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The First Blitz in 100 Objects (Hardback)

Colour Books Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWI Photographic Books WWI > By Year > 1914 WWI > By Year > 1915 WWI > By Year > 1916 WWI > By Year > 1917 WWI > By Year > 1918 WWI > Photographic Books

By Ian Castle
Frontline Books
Series: In 100 Objects
Pages: 268
Illustrations: 350
ISBN: 9781526732897
Published: 3rd February 2020



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The First World War ushered in many new and increasingly deadly weapons, along with strategies for using them. No more so than Germany’s sustained aerial bombing campaign against Britain, which opened an entirely new theatre of war — the Home Front. It was a shocking awakening to 20th Century warfare for the military and civilians alike.

The centenary commemorations of the war, ending in 2018, brought renewed attention to this campaign, so often hidden in the shadow of the Blitz of the Second World War. Many Britons heard, some for the first time, how taking on the German airships and aeroplanes in this First Blitz laid the ground rules for how the nation would face up to and ultimately defeat that later aerial campaign.

There are still fascinating glimpses of this first air campaign to be found in the streets of our towns and cities. Often unnoticed, each tells its own dramatic tale of death and destruction, or maybe of heroism and narrow escapes. In museums the length and breadth of Britain there are tantalising reminders of the air raids, from complete aircraft that defended this country to relics of great Zeppelins that initially brought terror to the British population but ultimately were doomed to become nothing more than great heaps of burnt and twisted wreckage.

This first-time assault from the air both terrified and fascinated our forebears. Unexpectedly, a significant trade in air raid souvenirs developed, from postcards of wrecked houses and bomb craters to china models of Zeppelins and their bombs, and pieces of Zeppelin wreckage too. And amongst the 100 Objects brought together in this book, there can also be found tales of resilience and determination as well as humour, which all have their place in the story of this First Blitz.

Whether you choose to read this book in the comfort of your own home or are encouraged to get out and explore the visible heritage of this dramatic time in Britain’s history, spare a thought for the courage and sacrifice displayed by those on both sides who played their part in the story it tells.

Book Life: The best of this month’s Hertfordshire-linked books and book news

Hertfordshire Life, July 2020

A very functional book format that will perfectly meet all your expectations.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

A new addition to a popular series that approaches military history through 100 Objects. The selected objects include the rare, the quirky, the emotive, the practical and the mundane. – Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here


I knew little of this "first blitz" and found Castle's summation of events quite informative. Coupled with the sizable collection of photographs, The First Blitz in 100 Objects will school readers on a time when the British people faced terrifying attacks from above with wit and resolve.

Read the full review here


‘Books: Our roundup of this months literary delights’

Lancashire & North West Magazine, May 2020

The author has here assembled an impressive array and variety of objects, from aircraft, bombs and weapons – both intact or fragments – to personal items and ephemera: matchbox holders, commemorative napkins, postcards, ‘in memoriam‘ cards, a mawkish survivor from the Victorian age... This lovely book is the perfect introduction to the topic which will – if you haven’t already read them – lead you to the author’s other books on this subject.

Read the full review here

London Historians' Blog

Article: 'New book on Great War Zeppelin Terror' as featured by

Black County Bugle, 4th March 2020 – words by Dan Shaw

Article: 'How German Zeppelins' blitz on East Anglia brought death and destruction' – words by Steve Russell as featured by

East Anglian Daily Times (online & print) and Ipswich Star

Article: ‘Sad reminder of deadly day when Sheffield was first hit by wartime bombing - 104 years ago’ as featured by

Sheffield Telegraph, 11th March 2020 – words by Julia Armstrong

In fact there's a blue plaque on a cottage just down the road from where I live proclaiming that the first bomb dropped on Britain in the first world war was dropped there from a Zeppelin... Not sure if that was the first "blitz", just the fact that the Germans were bombing at that time is sufficient to grab my interest in this fascinating book, a collection of 100 objects associated with the First World War Bllitz. Brilliant.

Books Monthly

I love books like this one, I am a massive fan of the amount that can be crammed in and the way that the different items are showcased. They are ideal springboards for the reader to use to find out more on different items, and topics and I love the cover of this one – it gives a little sneak peek of some of the items that will be discussed.

I read this book over the course of a few days, dipping in and out and loved it. The book covers the First Blitz, it’s impact on the general public and how Britain fought against the Zeppelin raiders.

I loved that the author had completed a lot of personal research and that he knew a lot about the items to give them their backstories and to bring them to life.

There were some great photos that went with the stories to show things such as the devastation that occurred when some of the bombs dropped. There are a few before, and after shots included and it definitely gives you food for thought. As they really had very little idea as to where they were when they dropped their bombs it could have been even worse for Britain with many more casualties.

It is 5 stars from me for this one, I thought it was a superb book and I devoured it from cover to cover. Full of facts, colourful images and it was a delight to read – a great way to introduce some lesser known items too – very highly recommended!

Read the full review here

Donnas Book Blog

It’s a very good book, the research and detail is very good and must have taken a lot of effort on behalf of the author. The number of objects were great if a little limited in some cases but if you enjoy your history in little chunks this is an excellent book

UK Historian

About Ian Castle

IAN CASTLE began writing military history over thirty years ago, but for the last fifteen years has focused on Germany’s First World War air raids against Britain. Initially exploring the London raids, his later research extended to include attacks across the whole country. In addition to writing books, Ian regularly contributes articles to magazines and journals and has been involved in a number of television documentaries detailing this early air campaign. Besides giving regular talks on the subject, Ian has also built an extensive website highlighting these early air raids. He lived in London for over fifty years but has more recently relocated to the Surrey Hills, where he lives with his partner Nicola. 

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