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Roy Alba of

    Bring it on Home

18" X 24" X 5/8", stretched canvas, oil, $200, free shipping in USA & Canada

Lt. Cmdr. Heinrich Mathy


The painting is accompanied to the song Swing, Swing, Swing (Recorded 1913) Billy Murray. "Bring it on Home" is based on a World War I black & white photo and edited for interest. The photo text said "Bring it on home the German Zeppelin L-31 flies over Ostfriesland during the World War I. This Zeppelin, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Heinrich Mathy, would be shot down near London in 1916." Heinrich Mathy born 4th April, 1883 at Mannheim, Germany, died 2nd January, 1916 at Potters Bar, England.  He was one of very few Germans whose names were household words in Britain. During the "Zeppelin Scourge" of 1915 and 1916, Mathy was known and feared as the most daring and audacious of all the Zeppelin raiders.  He spent two years at the "Marine Akademie" and it was during his two summers there, 1913 and 1914, that he was able to fly in Count Fedinand von Zeppelin's dirigible airships.At the beginning of 1915, Mathy was tranferred to airships at the insistence of Peter Strasser, ( Fuhrer der Luftschiffer - Leader of airships). By the following Summer, Mathy, in command of the new ship, L31 was ready for more attacks on London. He attacked on the night of 24th/25th August, 1916, again causing considerable damage. The L31 was damaged on landing on this occasion and while it was grounded for repairs, news came in that the British had, for the first time, managed to shoot down an airship by using incendiary bullets. As more airships crashed to earth in flames in the following weeks, Mathy must have known that the days of the airship as a terror-weapon were numbered. He wrote:"It is only a question of time before we join the rest. Everyone admits that they feel it. Our nerves are ruined by mistreatment. If anyone should say that he was not haunted by visions of burning airships, then he would be a braggart." In the early hours of 1 October 1916 the German zeppelin L-31 was caught in a web of searchlights above London, allowing Second Lieutenant W. J. Tempest, flying a BE 2 night fighter aircraft to see it clearly. He attacked from above, using incendiary ammunition and was amazed to see a red glow spreading from the interior of the airship as the hydrogen inside began burning. The fire spread and the entire massive structure was gradually engulfed in flames visible for miles around. A newspaper reporter, Michael MacDonagh, reported on the spectacle: The zeppelin came down near Oakmere Park in Hertfordshire, with the crew of nineteen perishing in the crash. One of these was the commander Kapitanleutnant Heinrich Mathy, a renowned airship commander who was well known to the British. He had leaped from the gondola, choosing death by impact with the ground, in preference to dying in the flames.  

SMS Ostfriesland was the second vessel of the Helgoland class of battleships of the Imperial German Navy. Named for the region of East Frisia, Ostfriesland's keel was laid in October 1908 at the Kaiserliche Werft dockyard in Wilhelmshaven. She was launched on 30 September 1909 and was commissioned into the fleet on 1 August 1911. The ship was equipped with twelve 30.5-centimeter guns in six twin turrets, and had a top speed of 21.2 knots.  

As to the World War I aircraft I just threw it in there because it had a fancy paint job and just for fun.

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