Background

What happened: After the German invasion of Poland started the Second World War on 1 September, the Luftwaffe ordered the LZ127 and L130 moved to a large Zeppelin hangar in Frankfurt, where the skeleton of LZ131 was also located. In March 1940 Göring ordered the destruction of the remaining vessels and the aluminum parts were fed into the German war industry. In May of that year a fire broke out in the Zeppelin facility which destroyed most of the remaining parts. The rest of the parts and materials were soon scrapped with almost no trace of the German 'giants of the air' remaining by the end of the year.

What if?

What happened:On June 30, 1908, at approximately 7:17 AM, an immense explosion occurred in the region of Stony Tunguska, an area located approximately forty miles north-northwest of Vanavara, Siberia. The explosion was sufficient to register as tremors of earthquake- proportions on seismographs at Irkutsk, roughly 550 miles to the south. Seismographs also registered in Moscow, the Tsarist Empire capital, St. Petersburg, Germany (in the city of Jena over 3,000 miles away), in Java (Indochina), and Washington D.C.

The Tunguska explosion exceeded in sheer energy the enormous size, long-term effects, and destructive capability of the volcanic eruptions at Thera, a Greek island north of Crete, and now known as Santorini (circa 1400 B.C.E.), Italy's Vesuvius (August 24, C.E. 79) and the island of Krakatoa located between Sumatra and Java (August 26, 1883). The Tunguska blast easily dwarfed the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs and all of the nuclear tests of the early 1950s. Estimated at 1023 ergs, the Siberian event is comparable only with the explosion of the heaviest hydrogen bombs. As such, the explosion did enormous damage, felling a forest and knocking down every tree for scores of miles in every direction. At the same time it killed not a single human being.

What if?