Zeppelin raids, Gothas and 'Giants'

Britain's First Blitz - 1914 -1918

Ian Castle looks at the World War One air raids on Britain - the First Blitz

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16th April 1915

A lone German army raider from Feldflieger Abteilung No.41, flying an Albatross B II, came inland over the Kent coast between Deal and Kingsdown shortly before noon on the morning of 16th April 1915. The raider flew across Kent towards Herne Bay then turned towards the mouth of the River Swale and Sheerness before turning back and approaching Faversham. Here the raider encountered fire from an anti-aircraft gun, which got off seven rounds before the Albatross climbed and flew westwards towards Sittingbourne.

 

At Sittingbourne, the aircraft dropped five bombs; one landed in Fulston orchard, blasting an apple tree and killing a blackbird sitting in it, another fell at Crayalls Farm and three landed at Gore Court Park.

 

Returning to Faversham, the Albatross dropped four high explosive (HE) and one incendiary bomb. Bombs fell on the edge of The Mall cricket ground near the Ashford Road, with another falling on the road, and at the Mount cricket field, near to a South-Eastern Railway level crossing, which narrowly missed a signal box. A fourth bomb landed in a garden at Preston village with the final bomb landing in a fruit plantation. There were no casualties. The anti-aircraft gun at Faversham again opened fire, getting off 22 rounds this time, but again without success.

 

The Albatross now made for home, flying over Canterbury, and climbing up to between 8,000 - 9,000ft, pursued by a British aircraft from Eastchurch. A number of other defence pilots from Eastchurch, Dover and Westgate took to the sky but were unable to intercept the raider who crossed back over the coast north of Deal about an hour after it arrived.

albatrosbii (2)

Albatros B II

Casualties: 0 killed, 0 injured

 

Damage: £0

Kent

FavershamSittingbourneA

Souvenir postcard of the raid