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The 1930's
The Hindenburg Disaster



The Hindenburg Disaster
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.45

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    duralumin, on-site, standing, trans-Atlantic, regime, fateful, hitler, sabotage, build-up, burning, presented, military, widely, tragedy, humidity, hydrogen
     content words:    World War I., After World War, Graf Zeppelin, Graf Zeppelin II, Atlantic Ocean, United States, South America, Great Britain, Lakehurst Naval Air Station, New Jersey


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The Hindenburg Disaster
By Jane Runyon
  

1     The Germans were famous for their zeppelins. They flew the lighter-than-air aircraft in World War I. These airships were very quiet and could often fly over areas without being detected. After World War I, the Zeppelin company continued to produce the airships with commercial use in mind. They planned to build a fleet of airships that would transport people and cargo across the ocean to the Americas.
 
2     The first attempt at a commercial aircraft was the Graf Zeppelin that logged in over one million miles. Flights by this airship were so successful that two ships, the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin II, were ready in 1936. In its first year of commercial use, the Hindenburg flew 191,583 miles, carried 2,798 passengers, and hauled 160 tons of freight and mail. The Hindenburg made ten trips across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States and seven trips to South America.
 
3     Two trips the Hindenburg made took it over the northern area of Great Britain. It has been widely believed that these trips were more than pleasure excursions. Many historians believe that the crew of the Hindenburg was taking notes and pictures of the land for use by the German military when the Nazis decided it was time to take over Europe.

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