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Home Away: An Aerial Odyssey


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Ask a casual enthusiast of history who collaborated with Weimar Germany in military development, and the United States Navy will certainly never be mentioned. Yet, that is exactly what happened with the Navy's fledgling rigid airship program in the twenties. This endeavor resulted in one German airship entering service with America, and two more behemoths of the skies designed by none other than German engineer Karl Arnstein, following shortly after. It seemed as though the US Navy was poised to ascend as the premier operator of zeppelin airships in the postwar period, building on and expanding the long legacy of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin's machines. But it was not to be. Less than a decade later, it would all come to an end. 

Wicked weather would spell disaster for the USS Akron and the USS Macon, the first two of the American-built airships. In 1933, the USS Akron was struck down from the sky in a tremendous thunderstorm, taking all but three of the souls aboard her down into the perilous waters below. The USS Macon, would suffer a similar fate in 1935, but while flying over land. The loss of life was less severe, but the ship was demolished. With two such disasters in a row the US Navy permanently shut down the airship program, and retired it's sole survivor. The USS Los Angeles. She had came to America as LZ-126, and was known as the Amerikaschiff by her builders. Though she had several close calls, she never had a single disastrous accident or loss of life aboard her in her career. In 1932 she entered her hangar at Lakehurst, New Jersey for the last time, and would stand as a silent reminder of the terminated airship program for seven years. On October 24, 1939, the last American zeppelin met her end. Struck from the Navy List, she was dismantled in her hangar. 

But not this time. This is the story of how fate changed for one particular, unique ship when the Morganas attacked.

Part I: A Star Is Born

Part II: Back in the Saddle

Part III: Fall From Grace

Please leave all your thoughts and feedback below, and I hope that I've brought you something fresh and interesting for the New Year.

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The idea is interesting. Technically naval ships, but not really what we think of. It's already an interesting premise.

My critiques

  1. Chapter 1: I don't think the INPF or any international coalition can be founded in less than a week, especially in 1939 considering the political situation. The first week alone would be finding out who the hell attacked them, what the hell the Belles are, and so on. I'd wager by either November-December 1939 or even in 1940 the INPF would come in. Granted I am not extremely well versed in international politics of 1939 so I'm just guessing. (Note: I see that almost immediately after making this observation the Americans are in agreement that this has gotten together extremely quickly)
  2. Chapter 2: In regards to Ferdinand, excuse me what? It doesn't make much sense that she's already manifested when so far all we know is that Belles only manifest in proximity to Morganas, unless I missed something. Even reading the excuse in the second chapter I'm still a bit unsure if it works
  3. Chapter 2: I wouldn't mind someone with better airship knowledge than me to tell me if the weaponry of her is too heavy or works out ok. Just seems excessive to me, but I know barely anything about airships so feel free to ignore me.
  4. Chapter 3: To draw more attention to the comment on the chapter itself, I don't think that's how you correct a dirigible.
  5. Chapter 3: The belle senses thing is interesting. To see it more fleshed out in the future may not be a bad idea.
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