From the very beginning of my interest in aviation and military history, I have always been delighted with the notion of cross Atlantic travel in blimps. Gently gliding in the air moving with the wind, enough space to enjoy the trip. Fine dining, cigars, wine.
When suddenly World War was upon the United States, we realized we had over 12,000 miles of coastline to defend it we used every weapon at our disposal, even if it had dated back to the Civil War.
Thusly the blimp was thrust into the spotlight again as the United States Army mustered as many airships as it could to patrol and look for U-Boats and mines and otherwise any number of other methods to attack us.
Goodyear in Akron Ohio produced 150 airships and trained thousands of pilots and crew. US Navy blimps took part in convoys of over 90,000 US Merchant Marine or battle craft. US airships could spot submerge U-boats and often attacked with on board guns or they dropped their own depth charges. Mostly though blimp crews alerted coastal defenses to attacks in progress. On May 6th, 1945, US airships located U-881 and directed attacks on it where surface vessels off the coast of Newfoundland sank it. It was the last U boat lost in WWII.
Blimps used Mangnetic Anomaly Detection devices to located U-boats. The mere presence of blimps dissuaded some U-boat crews from attacking.
This is a great military history blog.