On Friday I went to Nottingham under charge of Captain Lloyd, R.N., to inspect a National Projectile Factory. I have written an article on this for the Munitions Ministry propaganda. The press-publicity of the Ministry of Munitions is now in the hands of Sir Hedley le Bas, who did all the recruiting advertising. He was the man behind the famous "Your country needs you" poster. I know him pretty well and when he demands the sacred pen of the novelist it is impossible to refuse. This factory produces 6 inch and 9.2 inch shells. It is turning out 6,000 six inch shells and 2000 9.2 inch shells every week. Just imagine that! And most of the workers here are women. I can't get over the surreal quality of the whole business. All this effort, ingenuity and sheer hard work to make things which are designed to destroy themselves on first use (and incidentally fragile humans who are unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity). What has the world come to?
On Sunday, in dreadful east wind we went to Peldon to see what remains of the Zep. It was worth seeing.
During the afternoon of September 23rd 1916, one of the ‘next generation’ super-Zeppelins, L33, took to the air for its first operational mission: the bombing of downtown London. The L33 was truly a remarkable piece of engineering. She was 649’ long, with a 78 feet diameter and with a total gas capacity of 1,949,000 cubic feet. Six powerful Maybach 240hp Hslu engines gave the lumbering giant a top speed of 59 mph at a maximum operational ceiling of 13,500 feet. Beside its sheer size, what separated the L33 from its predecessor was its bomb load capacity. An impressive five tons of ordinance could be carried.