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--Actual length 24 inches ---
-----Actual length 6 inches ---
Aclul length 5 feel
Vare inclined this way
Box of Daris carried points spas A)
Photo by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.
A MORTAL BATTLE IN THE AIR A fast-flying German "Taube"—so-called because of its resemblance to a dove-trying to escape from a French aeroplane which is equipped with a rapid-fire machine gun. This is an unusual photo of an encounter between air scouts above the battlefield of Arras.
ZEPPELIN DEVICE FOR DROPPING BOMBS. An armored car is suspended by three cables from the Zeppelin airship to a distance of several thousand feet below the monster air-craft, which is concealed in the clouds above. (Sphere oopr.)
front were to be counted by thousands. Many of the aviators did most of their work singly, in mid-air duels, and there were those who had records of having brought down twenty, thirty or more aeroplanes of the enemy. Some of the most daring and most efficient on the French side were American volunteers, who were indeed so numerous that an American squadron of aviators was formed.
Much of the fighting was also done in squadrons, and there were days when from a single point on the battle front hundreds of aeroplanes were visible, soaring, circling, signaling and fighting. Of the immense value of these craft there was never a moment's doubt.
THE FAILURE OF THE ZEPPELINS
The gigantic Zeppelins, as the dirigible balloons were called after their inventor, were on the contrary a costly failure. So far as the most careful investigation can determine, not one of those vessels made a single raid with results at all commensurate with its cost, while almost every one that undertook an important exploit came to disaster and ruin. Some were wrecked in storms, some had trouble with their engines or gas tanks and exploded, but most of them were shot down by terrestrial artillery or by the swift and agile aeroplanes which whirled about them like tiny kingbirds attacking crows.
Many of them did fly over England, and by dropping explosive and incendiary bombs upon residential villages destroyed some houses and churches and killed many non-combatant people, chiefly women and children. Some even raided parts of London and did a little damage there, though their chief effects were to afford exciting spectacles to the populace, and to exasperate the people into enlisting more numerously for military service. In forty-four raids they killed 431 persons. But scarcely one of them returned to Germany to tell the tale. Several were shot down, and plunged to English earth, blazing vrecks, while others were pursued, overtaken and destroyed at sea by the vengeful bird men of the British aeroplane service.
FALSE TALES OF DESTRUCTION The only important achievements of the Zeppelins were performed in the imaginations of German officials and newspaper writers. There were some lurid tales of
AIRSHIP ZEPPELIN III
destructive raids which had laid England under a reign of terror, every word of which was false. Thus on February 1, 1916, the German Naval Staff officially reported that airships had thrown bombs upon Liverpool and Birkenhead with important results, including heavy explosions and great fires. The German Embassy at Washington added that a large number of bridges had been damaged so that they could not be used, several ships were damaged, docks, dry docks, engine works, boiler works and a powder factory were destroyed, and in all over two hundred houses were destroyed by bombs and fires.
Now, says Mr. S. S. McClure, the well-known American publicist, who visited Liverpool shortly after that date, “As soon as I reached Liverpool I was eager to see for myself what had happened. I saw nothing, for nothing had happened. No Zeppelin had ever come near Liver