Zeppelin raids, Gothas and 'Giants'

Britain's First Blitz - 1914 -1918

Ian Castle looks at the World War One air raids on Britain - the First Blitz

40 (3)


3rd/4th Apr 1916


Two Navy Zeppelins, L.11 and L.17, were detailed for a raid on London but strong headwinds made that impossible. Instead both made for Norfolk but Kapitänleutnant Herbert Ehrlich in L.17 abandoned his mission before he reached the coast.


Korvettenkapitän Victor Schütze persevered with L.11, bringing her in over the north Norfolk coast between Cromer and Sheringham, probably around 1.45am. She made slow progress southwards towards Norwich, one of her secondary targets. It is possible that Schütze was struggling to identify his position as he only dropped four incendiary bombs over land. The first fell south of the village of Hanworth, 300 yards from Hanworth Hall. This bomb was only discovered on 8th April. Two more bombs fell on the twin villages of Buxton with Lamas at about 2.30am. One fell in a hedge, the other in a field, although reports suggest one failed to ignite. Then, however, L.11 turned away from Norwich, apparently following the River Bure to Salhouse where she dropped her final incendiary bomb, which landed on an allotment about 200 yards from the nearest house at 2.45am. From there L.11 continued eastwards, reaching the coast at Caister just after 3.00am. At 3.15am L.11 dropped nine HE bombs over the sea – apparently about a mile off the coast from Great Yarmouth and Caister. None of her bombs appear to have caused any damage.


Coastal fog prevented a determined attempt by the RNAS to intercept L.11. Three aircraft eventually took off but only after Schütze had departed.













Casualties: 0 killed,  0 injured


Damage: £0