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Colonel LINDBERGH. My understanding is that a number were dismantled.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to get Admiral Gherhardi's report. It was handed to your man yesterday, Colonel.
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Captain Galvin, where is that report.
Captain Galvin. It was read into the record last week but it was not put into the record yesterday.
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. What date was it put in?
Representative McSwain. There was a 2-page summary of it referred to yesterday.
Representative DELANEY. The chairman asked, "Do you remember the date?'' and the admiral replied, “It was made in 1925.
The CHAIRMAN. Colonel, you understand that there is an international conference now in progress in Geneva, in which our Government is vitally interested, with a view to securing reductions in armaments and relieving the world, in part, at least, of the frightful burden resting upon it?
Colonel LINDBERGH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And you know, do you not, that Great Britain has abandoned airships?
Colonel LINDBERGH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And France has abandoned airships, and so has Italy, and every country on earth has abandoned them except the United States. I mean as a military agent. You answer "yes,” do you not?
Colonel LINDBERGH. I would like to have the opportunity to study that.
The CHAIRMAN. You know that Great Britain has done it, and France and Italy have done it?
Colonel LINDBERGH. I cannot answer that question definitely without going into it more carefully. I believe there are a number of smaller ships in most of those countries.
The CHAIRMAN. While perhaps I have no right to inquire as to your private views with regard to this, are you in sympathy with the policy of our Government under the days of Mr. Harding and Secretary Hughes, when they sought to restrict the armaments of the world and limit it by agreement?
Senator Duffy. I do not know that I understand that question.
The CHAIRMAN. You recall the 1921-22 conference which restricted the number of capital ships and allocated to various countries a certain ratio-7-7-5-for those so-called "big powers"? And you know, do you not, at the various conferences which have been held quite recently an insistence has been made by the United States, as well as by others, that bombing operations should not be continued, particularly upon defenseless cities or upon the populations of the various communities; and you know that the conference which is now in progress has in mind as an objective materially reducing the military and naval expenses of all nations of the world?
Colonel LINDBERGH. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. In view of that fact-and I will assume that the powers do not have aircraft for naval and military purposes-do you think it would be wise, that the psychology would be proper, that the moral effect would be right, if the United States should adopt a policy of building naval craft for military and naval purposes? Colonel LINDBERGH. I do not look upon the construction of dirigibles as being construction particularly of offensive weapons. I think the primary function of a dirigible would really be in observation.
The CHAIRMAN. If you could carry airplanes in them, would that not be for military purposes and for naval purposes?
Colonel LINDBERGH. Oh, yes; if it is built for the military. But still I say—and here again this is only my personal opinion—that a dirigible would have greater defensive value than offensive value
The CHAIRMAN. It is assumed, is it not, that if you have those large dirigibles like the Germans had, they could drop bombs upon ships and upon cities?
Colonel LINDBERGH. I think there is a great question as to whether that would be the function.
The CHAIRMAN. And you do not believe that they should be for the purpose of dropping bombs?
Colonel LINDBERGH. I hope that that will never be necessary.
The CHAIRMAN. We hoped that it would not be necessary during the World War, but Germany did drop some bombs, did she not?
Colonel LINDBERGH. I believe so.
Representative McSwain. If we had anything to drop bombs from we would have dropped them ourselves, probably.
Representative DELANEY. I am wondering if the Senator believes that any agreement entered into by the Geneva Conference would be effective in case there were war any more than international law had an effect on the warring countries in Europe during the 1914 catastrophe. They scrap agreements very quickly.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, my opinion is not a part of this inquiry, but I do believe the world is making progress morally and spiritually, and that there would be a greater regard for the sanctity of treaties now than in the past, and in the future a still greater regard. If not, then civilization is doomed to destruction. I believe the moral and spiritual forces operating in this world are sufficient to influence the minds and hearts of governments in the future and that the world will get better, and that there will be less and less inclination for war and less and less desire to use these horrible instrumentalities of death and destruction, such as the dropping of bombs on innocent populations.
Colonel LINDBERGH. From a commercial standpoint alone I should think the development of lighter-than-air would be of sufficient value to carry on.
The CHAIRMAN. Your interest in its development is for commercial purposes?
Colonel LINDBERGH. My primary interest in aviation is for commercial purposes.
Representative ANDREW. Colonel, you spoke about equipping dirigibles with airplanes as though that perhaps might mean for utilization for offensive purposes? Is that what you meant? Or is not the idea of the use of the planes aboard the dirigible primarily to increase their scouting range?
Colonel LINDBERGH. As I said, my personal feeling is that the function of the dirigible from the military standpoint would be primarily for observation, that the inclusion of airplanes on the dirigibles and other ships would greatly increase the efficiency of dirigibles for observation.
Representative ANDREW. For scouting primarily?
Colonel LINDBERGH. I would say that I believe the primary function of the dirigible is for defense. It is impossible to sit here and say that any device of that kind cannot be used for offense. But I believe it is certainly more useful for defense.
Representative ANDREW. And the mere equipping of the dirigible with planes would be in the line of promoting defense-defense of the dirigible in the first place and defense in the way of observation?
Colonel LINDBERGH. Primarily in observation.
You can get much more accurate information from people who have been connected with the operation of dirigibles in the past.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much, Colonel. (Witness excused.)
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Mr. Chairman, will you swear Colonel Patterson, please?
TESTIMONY OF JOSEPH M. PATTERSON
The CHAIRMAN. You do solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. PATTERSON. I do.
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Will you please state your name and address, Colonel?
Mr. PATTERSON. Joseph M. Patterson; No. 220 East Forty-seventh Street, New York City.
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. And your present occupation?
Mr. PATTERSON. The Daily News. I might say that I am not a colonel.
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Were you ever a colonel?
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. The joint resolution under which this committee functions requires the recommendation as to the future policy as to airships. It has been brought to the attention of the committee that your journal has views on that, and we would be very glad to have the benefit of your observations.
Mr. PATTERSON. It seems to me that if there is a limited amount of money to be spent for military purposes—I am assuming it is for naval or military purposes-the money should be spent as economically as possible. It is my opinion-which I cannot prove, of course that you can get more defense or offense out of airplanes than out of airships for the same amount of money. The reason I think that is because of the lessons of the last war. The unit with which I served in the last war was on and near the front from March until November.
Colonel BRECKINRIDGE. Which unit was that?
Mr. PATTERSON. The Forty-second Division. I was in the Field Artillery. And you could see across the front, and see if there were any Zeppelins there. I never saw a Zeppelin. I discussed this matter with other members of the unit, and they never saw a Zeppelin during that period, which included all of the major operations of the American military forces.
My son-in-law also served in that unit, and I asked him yesterday if he had ever seen one.
He said he had never seen more than one, and that was at Lyon, in the central part of France, where there was a school. He saw one with its engines frozen drifting over into, well
, I don't know which side. But we saw plenty of aircraft, and they bothered us a great deal. We were afraid of them. We were afraid they would hurt us or shoot us up. I never did see any Zeppelins. The reason for that, as I understood it, was because the Zeppelins had been shot out of the sky by the airplanes.
At the beginning of the war the Germans had about 20, all told, in commission and built, and of these, 17 belonged to the Army and 3 belonged to the Navy. During the last year of the war they did not use Army dirigibles. The Navy had 88 altogether.
No; the Navy had 62, and 16 belonged to the Army but were not being used very much.
Senator, you asked about what became of those Zeppelins. According to a story of The North Sea Air Squadron, by C. F. Snowdon Gamble, 10 of these 62 were wrecked by bad weather, 9 were accidentally destroyed in their sheds, 7 were shot down by antiaircraft, 7 were shot down from land planes, 7 were deliberately destroyed to avoid surrender, 6 surrendered under terms of the Versailles Treaty, 5 were broken up deliberately, 3 were shot down from flying boats, 2 were bombed in their sheds, 1 was shot down by plane from an aircraft carrier, 1 was shot down by plane from lighter craft, 1 was forced to land by aircraft, 1 was struck by lightning, 1 was accidentally destroyed by fire in flight, and 1 was wrecked on land by the training crew.
As to the Navy airships, the largest number of flights was in 1917, and in 1918 the number of flights was very much smaller. For example, in 1917 they made 125 flights and in 1918 they made 29. In 1917 there were 21 combats and in 1918 one combat.
As I told you in answer to your summons, I do not profess in any sense to be an expert. These are the only figures I have been able to gather. But I hope I gathered them accurately, although I cannot vouch for them. At any rate, these are the figures I had some reporters obtain; and they came from the Department of Commerce.
At the beginning of the World War the German Zeppelin speed was about 46 miles an hour. That was the L-3. In 1918 the largest and best, the L-70, had a speed of 81 miles an hour.
The CHAIRMAN. That was the L-70?
Mr. PATTERSON. Yes; L-70. And I say again I am not vouching for the accuracy of these figures. The figures given show the speed of the Akron was 84. If that is true, then the Akron is only 3 miles an hour faster than the L-70 was at the close of the war. But the disparity between the speed of planes is much greater than that.
At the beginning of the war they did not have a distinction between bombers and pursuit planes. The average speed of all planes was considered at 68 miles an hour. At the end of the war the bombers had increased their speed to 100 miles an hour, and the pursuit planes had increased their speed to 120 miles an hour.
Now, let me see if I can give you the names.
Mr. PATTERSON. Those were both, I guess, the Spads and the DeH's. I will give you figures if I can find them.
Here are the figures. In 1918 the speed of the Spad was given as 100 miles an hour and that of the bombers, the DeH's, 100 miles an hour. Of course, General Mitchell is in the room and he can tell you about it a great deal better than I can.
At the present time, in 1933, the Akron is 84 miles an hour and the pursuit Boeing 232 miles an hour. That is, they gained 112 miles an hour in speed since the war. And the Boeing bombers have a speed of 190 miles an hour. They have gained 90 miles an hour as compared with a gain of 3 miles an hour for the dirigibles.
So the advantage of speed, as in every other contest, is very great. And I imagine it is particularly great in the air. The advantage of speed in the air of the bombers and pursuit planes as compared with the dirigible is terrific. It is almost 3 to 1.
Senator Duffy. You are voicing the view as to the airplane as a defensive weapon.
Mr. PATTERSON. I assume this is in regard to the operations of the Navy. I am not speaking at all with regard to any commercial doings. I did not prepare for that. I figured on the Navy and Army ships.
The CHAIRMAN. You are describing those ships for which you have made a search?
Mr. PATTERSON. That is the high speed of the military types.
At the beginning of the war Germany had 20 airships and the other countries had, I don't know how many, but it was not very many. At the end of the war, of course, they were building that which they thought would be the most useful to their military forces. At the end of the war the allies had about 5,000 airplanes in commission and the Germans had about 2,000 airplanes in commission. These figures are rough.
The CHAIRMAN. How many airplanes did the Germans have at the end of the war?
Mr. PATTERSON. They had 2,000.
Mr. PATTERSON. Well, they built 88 during the war and they started with 20. They had 108.
The CHAIRMAN. My recollection is that they had 10 which were surrendered.
Mr. PATTERSON. They made 29 flights in 1918 and they had 1 combat. So they were not using them very much. Certainly they were not using them on the land. It happened that I was over at Antwerp as a correspondent when the Germans were attacking Antwerp. When the war started they sent their Zeppelins over there and they bombed Antwerp and knocked down a lot of buildings, which resulted in the sky scare. And they massacred a lot of Belgians in consequence. Everybody was scared of the Zeppelins. They were supposed to have great moral effect. But I was in Antwerp until pretty nearly the entry of the Germans, and the Zeppelins did not come over there. The 42 centimeters did the stuff and not the bombers.
Senator DUFFY. During the war do you think there was any other one thing which created the terror in England and in other cities which were subjected to the bombing attacks, Mr. Patterson, as the bombing by those Zeppelins?