3 May 1916 – Multiple air raids

The German tactic of air raids on Britain has been a relative failure in terms of damaging war capacity or interrupting production. However, the prospect of further bomb attacks continues to weigh heavily on the minds of the public as civillians continue to be killed indiscriminately. Nevertherless, the Germans persist with air raids in the hope of causing damage and carried out further Zepplin raids overnight and a aircraft raid tofday.

The army sent Zeppelin LZ98 to attack Manchester. It appeared off the Lincolnshire coast around 7.00pm but poor weather kept it out at sea and after an hour or so the ship left for home without dropping any bombs.

The Navy planned a big raid on the dockyards at Rosyth, near Edinburgh, which it had raided a month earlier. L14 arrived at Berwick at about 8.25pm but strong Northerly winds prevented its from following the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh. Eventually the ship dropped a number of bombs on various villages around Arbroath without causing much damage. Shortly afterwards, L14 went back out to sea over Carnoustie and headed back to Germany.

The other Zeppelin to reach Scotland, L20 flew around the Highlands in poor weather. At around 12.30 am the mist cleared and L20 found itself over Loch Ness. Unable to determine their location exactly, L20 turned back, but saw light below and decided drop bombs. These fell on Craig Castle causing minor damage. L20 then turned North-East dropping more bombs on various villages without  major damage. L20 continued to the coast, crossing south of Peterhead at about 2.40am.

Unfortunately, L20 had flown further north than any other Zeppelin to date and faced with strong winds, did not have enough fuel to get back to Germany. L20 was eventually ditched on the Norwegian coast.  Some of the crew jumped overboard before they crossed the coastline and were rescued by fishing boats. The captain and the remaining crew, were interned. 

L11 arrived off  St. Abb’s Head, near Berwick, and was fired at by the armed trawler Semiramis and armed yacht PortiaThey did no damage, But L11 turned away and reappeared near Holy Island dropping two bombs. Bad weather then forced L11 to retire.

Five more Zeppelins raided Yorkshire where the weather conditions were a bit better. L21 came inland near Scarborough at about 9.40pm and then travelled south-east to York where 34 bombs were dropped. The roof of Nunthorpe Hall – serving as a VAD Hospital – was destroyed but none of the nursing staff or patients were injured. A number of houses were destroyed killing Emily Chapman and seriously injuring her sister and mother, killing George and Sarah Avison, Sergeant Edward Beckett, Private Leslie Hinson, Susannah Waudby, William Chappelow, Ernest Coultish and Benjamin Sharpe.

L23 came inland over Robin Hood’s Bay. Dropping one bomb on Denby High Moor and starting a fire, L23 then travelled to Skinningrove Iron Works causing minor damage with 11 bombs.  A 6 inch gun at Brotton opened fire on L23. L23 turned away and then dropped six bombs over Easington, injuring a child and damaging a house, before heading home.

L16 came inland at around 10.00pm, and then appeared over Rosedale Abbey 10.30pm. The fire on Denby High Moor, caused by L23 earlier on, attracted L16. Thinking this was Stockton-on-Tees, L16 dropped bombs on the fire. L16 then turned east and dropped more bombs causing minor damage before leaving for home.

L17 arrived at about 10.50pm near Saltburn, and headed for Skinningrove dropping 17 bombs which caused minor damage to the village of Carlin How. The large fire on Danby Moor also attracted L17, and thinking it was Saltburn, L17 added more bombs before retreating.

L13 (arrived near Whitby at about 10.30pm, arriving at Market Weighton at about 11.40pm, having added more bombs to the Danby High Moor fire. AN hour later L14 headed out to sea having dropped two more bombs harmlessly.

In all, police reported 46 craters on Danby High Moor, but also reported that it was likely that any unexplored bombs were likely to have sunk below the bog.

This was not the end of things as at about 3.30pm this afternoon,  a single Hansa-Brandenburg NW floatplane appeared over Deal, approaching the town from the direction of Ramsgate. Sis bombs fell near the railway station, causing minor damage to houses but seriously wounding a railway ticket inspector, Mr Potnell, a milkman, Charles Hutchins, and another woman. The roof of the Admiral Keppel pub was also hit but the bomb failed to explode.

In none of the cases were any RNAS planes able to intercept.

 

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