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Zeppelins Over the Midlands (Hardback)

The Air Raids of 31st January 1916

WWI

By Mick Powis
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 206
ISBN: 9781473834194
Published: 12th October 2016

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On 31st January 1916 nine Zeppelin airships of the Imperial German Navy bombed the Midlands, opening a strategic bombing campaign designed to cripple British war production. It ended in total failure. The main target was Liverpool but none of the Zeppelins reached it. On foggy Monday night several major Midlands towns were bombed and 70 people killed, 35 in the Black Country between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, 15 in Burton on Trent, 10 in Loughborough, 5 in Derby, 3 in Scunthorpe and 2 in Ilkeston.

A lot is known about the military aspects of the raids but much less is known about what happened on the ground. While the press produced many human interest stories and atrocity propaganda, wartime censorship prohibited publication of any information that could be useful to the Germans, including the towns hit and names of the victims. Through intensive research the author has been able to identify many of the victims and give the full story of these events for the first time.

By linking the events on the ground and identifying the victims with larger concepts, such as aerial defense and strategic bombing, the book expands our understanding of the human costs of the raid.

Read the complete review here.

ASJP (Air and Space Power Journal) Timothy Heck

In identifying the victims and linking the events on the ground with greater concepts such as aerial defence and strategic bombing, Zeppelin Over the Midlands offers an interesting analysis of 31 January 1916 and expands our understanding of the human costs of the raid.

Stand To! Western Front Assc No.111

About Mick Powis

Mick Powis is an experienced researcher who has written historical articles for local press in his home area of Wolverhampton. (More to follow)

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