9 June 1915 – Another Zeppelin downed – this time by the Austrians

The Italian airship Cittä di Ferrara was shot down by an Austrian seaplane today. The airship, commanded by Tenente di vascello Castruccio Castracane took off to bomb military plants at Fiume. Despite strong unfavourable winds, Città di Ferrara continued to its target and dropped its bombs, killing one woman in Timme and injured several other people, but only caused slight damage. It then turned for home.

Gustav Klasing

The Austro-Hungarian Naval Air Service scrambled Lohner flying boat L-48 to intercept it and, over the Gulf of Carnaro near Lussino. The L-48 was flown by Linienschiffsleutnant (equivalent to navy lieutenant/army captain) Gustav Klasing. L-48 caught the Italian dirigable and shot it down in flames into the sea.

[Some Austrian writers are disputing whether Reginald Warneford’s victory of 7 June 1915 over Zeppelin LZ37 was in fact the first aerial victory over an Airship. There are claims that the combat took place on the 9th and that for propaganda purposes this was changed, and that there is an element of victor’s history. However, this seems unlikely given that a number of contemporaneous sources talk of the 7th, and it’s unlikely news would have reached Britain before Warneford’s Victoria Cross was announced.]

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