Schütte-Lanz SL 11
Silhouette of SL 11
|Career (German Empire)|
|Launched:||August 1, 1916|
|Fate:||Shot down, September 3, 1916|
|Displacement:||38 780 m³ of hydrogen|
|Installed power:||4 Maybach 960 hp/716 kW total|
The Schütte-Lanz SL 11 was a military dirigible airship built in Germany during 1916.
The SL 11 was built by Luftschiffbau Schütte-Lanz and thus, was not classed as a Zeppelin. Based at Spich and commanded by Hauptmann Wilhelm Schramm, in the early hours of September 3, 1916, after having bombed Saint Albans, it was attacked over Hertfordshire by Lt. William Leefe Robinson in a BE 2C, using incendiary ammunition. It crashed at Cuffley, with the loss of the entire crew, who were buried at Potters Bar Cemetery and re-interred at Cannock Chase German war cemetery during 1962. Leefe Robinson was awarded the Victoria Cross as a result.
Confusion with LZ 61
For unknown reasons, when the SL 11 became the first German airship to be shot down over England, it was described officially and in the press as Zeppelin L 21 (LZ 61's tactical number). This misidentification persisted for decades, even though it is clear that the authorities were always aware of SL 11's correct identity.
It has been suggested by Ray Rimell that the reason for this confusion was a calculation by the authorities that the downing of a hated and feared Zeppelin 'baby killer', would play better with the public than the destruction of an almost unknown Schütte-Lanz type. Accordingly, the 1918 drama-documentary film The Last Raid of Zeppelin L-21 told the story of SL 11's destruction and not that of LZ 61.
In March 2013, a blade and hub from one of the aircraft's propellers was shown on the BBC television programme Antiques Roadshow. Previously owned by a Captain Manning of the Air Ministry, it had been converted into a walking-stick stand.
- Baker, Brian (2002). The Zeppelin Graves on Cannock Chase (Second (revised & extended) ed.). Cannock Chase: The Association of Friends of Cannock Chase. pp 1-2
- Rimell, Raymond Laurence (1984). Zeppelin!: a battle for air supremacy in World War I. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-239-4. OCLC 10759648.
- Erickson, Hal. "The Last Raid of Zeppelin L-21". Allmovie.com.
- "Chatham Historic Dockyard". Antiques Roadshow. Series 35. Episode 16. 2013-03-24. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00zjmyj. Retrieved 2013-03-24.