The First Airship Raid on Norfolk Night of 19/20 January 1915


Map Code: Ax00446

The Germans had decided to use the airships as part of an aerial bombing campaign against Britain. The first German airship raids on Britain were in Norfolk on the night of the 19/20 January 1915. The raid was originally intended for Humberside, but was diverted to Norfolk because of bad weather. These huge, hydrogen-filled airships were superior to aeroplanes, which were still in their infancy, and could fly higher and stay airborne for longer than conventional aircraft. Zeppelin L4 bombed King’s Lynn at 23.00 hours and the L3 bombed Great Yarmouth at 21.00 hours. Bombs were also dropped en route, including over East Dereham and Sheringham. In total, the two Zeppelins dropped 3,000 pounds of bombs, 91 incendiaries, causing 40 fires. Buildings were damaged and seven people died. The British Royal Flying Corps failed in their attempts to intercept the Zeppelins.

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