Germany’s Zeppelin airships have been bombing targets across England. The Kaiser has been wary of authorising attacks on London, for fear of killing or injuring his relatives in Buckingham Palace, but he has allowed attacks on London’s docklands. Zeppelin crews have interpreted this broadly to mean anywhere east of Charing Cross.
Tonight three Zeppelins set off to attack London. Two suffer engine trouble and have to turn back but the L13 reaches the British capital. It flies over the city, dropping bombs as it goes, causing much destruction in Bloomsbury, Holborn, Faringdon and the City. Then the L13 heads for home. British aircraft take off to try and intercept it but fail to do so.
The raid is the most destructive yet, killing 22 and injuring 87. The damage to Britain’s capital is valued at £530,787. The Zeppelin’s depredations cause outrage in London and lead to demands that more effective anti-aircraft defences are put in place.
Searchlights (Great War London)
Bomb damage on Wood Street (Ian Castle – Zeppelins and the First Blitz)