Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

Get access

(471 words)


The early 19th century saw the first balloons employed for military purposes. The use of free balloons in the Franco-Prussian War attracted much attention. The balloons helped the beleaguered capital maintain communications with the surrounding countryside. After 1871 most European Powers created military airship detachments in particular to operate tethered balloons, as they offered a controllable observation platform at altitude. Interest in balloons declined with the emergence of diri…

Cite this page
Storz, Dieter, “Balloons”, in: Brill’s Digital Library of World War I. Consulted online on 03 February 2023 <>
First published online: 2015

▲   Back to top   ▲