Gotha Raids 1917

Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    On May 23, 1917, a fleet of 21 Gothas appeared over the English coastal town of Folkestone. On the deadliest day of bombing yet, 95 people were killed, and England began to panic. At noon on June 13, another Gotha fleet dropped bombs onto London. For the next month, the daily raids on the capital city met with little opposition from the Royal Air Force, angering the population of London. Production levels within the city dropped. Citizens felt that their government was incapable of protecting them. They demanded that the military protect them and stop the bombs. They felt exposed and helpless, just as German military strategists had hoped they would.

    Unfortunately for the Germans, the effect of the bombing was not a public uprising against Parliament but a strengthening of the Royal Air Force. In July, the large unwieldy Gothas were forced to resort to night raids so the darkness could shield them from Britain’s Sopwith Camels, light, maneuverable planes. By the war’s end, the raids had stopped entirely since the hits were not worth the German aircraft losses. In total, there were 27 Gotha raids. The English reported 835 killed and 1,990 wounded. Damage from the raids totaled £3,000,000, but the loss of production time from workers having to seek shelter in the middle of the day, or suffering exhaustion from having to leave their beds to seek shelter at night, had a far greater impact.

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