Zeppelin Inferno (Hardback)
The Forgotten Blitz 1916
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’.
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.Blitzwalkers
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Featured in:Cher Ami, GWSIG Newsletter – International Plastic Modellers Society (UK) – March 2021
At the outbreak of the First World War, the United Kingdom had no aerial defence capability worthy of the name. When the war began Britain had just thirty guns to defend the entire country, with all but five of these considered ‘of dubious value’. So when raiding German aircraft finally appeared over Britain the response was negligible and totally ineffective. Of Britain’s fledgling air forces, the Royal Flying Corps had accompanied the British Expeditionary Force into Europe leaving the Royal Naval Air Service to defend the country as best it could. That task was not an easy one. Airships…By Ian Castle
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