Zeppelin Hindenburg: An Illustrated History of LZ-129 Hardcover – May 1, 2017
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About the Author
- ASIN : 0750969954
- Publisher : The History Press; Ill edition (May 1, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780750969956
- ISBN-13 : 978-0750969956
- Item Weight : 2.69 pounds
- Dimensions : 9.75 x 0.9 x 9.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,596,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Of special interest is the section on why the fire happened. The authors debunk the "rocket fuel" cover myth, and the myth that it wasn't the hydrogen. Sadly, I must agree with the authors: the accident happened due to careless risk-taking on the part of 3 of the most experienced airship commanders in history.
I own 4 other books on this marvelous airship, but this one takes the cake. If you love airships, and are fascinated with the 'Hindenburg', then you need this book in your library. It's the best one out there.
This book is unique in that it doesn't simply treat the "Hindenburg" as a symbol of Nazi hubris, as or as a gigantic thing that blew up. Rather, we get a fairly complete history of the airship from beginning to end, from the origins of its design, through construction, early test flights, passenger service, and untimely demise. There are plenty of asides along the way, with descriptions of wind tunnel model testing, crew life aboard, how the airship served as a flying post office, photographing the disaster, and so on. Anyone who's read any of History Press's ocean liner books will be in familiar territory. It's also unique in being entirely about the "Hindenburg," avoiding the need to rehash the history of rigid airships in the beginning and treating it as a passenger vessel that had a successful career before meeting its end. A number of appendixes are also included, including a complete flight log, passenger and crew lists for the last flight, technical characteristics, and the 1937 application for US landing rights.
Of course, this is an "Illustrated History," so the text is somewhat light. Thankfully, the illustrations (I counted about 280 of them) largely make up for this, presenting an extremely thorough visual overview of the "Hindenburg" not just as a technical marvel, but as a passenger carrier, a flying ship, an advertising icon, and a symbol of Nazi propaganda. Along with candid photographs of crew and passengers aboard, we get awe-inspiring images of the airship being built, color postcards and period advertisement, pictures of rarely photographed crew areas (including the interior of an engine gondola, the crew's mess, and the auxiliary control stand), and a fold-out plan and cross-section. We even get a series of photographs taken by Peter Balin through the promenade window minutes before disaster struck, a chart of the landing approach, and images of stationery, luggage tags, and the cuff links worn by Chief steward Heinrich Kubis. The authors have avoided including too many well-known photographs, and even a few shots of the disaster were new to me.
There are a few minor issues, unfortunately, which keep me from giving it a full five stars. The glued binding of the paperback edition doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, and after only two weeks, the book is already creaking and making scary sounds when I open it. There are a couple of spots where photographs are plopped down over the corner of another, an editorial decision which I've never liked. Finally, the plans by David Fowler are rather small and lack call-outs, though thankfully, 1:200 scale versions of them can be downloaded on his website.
Although it has a couple of production issues, this book has inspired me to hunt down other books on the subject, and I highly recommend it to anyone seriously interested in rigid airships. Next up: Harold G Dick's "The Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships: Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg."
It is also beautiful to look at and contains a number of rare photos.
If you only have one book on the Hindenburg, this needs to be it.
Thank you very much.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in Japan on November 23, 2018