Egypt Flight, UK First Edition, 1981

The Egypt Flight L.Z.127-Graf Zeppelin, by Fred F. Blau and Cyril Deighton - 1981


This is the second book Deighton co-authored with Frederick F. Blau, a well-known US philatelist (stamp collector), and is designated as a philatelic handbook for serious collectors. It is the companion volume to the pamphlet on the Orient Flight.

It was privately published by The Germany Philatelic Society Inc. of Chicago, USA. The book looks at the airmail flight of the Zeppelin from Germany to Egypt in April 1931, looking in particular in detail at the onboard postal service. It records in particular detail - which is crucial to enthusiasts - what the route was, the franking stamps used to stamp the mail and the places where mail was posted from; also included are details of passengers and crew and examples of genuine postcards sent while on board. This sort of detail is crucial because in the world of high-price rare stamps, excellent forgeries are not uncommon.

Why it's interesting

The subject appeals really only to the philatelist, but what's clear is that both Blau and Deighton have a passion for the details and the stories behind this historic flight. There are some great black and white photographs of Egypt from the air plus numerous photocopy illustrations of people's postcards showing the stamps and franks in great detail. It's clearly a labour of love.

Sample text

'The Palestina Rundfahrt (the Palestine round-trip) was the Cairo to Cairo flight that the airship made on April 11th. This is the "round trip" which has gained such philatelic prominence in connection with the Egypt flight. Considerable confusion exists in published accounts of this trip. Most of it comes from the fact that the first landing took place at 05:15 (five o'clock in the morning) and the second one at 17:00 i.e., five o'clock in the afternoon.'

Related fact

Deighton here writes under his real name of Cyril Deighton. He is described in the preface as 'a professional writer and researcher with a special interest in the early history of the Graf Zeppelin airship'. Deighton had previously written about this subject in Airshipwreck.

Deighton and Blau met at the 1980 London Philatelic Exhibition.

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