The Northern German Defence Line 1916-18 (
Sicherungsstellung Nord)
 
The Zeppelin Base in Tönder (Tondern)

 
 At the start of the war, Germany only had one airship the Zeppelin L 3. 
But shortly after the outbreak of the war the number of airships
 increased, and thus the need of storing facilities. In September 1914, a hangar facility at Tonder was proposed and
already in March
 1915 the first two hangars ready were ready.

 On March 23rd  1915 the first airship, Parceval PL 25, landed on base. It was stationed in Tönder over the next 8 months.
 
On  April 25th  1915 the first Zeppelin, L 7,  landed on the base.

 The base was a few miles north of the city Tönder (Tondern), and was virtually self-sufficient in both gas, water and heat, electricity and
 sewage systems. The base consisted of the following facilities:


   3 airship hangars, "Tobias" and "Toni" (1 airship in each) and "Toska" (2 airships)
      (T0 = Tondern / Tönder)

   1 aeroplane hangar with room for 5 fighters Albatros D III
   1 anchorage for temporary docking of an airship
   Radio station for communications with the airships via telegraph.
   Locator transmitter that airships could navigate after
   Lighthouse on the northwest end of "Tobias” roof

   Gasworks and tanks of 50,000 cubic meters gas
   Central Heating to the base.
   Waterworks
   Sewerage and sewage treatment plants.
   2 garages.
   Weather Service.
   Residential Barracks to approx. 600 soldiers.
 
   Underground gasoline stocks:
   "Tobias" and "Toni" the hangars  had a stock of 10,000 liters each.
   "Toska" had a stock of 30,000 liters.
   
   Railway connected the Tönder-Tinglev Main Railroad
   Flood Lights on rails
 
                           
                                                 Tönder Air Ship Base
                            Tobias and Toni to the left and Toska to the Right
 
           Zeppelin in the Air
 
 
 
The German Navy got more and more Zeppelins, which led to the construction of a double hangar in Tönder. The was finished januar
 17th 1916.
An enormous structure with a length of 242 meters, width of 73 meters and a height of 42 meters.  It was named Toska.
 All the hangars in Tondern were given names starting with TO meaning situated in Tondern.
Toska was hit by numerous accidents
 from the start.
 
Already in November 1915, before the hangar  was completely finished. There was an accident during the hydrogen fueling of Zeppelin
 L 18, so the airship caught fire and burned out.
In March 1916 the Zeppelin L 22  collided with the gates of the hall and the whole front
 part was destroyed.

 Again in December 1916,  when the Zeppelin L 24 were towed into TOSKA , the wind brought the Zeppelin out of control and it hit a
 lightbulb in the hall ceiling.
The airship caught fire and both L 24 itself, and the Zeppelin L 17 which also was in the hall, burned downw
 when the hangar Toska was completed, the construction of a gasworks southeast of the hangars began.
The Zeppelins were heavy
 users of hydrogen, and after the completion of Toska there was a great need.

 The existing gasworks was upgraded to a capacity of 8000 m3 of hydrogen per day. Tanks were also built, with a total capacity of
 56,000 m3 both, above and below ground.
The hydrogen was led to the airship hangars via underground pipes.
 
                                                             WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Tönder Air Ship Base. The Gas Plant
                                                                      The Gas Plant
WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Tönder Air Ship Base. The Gas Plant

 This was far from enough and the base had to be further provided with hydrogen on specially built rail wagons from other plants.

  WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Tönder Air Ship Base. Railroad
 
 There was seconded for the base 5 fighter-type Albatros D III was placed on the base for defence. This was a very modern aeroplane from
 1916. This modern material shows how important the base was considered.
 
                                   WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Tönder Air Ship Base. Albatros FoghterAlbatros D III WW1, Sicherungsstellung Nord, German stronghold in Denmark. Tönder Air Ship Base. Albatros Fighter

 For these aircrafts, a hangar was built in the base's southern end. 78 m long, 12 meters high and 25 m wide. The runway was built in front
 of the hangar. It was a very primitive grass airfield, poorly leveled. Most of the aeroplanes crashed during take off and landing, which led
 to the base fighter defense was abandoned. The last plane left Tönder on marts 6th 1918.
 Hhen English planes attacked the base in 1918, they only met scattered FLAK (Flugabwehrkanone) and small arms-fire.

 Both the gasworks and the hangar for the aeroplanes are today still fully intact, and part of 
The Airship Museum in Tönder.