A Zeppelin descending to land © IWM (Q 42078)

Centenary Anniversary: First air raid on London

Date of Anniversary: 31 May 2015
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London was attacked from the air for the first time on May 31st 1915.

A German Zeppelin dropped more than 120 bombs, killing seven people.

Homes in the Stoke Newington area, north of the City financial district, were the first to be hit in the night raid.

Zeppelin LZ38, commanded by Erich Linnarz, also bombed parts of the East End before returning to base in France.

The British Government restricted newspaper reporting of the raid, fearing panic.

Several towns on England's east coast had already been attacked from the air, starting with Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn in January 1915.

The raids were sanctioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II, although at first he was reluctant to target London because of his family ties with the British Royal Family.

The French port of Calais was bombed in February 1915.

Germany began aerial bombing in the opening days of the First World War, using airships to attack the Belgian cities of Liège and Antwerp.

British and French planes carried out the first Allied air raids in the autumn of 1914.

Centenary News reported from Great Yarmouth on the 100th anniversary of the Zeppelin raid. You can read the full story here.

Sources: Wikipedia/various

Images courtesy of the Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 42078)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

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