German strategic bombing during World War I


The best known German strategic bombing campaign during the First World War was the campaign against Britain, although strategic bombing raids were carried out or attempted on other fronts. The main campaign against Britain started in January 1915 using airships. From then until the end of the war the Marine-Fliegerabteilung (Navy Aviation Department) and Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches (Imperial German Flying Corps) mounted over 50 bombing raids on the United Kingdom. These were generally referred to as Zeppelin raids, although Zeppelin and Schütte-Lanz airships were used, the Zeppelin company was much better known and was responsible for producing the majority of the airships. Weather and night flying made airship navigation and accurate bombing difficult. Bombs were often dropped miles off target (a raid on London hit Hull) and hitting military installations was impossible. The civilian casualties made the Zeppelins an object of hatred and they were dubbed "baby-killers". With the development of defensive measures the airship raids became much more risky and in 1917 the airships were largely replaced by aeroplanes.

Although the military effect of the raids was small, they caused much alarm, leading to the diversion of substantial resources from the Western Front and some disruption to industrial production. Concern about the conduct of the defence against the raids, the responsibility for which was divided between the Admiralty and the Royal Flying Corps, led to a parliamentary inquiry under Jan Smuts, whose report led to the creation of the Royal Air Force (RAF) on 1 April 1918. The defence organisation developed by the British foreshadowed the fighter direction system used in the Battle of Britain.[1] The raids were also influential because they led to an overestimation of the material and psychological effects of the bombing of cities.[2] A minor consequence of the risk of being driven out of bed at night was the development of pyjamas for women.[3]

Airships made 51 bombing raids on Britain during the war in which 557 people were killed and 1,358 injured. The airships dropped 5,806 bombs, causing damage worth £1,527,585.[4] Eighty-four airships took part, of which 30 were either shot down or lost in accidents.[5] Aeroplanes carried out 52 raids, dropping 2,772 bombs of 73.5 long tons (74.7 t) weight for the loss of 62 aircraft, killing 857 people, injuring 2,058 injured and causing £1,434,526 of damage.[4] The German airship and aeroplane bombing campaigns have been referred to by some authors as the first Blitz, a reference to the later Blitz of the Second World War.[6]

Campaign against Britain


A plaque (61 Farringdon Road, London) commemorating a First World War Zeppelin raid on London

On 6 August 1914, the German Army Zeppelin Z VI bombed the Belgian city of Liège, killing nine civilians. Ten more died in a night attack on Antwerp on 25 August and 2 September.[7][8] In the first month of the war, Germany formed the Brieftauben Abteilung (Ostend Carrier Pigeon Detachment), a cover name for an élite air unit, commanded by Major Wilhelm Siegert, to be used for the bombing of the Channel Ports, when new long-range aircraft became available.[9] During the opening months of the war, a German pilot flying a Taube regularly dropped bombs on Paris. The first raid consisted of five small bombs and a note demanding the immediate surrender of Paris and the French nation. Before the stabilisation of the Western Front, German aircraft made a number of raids on Paris, slightly damaging Notre Dame Cathedral.[10] The first bombing raids on England were nuisance raids carried out against Channel ports. German press reports mention a raid carried out on 27 October but there is no British record of an incident on this date.[11]

The first confirmed raid occurred on 21 December, when at 1:00 p.m. Friedrichshafen FF.29 seaplane carrying four 4.4 lb (2 kg) flown by Leutnant Karl Caspar dropped two bombs into the sea near the Admiralty Pier in Dover. On 24 December another aeroplane appeared high over Dover; Tommy Terson looked up from picking Brussels sprouts for his Christmas Dinner as the object in the sky rushed past then his garden exploded and knocked him down, causing him superficial injuries. As he got up he saw a crater 10 ft × 4 ft (3.0 m × 1.2 m) where his sprouts had been. The windows of the houses near the explosion had been broken and a neighbour, up a tree collecting holy, had been thrown to the ground. dropped a bomb near the castle, which broke some glass.[11] A British pilot took off but failed to find the aircraft. Next day (Christmas Day) a seaplane flew over Sheerness at about 12:35 p.m. and was fired on by anti-aircraft guns as it flew up the Thames, pursued by three aircraft which had taken off from bases at Eastchurch and the Isle of Grain. A Vickers F.B.4 flown by Second-Lieutenant M. R. Chidson with Corporal Martin as the gunner overtook the raider near Erith and attacked. The Vickers gun carried by the F.B.4 jammed and Martin resorted to a carbine which only had nine rounds of incendiary ammunition, reserved for attacks on airships. Martin hit the FF.29 three times around the cockpits. The German pilot dived away and the British aircraft suffered and engine failure and glided down to land at Eastchurch.[12] On the return journey the German pilot dropped two bombs, to no effect, at Cliffe station and flew out to sea.[13]


British recruiting poster from 1915

Proposals to bomb Britain were first made by Paul Behncke, deputy chief of the German Naval Staff, in August 1914. These were backed by Alfred von Tirpitz, who wrote that "The measure of the success will lie not only in the injury which will be caused to the enemy, but also in the significant effect it will have in diminishing the enemy's determination to prosecute the war".[14] The campaign was approved by the Kaiser on 7 January 1915, who at first forbade attacks on London, fearing that his relatives in the British royal family might be injured. Following an attempt on 13 January 1915 which was abandoned because of the weather, the first successful raid took place on the night of 19/20 January 1915. Two Zeppelins intended to attack targets near the River Humber but were diverted by strong winds and dropped their bombs on Great Yarmouth, Sheringham, King's Lynn and the surrounding Norfolk villages. Two British aircraft took off but failed to find the airships; four people were killed and 16 injured. Monetary damage was estimated at £7,740 (GB£ 198,000 in 2021).[15][16] The raid prompted alarmist stories about German agents using car headlights to guide Zeppelins to their targets.[17]

An Imperial Order dated 12 February authorised the bombing of the London docks, which was interpreted by the German General Staff as permitting bombing targets east of Charing Cross. This interpretation was formally accepted by the Kaiser on 5 May 1915. The first Navy attempts to bomb London, made by L 8, failed owing to poor weather. The first was made on 26 February but turned back due to headwinds, a second attempt ended when the airship flew below the cloud base to check its position and found itself over Belgian army positions near Ostend. Riddled by rifle fire, it came down near Tienen and was destroyed by the wind. A four-airship raid by the Army on 17 March ran into fog and was abandoned, one airship bombing Calais and being damaged on landing. On 20 March the three remaining Army airships set off to bomb Paris; one was lost on the return journey. Two Navy raids failed due to bad weather on 14 and 15 April, and it was decided to delay further attempts until the more capable P-class Zeppelins were in service.[18]

Advertisement by the Daily Mail for its Zeppelin fund.

The Army received the first of these, LZ38 (Hauptmann Erich Linnarz) raided Ipswich on 29/30 April and Southend on 9/10 May. LZ38 also attacked Dover and Ramsgate on 16/17 May, where, over Dover at 2:25 a.m. it was illuminated by searchlights, the first such event in the war. Anti-aircraft fire induced Linnarz to dump his bombs on Oxney, to no effect; Flight Sub-Lieutenant Redford Mulock, a Canadian member of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS), flying an Avro from Westgate-on-Sea, carried two incendiary bombs and two hand-grenades. Mulock caught up with LZ 38 as it bombed and Linnarz ordered the Zeppelin rapidly to climb before Mulock could attack then turned north, floating above the Goodwin Sands, where engine-trouble forced him to turn for home.[19]

Mulock followed the Zeppelin, climbing steadily to 7,000 ft (2,100 m), as far as the West Hinder lightship but could not catch up.[19] LZ38 attacked Southend again on 26/27 May, dropping seventy bombs, killing three people and wounding three, with no damage to buildings. Five aircraft rose to intercept and failed to find the airship, two being damaged on landing.[20] These four raids killed six people and injured six, causing property damage estimated at £16,898.[21] RNAS aircraft had twice tried to intercept LZ 38 but on both occasions it was either able to out-climb the aircraft or was already at too great an altitude for the aircraft to intercept; the B.E.2 had a rate of climb of about 500 ft per minute.[22]

On the night of 30/31 May, Linnarz commanded LZ38 on the first London raid; LZ37 was also to be part of the raid but was damaged early on and returned to Namur. Flying from Evere LZ38 crossed the English coast near Margate at 21:42 before turning west over Southend. London police were warned of an incoming raid around 23:00; a few minutes later small incendiaries began to fall. These devices, weighing 25 lb (11 kg), were filled with thermite and the exterior was wrapped in tarred rope.[23] About 120 bombs were dropped on a line stretching from Stoke Newington south to Stepney and then north toward Leytonstone. Seven people were killed and 35 injured; 41 fires were started, burning out seven properties and the total damage was assessed at (GB£ 475,700 [24] Aware of the problems that the Germans were experiencing in navigation, the government issued a D notice prohibiting the press from reporting anything about attacks not mentioned in official statements.[25] Earlier press reports had contained detailed information about where bombs had fallen. Fifteen defensive sorties were flown against the raiders, only one of which managed to make visual contact with an airship. No ground-based guns fired and no searchlights found the airship; one pilot was killed on landing.[24]

The Home Counties (1889–1965) 1. Buckinghamshire, 2. Hertfordshire, 3. Essex, 4. Berkshire, 5. Middlesex (now part of Greater London), 6. Surrey, 7. Kent, 8. Sussex; County of London shown in yellow

The naval airships also tried to raid London; on 4 June strong winds led the commander of L10 to misjudge his position and bomb Gravesend. L9 was also blown off course by the weather on 6/7 June, attacking Hull instead of London and causing considerable damage.[26] On the same night a raid by three Army Zeppelins also failed because of the weather and as the airships returned to Evere they ran into RNAS aircraft flying from Veurne, Belgium. LZ38 was destroyed on the ground and LZ37 was intercepted in the air by Reginald Warneford in a Morane Parasol, who dropped six 9 kg (20 lb) Hales bombs on the Zeppelin, setting it on fire, it crashed into the convent school of Sint-Amandsberg; two nuns and all but one of the Zeppelin's crew died. Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross for his achievement. As a further consequence of the raid Zeppelins were withdrawn from their bases in Belgium.[27][28]

After an ineffective attack by L10 on Tyneside on 15/16 June the short summer nights discouraged further raids for some months and the remaining Army Zeppelins were reassigned to the Eastern and Balkan fronts. The Navy resumed raids on Britain in August. On 9/10 August, four Zeppelins were directed against London; none reached its target, and one, L12, was damaged by ground fire near Dover and came down in the sea off Zeebrugge. Despite eight attacks by RNAS aircraft, the airship was towed into Ostend where it was later dismantled. The four-Zeppelin raid was repeated on 12/13 August; again only one airship, L10, made landfall, dropping its bombs on Harwich.[29] A third four-Zeppelin raid tried to reach London on 17/18 August but two turned back with mechanical problems, one bombed Ashford, Kent in the belief it was Woolwich and L10 became the first Navy airship to reach London. L10 was beset by navigational errors, mistaking the reservoirs of the Lea Valley for the Thames and bombing on Walthamstow and Leytonstone. Ten people were killed, 48 injured and property damage was estimated at £30,750.[30] Guns were fired at L10 and a few aircraft took off in pursuit but the Zeppelin suffered no damage. L10 was destroyed a little over two weeks later when it was struck by lightning and caught fire off Cuxhaven, being lost with all hands.[31]

British map plotting the raid of 7–8 September

Two Army Zeppelins bombed London on 7/8 September, SL2 dropped bombs on the Isle of Dogs, Deptford, Greenwich and Woolwich, and LZ 74 was forced to drop weight on its approach and scattered 39 bombs over Cheshunt, before heading on to London and dropping bombs on Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and New Cross. Eighteen people were killed and 28 injured; property damage totalled £9,616. Fog and mist prevented British aircraft taking off but anti-aircraft guns fired at LZ74 with no effect.[32] Although these raids had no significant military impact, the psychological effect was considerable. The writer D.H. Lawrence described the raid in a letter to Lady Ottoline Morrell,

Then we saw the Zeppelin above us, just ahead, amid a gleaming of clouds: high up, like a bright golden finger, quite small (...) Then there was flashes near the ground – and the shaking noise. It was like Milton — then there was war in heaven. (...) I cannot get over it, that the moon is not Queen of the sky by night, and the stars the lesser lights. It seems the Zeppelin is in the zenith of the night, golden like a moon, having taken control of the sky; and the bursting shells are the lesser lights.[33]

The Navy attempted to follow up the Army's success the following night. Three Zeppelins were directed against London and L9 (Kapitänleutnant Loew) against the benzol plant at the Skinningrove ironworks. L9 arrived at the coast at Port Mulgrave, between Whitby and Kettleness at about 9:15 p.m. and dropped six bombs with no result. The Zeppelin reached the ironworks at 9:35 p.m. and dropped nine HE and 12 incendiary bombs, achieving a hit with an incendiary on the benzol building, which failed to penetrate inside. A HE bomb fell within 10 ft (3.0 m) and cut the water and electricity supply but the 45,000 imp gal (200,000 l) was not affected. Another bomb hit a store of TNT but failed to explode. L9 crossed the coast on its homeward journey at Sandsend at 9:45 p.m. three RNAS pilots from Redcar had taken off but failed to make contact.[34]

L11 had turned back early with engine trouble; L13 (Kapitänleutnant Heinrich Mathy) and L14 (Kapitänleutnant der Reserve Böcker) flew across the North Sea together. Two trawlers were waiting off the Haisboro' light vessel and caught L14 at low altitude. One of the trawlers fired eight rounds from its QF 1-pounder pom-pom which led Böcker into a steep climb, under the impression that he had been engaged by light cruisers and turned north. Soon afterwards, L13 also encountered a trawler which opened fire. L14 reached England at Cromer then suffered engine-trouble, apparently bombing Norwich but hitting Bylaugh, East Dereham and Scarning; four men were killed at East Dereham and seven people were injured for no material damage. L13 made landfall at the Wash and flew straight to London in clear skies, bombing Golders Green at 10:40 p.m. At Euston, L13 began to bomb again; the bomb-load included a 660 lb (300 kg) device, the largest yet carried; which exploded on Bartholomew Close near Smithfield Market, destroying several houses and killing two men.[35][36]

More bombs fell on the textile warehouses north of St Paul's Cathedral, causing a fire which despite the attendance of 22 fire engines caused over half a million pounds damage. Mathy then turned east, dropping his remaining bombs on Liverpool Street station, fifteen HE and 55 incendiaries being dropped. The Zeppelin, at 9,000 ft (2,700 m)was repeatedly caught by searchlights and all 26 anti-aircraft guns in London fired, inducing Mathy to zig-zag to 11,000 ft (3,400 m). Every shell exploded too low and the falling shell splinters caused alarm and damage on the ground. Three RNAS pilots took off from Yarmouth but had already landed by the time that L13 headed out to sea. Flight Sub-Lieutenant G. W. Hilliard landed at Bacton and was killed when the bombs on board exploded; Flight Lieutenant J. M. R. Cripps came down with engine-failure and jumped clear of his aircraft just before it touched down and suffered no injuries, the aeroplane being hardly damaged. The raid killed 22 people and injured 87; the monetary damage of £534,287 was over one sixth of the total damage inflicted by bombing raids during the war.[35][36][a]

Theatreland Raid

After three more raids were scattered by the weather a five-Zeppelin raid which became known as the Theatreland Raid was launched by the Navy on 13 October. Arriving over the Norfolk coast around 6:30 p.m., the Zeppelins encountered nearer London the new London Air Defence Area defences installed since the September raid by Admiral Sir Percy Scott, which included new 3-inch guns at Barnes Common, King's Cross and Dollis Hill.[38] The new gun sites proved ineffective, although the airship commanders commented on the improved defences of the city.[39] A 13-pounder gun near Broxbourne was put out of action by three bombs dropped from L15, which continued to London and began bombing over Charing Cross, the first bombs striking the Lyceum Theatre and the corner of Exeter and Wellington Streets, killing 17 people and injuring 20. More bombs were dropped on Holborn, as the airship neared Moorgate it was engaged by a new French 75 mm anti-gun mounted on a lorry and manned by naval ratings from disbanded armoured car squadrons sited at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds in Finsbury.[38][40]

L15 quickly jettisoned ballast, dropped only three more bombs (one landing on Aldgate High Street, causing much damage) before departing, having suffered engine damage from the shells. L13 bombed around Guildford and near Woolwich later on. L14 dropped bombs on Otterpool Army Camp near Folkestone, killing 14 soldiers and injuring 12 and later bombed Tonbridge and East Croydon. L16 and L11 had gone even further off course; L16 dropped up to 50 bombs on Hertford and L11 scattered a few bombs over Norfolk before heading home. In total, 71 people were killed and 128 were injured.[40] This was the last raid of 1915, as bad weather coincided with the new moon in November and December 1915 and continued into January 1916.[41]


Crater of a Zeppelin bomb in Paris

In December 1915, more P-class Zeppelins and the first of the new Q-class airships were delivered. The Q-class was an enlargement of the P-class, lengthened to 178 m (585 ft), adding two gasbags, improving the ceiling and bomb-load. Improved defensive measures made raids more hazardous and several airships were destroyed. By mid-1916, there were 271 anti-aircraft guns and 258 searchlights in England and the introduction of an effective combination of explosive and incendiary bullets gave defending aircraft their first successes. New types of Zeppelin with improved ceilings restored the advantage but led to further flying and navigation problems; oxygen was needed to fly at high altitude, the extreme cold led to crew fatigue and technical problems and German meteorologists did not appreciate the differing wind conditions likely to be met at high altitude. The 23 raids of 1916 dropped 125 tons of bombs, killing 293 and injuring 691 people.[citation needed]

The British defence against Zeppelins was haphazard and divided between the RNAS and the Royal Flying Corps (RFC), with the Navy engaging enemy airships approaching the coast and the RFC responsible once the Zeppelins were over land. Initially, the War Office believed that the Zeppelins used a layer of inert gas to protect themselves from incendiary bullets and discouraged the use of such ammunition in favour of bombs. Trials of incendiary bullets in mid-1915 were unimpressive and the explosive Pomeroy bullet attracted little official interest. Experiments undertaken in 1916 using a mixture of explosive and incendiary rounds were promising and the use of this mixture of Pomeroy, Brock and Buckingham bullets brought the defending aircraft their first victories.[42]

Ten home defence squadrons were organised by February 1916, with the defence of London assigned to No. 19 RAS at Sutton's Farm and Hainault Farm (renamed 39 (Home Defence) Squadron in April 1916, which was also allocated North Weald Bassett airfield in August 1916). The number of aircraft varied and in February there were only eight squadrons at less than half-strength; by June the number of squadrons had been cut to six and only 39 Squadron was at full strength and equipped with the B.E.2c aircraft, outclassed on the Western Front but providing a stable gun platform suitable for night fighting.[citation needed]

Zeppelin flagstone, Edinburgh, Scotland
Zeppelin bomb dropped on Edinburgh, displayed at the National Museum of Flight

The first raid of 1916 was carried out by the German Navy. Nine Zeppelins were sent to Liverpool on the night of 31 January/1 February. Poor weather, difficult navigation and mechanical problems scattered the aircraft across the Black Country hitting Tipton, Wednesbury and Walsall. A total of 61 people were reported killed and 101 injured by the raid.[43] Fifteen of the fatalities occurred in the town of Tipton.[44] L 21, captained by Max Dietrich, caused the majority of the damage. Despite the ground fog, 22 aircraft took off to find the Zeppelins but none succeeded. Six aircraft were damaged beyond repair and two pilots were killed when attempting to land.[45] One airship, L 19, crashed in the North Sea because of engine failure and damage from Dutch ground–fire; all 16 crew were lost.[citation needed]

Ordnance Survey map of Airship raid 31 March/1 April 1916 on England

Further raids were delayed by an extended period of poor weather and also by the withdrawal of the majority of Naval Zeppelins in an attempt to identify and resolve the recurrent mechanical failures. Raids resumed in March: three Zeppelins set off to bomb Rosyth on 5/6 March but were forced by high winds to divert to Hull, killing 18, injuring 52 and causing £25,005 damage.[46] On 30 March/1 April ten airships set off to bomb eastern England and London. Most turned back because of mechanical problems or the weather; L 15 was intercepted by Claude Ridley, who was unable to do more than fire a few rounds at extreme range; it was then damaged by anti-aircraft fire over Purfleet before being attacked by Alfred Brandon using Ranken darts. It came down in the sea near Margate, all but one of the crew surviving. Most of the 48 people killed in the raid were victims of a bomb which fell on an Army billet in Cleethorpes.[47]

The following night two Navy Zeppelins, diverted from London by the weather, bombed targets in the north of England, killing 22 and injuring 130. On the night of 2/3 April, a six-airship raid was made by Army and Navy airships, the Navy against the naval base at Rosyth and the Forth Bridge on the east coast of Scotland, the Army targeting London. None of the airships bombed their intended targets; 13 were killed, 24 injured and much of the £77,113 damage was caused by the destruction of a warehouse in Leith containing whisky.[48][49] A two-Zeppelin raid the following night was prevented from bombing London by the weather and caused no casualties or damage and another against the north of England on the night of 5/6 April had little effect: one of the three raiders turned back with mechanical problems and although the ironworks at Skinningrove and a colliery near Bishop Auckland were bombed, the casualties only amounted to one dead and nine injured.[50]

The wreckage of LZ 76 (L  33)

On 28/29 July the first raid to include one of the new R-class Zeppelins, L 31, took place. These were 200 m (660 ft) long, with a capacity of 55,000 m3 (2,000,000 cu ft), powered by six engines and capable of operating at 13,000 ft (4,000 m) and could carry up to four tons of bombs. The ten Zeppelins achieved very little; four turned back early and the rest wandered over a fog-shrouded landscape before giving up. Adverse weather dispersed two raids on 30/31 July and 2/3 August. On 8/9 August, two Zeppelins were part of a nine airship raid on Hull.[51] The sixth successful London raid was on 24/25 August when 13 Navy Zeppelins were launched and Heinrich Mathy's L 31 reached London; flying above low clouds, 36 bombs were dropped in ten minutes on West Ferry Road, Deptford Dry Dock, the station at Norway Street and homes in Greenwich, Eltham and Plumstead. Nine people were killed, 40 injured and £130,203 of damage was caused. L 31 suffered no damage in the attack but several weeks of repair work were needed following a hard landing.[52]

The biggest raid to date was launched on 2/3 September, with 12 German Navy airships and four from the German Army taking part. A combination of rain and snowstorms scattered the airships while they were still over the North Sea. None of the naval airships reached London and only the army's LZ 98 and the newly commissioned Schütte-Lanz SL 11 achieved their objective. SL 11 came in over Foulness with the intention of attacking the capital from the north-west. It dropped a few bombs over London Colney and South Mimms before it was picked up by a searchlight over Hornsey at about 01:50 and subjected to an intense but ineffective barrage. It was lost in cloud over Wood Green but caught by the searchlights at Waltham Abbey as it bombed Ponders End. At around 02:15 one of the three aircraft in the sky that night finally came into range, a B.E.2c piloted by Lt. William Leefe Robinson flying from Suttons Farm. Robinson fired three drums of ammunition from his Lewis gun, one on each of three passes. Robinson emptied the third drum; the airship began to burn from the stern and was quickly enveloped by flames.[53]

It fell to the ground near Cuffley, witnessed by the crews of four of the naval Zeppelins; there were no survivors. For bringing down the first rigid airship on British soil and the first 'night fighter' victory, Leefe Robinson received the Victoria Cross. The pieces of SL 11 were gathered up and sold by the Red Cross to raise money for wounded soldiers.{{efn|For unknown reasons, when the SL 11 became the first German airship to be shot down over England, it was described officially and in the press as Zeppelin L 21 (LZ 61's tactical number). This misidentification persisted for decades, even though it is clear that the authorities were always aware of SL 11's correct identity.[b]

The loss of SL 11 ended the German Army's interest in raids on Britain. The German Navy remained aggressive and a 12-Zeppelin raid was launched on 23/24 September.[55] Eight older airships bombed targets in the Midlands and Northeast, while four M-class Zeppelins (L 30, L 31, L 32 and L 33) attacked London. L 30 did not even cross the coast, dropping its bombs at sea. L 31 approached London from the south, dropped a few bombs on Kenley and Mitcham, and was picked up by searchlights. Forty-one bombs were then dropped in rapid succession over Streatham, killing seven and wounding 27. More bombs were dropped on Brixton before crossing the river and dropping 10 bombs on Leyton, killing another eight people and injuring 30. L 31 then headed home. Also coming in from the south was L 32, delayed by engine problems. It dropped a few bombs on Sevenoaks and Swanley before crossing Purfleet at about 01:00. The Zeppelin then came under anti-aircraft fire as it dropped bombs on Aveley and South Ockendon. Shortly thereafter, at 01:10, a B.E.2c piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Frederick Sowrey engaged L 32. He fired three drums of incendiaries and succeeded in starting a fire which quickly spread. The Zeppelin narrowly missed hitting Billericay High Street, coming down at Snail's Hall Farm off Green Farm Lane, Great Burstead at 01:30. The entire 22 member crew was killed, with some, including the commander Oberleutnant-zur-See Werner Peterson, choosing to jump rather than burn to death, witnesses said Werner Paterson was still clutching the ships log when he hit the ground, a photo of the impression exists.[56] The L32 Zeppelin crew were buried at Great Burstead Church on 27 September 1916.[citation needed]

L 33 dropped a few incendiaries over Upminster before losing its way and making several turns, heading over London and dropping bombs on Bromley at around midnight. As the bombs began to explode, the Zeppelin was hit by an anti-aircraft shell fired from the guns at either Beckton, Wanstead, or Victoria Park despite being at 13,000 ft (4,000 m). Dropping bombs now to shed weight, a large number fell on homes in Botolph Road and Bow Road. As the airship headed towards Chelmsford it continued to lose height, coming under fire at Kelvedon Hatch and briefly exchanging fire with a B.E.2c. Despite the efforts of the crew, L 33 was forced to the ground at around 01:15 in a field close to New Hall Cottages, Little Wigborough. The airship was set alight and the crew headed south before being arrested at Peldon by the police. Inspection of the wreckage provided the British with much information about the construction of Zeppelins, which was used in the design of the British R33-class airships. One 250 hp (190 kW) engine recovered from the wreck was subsequently substituted for two (of four) 180 hp (130 kW) engines on a Vickers-built machine, the hitherto underpowered R.9.[citation needed]

British propaganda postcard, entitled "The End of the 'Baby-Killer'"

The next raid came on 1 October 1916. Eleven Zeppelins were launched at targets in the Midlands and at London. As usual weather played a major role and only L 31 under the experienced Heinrich Mathy [de], on his 15th raid, reached London. Approaching from Suffolk, L 31 was picked up by the searchlights at Kelvedon Hatch around 21:45; turning away, the airship detoured over Harlow, Stevenage and Hatfield. As the airship neared Cheshunt at about 23:20 it was quickly picked up by six searchlights. Three aircraft of No. 39 Squadron were in the air and closed in. A B.E.2c piloted by 2nd Lieutenant Wulstan Tempest engaged the Zeppelin at around 23:50; three bursts were sufficient to set fire to L 31, and it crashed near Potters Bar with all 19 crew dying, Mathy jumping from the burning airship. His body was found near the wreckage, embedded some four inches in the ground. Tempest had had to dive out of the way of the stricken airship and, possibly suffering from anoxia, crashed without injury on landing.[57]

A raid on 27/28 November by L13, L14,L16, L21, L22, L24, L30, L34 (Kapitänleutnant Max Dietrich), L35 and L36 avoided London and the south of England, attacking targets in the Midlands and Tyneside. Half-way across the North Sea, L30 turned back with engine-trouble. The other airships crossed the sea in two group, the first of five airships arrived between Scarborough and the Humber Estuary and the other four headed for the Tyne. The bombing was largely ineffective, killing four, injuring 37 and causing £12,482 damage. L34 was shot down in flames off the coast at Hartlepool by 2nd Lieutenant Ian Pyott of 36 Squadron flying a B.E.2c.[58] L21 was attacked by three aircraft near Yarmouth and Flt Sub-Lt. Edward Pulling was credited with the victory and awarded a DSO, the other pilots receiving the DFC.[59] The following day a LVG CIV made the first German aeroplane raid on London: hoping to hit the Admiralty, six 22 lb (10.0 kg) bombs fell between Victoria station and the Brompton Road.[60] There were no further raids in 1916 but the Navy lost three more craft on 28 December. SL12 came back damaged and made a bad landing and was destroyed at Ahlhorn by strong overnight winds. At Tønder ground crews handling L24 suffered an equipment failure and the ship crashed into a shed, bursting into flame and setting off L17, both being destroyed.[61]


Contemporary illustration of a Gotha crew in action

The losses during 1916 caused the Germans to increase the ceiling of their airships. This was first achieved by lightening the existing craft, principally by removing one of the engines. This increased the ceiling to over 4,900 m (16,000 ft). Meanwhile, new types with a lightened hull framework were developed.[62]

In late 1916 Germany had begun planning Unternehmen Türkenkreuz (Operation Turk's Cross) a daylight bombing offensive against Britain using aeroplanes. In anticipation of the campaign, Kampfgeschwader der Obersten Heeresleitung 3 (Kagohl 3), nicknamed the England Geschwader, was formed, consisting of six Kampfstaffeln (Kastas) under the command of Hauptmann Ernst Brandenburg.[63] Kagohl 3 was based temporarily at Ghistelles, too close to the Western Front and British aircraft, then moved 40 mi (64 km) back into German-occupied Belgium, Staffeln 13 and 14 to Sint-Denijs-Westrem 4.3 mi (7 km) south-west of Ghent and Staffeln 15 and 16 to Gontrode east of the town. When more Gothas were supplied Staffeln 17 and 18 moved to Mariakerke to the north-west of Ghent. Ghistelles continued as the main diversion airfield and the four bases were carefully levelled to reduce damage to the undercarriages of the Gothas.[64]

The first raid of 1917 took place on the night of 16/17 March: five high-altitude Zeppelins encountered very strong winds, and none reached their targets. On the return flight L 39 suffered an engine failure, was blown over French-held territory and brought down in flames by ground fire.[65] The lack of success was repeated on 23/24 May, when six Zeppelins set out to bomb London but were frustrated by a combination of high winds and thick cloud. A few bombs were dropped on Suffolk, killing one person and causing £599 damage.[66]

Operation Turk's Cross

Gotha G.IV in flight

Kagohl 3 received the first Gotha G.IV aircraft in March and after a period of working up, the squadron commenced Unternehmen Türkenkreuz (Operation Turk's Cross) at 2:00 p.m. on 25 May, sending 23 Gothas to bomb London, making landfall at about 5:00 p.m.. Two were forced to turn back over the North Sea due to mechanical difficulties and cloud over London caused the remaining bombers to divert to secondary targets at the Channel port of Folkestone and the nearby Shorncliffe Army Camp. At Shorncliff and Cheriton, 17 Canadian soldiers were killed and 93 wounded. At Folkestone a soldier and fifteen men, 31 women and 25 children were killed, eight soldiers, 23 men, 48 women and twelve children were wounded, most of the casualties occurring in Tontine Street, which was full of shoppers; 95 people were killed and 195 injured.[67] Nine RNAS Sopwith Pups engaged the bombers near the Belgian coast as they returned, shooting one down over the Channel, one crashed on landing and one was damaged by machine-gun fire.[68] A second attack on 5 June was diverted to Sheerness in Kent due to a poor weather forecast but a third raid on 13 June, taking off at 10:00 a.m., was the first daylight raid on London, causing 162 deaths and 432 injuries. Among the dead were 18 children, killed by a bomb falling on the Upper North Street School primary school in Poplar.[69][70][71]

A variety of the bombs used by the Germans

The reason for the relatively large numbers of casualties seems to have been ignorance as to the threat posed by aerial bombardment of a city in daylight. Lieutenant Charles Chabot, a RFC pilot on leave recorded that: "...Raids hadn't become a very serious thing and everybody crowded out into the street to watch. They didn't take cover or dodge". As there had been little planning, early attempts to intercept the Gothas were ineffective. In England, 92 aircraft took to the air but few were able to climb high enough to engage the bombers. A Bristol F.2 Fighter of 35 Training Squadron flown by Captain John Cole-Hamilton with Captain C. H. C. Keevil as the observer, attacked three Gothas over Ilford but Keevil was hit by return-fire and killed instantly.[72]

British anti-aircraft guns near the coast managed to hit the aircraft of Captain T. Grant of 39 Squadron, who made a forced-landing at Rochford. As the Gothas flew on the crews could see aircraft taking off from airfields as they approached, the air peppered with smoke from anti-aircraft fire. Beyond Southend, the formation was approached by a Sopwith Triplane (114 mph (183 km/h), time to 10,000 ft (3,000 m): ten minutes) which fired at too great a distance to no effect. Near Ostend, a British formation was spotted and one fighter made a head-on attack on a Gotha which was then attacked by a Sopwith Camel from the rear, which achieved hits on the aircraft before the combined fire of several Gothas drove off the British fighters.[73] This was the deadliest air raid of the war and no Gothas were lost. News of the raid was received enthusiastically in Germany and Brandenburg was summoned to Berlin to be awarded the Pour le Mérite, Germany's highest military honour. On taking off for the return journey, the engine of his aircraft failed, Brandenburg was severely injured and his pilot, Oberleutnant} Freiherr von Trotha, was killed.[74][c]

On 16/17 June, an attempted raid by six Zeppelins was met with some success; two airships were unable to leave their shed due to high winds and two more turned back with engine problems. Of the two that reached England, L 42 hit a naval ammunition store in Ramsgate, while L 48, the first U-class Zeppelin, was intercepted near Harwich and attacked by a DH.2 flown by Captain Robert Saundby, a F.E. 2b flown by Lt F. D. Holder and Sgt S. Ashby, and a B.E.12 flown by Pierce Watkins. The Zeppelin came down in flames near Theberton in Suffolk: Watkins was officially credited with the victory.[76]

A further Gotha raid of 22 aircraft was made on 7 July, resulting in 57 deaths and 193 injuries on the ground.[77] One hundred sorties were flown against the formation, resulting in one Gotha shot down, three damaged and two fighters shot down. Felixstowe and Harwich were bombed on 22 July and Southend and Shoeburyness on 12 August, with the loss of one Gotha, four others crashing on landing.[78] On 18 August, the largest raid of the war was attempted, despite a warning of unfavourable weather. Twenty-eight aircraft took off and soon encountered the predicted high winds, after nearly two hours in the air they had made so little progress that Zeebrugge was still in sight. After a further hour the English coast came into sight, revealing that the Gothas were aroun 40 mi (64 km) off course. With barely enough fuel left to return to Belgium, the flight commander called off the attack. The high wind caused two aircraft to come down in the North Sea and others ran out of fuel and were lost making forced landings, two coming down in neutral Holland.[79] On 22 August 15 aircraft set out to attack Margate and Dover. Five turned back over the North Sea and the rest were met by heavy anti-aircraft fire and fighter aircraft over the Isle of Thanet. Two Gothas were shot down almost immediately and a third was shot down over Dover.[80]

Night bombing

Members of Kagohl 3 in front of a Gotha, 1917

The improved British air defences forced Kagohl 3 to turn to night bombing, at first intended to be temporary until re-equipped with improved aircraft but the Gotha G V turned out to be a disappointment, no better than the G IV. The G V and later Gotha models, even the G VII, built to reach an altitude of 20,000–23,000 ft (6,000–7,000 m), were never delivered in sufficient numbers to make a return to day bombing feasible. Night raids provided a measure of protection from interceptors and anti-aircraft fire, they greatly complicated navigation and landing. Many damaged aircraft limped back to their airfields only to be lost in landing accidents.[81]

The first night raid by the Gothas took place on 3 September against Chatham, as an experiment by five aircraft. The 152 deaths included 130 naval recruits whose dormitory was hit, the worst bombing incident of the war. Encouraged by the lack of night defences, a raid on London was carried out the following night. Of the eleven aircraft which set out, nine reached England and five got as far as London; 18 defensive sorties were flown but none made contact. The defensive flights were significant in that the aircraft used included Sopwith Camels, proving that it was practical to fly the type at night. One Gotha failed to return, probably shot down by anti-aircraft fire from Fort Borstal near Rochester.[82]

Six raids followed at the end of September. These included the first raids on England by the enormous Zeppelin-Staaken Riesenflugzeug of Riesenflugzeug-Abteilung (Rfa) 501. On 24 September 16 Gothas set off and 13 reached England, most bombing Dover and other targets in Kent, with only five reaching London. This coincided with an unsuccessful Zeppelin attack on the Midlands.[83] The following night 15 Gothas set out, with similar results, only three aircraft reaching London. One of the bombers came down in the North Sea, probably the victim of a Sopwith 1½ Strutter flown by Douglas Bell and George Williams of 78 Squadron.[84] On 28 September 25 Gothas and two Riesenflugzeuge took off but most turned back due to adverse weather. Three people were wounded and £129 damage was caused, for the cost of three Gothas lost and six damaged on landing.[85]

The following night seven Gothas and three Riesenflugzeuge took off, killing 40 and injuring 87 for the loss of one aircraft. By this time the population of London was thoroughly alarmed, with up to 300,000 people seeking shelter in Underground stations and others leaving London to sleep in whatever accommodation was available, some in fields.[86] On 30 September 11 Gothas set off to raid London and on 1 October 18 took off, eleven reaching England.[85] Over 14,000 rounds were fired by British anti-aircraft guns without scoring a hit.[87] By now shells were in short supply and many of the guns had fired so many rounds that their barrels were worn out. The Government reallocated new 3-inch (76.2 mm) guns from arming merchant ships against submarines, to the defence of London. The barrage was also proving hazardous to those on the ground, in that week eight people had been killed and another 67 injured by falling fragments.[88]

The RNAS and RFC carried out bombing raids on German bomber airfields at St Denis-Westrem and Gontrode, forcing the squadrons to relocate to Mariakerke and Oostakker, with the staff headquarters moving to Ghent.[89] The next raid against England was carried out on 29 October, when three aircraft set out, two diverting to Calais because of the weather and the third dropping its bombs on the Essex coast. The following night a big raid was mounted, the bomb load including large numbers of a newly developed 10 lb (4.5 kg) incendiary bomb. 22 Gothas took off, of which over half released their bombs over Kent, with little effect other than the destruction of a gasometer in Ramsgate. Bombs were dropped on the eastern suburbs of London but many of the incendiaries failed to ignite and five aircraft crashed when attempting to land.[90]

Poor weather prevented raids in November and the Gotha crews occupied themselves with training flights. To lessen the chance of a raid meeting adverse weather, in December the Germans began to send out a radio-equipped Rumpler C.IV to make weather observations off the English coast.[91] The weather cleared on 5 December, when 19 Gothas and two Riesenflugzeuge attacked in waves. Casualties were light but caused over £100,000 of damage, mostly in London. Two Gothas were brought down by anti-aircraft fire and one with an engine disabled, attempted a landing at Rochford aerodrome, struck a tree on approach and crashed. The second aircraft came down near Canterbury and in both cases all the crew survived but a third aircraft and crew was reported missing.[92]


The Englandgeschwader (England Squadron) had an inauspicious new year when two crews were killed on 17 January while testing their aircraft.[93] On 25 January, a raid was cancelled because of fog but on 28 January, during the full moon period, 13 Gothas and two Riesenflugzeuge (Giants) took off into a clear sky but a thick mist began to spread. Six of the Gothas turned back before reaching England and the rest made landfall at about 8:00 p.m. Over a hundred British night-fighter sorties were flown, resulting in one Gotha being shot down after being subjected to a co-ordinated attack by two Camels from 40 Squadron RFC, flown by Second Lieutenants Charles (Sandy) Banks and George Hackwill, the first victory for night-fighters against a heavier-than-air bomber over Britain; both pilots were awarded the DFC.[94][d]

The bombing killed 67 people and injured 166; the casualties included 14 dead and 14 injured in stampedes, when people queuing for admission to shelters were alarmed by maroons, set off to warn that a raid was expected but mistaken for exploding bombs; another 11 people were injured by shell splinters from exploded anti-aircraft shells. Many of the other casualties were caused by a 660 lb (300 kg) bomb, which fell on the Odhams printing works in Long Acre, which was being used as a shelter.[96] After the losses at the end of 1917 the loss of one Gotha and damage to four more in landing accidents led to the suspension of operations against England pending the reorganisation of the squadron and replacement of aircraft and crews.[97]

The following night, the first raid undertaken by Giants unaccompanied by Gothas took place. Four aircraft from Rfa 501 took off from Gontrode and St denis-Westrem, each with a 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) bomb load. R12 turned back with engine trouble over the Channel and turned back, dumping its bombs on British positions near Gravelines. R25, R26 and R39 crossed the English coast to the north of the Thames Estuary. Misled by the sound of the Giants's engines observers warned that a minimum of fifteen aircraft were aloft and eighty fighters were scrambled. R26 had trouble in two of its engines was forced to turn back by anti-aircraft fire at Billericay and bombed Rawreth, Thundersley and Rayleigh and at sea at the Blackwater and Margate. Three houses were damaged and a farm building at Rawreth were damaged.[98]

One Giant approaching London was attacked at 12,000 ft (3,700 m) by a B.E.12 from 37 Squadron, both aircraft hitting the other and the Giant turned west and dropped it bombs on Isleworth, Kew and Brentford, causing damage to several houses, killing ten people and wounding ten. As the Giant flew for home it was attacked over Gravesend and the pilot fired 100 rounds before breaking off the attack after losing his night vision when a tracer bullet hit a propeller blade. Another Giant was spotted on its approach above North Benfleet in Essex and attacked by four pilots and dumped its bombs near Wanstead for no result. The British pilots continued to attack as the Giant turned for home but despite attacks until the Giant reached the coast at Eastchurch, the aircraft flew on.[99][100]

Rfa 501 attacked by itself again on 16/17 February, four aircraft reached England, one carrying a 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) bomb which, aimed at Victoria station, fell half a mile away on the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.[101] An aircraft attacked the following night, hitting St Pancras station; 21 people were killed and 32 injured.[102] Another Giant raid took place on 7 March; five aircraft reached England, one carrying another 2,200 lb (1,000 kg) bomb, which fell on Warrington Crescent near Paddington station: among the dead was Lena Ford, who had written the lyrics of the popular wartime song Keep the Home Fires Burning.[103]

On 12 March, five Zeppelins attempted a raid on the Midlands but headwinds caused them to mistake their position and two dropped their bombs in the sea, the rest bombing the Hull area with little effect, their commanders thinking that they were over Leeds. Another raid was attempted the following night but only one of the three airships reached England, bombing Hartlepool. The bombs killed eight people; an RFC pilot was killed when he flew into Pontop Pike near Dipton, County Durham. A third airship raid took place on 12 April, again the altitude and weather caused navigational problems and although attacks were claimed on a number of towns in the Midlands, most of the bombs fell in open country. Seven people were killed, 20 injured and £11,673 damage was caused.[104]

By the middle of March, the Gotha squadron was once again ready to attack England but had to support the German spring offensive which started on 21 March, being used to bomb Calais, Dunkirk, Boulogne and troop concentrations and railways.[105] On 9 May, Rfa 501 suffered a calamity when four aircraft attempted to bomb Dover. High winds caused them to be recalled when over the Channel, by which time fog had covered their base. One aircraft landed safely, the crew of a second survived a crash in which the aircraft was written off and the remaining two crashed with the loss of all but one member of each crew.[106]

The last and largest aeroplane raid of the war took place on the night of 19 May 1918, when 38 Gothas and 3 Giants took off against London. Six Gothas were shot down by night-fighters and anti-aircraft fire and a seventh aircraft was forced to land after being intercepted by a Bristol fighter of 141 Squadron from Biggin Hill, crewed by Lieutenant Edward Turner and Air Mechanic Henry Barwise which fought a long engagement with the Gotha. This was the first victory of the war for Biggin Hill, for which Turner and Barwise were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.[107] The British estimated that 1,200 kg (2,700 lb) of bombs were dropped, although the German figure was 1,500 kg (3,200 lb); 49 people were killed, 177 injured and damage was £117,317.[108]

After this raid, Kagohl 3 and Rfa 501 were principally used for army support. The development of the 2.2 lb (1 kg) B-1E Elektro incendiary bomb, led to a project, Der Feuerplan (The Fire Plan), which involved the use of the whole German heavy bomber fleet, flying in waves over London and Paris and dropping all the incendiaries that they could carry, until they were either shot down or the crews were too exhausted to fly. The hope was that the two capitals would be destroyed in an inextinguishable blaze, causing the Allies to sue for peace.[109] Thousands of Elektron bombs were delivered to bomber bases and the operation was scheduled for August and again in early September 1918 but on both occasions, the order to take off was countermanded at the last moment, perhaps because of the fear of Allied reprisals.[110][111]

The last Zeppelin raid on Britain took place on 5 August 1918, when four Zeppelins bombed targets in the Midlands and the North of England. The airships reached the British coast before dark and were sighted by the Leman Tail lightship 30 mi (48 km) north-east of Happisburgh at 20:10, although defending aircraft were not alerted until 20:50. Despite thick cloud, two aircraft intercepted the new L 70, which was carrying Peter Strasser, Führer der Luftschiffe of the German Imperial Navy, as an observer. The Zeppelin was shot down in flames with no survivors. Egbert Cadbury and Robert Leckie flying a DH.4 were credited with the victory.[112] The remaining airships dropped their bombs blind, relying on radio bearings for navigational information and none fell on land. An attempt was made to salvage the wreckage of L 70 and most of the structure was brought ashore, providing the British a great deal of technical information. The bodies of the crew were buried at sea.[113]


  1. ^ The army airship LZ77 was heard between 8:40 and 10:40 p.m. off Dunwich and off Dover, bombs exploding near the Galloper Lightship being thought to have been dropped by it.[37]
  2. ^ It has been suggested by Ray Rimell that the reason for this confusion was a calculation by the authorities that the shooting down of a hated and feared Zeppelin "baby killers" would play better with the public than the destruction of an almost unknown Schütte-Lanz type.[54]
  3. ^ In 1938, Air Commodore Lionel Charlton described the raid as "the beginning of a new epoch in the history of warfare".[75]
  4. ^ Both fighters carried a new gunsight invented by Lieutenant H. B. Neame of the Technical Directorate. The apparatus was an illuminated ring sight with the ring size set for the 77 ft (23 m) wingspan of a Gotha to fill it at 100 yd (91 m), the best range for opening fire. The Giant had a wingspan twice that of a Gotha, unknown to British pilots, which may have induced them to open fire when well out of range.[95]


  1. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 212.
  2. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 245.
  3. ^ "'World War Onesie' — how night-time air raids started a revolution in the type of clothing women wore to bed". BBC Scotland. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Jones 2009e, p. 164.
  5. ^ Liddell Hart 1934, p. 76.
  6. ^ Hanson 2009, p. 452.
  7. ^ Baughen 2014, p. 49.
  8. ^ Boyne 2003, p. 99.
  9. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 62–63.
  10. ^ Hanson 2009, p. 17.
  11. ^ a b Hanson 2009, pp. 17–18.
  12. ^ Bruce 1996, pp. 13–15.
  13. ^ Jones 2009a, pp. 88–89.
  14. ^ Robinson 1994, pp. 50–54.
  15. ^ Baughen 2014, p. 117.
  16. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 24.
  17. ^ "Plea For Aeroplanes at King's Lynn". The Times (40, 759). 23 January 1915. p. 10. ISSN 0140-0460.
  18. ^ Robinson 1994, pp. 67, 69, 68, 73.
  19. ^ a b Jones 2009a, pp. 98–99.
  20. ^ Jones 2009a, p. 99.
  21. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 51–55.
  22. ^ Hare 1999, p. 26.
  23. ^ Robinson 1994, p. 4.
  24. ^ a b Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 56–58.
  25. ^ Robinson 1994, p. 74.
  26. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 60.
  27. ^ Robinson 1994, p. 77.
  28. ^ Jones 2009d, pp. 352–353.
  29. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 64–67.
  30. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 68.
  31. ^ Robinson 1994, p. 84.
  32. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 69.
  33. ^ Boulton 2000, p. 106.
  34. ^ Jones 2009a, pp. 118–119.
  35. ^ a b Robinson 1994, p. 109.
  36. ^ a b Jones 2009a, pp. 119–121.
  37. ^ Jones 2009a, p. 121.
  38. ^ a b Jones 2009a, p. 123.
  39. ^ Robinson 1994, p. 117.
  40. ^ a b Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 73.
  41. ^ Jones 2009a, pp. 129–135.
  42. ^ Jones 2009a, pp. 383–385.
  43. ^ Jones2009a, pp. 140–141.
  44. ^ Storey 2015, p. 105.
  45. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 83–85.
  46. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 110.
  47. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 118–120.
  48. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 122.
  49. ^ Robinson 1971 p. 137
  50. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 124.
  51. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 145.
  52. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 149.
  53. ^ Jones 2009a, pp. 222–226.
  54. ^ Rimell 1984.
  55. ^ Robinson 1994, p. 179.
  56. ^ admin. "Zeppelins over Essex |". Retrieved 27 January 2021.
  57. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 174–176.
  58. ^ Jones 2009a, p. 238.
  59. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 178–183.
  60. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 184–185.
  61. ^ Castle 2008, p. 83.
  62. ^ Robinson 1994, pp. 204–209.
  63. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 37–39.
  64. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 78–79.
  65. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 198.
  66. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 201–205.
  67. ^ Jones 2009e, pp. 20–22.
  68. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 237–238.
  69. ^ Hyde 2012, p. 184.
  70. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 243–246.
  71. ^ Jones 2009e, pp. 475–479.
  72. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 138–139.
  73. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 139–141.
  74. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 60–61.
  75. ^ Charlton 1938, pp. 1–224.
  76. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 250–254.
  77. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 260.
  78. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 263.
  79. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 103–106.
  80. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 107–108.
  81. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 224–226.
  82. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 302, 323.
  83. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 325–327.
  84. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 332–333.
  85. ^ a b Fredette 1976, p. 264.
  86. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 143–144.
  87. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 135.
  88. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 146–147.
  89. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 149–150.
  90. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 162–166.
  91. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 166.
  92. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 355–357.
  93. ^ Hanson 2009, p. 351.
  94. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 385–388.
  95. ^ Hanson 2009, p. 359.
  96. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 181–182.
  97. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 359–360.
  98. ^ Hanson 2009, pp. 360–361.
  99. ^ Jones 2009c, pp. 116–117.
  100. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 390–393.
  101. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 188.
  102. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 400–401.
  103. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 192–193.
  104. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 407–411.
  105. ^ Fredette 1976, p. 194.
  106. ^ Fredette 1976, pp. 195–196.
  107. ^ Hanson 2009, p. 397.
  108. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, pp. 423–426.
  109. ^ Hanson 2008, pp. 413–414.
  110. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 416.
  111. ^ Hanson 2008, pp. 437–438.
  112. ^ Cole & Cheesman 1984, p. 440.
  113. ^ Robinson 1994, pp. 335–336.


  • Baughen, G. (2014). Blueprint for Victory: Britain's First World War Blitzkrieg Air Force. Stroud: Fonthill Media. ISBN 978-1-78155-392-3.
  • Boyne, Walter J. (2003). The Influence of Air Power on History. Gretna, LA: Pelican. ISBN 978-1-58980-034-2. Retrieved 24 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Bruce, J. M. (1996). Rimmell, R. L. (ed.). Vickers FB5. Windsock Datafile (56). Berkhamstead: Albatros Productions. ISBN 0-948414-75-8.
  • Buttlar-Brandenfels, Horst Julius Freiherr Treusch von (1932). Zeppelins Over England. New York: Harcourt Brace. OCLC 1837977.
  • Castle, I. (2008). London 1914–1917: The Zeppelin Menace. Campaign (193). Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 978-1-84603-245-5.
  • Castle, Ian (20 October 2015). The First Blitz: Bombing London During WWI. Oxford: Osprey. ISBN 978-1-4728-1529-3.
  • Charlton, Lionel (1938). The Air Defence of Britain. Penguin Special S8. London: Penguin. OCLC 1112518701.
  • Cole, Christopher; Cheesman, E. F. (1984). The Air Defence of Great Britain 1914–1918. London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-30538-8.
  • Fredette, Raymond H. (1976). The Sky on Fire: The First Battle of Britain 1917–1918. New York: Harvest. ISBN 0-15-682750-6.
  • Goebel, Stefan; White, Jerry (2016), "London and the First World War" (PDF), The London Journal, 41 (3): 199–218, doi:10.1080/03058034.2016.1216758, S2CID 159584322
  • Haddow, G.W.; Grosz, Peter M. (1988) [1962]. The German Giants: The German R-Planes, 1914–1918 (3rd ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 978-0-85177-812-9.
  • Hanson, Neil (19 May 2008). First Blitz: The Secret German Plan to Raze London to the Ground in 1918. London: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-61170-1.
  • Hanson, Neil (2009) [2008]. First Blitz: The Secret German Plan to Raze London to the Ground in 1918 (pbk. repr. Corgi Books, London ed.). London: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-552-15548-9. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Hare, P. R. (1999). Aeroplanes of the Royal Aircraft Factory. Crowood Aviation. Marlborough: The Crowood Press. ISBN 1-86126-209-4.
  • Herris, Jack (2014). German G-Type Bombers of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes. Charleston, SC: Aeronaut Books. ISBN 978-1-935881-26-1.
  • Hyde, Andrew (18 October 2012). The First Blitz: The German Air Campaign Against Britain, 1917–1918. Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 978-1-78159-124-6.
  • Jones, H. A. (2009d) [1928]. The War in the Air, Being the Story of the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. II (Imperial War Museum Department of Printed Books and Naval & Military Press ed.). London: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-413-0. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Jones, H. A. (2009a) [1931]. The War in the Air, Being the Story of the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. III (pbk. facs. repr. Imperial War Museum Department of Printed Books and Naval & Military Press, Uckfield ed.). London: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-414-7. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Jones, H. A. (2009c) [1935]. The War in the Air Being the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. V (pbk. facs. repr. Imperial War Museum Department of Printed Books and Battery Press, Uckfield ed.). London: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-416-1. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Jones, H. A. (2009e) [1934]. The War in the Air Being the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force Appendices. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. VI (pbk. facs. repr. Imperial War Museum Department of Printed Books and Battery Press, Uckfield ed.). London: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-411-6. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Liddell Hart, Basil Henry (1934). A History of the World War 1914–1918. Faber and Faber. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-304-93653-3.
  • Morris, Joseph (1993) [1925]. German Air Raids on Britain 1914–1918 (facs. repr. Naval & Military Press ed.). London: Sampson Low. ISBN 978-1-84342-149-8.
  • Rimell, Raymond Laurence (1984). Zeppelin! A Battle for Air Supremacy in World War I. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-920002-27-8.
  • Robinson, Douglas H. (1994) [1971]. The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division, 1912–1918. Schiffer military/aviation history (3rd illus. Schiffer, Atglen PA ed.). Henley-on-Thames: Foulis. ISBN 978-0-88740-510-5.
  • Steel, Nigel; Hart, Peter (1997). Tumult in the Clouds: The British Experience of the War in the Air 1914–1918. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-0-340-63845-3.
  • Storey, N. R. (2015). Zeppelin Blitz: The German Air Raids on Great Britain during the First World War (ebook ed.). Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0-7509-6321-3.

Further reading

  • Faulknor, N.; Durrani, N. (2008). In Search of the Zeppelin War: The Archaeology of the First Blitz. Stroud: Tempus Publishing (The History Press). ISBN 978-0-7524-4182-5.
  • Griehl, M.; Dressel, J. (1990). Zeppelin! The German Airship Story. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 978-1-85409-045-4.
  • Hoeppner, E. W. von (1994) [1921]. Deutschlands Krieg in der Luft: Ein Rückblick auf die Entwicklung und die Leistungen unserer Heeres-Luftstreitkräfte im Weltkriege [Germany's War in the Air: A Review of the Development and the Achievements of our Army Air Force in the World War] (in German). Translated by Larned, J. Hawley (hbk. facs. repr. Battery Press ed.). Leipzig: K. F. Koehle. ISBN 0-89839-195-4.
  • Raleigh, W. A. (1969) [1922]. The War in the Air: Being the Story of the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. I (repr. Hamish Hamilton, London ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. OCLC 785856329. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive foundation.
  • Jones, H. A. (2009b) [1934]. The War in the Air Being the Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. IV (pbk. facs. repr. Imperial War Museum Department of Printed Books and Battery Press, Uckfield ed.). London: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-1-84342-415-4. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • Mower, M. (2008). Zeppelin over Suffolk: The Final Raid of the L48. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Aviation. ISBN 978-1-84415-737-2.
  • Neumann, G. P. (1920). Die deutschen Luftstreitkräfte im Weltkriege [The German Air Force in the Great War] (in German). Translated by Gurdon, J. E. (Hodder & Stoughton, London ed.). Berlin: Mittler. OCLC 39823845. Retrieved 23 September 2021 – via Archive Foundation.
  • White, J. (2014). Zeppelin Nights: London in the First World War (e-book ed.). London: The Bodley Head. OCLC 1151873610.

External links

  • Historical footage of Zeppelins in World War I,
  • The Brock Bullet Claim Flight Aircraft Engineer Magazine