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)

North-East, N. Yorks., E. Yorks., Norfolk, Scotland

8th/9th August 1916 (part 2)


At 1.30am Kapitänleutnant Eduard Prölss, commanding L.13, came inland at Denemouth, north of Hartlepool. Heading west he dropped an HE bomb at 1.45am in a field at Wingate that broke windows in about 10 houses, then continued on the same course attracted by a burning waste heap at Kelloe Colliery and possibly a burning limekiln at Quarrington. On approaching these lights Prölss dropped 12 HE and 14 incendiary bombs. At Kelloe the bombs ripped up 24 feet of colliery railway track and smashed 12 panes of glass in a weigh cabin. At Quarrington Hill the explosions smashed windows in 40 houses and a shop. Others fell in neighbouring Bowden seemingly without effect. L.13 then headed back to the coast and went out to sea over Easington at about 2.05am.


L.30, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Horst von Buttlar, spent about 30 minutes off the north-east coast and dropped a number of bombs at sea before coming in over a blacked-out Hartlepool at 12.55am. It appears von Buttlar did not realise he was over the town and docks. Having turned south, von Buttlar dropped six HE bombs three minutes later in cornfields not far from the railway station and west of the Seaton Carew Ironworks, and three HE at the Ironworks close to a slag-tip. The explosions broke windows in Belle Vue and Longhill. A visible glow from the zinc works at Seaton Snook attracted a single incendiary but it did no damage. Caught by a searchlight at 1.05am, von Buttlar ended his raid and immediately went out over the mouth of the River Tees.


Kapitänleutnant Martin Dietrich, commanding L.22, came inland near Hartlepool. Attracted to Redcar by flares burning on the RNAS airfield, which had been lit when a BE2c took off at about 12.15am, L.22 released five HE bombs over the airfield. These caused no damage other than gouging craters in the field. He released four more HE bombs to the east of Wheatlands Farm, which landed in a field forming part of a military camp, but again no damage occurred. Dietrich followed the coastline towards the south-east and near Saltburn an AA gun at Hunley Hall opened fire at 1.12am as he passed. Five minutes later L.22 approached Skinningrove, which was under attack by L.21, then turned about at Carlin How and appeared to circle back to locate the AA gun, which had now fired again. Dietrich passed over the gun then followed a route inland to the south until he reached the hamlet of Houlsyke near Danby and dropped a single incendiary bomb on the moor at about 1.35am without damage. Dietrich then headed back towards the coast and was seen going out to sea from Robin Hood’s Bay, south of Whitby, at 1.50am.






L.21 (Hauptmann August Stelling) attacked the armed yacht Miranda two miles north-east of Skinningrove with three HE bombs at 12.58am; the nearest landed 400 yards from the target. The yacht replied with five 3-pdr rounds. L.21 came inland over the cliffs east of Skinningrove at 1.17am, dropped three HE bombs in a quarry, then steered over the ironworks at 1.20am dropping seven HE bombs. They demolished a small wooden time-office and damaged some pipes, pumps and tanks but there were no casualties, after which L.21 went straight out to sea. The RNAS BE2c probably pursued both L.21 and L.22 at different times but was unable to climb to a position to make an attack.


Far to the south of the other raiders, L.16 (Kapitänleutnant Erich Sommerfeldt) crossed the north-west Norfolk coast at Brancaster at about 12.30am. Sommerfeldt followed a course towards the south-west and ten minutes later dropped 20 bombs (ten HE and ten incendiary) at Dersingham. The bombs smashed windows and brought down ceilings at Wellswell House and 36 other dwellings with damage estimated at £40. Five minutes later another eight HE and seven incendiary bombs fell between Dersingham and Wolferton. A number of fires broke out on Sandringham Warren but local residents and special constables extinguished them quickly. Sommerfeldt then turned back to the north and followed the coast to Hunstanton where he went out to sea at about 1.09am.



For more details about this raid see Part 1








For casualties and damage see

Part 1