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Airships - Zeppelins Used by Germany in World War I

Airships - Zeppelins Used by Germany in World War I Disasters Social Studies World History World War I

This WWI-era image shows us how a Zeppelin air attack over London would have appeared to terrified people living in the city during World War I.  Its caption reads:

The Low Down Thing that Plays the Low Down Game

Germany sent its Zeppelins to attack Britain during 1915.  Those attacks continued until 1916.  It wasn’t just London, however, that Germany’s rigid airships attacked.  Other towns in Southeast England were also subjected to the terror.

These attacks represented the first time in history that war was brought to defenseless citizens with repeated aerial bombings.  People on the ground had little, if anything, to use against the Zeppelins.  

The British did not have high-angle, anti-aircraft guns with which to protect themselves from attack.  Radar did not exist but, even if it had been available, there were no planes which could quickly climb to the Zeppelins’ level to engage the giants in aerial combat.

When it came to bombing cities, Germany had a clear advantage at this stage of the Great War.  The airships simply left their sheds in German-occupied Belgium, around dusk, and climbed to a safe level.  

With favorable winds, the pilots could turn-off the Zeppelins’ engines and the wind would carry them over the water during the evening hours.  Arriving in Britain sometime after dark, at altitudes which were safe for the airships, the Zeppelin crews were free to drop their explosives almost at will.  

After finishing their attacks, they flew home.

And so it continued ... until Britain developed a way to fight back against the bomb-delivering airships.

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image, circa 1915-16, online courtesy Imperial War Museum.

 

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"Airships - Zeppelins Used by Germany in World War I" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 23, 2019.
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