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Zeppelin Inferno (ePub)

The Forgotten Blitz 1916

Military > Frontline eBooks > Frontline: WWI WWI > By Year > 1916

By Ian Castle
Frontline Books
File Size: 11.2 MB (.epub)
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781399093934
Published: 21st April 2022


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At the beginning of 1916, as the world entered the second full year of global conflict, the cities, towns and villages of Britain continued to lay vulnerable to aerial bombardment. Throughout that period German Zeppelin airships and seaplanes had come and gone at will, their most testing opposition provided by the British weather as the country’s embryonic defences struggled to come to terms with this first ever assault from the air. Britain’s civilians were now standing on the frontline — the Home Front — like the soldiers who had marched off to war. But early in 1916 responsibility for Britain’s aerial defence passed from the Admiralty to the War Office and, as German air attacks intensified, new ideas and plans made dramatic improvements to Britain’s aerial defence capability.

While this new system could give early warning of approaching raiders, there was a lack of effective weaponry with which to engage them when they arrived. Behind the scenes, however, three individuals, each working independently, were striving for a solution. The results of their work were spectacular; it lifted the mood of the nation and dramatically changed the way this campaign was fought over Britain.

The German air campaign against Britain in the First World War was the first sustained strategic aerial bombing campaign in history. Despite this, it has become forgotten against the enormity of the Blitz of the Second World War, although for those caught up in the tragedy of these raids, the impact was every bit as devastating. In Zeppelin Inferno Ian Castle tells the full story of the 1916 raids in unprecedented detail in what is the second book in a trilogy that will reveal the complete story of Britain’s ‘Forgotten Blitz’.

The book gives an almost bomb-by-bomb account of each raid. It is a valuable addition to the historiography of the air war, as well as the British wartime home front.

Over the Front

As featured in the article: '9 things you (probably) didn't know about LONDON'S FIRST ZEPPELIN RAID'

BBC History Revealed, Jan 23

As featured in the article: '9 things you (probably) didn't know about LONDON'S FIRST ZEPPELIN RAID'

BBC History Revealed, Jan 23

The book gives an almost bomb-by-bomb account of each raid. It is a valuable addition to the historiography of the air war, as well as the British wartime home front. Several maps depict raid locations, and indices provide additional information including a list of those killed in raids on Britain in 1916. Zeppelin Inferno: The Forgotten Blitz, 1916 is highly recommended.

Over the Front

Zeppelin Inferno is bound to become a standard reference about military aviation from more than a century ago.

Aviation History Magazine

Every mission is described individually, with the identity of the raider, the course it flew, and details of any damaged caused.

The photographs depict various airships, bomb damage caused, Zeppelin commanders, and the pilots of defending aeroplanes.

I found the book interesting, informative, and well written.

Paul Hare, Cross and Cockade

"It's a heroic research effort to pour through newspaper and military archives, especially because German and British sources are consulted."

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, September 2022

Review as featured in

Suffolk and Norfolk Life

Review as featured in

Highlight: 'A truly wonderful book and very highly recommended. A must for those interested in the air war 1914-18.'

Iron Cross

I believe there was a Zeppelin air raid in my North Norfolk town, where I have lived since 2006. Ian Castle reminds us of the concentrated air attacks on British towns and cities from 1916 onwards.

Books Monthly

Competition to win a copy as featured in

The Armourer

For an often over looked part of World War One this is a good story and reference book melded into one. I am glad I read it and award it four Mr Mushroom heads.

Read the full review here


As featured in

Norwich Evening News

As featured in

East Anglian Daily Times

As featured in the article: 'East Anglia's 'forgotten blitz''

Eastern Daily Press

As featured in:

Lancashire and North West Magazine

A fascinating book about a fascinating subject in my own opinion. I have always found it staggering the size of Zeppelins and how these huge gigantic ships hang in the air. I used to live near RAF Cardington, Beds where they now keep I presume a couple of airships for promotional events and they are big, but much smaller than those used in the Great War. But it amazes me how if you were a child during WWI and you saw one of these coming over your town or area, must have left you in awe that these things were from a different planet.

Ian Castle has written a really good book covering 20 chapters taking the evidential views and opinions of people at the time. The book follows the dates of the German blitz in and around the country, and we get to learn about the amount of damage caused. We also get essential eyewitness accounts and what it was like to experience these events and people’s thoughts. The accounts are good to read and really help inform the book and the subject, at the back of the book is also a number of blitz reports explaining who and how many died. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone, a subject that doesn’t get the amount of attention it deserves.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

As featured in the article: 'Terror from the skies on the day a Zeppelin attacked Lancashire'

Lancashire Post

As one would expect from this author, this is a superbly-researched and well-written work that will interest anyone who wishes to discover more about this sometimes overlooked aspect of the air war in 1914-1918 and I have no hesitation in recommending it to you.

Read the full review here


Featured in:

Cher Ami, GWSIG Newsletter – International Plastic Modellers Society (UK) – March 2021

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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