L308 Winter 2020 The Zeppelin Story: German Rigid Airships in Peace and War
Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Jan. 27–Feb. 10
Instructor: Peter Ansoff
In the early decades of the 20th century, Germany led in the development of a unique technological achievement, the rigid airship. These giant lighter- than-air aircraft pioneered long-distance air travel for both military and civilian purposes. They achieved many successes, although their memory is forever tarnished by the 1937 Hindenburg disaster. This course will trace their story from early experiments at the beginning of the century through their use as the first strategic bombers during World War I, the rebirth of the Zeppelin Company after the Treaty of Versailles, airships and the rise of the Nazis, and the birth of transatlantic passenger air travel. Along the way, we will meet several fascinating historical characters and learn how both technology and politics shaped the Zeppelin story.
Peter Ansoff is an OLLI member and is retired from a career as an acquisition support contractor for the US Navy. He is a member of the North American Vexillological Association (an international organization dedicated to the study of flags) and is currently serving as its president. His other interests include maritime history and lighter-than-air aviation history. He has previously taught OLLI courses related to rigid airships.