Finding the target


View Zeppelins over London in a larger map

Last year, Londonist gave us a very nifty map of London's V2 impact sites. Now they've come up with an equivalent for Zeppelin raids. Each of the sunbursts represents a bombfall. Clicking on them brings up a popup with information about the site and casualties (but, annoyingly, not the date). Note, however, that only a 'small selection' of the sites are plotted, however, which makes it hard to draw conclusions from the patterns: I could be wrong but I don't think the cluster in central London is representative. But perhaps more interesting are the tracks of the Zeppelin raiders (to get the key for which raid was when, click on the 'larger map' link). Again, these need to be treated with some caution, as they would only be reconstructions based on logbooks, bombfalls and sightings, but they do suggest that if the raiders could get reasonably close to London they could usually work out where to go. You can see the tracks deviating towards the urban areas, or turning back after the bombing run. London did have a blackout during the First World War (when its fighters couldn't touch the Zeppelins, the government claimed that the best defence against them was 'darkness and composure') but it wasn't as complete as during the Second. And of course the Thames on a clear and moonlit night couldn't be blacked-out at all.

Also, note the link in comments to a sequence of photos showing a Zeppelin being shot down. I hate to say it but I think these are fake ...

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8 thoughts on “Finding the target

  1. Erik Lund

    A very pretty map. I should have googled it myself –it gives me a much clearer idea of the layout of the Weald.
    Oh, and it’s got zeppelins, too.

    (When, oh when, is someone going to make the (non-Nazi) lost technologies of the ’40s as cool as their counterparts of the 20s? Steam Gunboats? Napier Deltics? The Merritt-Brown transmission? And I’m not counting Colossus in. Because… well, I’m just not.)

  2. Ian Evans

    Deltics – lost technology? Certainly not! The engines are still in service with the RN (and probably with other navies too) – I had the pleasure of attending an engine run on a test bed a few years back.
    And if we must mention those devices which replaced the steam locomotive, I believe there are six or so in running or near-running preservation.

  3. It must be great posting about bomber tracks to inspire a discussion about Deltics. Obvious cause and effect, eh.

    I wonder how you’d get a post on Deltics back to discussing Zeppelins? I mean now, it’s easy, because it’s been mentioned, but otherwise?

    Airminded Crescent, a exclusive game with Brett as Humph.

  4. Ian Evans

    But surely Count Zeppelin would have given his right arm for a Deltic engine in his power cars?

  5. Chris Williams

    No, he’d have saved that for a . . . Napier Nomad!

    I win this round of Airminded Crescent.

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