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Author Topic: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.  (Read 31593 times)

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Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1915
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2015, 22:27:30 »
1915
16-17 May, night, Ramsgate and Dover,   5 defence sorties.
Army Zeppelin LZ38 crossed Kent coast at 01.35 hrs, dropped c20 bombs on Ramsgate, flew out to sea, then returned to drop 33 bombs North- East of Dover.
2 killed, 1 injured (all Ramsgate) 1,600 of damage.
LZ 38 was damaged and 1 crewman killed when it was attacked by a RNAS aircraft over Ostende.


Correction.
It was not LZ38 that was damaged. Nine Royal Naval Air service aircraft had taken off from Dunkirt and Furnes in response to the Admiralty notifying the RNAS in France that LZ38 was on its homeward journey.
Instead of LZ38, three pilots found LZ39 returning from an aborted raid on Calais. Flight Lieutenant A W Bigworth managed to drop four 20lb bombs on LZ39. Smoke emerged and it later transpired that five gas cells had been damaged and a propeller lost. One crewman was killed and several were injured.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2015, 18:10:02 »
Have just found this website which will be of interest.

http://www.iancastlezeppelin.co.uk/home/4582467808

"The aim of this website is to provide information on all of the air raids, on each of the 103 dates, when German airships or aeroplanes bombed Britain during World War One.
This website will continue to develop over the next couple of years until it eventually tells the complete story of Britain's First Blitz."

Offline Kentishwolf

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #25 on: May 03, 2013, 07:39:02 »
My first post on the forum, hope the photo uploads. Three granite cylinders on the North side of Windmill Hill, Gravesend mark the spot where three of the bombs from the Zeppelin raid on 4/5th June 1915 landed.

Local history books record that, "..those who went to their windows and gazed out saw beneath the starry heavens, at a great height, what looked like a silver cigar, hovering over Windmill Hill. Immediately there was a terrific crash, followed by a flare which lit up the surrounding property. Afterwards it was discovered that three incendiary bombs had been dropped on the hill, making deep holes in the ground."

 The raid continued, another bomb was dropped on "Feldon", Windmill Street, the residence of a Mr J Dyce, also causing damage to No 100 Windmill Street. Other bombs were dropped at Peppercroft Street,  48 and 50 Wrotham Road, Woodville Terrace, Arthur Street, 2 Cobham Street, 34 Bath Street, nurses quarters at Gravesend Hospital, and outside the Yacht Club VAD Hospital, the last bomb dropped in the mud of the River Thames.

 Locals at the time suspect that the Zeppelin crew's real target was Tilbury Docks, just over the other side of the Thames.
 Hope this is of interest.

Andy.
The Fields Lie Sleeping Underneath.

Offline gardener

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 23:44:18 »
Sorry 'cos I never saw it,  my apologies, the item was by an elderly lady remembering her war experience. I'm sorry so many died. 

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2012, 23:26:45 »
In know this is not technical but it is part of a  memoir "one bomb fell on the Naval Barracks killed 136 men of the navy, most by flying glass.That bomb caused more deaths than any bomb dropped in England during the  1914-1918 war". Date unknown.
Why is the date unknown?
3-4 September 1917, see reply of February 19 2011 above with 2 detailed links.

Offline gardener

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2012, 23:03:30 »
In know this is not technical but it is part of a  memoir "one bomb fell on the Naval Barracks killed 136 men of the navy, most by flying glass.That bomb caused more deaths than any bomb dropped in England during the  1914-1918 war". Date unknown.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2012, 22:55:54 »
9 January 1915. Kaiser gives permission for raids on coastal areas, docks and military targets, including those in the lower Thames, but not central London.

12 February 1915. Kaiser authorizes attacks on the London docks, but changes his mind a month later.

5 May 1915. Bombing east of the Tower of London was approved, but orders not passed on until the end of the month.

20 July 1915. Permission for unrestricted raids given, provided that historic buildings were spared.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2012, 12:19:42 »
The Germans made at least nine high flying photographic reconnissance flights over southern England April to July 1918.
The units involved being the army Flieger Abteilung and the navy See Front Staffel, flying the Rumpler CVll (mainly) and the Halberstadt CLll.
Only three sorties were seen by the defenders, on the 17th June and the 18th and 20th July. The Margate guns fired at the high flying Rumpler that passed over at noon, 17th June.
A London reconnaissance flight, probably unoffical, was flown on the 21st May.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2011, 23:17:21 »
Sound locators.
To follow the inland routes of night time raids, a simple double-trumpet sound locator came into use in late 1917.
A later, more sophisticated, pattern employing four 24-in trumpets connected to stethoscopes enabled the operator to assess direction of a target in elevation and azimuth up to an effective range of 10,000 yards in favourable conditions.
A photo of the later device, the MK 1 sound locator, can be seen here, forth picture down.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2011, 23:53:33 »
Early warning 1914-18.
As might be expected there was little warning of air raids on Britain during the First World War.
With luck lightships, picket boats, wireless intercepts, coastal observers, aircraft standing patrols and, later in the war, sound mirrors might pick up enemy aircraft as they aproached our shores.

Wireleess direction-finding
Wireless direction-finding stations had been set up on the coast to pick up transmissions from German submarines. It was soon discovered that it was also possible to pick up signals from Zeppelins.
By mid April 1915, it was discovered that if a Zeppelin transmission included the words "only HVB on board" it indicated that the airship was bound for Britain and was not on a routine reconnaissance over the North Sea.
HVD was the German navy code book for signalling merchant ships and was known to be compromised and was thus the only code book allowed to be carried over Britain.
By April 1916 the Germans had tightened their wireless procedure.

 Sound Mirrors
               The Owls ears are not the tufts on top of its head, but are recessed
               into the sides of their faces at the outer edge of the ring of feathers
               around the  eye. The ring of feathers acts as a parabolic dish, focusing
               the sound into the ear. The ears are at different heights on each side
               of the head, thus enabling the Owl to hear the direction the sound is
               coming from both vertically and horizontally.

                          Source; The QI Annual 'E'  2007

The human equivalent consisted of a mirror, the parabolic dish, usually made of concrete. The sound was collected in a trumpet shaped cone pivoted at the centre of the mirror. This was connected to the listener by a stethoscope like device. The listener would move the trumpet across the mirror until he found the point where the sound was strongest. The bearing of the target could then be read from graduated vertical and horizontal scales on the collector.

The first tests with sound mirrors were undertaken at Binbury Manor Farm nr Detling under the direction of Professor T. Mather and J. T. Irving. A sound locator in the form of a 16 ft dia paraboloid reflector was cut into the face of a chalk cliff. Tests during July 1915 showed that aircraft could be picked up between half-a-minute to two-and-a-half minutes before they could be heard by the unaided human ear.
Despite once picking up an aircraft 10 1/2 miles away, both the Royal Navy Air Service and the war office were unimpressed. It is not known if Professor Mather was concerned with later developments.

A fixed 15-ft dia reflector was cut into the cliff at Fan Bay, East of Dover, its surface lined with concrete, the mirror focussed on a point midway between Dunkirt and Calasis.
The reflected sound was received in a 3-ft trumpet pivoted at the centre of the mirror. The mirror was first used during the raid of 1-2 Oct 1917, when it picked up the sounds of enemy aircraft some 12-15 miles out to sea. Experiments were made with two trumpets, then with a resonator in place of the trumpets.

A 4-ft dia concrete sound mirror, mounted on a stand to allow movement both in elevation and azimuth, was tested in the Dover area.

A circular 12 1/2-ft concrete sound mirror on a moveable mounting was tested at Joss Gap, nr Broadstairs in May 1918.
Later a more advanced 20-ft plywood double disc sound locator was built, also at Joss Gap. During trials in Sep 1918 it picked up an aircraft flying at 3,000 ft 15 miles away, the unaided human ear only picking up the sound when the aircraft was 1 mile away.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2011, 22:29:55 »
Sources, References and Links.

The Air Defence of Britain 1914-1918, by C Cole and E.F. Cheesman, Putnam 1984.
Hardback, isbn: o-370-30538-8. 145 mm x220 mm, 486 pages, over 300 black/white photos +maps and diagrams.
A record of all the airship and aeroplane raids on the UK 1914-18, and a comprehensive breakdown of the British pilots and machines that flew to intercept, and hopefully down, the raiders that flew by night and day.
Basic details are given of each enemy raid, with full details of the home defence Squadrons involved, times of patrols, pilots names and aircraft, including in most cases their serials.
Being so close to the continent, the Kent airfields were heavily involved.
The definitive work on the subject.

A Glint in the Sky. German First World War Air Raids on Folkestone. Dover. Ramsgate. Margate and other Kentish towns, by Martin Easdown with Thomas Genth.
Pen and Sword, 2004, isbn: 1 84415 119 0, 12.99, softback 210mm x 160mm 160 pages 149 black/white photos, maps.
The book is centred around the authors extensive research into the air raid on Folkestone, 25 May 1917, and its aftermath.
The raid killed 96 people, 61 being killed by a single bomb that exploded in Tontine street. Eye witness accounts are given along with details of all fatalities, including where they are buried.
A chapter is given on Folkestone in the early part of the Great War.
Other First World War air raids on on Kent are covered in lesser detail.
Co author Thomas Genth is the grandson of Adolf Genth, who flew on the Folkestone raid. He has supplied details and photos of his Grandfathers career.

Other sources.
German Air Raids on Britain 1914-18, Joseph Morris.
The Gotha Summer, C M White.
The First Battle of Britain, R H Fredette.
Local papers.

Two links.
Ramsgate in the Great war.
http://www.janetandrichardsgenealogy.co.uk/ramsgate_in_the_great_war.html
Includes 3 complete books, with photos, from 1919, about First World War air raids on Ramsgate and Thanet

North Foreland lookout post in the Great war.
http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/nflp/


Offline Alastair

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2011, 15:08:36 »
Interesting picture Ramsgate History. Couple of local names there - Deveson and Hayward.

Ramsgate History

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1915
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2011, 21:32:47 »
1915
16-17 May, night, Ramsgate and Dover,   5 defence sorties.
Army Zeppelin LZ38 crossed Kent coast at 01.35 hrs, dropped c20 bombs on Ramsgate, flew out to sea, then returned to drop 33 bombs North- East of Dover.
2 killed, 1 injured (all Ramsgate) £1,600 of damage.
LZ 38 was damaged and 1 crewman killed when it was attacked by a RNAS aircraft over Ostende.

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Offline Alastair

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1914-18.
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2011, 16:59:00 »
According to HERBCOLLECTOR's marvelous list of Zeppelin actions, my photo of the one at Cuffley was Navy Zeppelin SL11, shot down and a VC awarded. Had the photo all these years and I never knew.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Air Raids Kent 1918.
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 21:09:19 »

The final raids. All night-time.

28-29 January, London, Kent, 103 defence sorties.
13 Gothas despatched, 7 attacked.
2 giants despatched, 1 attacked.
2 military personnel were killed in Sheerness.
7 bombs were dropped on Ramsgate, damaging c 100 houses in Crescent road, South Eastern road and Picton road.
A single bomb was dropped on Margate, landing in Caleham road.
1 Gotha was shot down and crashed at Frunds farm, Wickford, Essex.
66 killed, 166 injured, 187,350 damage.

29-30 January, London, 80 defence sorties.
4 giants despatched, 3 giants attacked.
10 killed, 10 injured, 8,968 damage.


16-17 February, London, Dover, 60 defence sorties.
5 giants despatched, 4 giants attacked.
18 bombs were dropped near St Margarets, NE of Dover, c 22.40 hrs, with no casualties.
Giant R33, with engine troubles, dropped its bombs into the sea off Deal.
12 killed, 6 injured, 19,264 damage.

17-18 Febuary, London, 69 defence sorties.
1 giant despatched and attacked.
21 killed, 32 injured, 38,922 damage.


7-8 March, London, Kent, 42 defence sorties.
6 giants despatched, 5 giants attacked.
As well as London, Margate, Herne Bay and Sheerness were targeted with little damage.
23 killed, 39 injured, 42,655 damage.

12-13 March, Midlands, 9 defence sorties.
Raid by 5 Navy Zeppelins.
1 killed, 9 injured, 3,474 damage.

13-14 March, Midlands, 15 defence sorties.
Attack by 1 Naval Zeppelin.
8 killed, 39 injured, 14,280 damage.

12-13 April, Midlands, 27 defence sorties.
Attack by 5 Naval Zeppelins.
7 killed, 20 injured, 11,673 damage.

19-20 May, London, Dover, 88 defence sorties.
38 Gothas despatched and attacked.
3 giants despatched and attacked. + 2 Rumpler weather-reconnaissance planes.
Most of the bombs fell on London but Kent was also hit.
4 bombs were dropped on Dover, a miss Joad being injured at #6 priory Hill Villas. 6 more bombs fell on Langdon airfield, Guston with another 6 at St-Margarets-at Cliffe.
Other bombs fell at Margate and Faversham, where a coal merchant was blinded.
3 Gothas were shot down by British aircraft.
One was shot down by Major C. R. Q Brand of 112 Squadron, flying from Throwley, the enemy crashing in flames at Harty, 23.26 hrs.
A second bomber crashed between Frinstead and Harrietsham, c 00.45 hrs, shot down by Lieut E. E. Turner and Lieut H. B. Barwise, flying from Biggin Hill.
The third one came down at Roman road, East Ham, while another crashed at St Osyth Essex due to bad airmanship.
2 more Gothas were shot down off Dover and Shoeburyness by A-A fire.
49 killed, 177 injured, 177,317 damage.

Final raid
5-6 August, the Midlands, 35 defence sorties.
Attack by 5 Navy Zeppelins.
Zeppelin L70 was shot down 8 miles off Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk.
No casualties or damage, most of the bombs falling in the sea.


 

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