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Zeppelin raids

Zeppelin raids. The first air raid on Britain by German airships took place in January 1915. In theory the Zeppelin attacks were directed against naval and military targets. In reality, poor weather, limited night-time visibility, and frequent navigation errors meant that they dropped their bombs indiscriminately on civilian targets. In 51 raids the Zeppelins killed 556 people and injured 1,357. These attacks caused localized panic which interrupted industrial production but in the longer term failed to have an appreciable impact on Britain's war effort. By 1916 British defences were taking an increasing toll of the attackers. Of the 80 Zeppelins which the German navy built between 1912 and 1917, 23 were shot down or destroyed on the ground, and another 31 destroyed in accidents. By bringing home the reality of war to the civilian population, the Zeppelins only reinforced the already widespread British conviction that they were engaged in a struggle for good against evil.

David French

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