British Attack July 1918

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    The Zeppelin Base in Tønder was during the World War a thorn in the side of the British. But they were first able to mobilise the final and devastating attack in 1918.

    The problem so far was the range of the British planes.This problem was solved when the British build the first hangar ship in the world, "H.M.S. Furious", which had both a takeoff and a landing deck. They had also developed a new plane that was able "to do the job" - the one-engine fighter: Sopwith Camel.

    "H.M.S. Furious" left Britain on the 18. July bound for the Danish coast. On board it carried 7 Sopwith Camel fighters. The H.M.S Furious was escorted by 17 smaller warships as protection.

    The aircraft were to be flown by Capt. Jackson, Capt. Dickson and Lt. Williams as the first flight, followed by a second flight comprising Capt Smart, Capt. Thyne, Lt. Dawson and a certain Lt. Yeulett

    03.04 AM on the 19th July 1918 started the first hangarship-launched-air attack ever (against the Tønder Zeppelin Base ).
    There were 90 miles to Tønder from the hangar ships position, that meant that the planes didn’t have enough fuel to return to the ship after the attack, but had to land on neutral ground in Denmark.

    04.35 AM was the first of 5 bombs dropped on TOSKA. In the hangar, on the time of the attack, was L-54 and L-60. These Zeppelins burned completely and dark smoke stood out of the holes in TOSKA caused by the bombs.Except for these holes and the damages caused by the smoke TOSKA was undamaged.

    The TOBIAS hangar was hit by 2 bombs, and in Tønder City fell a deceived bomb on the marketplace.
    This was how Tønders era as a Zeppelin Base ended on 19th July 1918.
  2. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    I think this has suffered from translation! Hangar-ship is of course an aircraft carrier. HMS Furious, converted from a battle-cruiser, later had a full-length flight deck, but at this point had a forward takeoff and an aft landing-deck with the superstructure in between. It was impossible to use the aft deck to land due to the air turbulence from the superstructure (hence all later aircraft carriers having full-length flight-decks), so any aircraft that did return were going to have to ditch and hope the pilot could be picked up.

    As the article says, the raid succeeded in destroying Zeppelins L54 and L60 and putting the Tondern site largely out of action for the remainder of the war.

    Of the pilots, Dickson, Smart and Jackson succeeded in returning to the Furious, ditched and were picked up (though one account said that one of these ditched soon after take-off on the outer journey due to engine failure). Yeulett disappeared without trace. The other three landed in Denmark due to lack of fuel. Williams however escaped from a Danish Police Station by donning an official's bowler hat and coat, and made it back to Britain only 48 hours after Furious. Dickson later became an Air Chief Marshal.

    The other large Airship station was at Ahlhorn, much further inland than Tondern. There was a scheme to bomb this by converting DH4 aircraft to operate from carriers, but the war ended before this could be put into effect.

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Thanks for making that a little clearer Adrian !

    According to his great nephew ...... Lt. Yeulett's aircraft was washed ashore near Havrvig on 24th July and his body was washed up on a beach near Holmsland (on the shores of Ringkobing Fjord) on 28th July. It is presumed that he ran out of fuel was forced to ditch in the fjord and was drowned.

    He was buried in Havrvig Churchyard ..... for his part in the raid Lt. Yeulett received a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross

    Annie :)

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