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Zeppelin LZ36 (L9) in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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Zeppelin LZ36 (L9)


LZ36 L9

Zeppelin LZ36 (L9) was a Class O Military craft which had its first flight on the 8th March 1915.

It carried out 74 reconnaissance missions in the North Sea and four raids on England dropping a total of 5,683 kg (12,529 lb) of bombs. It also undertook several attacks on British submarines. It was burnt out in its hangar on 16th of September 1916 together with L6 (LZ 31).

14th April 1915 Zeppelin raids on Britain  Zeppelin L9, crossed the coast just north of Blyth and at Cambois she was attacked with rifle fire from the 1st Battalion Northern Cyclists. Bombs were dropped at West Sleekburn and it then followed a winding course to the south passing over Choppington, Bedlington, Cramlington, Seaton Burn and Forest Hall. 14 bombs were dropped en route, all falling on fields. The L9 then headed for Wallsend, harmlessly dropping 9 bombs on the way. Another 6 Incendiary Bombs were dropped at Wallsend, one hitting a cottage and slightly injuring a woman and a girl. 2 more bombs were dropped before the L9 turned east and crossed the coast at Marsden.

14/15th April 1915 Two Navy raids failed due to bad weather on 14 and 15 April, and it was decided to delay further attempts until the more capable P-class Zeppelins were in service.

6th June 1915 Zeppelin Raid  There was a Zeppelin attack on Hull as high winds prevented Kapitšnleutnant Heinrich Mathy in L.9 from reaching his primary target which had been London. L-9's presence was first spotted just after 19:00 by intercepted wireless traffic when it was 100 miles away over the North Sea. Major General Ferrier, commander of the Humber Defences, ordered all lights in the city to be extinguished at 21:30.

At about 23:45, L-9 was spotted above Hedon, to the east of Hull. General Ferrier's staff officer said it was distinct against a clear sky, at an altitude estimated to be 3,000ft (900m). The Zeppelin crossed the coast at Bridlington and followed the railway lines to Hull, dropping flares to light up the dockland area at 2340. The only defences were the hastily pointed guns of HMS Adventure which was under repair at Earle's shipyard at Alexandra Dock. The officer saw three bombs dropped. One bomb landed on the city's ancient High Street, in the centre of the Old Town, making a hole 6ft (2m) deep and fracturing the water and gas mains. The gas main was ignited by the blast but a pipe layer with Hull Corporation stopped the breach with wet clay and extinguished the fire. The inferno caused lead in the church's stained glass windows to melt, but the building survived. A drapery store, only 27ft from the church and The Fleece Inn nearby were consumed by fire. In all 13 high explosive and 50 incendiary bombs destroyed 40 shops and dwellings killing 24 civilians. The death and destruction resulted in anti-German feeling on the ground and provoked attacks against German-owned butchers in the city.

Another raid by three Zeppelins also failed due to the weather and as the craft returned to Evere they were intercepted by RNAS aircraft flying from Furnes, France. LZ.38 was destroyed on the ground.

LZ.37 was intercepted in the air by R. A. J. Warneford in his Morane Parasol. He dropped six 20 pounds (9.1 kg) Hales bombs on the Zeppelin which caught fire and crashed into the convent school of Sint-Amandsberg. Two nuns were killed and only one man of the crew of the Zeppelin survived. Warneford was awarded the Victoria Cross for his achievement.

As a further consequence of the raid both the Army and Navy withdrew from their bases in Belgium as their vulnerability was now clear.

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Those known to have served with

Zeppelin LZ36 (L9)

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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