Royal Naval Air Service Coastal class airships were prominent in the fight against German U-boats during the First World War — during 1917, one captain flying from Cornwall was in the thick of the action
From the outbreak of the First World War, Britain’s surrounding seas became a crucial part of the front line. The constant flow of merchant ships bringing essential food and raw materials, vessels taking armies, weapons and munitions to France and returning with the wounded: all had to be protected. For beneath those waters, in a battle of escalating frightfulness the slow, defenceless craft were stalked by Germany’s U-boats. Hundreds of ships were sent to the bottom.