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There is nothing better than flying!?

The Navy discovers the third dimension. Naval aviation in 1913/1919

A special exhibition of the German Navy Museum Wilhelmshaven in cooperation with the Bundeswehr Museum of Military History
25 April through 14 September 201


The dream of flying is as old as mankind. Names like Wright, Lilienthal, Zeppelin and Schütte-Lanz stand for the breakthrough at the turn of the 20th century. Although the Imperial German Navy was at first hesitant about the new technology, it began to consider the use of airships for its purposes in 1909 and aircraft later. Some officers had already taken up flying as a hobby: In 1912, there was already a naval officer air club (Seeoffizier-Luft-Club) in Wilhelmshaven. On 3 May 1913, Emperor Wilhelm II issued a Supreme Cabinet Order decreeing the establishment of maritime air forces in Berlin-Johannisthal and Putzig near Danzig. This date has since been considered to mark the birth of naval aviation in Germany.

The exhibition centers around two large-sized photo albums from the estate of Tonius Pollmann, who was a foreman at the Wilhelmshaven aircraft works until 1920. The large-sized photographs give visitors a vivid impression of the world in which the aviators and design engineers lived. In addition to foreman Pollmann, the exhibition also addresses the fates of pilots killed in action.

The exhibition is rounded off by aerial photos of the Jade Bight, which enable visitors to become observers themselves.