1923: Germany Seizes French Plane

The Germans announced recently that they would seize any French airplane that happened to come down in their territory. Occasion offered itself for enforcing the threat on Friday, when one of the commercial planes flying from Prague to Strasburg had to alight near Nuremberg on account of engine trouble. The machine and its contents were impounded, and two passengers and the pilot were sent on by rail after interrogation.

Protest has been entered by the French Embassy in Berlin with a demand for the release of the plane. According to Article 313 of the Treaty of Versailles French planes may fly over and descend in German territory and enjoy the same rights as German planes, “especially in case of distress at sea or by land.” The Treaty of Versailles provided also that Germany should adhere to an international air convention by January 1, 1923. Germany rejected the convention after the occupation of the Ruhr, and claims to have a free hand.

— The New York Herald, European Edition, May 21, 1923

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