LZ41 in the experimental camouflage “bunte Kuh” = ” multicoloured cow.”
The first flight was on June 7, 1915
Written off on April 25, 1917
Flew 31 reconnaissance missions
During the 12 raids on England it dropped 15,543 kg. bombs.
Four engine capacity of 154 kW. Volume: 31,900 cu. м. m.
Carrying capacity: 16.2 tons.
Length: 163 m.
Maximum speed: 96 km / h.
The maximum diameter: 19 m.
The Battle of the Skagerrak
THE SITUATION ON THE MORNING OF JUNE 1
“L” 11, 13, 17, 22 and 22 had gone up during the night for an early reconnaissance. At 5.10 A.M. “L 11 ” reported a squadron of twelve English battleships, numerous light craft and destroyers on a northerly course about the centre of the line Terschelling—Horns Reef, and immediately afterwards enemy battleships and battlecruisers north of the first unit. The airship was heavily fired at but kept in touch until compelled to retire and lost sight of the enemy in the thick atmosphere. The airship’s reports taken from its War diary are as follows:
Reconnaissance Trip of ” L 11 ” on June 1, 1916
“On June 1 at 1.30, after midnight ‘ L 11’ went up at Nordholz with the following orders: As fourth airship to cover flank of High Sea forces, course N.W. to W. by Heligoland. Full crew on board, fresh south-westerly wind, visibility limited owing to ground fog and later to a fog-like atmosphere high up extending over 2 or at most 4 nautical miles. Heligoland was not visible through the fog. At 5 A.M. clouds of smoke were seen north of the ship in Square O 33 B and were made for. At 5.10 it was possible to make out a strong enemy unit of twelve large warships with numerous lighter craft steering north-north-east full speed ahead. To keep in touch with them ‘ L 11 ‘ kept in the rear and sent a wireless report, circling round eastwards. At 5.40 A.M. east of the first unit the airship sighted a second squadron of six big English battleships with lighter forces on a northerly course; when sighted, they turned by divisions to the west, presumably to get into contact with the first unit. As this group was nearer to the Main Fleet than the first one, ‘ L 11 ‘ attached itself to it, but at 5.50 a group of three English battle-cruisers and four smaller craft were sighted to the north-east, and, cruising about south of the airship, put themselves between the enemy Main Fleet and ‘ L 11.’ Visibility was so poor that it was extremely difficult to keep in contact. For the most part only one of the units was visible at a time, while, apparently, the airship at an altitude of 1,100—1,900 m. was plainly visible- to the enemy against the rising sun.
“At 5.15, shortly after sighting the first group of battleships, the enemy opened fire on the airship from all the vessels with antiaircraft guns and guns of every calibre. The great turrets fired broadsides; the rounds followed each other rapidly. The flash from the muzzles of the guns could be seen although the ships were hidden by the smoke. All the ships that came in view took up the firing with the greatest energy, so that ‘ L 11 ‘ was sometimes exposed to fire from 21 large and numbers of small ships. Although the firing did not take effect, that and the shrapnel bursting all around so shook the ship’s frame that it seemed advisable to take steps to increase the range. The firing lasted till 6.20 A.M. At that time the battle-cruisers bearing down from S.W within close distance of ‘ L 11 ‘ forced her to retire to N.E. to avoid their fire. At the same time the visibility became worse and the enemy was lost to view.
“‘ L 11 ‘ again took a northerly course and went as low down as 500 metres, in the hope of better visibility. It was impossible to see beyond 1 to 2 nautical miles, and as under these conditions no systematic plan for keeping in contact could be made, N. and S. course was followed so as to keep between the enemy and our own Main Fleet. The enemy did not come in sight again.
” At 8 A.M. the Commander-in-Chief of the High Sea Fleet dismissed the airship, and ‘ L 11 ‘ returned. On the way back the ship came across a number of our own torpedo-boats exchanging bases, and messages were given for further transmission. The airship remained close to those boats as far as Sylt. Landed at Nordholz at 2 P.M.”
At 4 A.M., 50 nautical miles west of Bovbjerg, “L 24” sighted a flotilla of enemy destroyers, was fired at and returned the fire with bombs, then got away further north, and at 5 A.M. discovered a unit of twelve ships in Jammer Bay, steaming rapidly to the south. It was impossible to keep in contact for further reconnaissance as there was a bank of cloud as low down as 800 m.
From the Main Fleet itself no signs of the enemy were visible at daybreak. The weather was so thick that the full length of a squadron could not be made out. In our opinion the ships in a south-westerly direction as reported by “L 11 ” could only just have come from the Channel to try, on hearing the news of the battle, to join up with their Main Fleet and advance against us. There was no occasion for us to shun an encounter with this group, but owing to the slight chance of meeting on account of visibility conditions, it would have been a mistake to have followed them. Added to this the reports received from the battle-cruisers showed that Scouting Division I would not be capable of sustaining a serious fight, besides which the leading ships of Squadron III could not have fought for any length of time, owing to the reduction in their supply of munitions by the long spell of firing. The Frankfurt, Pillau and Regensburg were the only fast light cruisers now available, and in such misty weather there was no depending on aerial reconnaissance. There was, therefore, no certain prospect of defeating the enemy reported in the south. An encounter and the consequences thereof had to be left to chance. I therefore abandoned the idea of further operations and ordered the return to port.
The Navy number and not the builder’s number (LZ 79). It was built in the South Shed at Staaken and had its first flight on January 15, 1917. It was Commissioned on January 30, 1917. Its Commanding Officer was Hauptmann Manger and the Executive Officer was Otit. z. A. d. R. Gruner. It was based at Ahlhorn from January 30, 1917 and then at Nordholz beginning on December 11, 1917. It had 4 Works Flights; 17 Scouting Flights; 4 Raids; and 50 Total Navy Flights (doesn’t include the Works Flights). Decommissioning was on May 29, 1918. It was hung up in “Norbert” Shed on June 10 1918. On June 23, 1919 it was wrecked there by the airship crews.
It is listed as a Zeppelin “R” Type.
This is taken from the Appendix B of “The Zeppelin in Combat” by Douglas H. Robinson, 1980, ISBN 0-295-95752-2