made the L.23 so much lighter that she suddenly rose into the air and sailed off".

There is much more contained in the chapter and am sure that it would give you much useful information.

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The very best account I have come across of the incident you mention is contained in 'Zeppelin Adventures' by Rolf Marben

There are a number of copies available via Bookfinder.

A snippet from The Times:

The Times, Saturday, May 12, 1917

A ZEPPELIN'S CAPTURE OF

A SCHOONER

COPENHAGEN, May 11.- The crew of the

Norwegian barque Royal, which was cap-

tured by a Zeppelin in the North Sea on April 23,

arrived here last night.

The captain states that about 1 p.m., when off

Hanstholm, they observed a huge Zeppelin. For

some time it circled over the vessel while officers

examined it through their glasses. Suddenly the

Zeppelin came down to within a short distance of

the schooner and ordered it to stop. The sailors

left in the lifeboats and the Zeppelin landed on the

surface. Three Germans were sent on board and the

ship was taken to Cuxhaven. While the Zeppelin

was examining the schooner part of its crew stood

ready with bombs in their hands. Exchange Telegraph

Company.

regards,

Martin

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Gentlemen,

Thank you for the leads. It's a great help, but it's a good thing I was sitting down when I checked the used book prices!

Tom K.

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Hi Tom

I have a copy and would be happy to photocopy the chapter for you if it would help.

Regards

Ian

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ian,

That would be a great help. I'm trying to get a copy via interlibrary loan but there are only four known copies in the USA and the process is tedious, even if the lending library is willing to send it out. Please email me directly at tkoehl2769@mac.com.

Regards,

Tom

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No problem Tom, email on the way!

Ian

Hi Tom

I have been trying to reply to your email since Tuesday but my emails keep bouncing back. I will keep trying.

Ian

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Ian,

I'm sorry for the problems. My MAC account expired! You can email me at tkoehl2769@comcast.net. BTW, it's fortunate for me that you emailed the chapter - none of the six libraries in the US who held Marben's book were willing to loan it! Thanks again for your help.

Tom Koehl

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Hi Tom

I've emailed to the new address but as I've had no reply I'm not sure if that is working either!

Ian

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  • 12 years later...

Hi Aspern,

 

is it possible for you to send me also the article of L23 from the Book from Rolf Marben?

 

Many thanks from Germany,

Cord, Member of the Club „Seawar 1914 - 1918“

Edited by Cord
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Ok, leave it with me - let me check if I kept the scans.

 

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