Nova (1974– )
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Zeppelin Terror Attack 

From PBS - In the early days of World War I, Germany, determined to bring its British enemies to their knees, launched a new kind of terror campaign: bombing civilians from the sky. But the... See full summary »




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Episode credited cast:
Ian Castle ...
Tony Edwards ...
Andy Elson ...
Eric Grove ...
Hugh Hunt ...
Peter Norton ...
Michelle Oyen ...
Himself - Narrator
Chris Sandford ...
David Sharp ...
John Sterling ...

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From PBS - In the early days of World War I, Germany, determined to bring its British enemies to their knees, launched a new kind of terror campaign: bombing civilians from the sky. But the aircraft delivering the lethal payloads weren't planes. They were Zeppelins, enormous airships, some the length of two football fields. With a team of engineers, explosives experts, and historians, NOVA investigates the secrets behind these deadly war machines. Zeppelin Terror Attack explores the technological arms race that unfolded as Britain desperately scrambled to develop defenses that could neutralize the threat, while Germany responded with ever bigger and more powerful Zeppelins. Why were these German monsters of the sky, filled with highly flammable hydrogen gas, so difficult to shoot down? How were their massive gas bags pieced together from the intestines of millions of cows? Experts reconstruct and detonate deadly WWI incendiary bombs and test fire antique flaming bullets, all to ... Written by Anonymous

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15 January 2014 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

The science of zeppelin terror attacks.
12 September 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode of "Nova" is one that appeals more to me than the average person--so perhaps this has inflated me score a bit. All I know is that I loved this show and thought it was among the best I've seen from this show.

During WWI, the Germans used enormous zeppelins to make bombing runs on England itself. Imagine...a giant floating machine that could fly at 21,000 feet and drop fire bombs on a city in order to terrorize the civilians. The Germans hoped that these attacks would demoralize the British and convince them to sue for peace. Instead, the attacks turned out to be only marginally effective and eventually the British learned how to take out these enormous flying machines.

The show is a combination history lesson and scientific investigation of these attacks...with a stronger emphasis on the science. While I've seen several shows about these flying machines, it's the first that really focused on the science. I was shocked at how complicated and futuristic the program was...even 100 years later. I was particularly fascinated about how the Germans made the giant gas bags inside the ships* as well as the weird British surveillance system used to warn them of the impending attacks. Overall, a truly fascinating and educational show.

*The only minor gripe I have is that this portion ALSO is really nauseating to watch. See it and you'll see what I mean.

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