The Wartime Memories Project - The Great War - Day by Day
25th May 1917On this day:
- Relocations 236th London Brigade Royal Field Artillery report
all Batteries 236 Brigade (less one section C236 Battery) in new positions tonight and completion of large ammunition dumps at guns now taking place.
- Gotha Daylight Raids Operation Türkenkreuz – In late 1916 Germany began planning a daylight bombing offensive against Britain using aeroplanes, called Operation Türkenkreuz. In anticipation of the campaign, Kagohl (Kampfgeschwader der Obersten Heeresleitung) 3, nicknamed the "England Geschwader", and consisting of six Kastas (Kampfstaffel) under the command of Hauptmann Ernst Brandenburg was formed.
Kagohl 3 initially operated from Sint-Denijs-Westrem and Gontrode in the Ghent area of German-occupied Belgium.
Daylight Gotha raids.
The squadron received the first Gotha G.IV aircraft in March, and on 25th of May 1917, Kagohl 3 sent 23 Gothas on its first raid on London. Two were forced to turn back over the North Sea due to mechanical difficulties and cloud over London caused the remaining bombers to divert to secondary targets at the Channel port of Folkestone and the nearby Army camp at Shorncliffe.
The raid resulted in 95 deaths and 195 injuries, mostly in the Folkestone area. In Shorncliffe, 18 soldiers (16 Canadian and two British) were killed and 90 were wounded. Nine Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) Sopwith Pups engaged the returning bombers near the Belgian coast, shooting one down.
"The worst raid that we in England have experienced yet, took place in broad daylight at 5.30 today, when 16 hostile aircraft hovered over Folkestone, dropping bombs in rapid succession. An awful scene followed. People who were doing their Whitsuntide shopping were killed outright amidst the falling debris of the shops; poor old women, helpless children, babies in arms, all were ruthlessly mutilated – killed and wounded – for a bomb is no respecter of persons. 72 killed and 114 seriously injured." Ethel M Bilbrough of Elmstead Grange, Chislehurst, Kent writing in her diary.
- 25th May 1917 Appointment
- 25th May 1917 Reorganisation
- 25th May 1917 Letters Home
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