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Zeppelin LZ46 (L14)



9th August 1915 First flight of Zeppelin LZ46  Zeppelin LZ46 (L14) a P Class craft had its first flight on the 9th August 1915. L14 was the most successful of the German Navy airships. It carried out 42 reconnaissance missions and 17 attacks on Britain dropping a total of 22,045 kg (48,601 lb) of bombs. It was taken out of service during 1917 and 1918 and destroyed by its crew on 23 June 1919.

8th September 1915 Zeppelin raid on London  8/9th September The Navy attempted to follow up the Army's success the following night. Three Zeppelins were directed against London and one against the benzol plant at Skinningrove.
  • L 11 turned back early with engine trouble;
  • L 14 suffered the same problem while over Norfolk: its bombs were dropped on East Dereham and the Zeppelin returned home.
  • L 13 reached London, approaching over Golders Green, Kapitšnleutnant Heinrich Mathy began bombing around 2240.

The bomb-load included a 300-kilogram (660 lb) device, the largest yet carried. This exploded on Bartholomew Close near Smithfield Market, destroying several houses and killing two men. Further bombs fell on the textile warehouses north of St Paul's Cathedral, causing a fire which despite the attendance of 22 fire engines caused over half a million pounds damage:

Mathey then turned east, dropping his remaining bombs on Liverpool Street station. The Zeppelin was repeatedly caught by searchlights and all 26 anti-aircraft guns in London were active, but every shell exploded too low and the falling shrapnel caused both damage and alarm on the ground. Three aircraft were in the air. None even saw the Zeppelin; one crashed on landing, killing the pilot. The raid killed 22 people and injured 87. The monetary damage was over one sixth of the total damage inflicted by bombing raids during the war.

13th October 1915 Zeppelin raid on London  13th October 1915.

After three more raids were scattered by the weather a five-Zeppelin raid which became known as the "Theatreland Raid" was launched by the Navy on 13 October. Arriving over the Norfolk coast around 1830 the Zeppelins encountered new ground defences installed since the September raid under the guidance of Sir Percy Scott. These new gun sites proved ineffective, although the airship commanders commented on the improved defences of the city. A 13-pounder near Broxbourne was put out of action by three bombs dropped from L 15, which continued to London and began bombing over Charing Cross, the first bombs striking the Lyceum Theatre and the corner of Exeter and Wellington Streets, killing 17 and injuring 20.

Further bombs were dropped on Holborn: as the airship neared Moorgate it was engaged by a new 75 mm gun sited at the Honourable Artillery Company grounds in Finsbury. L 15 quickly recognised this new threat and jettisoned ballast, dropped only three more bombs (one landing on Aldgate High Street causing much damage) before departing, having suffered some engine damage from the shells. L 13 dropped some bombs around Guildford and later others near Woolwich. L 14 dropped bombs on Otterpool Army Camp near Folkestone, killing 14 soldiers and injuring 12, and later bombed Tonbridge and East Croydon. Both the other Zeppelins, L 16 and L 11 were even further off course, L 16 dropped up to 50 bombs on Hertford and L 11 scattered a few bombs over Norfolk before heading home. In total, 71 people were killed and 128 injured.

This was the last raid of 1915, as bad weather coincided with the new moon in both November and December 1915 and continued into January 1916.

There were a total 20 raids in 1915, in which 37 tons of bombs were dropped, killing 181 people and injuring 455.

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Zeppelin LZ46 (L14)

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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