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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 870
Last updated: 19 December 2018
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Date:04-MAY-1916
Time:night
Type:Zeppelin LZ.32
Owner/operator:Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy)
Registration: L.7
C/n / msn: LZ.32
Fatalities:Fatalities: 11 / Occupants: 18
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:North Sea, North of Horns Rev, about 10 miles off Blåvands Huk -   Denmark
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Tønder, Denmark
Destination airport:Tønder, Denmark
Narrative:
4th May 1916 - Zeppelin L7 (MSN LZ.32) of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) was brought down by British cruiser fire from HMS Phaeton and HMS Galatea off Horns Riff and finally destroyed by submarine E31. Of 18 occupants of the airship, 11 died. I haven't found much on her war record but I did find that she took part in the 24th April 1916 raid on Yarmouth and Lowestoft on the East coast of the UK. According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Eccles Journal", May 12th 1916):

THE WRECK OF ZEPPELIN L7
Eccles Man in Submarine Action

The remarkably successful exploit of the British Submarine E31 in recently bringing down the German Zeppelin L7 on the Schleswig coast acquires an added interest in Eccles from the fact that an Eccles man had a share in it, and has written an interesting description. Stoker William McKnight, whose sisters live at 89 Trafford Rd, writes: “ Last week was the most exciting week I have ever had in my life. We had the luck of the devil with us. Our boat, a submarine, brought down and destroyed a Zeppelin and brought seven of the crew back with us. The map will show how far exactly we were from Germany when it happened. When you look at it, it does seem rather a hot-headed thing to do, but you know the old saying that there is nothing impossible to the British Navy. After we had polished off the Zeppelin we made for our base so that we could get rid of the prisoners, and were sailing merrily along in the middle of the night when we espied a fast German cruiser, not a hundred yards away, making to cut us in halves. Owing to our officers giving the correct order at the correct second they were spoiled in their attempt to ram us. Our boat altered course, our bows swung round and the two boats stopped side by side with not twenty yards between us. The next thing we had to do was to jump down the conning tower, close the hatch and dive the boat. During the couple of minutes it took to do that, the cruiser was blazing shells at us, but owing to their rotten gunnery we managed to get down, and only one of the shells hit us, and that wasn’t in a vital place. The people who understand the thing properly cannot make out how we managed to get clear away. But there it is. The job’s a good one. Britain still rules the waves, so its not a bit of use worrying is it?....

The Zeppelin men may be brave men when they are sailing over dear old England on a dark night dropping bombs on women and children, but after we had blown them out of their old sausage machine they were glad to beg and plead with us to save their lives. We killed 11 during the ‘argument’ and brought seven back for ‘curios’.”

Stoker McKnight, who will be 25 at the end of the month, is married. He joined the Navy seven years ago, and has experienced some of the perils and excitements encountered by our senior service. He has been on the E31, one of the newest of the submarines, since November, but in the early days of the war he took part in the battle of the Chilean coast whilst on H.M.S. Suffolk, whose sister ship, the H.M.S. Good Hope, was sunk with the Monmouth. He has also seen service in various submarines. One of his exploits, and he has escaped very narrowly from several, was in action on the Suffolk against the famous German cruiser Karlsruhe."

NOTE: Although this incident was hailed as a famous British Naval victory, the exact location was mid-reported (or Anglicised) as "Horns Riff". As the above contemporary newspaper report indicates, this location was off the "Schleswig Coast" ("Schleswig Coast" = Schleswig Holstein, Germany). The incident actually took place at HORNS REV, a shallow sandy reef of glacial deposits in the eastern North Sea, about 15 km/10 miles off the westernmost point of Denmark, Blåvands Huk (at approximate coordinates 55°31′47″N 7°54′22″E). An offshore "Wind Farm" (wind turbines generating electricity) now occupies the site

Sources:

1. https://www.facebook.com/162842593777796/posts/4th-may-1916-zeppelin-l7-was-brought-down-by-british-cruiser-fire-from-hms-phaet/348518571876863/
2. http://salfordwarmemorials.proboards.com/thread/2128/wreck-zeppelin-l7
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Zeppelins
4. http://www.zeppelin-museum.dk/main.php?page=airships&id=l-7&lang=en
5. http://web.archive.org/web/20170830065303/http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/air/view.php?pid=1144
6. http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C4081881
7. http://salfordonline.com/23531-100-years-ago-eccles-submariner-helps-shoot-german-zeppelin.html
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horns_Rev_Offshore_Wind_Farm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
23-Jan-2008 05:00 ASN archive Added
24-Jan-2008 09:12 JINX Updated
14-Nov-2009 09:33 Jumble Updated
25-Oct-2011 12:54 harro Updated [Phase, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Feb-2017 20:39 Dr.John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
13-Feb-2017 20:41 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
13-Feb-2017 20:42 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
25-Nov-2018 19:26 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator]
29-Nov-2018 17:18 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator]
07-Dec-2018 01:18 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Country, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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