Monday, November 15, 2010

The Way It Was, As You've Never Seen It

We toss off that group of associations tagged "airship" quite glibly these days; after all, the Hindenburg disaster was at least two generations ago and might as well be black-and-white special effects. The happy Goodyear blimps and (roughly) twice-a-decade proposals for passenger or freight lighter-than-air craft are what most people think of, or possibly steampunk airship pirates.

It's easy to forget the first big impetus to turn them from flying toys into practical vehicles was pushed along by the First World War -- but BBC can give you a look over the pilot's shoulder: 1919 airship view of war-torn France. They're not talkies but the images speak 24,000 words a second.

(Hat tip to reader Mike S. for the link).


Anonymous said...

Fascinating stuff.

It does give life, so to speak, to this horror.

My grandfather fought at Verdun and those images give me a better sense about what he went through.


Ed Rasimus said...

I had the chance to visit Verdun. The scars of the battle still can be found and the horror of the trenches screams from the memorial building called the Ossuary--the bone storehouse. You can circle the base of the building and through the windows see stacks of skulls in one area and femurs in another like cordwood. All recovered unknowns. It is a sobering experience.

B said...

24 frames per second?

Roberta X said...

Silent film actually runs a little slower -- and is usually dependent on the skill of the cameraman. Some discussion).

One of the things that struck me was that many of the people who lived through that devastation saw it return a mere twenty years later. Dear heavens, what must that feel like? What would you not do to avert it?

Anonymous said...

And that's one of the reasons for France's execrable behavior in the mid 30s.


Mark @ Israel said...

What a terrible devastation! The once beautiful town is wiped off because of war. That video only shows what the first world war has destroyed. World War II caused even much more. I hope everyone of us will strive not to let another world war happen ever again.