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)

8th/9th September 1915

(part 1)

London, North Yorks.,


Casualties: 26 killed, 94 injured

(Killed: East Dereham 4, London 22)

(Injured: East Dereham 7, London 87)  


Damage: £534,287

On the night of 8th/9th September, three Navy Zeppelins raided Britain; two were to attack London while the oldest of the three, L.9, set course for Yorkshire. In fact only one, L.13, reached London, but she delivered the costliest raid of the war.


Zeppelin L.9, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Odo Loewe, targeted the Skinningrove Ironworks. Coming inland at about 9.15pm, Loewe dropped a petrol tank fifteen minutes later, which landed in a field opposite Ings House, between Easington and Boulby. The first bomb, a high explosive (HE), dropped on a road at West Loftus without causing damage. Four incendiary bombs quickly followed as L.9 approached Carlin How, on the road to Skinningrove. All fell harmlessly, two in Scaifes Field and two in ‘Watson’s Garden’. Now, directly over the Ironworks, Loewe released his main load of nine HE and 12 incendiary bombs.


One HE bomb landed on a railway track where it passed between two buildings. One, used for the manufacture of benzol fuel, held 45,000 gallons stored in tanks, the other building stored TNT. The bomb damaged the railings around the TNT store, tore up the tracks and damaged water pipes and electric cables in the ground, but the benzol building suffered only a few smashed bricks. An incendiary also landed on the benzol building but made no impact on the concrete roof. It was a lucky escape. Another HE bomb caused limited damage to a blast furnace, while seven other bombs fell harmlessly on slag heaps. Two railway trucks suffered minor damage when an incendiary dropped in the sidings. The last bombs - three incendiary and three HE - fell on the beach, damaging the concrete slipway of the jetty. All the workers at the Ironworks managed to seek shelter and the raid caused no casualties.


Three aircraft took off from RNAS Redcar, eight miles away, but they were still climbing to operational height when Zeppelin L.9, already over the North Sea, had turned for home.

Skinningrove Ironworks

Loewe (2) skinningrove (2)

Kapitänleutnant Odo Loewe

Air crew losses


RNAS: 1 killed