During World War 1, the Germans launched a new kind of terror campaign that rewrote the rules of war. For the first time in history, innocent civilians were bombed in their homes in a ruthless attempt to break a nation’s morale. The carnage was delivered by a machine straight from the pages of science fiction: the Zeppelin. For 18 months these enormous airships bombed Britain with impunity, while military engineers struggled to find a way to stop them. This little known arms race has left behind a series of mysteries that engineer Hugh Hunt attempts to unravel.
He tests the effectiveness of the German incendiary bomb by reverse-engineering one that survived the war and trying it out. The material that held the gas in a Zeppelin was made of cow gut, so Hugh runs a series of grisly experiments to find out how the Germans managed to turn narrow tubes of cow intestines into enormous balloons. He investigates why these bags of highly flammable gas were so hard to set on fire. Along the way, he is amazed to learn that the special flaming bullet that helped end the reign of the Zeppelin was invented by his great uncle Jim.