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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218540
Last updated: 22 May 2019
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Date:19-JAN-1915
Time:21:20 LT
Type:M Class Zeppelin LZ.24
Owner/operator:Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy)
Registration: L.3
C/n / msn: LZ.24
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 16
Other fatalities:2
Aircraft damage: None
Location:St. Peters Plain, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk -   United Kingdom
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg, Germany
Destination airport:Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg, Germany
Narrative:
19.1.1915: Zeppelin L3,Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy). Carried out (with Zeppelin L.3/MSN.LZ.24) the first air raid on the UK on this date when it undertook a Bombing raid on Great Yarmouth. There were two civilian fatalities: Martha M Taylor (aged 72) and Samuel Alfred Smith (aged 53). The coroner later stated they had died of shock.

At the beginning of 1915 the Kaiser sanctioned the use of Zeppelins to bomb military and industrial targets in England. So on 19th January 1915 three Zeppelins, L3, L4 and L6 took off from their bases in Germany, each with 16 men, armed with 8x110Ib high explosive and 11x25Ib incendiary bombs, and headed for England.

All of the airships were the new M Class Zeppelins which had Maybach engines which could give them a top speed of 50 mph and they could reach a height of 5,000 feet. L3 was commanded by Kapitänleutnant Hans Fritz; L4 was in the command of Kapitänleutnant Count von Platen-Hallermund; and L6, although in the command of Captain Oberleutnant Freiherr von Buttlar, was also graced with the presence of Korvettenkapitän Peter Strasser who was the overall commander of the Imperial German Navy’s Zeppelin Fleet. L6 encountered problems and had to turn back. Zeppelins L3 and L4 were supposed to bomb north-east coastal towns and fly up the River Humber. But it was not to be and both Zeppelins ended up off the coast of Norfolk arriving roughly at the same time. It is not known for sure how they were 70 miles off course but it was either through weather conditions or navigation errors.

The Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial Germany Navy) airship L3, under command of Kapitänleutnant Hans Fritz and Leutnant zur See v. Lynckner, departed Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg, Germany, at 11:00 a.m., in company with L4 and L6, on a reconnaissance flight over the North Sea, then continued on to Britain, planning to attack during darkness.

L3 reached the British coast at 8:50 p.m. and proceeded to the area around Norfolk. At 9:20 p.m., Captain Fritz and his airship had reached Greater Yarmouth. Flying in rain at 5,000 feet (1,524 meters), over the next ten minutes they dropped six 110 pound (49.9 kilogram) bombs and seven incendiaries on the city below. As L3 turned to leave the area, another four 110 pound bombs were dropped. Completing the attack, L3 returned to Germany, arriving at the airship base at Fuhlsbüttel at 9:30 a.m.

(19 further Zeppelin raids in 1915 killed 177 people; The house that was hit was repaired, and now has a blue plaque commemorating the event - see link #12)

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Zeppelins#Zeppelins_finished_before_World_War_I
3. https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/zeppelins-on-the-east-coast/
4. https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/tag/l3/
5. https://www.historyonthenet.com/world-war-one-zeppelin-raids
6. https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/war-history-the-zeppelin-a-terrifying-new-threat-in-the-sky-1-3919737
7. https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/World-War-One-Zeppelin-Raids/
8. https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/anniversary-of-first-air-raids-in-norfolk-1-5361025
9. https://stevesmith1944.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/zeppelins-over-norfolk-2/
10. https://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/news/zeppelin-attacks-in-great-yarmouth-1-5641596
11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01rnjhk
12. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMQ8HF_Zeppelin_Bombing_Blue_Plaque_St_Peters_Plain_Great_Yarmouth_UK

L 3 Fuhlsbüttel M Class Zeppelin LZ.24 (MSN L.3) entering its hangar at Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg, Germany

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
25-Nov-2018 19:25 Dr.John Smith Added
26-Nov-2018 14:47 Dr.John Smith Updated [Registration, Cn, Narrative]
29-Nov-2018 17:16 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator]
03-Dec-2018 18:53 Dr.John Smith Updated [Total occupants]
03-Dec-2018 18:58 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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