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Humpday History Highlight

By Wyatt Earp | January 19, 2011

The German Blitz of 1940 devastated the city of London. Thousands were killed and firestorms swept through the city. The Nazi air raids were not the first to strike England, however.

January 19, 1915 – First Air Raid On Britain

During World War I, Britain suffers its first casualties from an air attack when two German zeppelins drop bombs on Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn on the eastern coast of England.

The zeppelin, a motor-driven rigid airship, was developed by German inventor Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin in 1900. The zeppelin’s rigid dirigible, with its steel framework, was by far the largest airship ever constructed.

In January 1915, Germany employed three zeppelins, the L.3, the L.4, and the L.6, in a two-day bombing mission against Britain. The L.6 turned back after encountering mechanical problems, but the other two zeppelins succeeded in dropping their bombs on English coastal towns.

How sad must your city be to fall prey to a blimp attack? Seriously. The only American cities that would fall for that would be a place like Mobile, Alabama and . . . Philly. Although, in fairness, you never really see a good blimp attack anymore, and that’s a shame. I’d bet it would surprise the hell out of Iran or al Qaeda.

Topics: HHH | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Humpday History Highlight”

  1. Rick Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    I bet it would surprise lots of folks seeing a blimp attacking

  2. JCM Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 7:49 pm


    Nothing Michael Moore does surprises me.

  3. John D Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I assume those dirigibles were filled with hydrogen, like the Hindenburg. Imagine what would have happened if the Brits had antiaircraft artillery back then. Boom! It would’ve flambéed those German aircrews.

  4. JCM Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    John D,

    Nice little write up on on the history.

    The Zeppelin Raiders

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Rick – Especially during a football game.

    JCM – Well played, sir!

    John D – And given the Brits a fine fireworks display.

    JCM – Was Robert Plant involved?

  6. Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    THEY AREN’T BLIMPS! Zeppelins have an interior skeleton! Don’t make this mistake again or it’s DEATH FROM ABOVE!

  7. Wm T Sherman Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    The German zeppelins were indeed filled with hydrogen. Their protection was to fly at high altitude, at night.
    British fighter planes armed with incendiary/explosive bullets, and ground based anti-aircraft fire, eventually did start taking them down.

    The first kill of a zeppelin was over continental Europe, with bombs dropped by a ground attack aircraft (!) that got lucky.


  8. Robert B. Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    The Hinderburg was clocked over 80 MPH during its flight tests. How fast were the biplanes of the era?

  9. EnanoSiniestro Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    WWI planes flew past 100 mph. The German Fokker Dr.1 triplane maxed out at 115 mph (100 knots), while the British Sopwith Camel biplane topped out at 118 mph. The LZ 129 Hindenburg was built between 1931 & 1932, so it was not around during WWI.

  10. proof Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Wyatt: Let me put on my professorial hat: The terms “Blimp” and “zeppelin” are not interchangeable. Both are lighter than air craft, but as you noted, Zeppelins were rigid, blimps are non rigid airships.

    I’m sure Mrs. C can come up with a nice Freudian interpretation.

  11. Dustyvet Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 12:31 am

    The Goodyear Blimp was hijacked in London, the hijackers bounced it off Big Ben 9 times…:)

  12. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Count – I should have known. They made a big deal of the difference .

    Wm T Sherman – I really need to learn more about WWI. It’s becoming a forgotten war.

    Robert B. – Oh, the humanity!

    Enano – A WWI biplane traveling 118 mph. Damn.

    Proof – Yeah, she should be checking in on that in a moment.

    Dustyvet – I hope that’s a joke.

  13. Sally Anne Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I’m a little scared that Ferdinand von Zeppelin is on your blog… zombie blimp ZEPPELIN attack?

  14. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Sally Anne – Brainsssss, er, Blimpssssss!

  15. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    January 20th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    The Zeppelin is rigid while the Blimp is merely inflatable. I’m not sure if one is necessarily superior to the other, it’s more of a personal preference.

  16. Wyatt Earp Says:
    January 21st, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Mrs. Crankipants – And size matters to some folks.