In his story ‘How I made a nightly attack on London with my Zeppelin’, the schoolboy I Biberl writes about being in a troop in occupied Antwerp. The captain receives a message that his soldiers should attack London and orders them to prepare for departure. They fly to Dover with three Zeppelins and six aircraft. The student describes being violently bombarded. Despite this, the troop manages to drop numerous bombs on London. After a successful attack, the team returns to Antwerp, received by cheering crowds.
The essay is accompanied by a drawing of the air attack. In addition to the pupil’s handwritten text are corrections in red from his teacher. This document shows that the pupils were assigned to write patriotic essays on the war. New technologies in the conflict were a favourite topic.
In addition to posters, leaflets, postcards, newspapers and many other documents concerning the war, school essays and children’s drawings were also collected and sent to the Imperial Library in Vienna. This essay and drawing come from the Franz Josef Secondary Vocational School in Graz, Styria.
- Article by:
- Ian Cooke
Curator Ian Cooke discusses the ways in which propaganda influenced children’s perceptions of World War One, encouraging them to develop particular values and to contribute to the war effort.