Page 3586

3586 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

Like the dirigibles, aeroplanes were

also used to drop bombs upon fortresses,

towns, troops, and other objects it was

desired to harm. Early in the war the

French invented a small sharp-pointed

arrow, which they would drop from great

heights upon the enemy. Such weapons

were very deadly when they struck, but

the number killed by them does not seem

to have been large.

The event of the Zeppelin dropping

bombs upon Antwerp has already been

described. There were other examples

of the same use of this type of airship

in the early days of the war, both in Belgium and France, though in the raids

upon Paris the Germans usually made

use of aeroplanes. Meanwhile the Germans looked forward with the utmost

eagerness to an aerial raid against England

and particularly against London.

On Christmas day, 1914, two German

aeroplanes flew up the Thames, but were

driven off by the British. The body of

one of the aviators was subsequently

found floating in the river. On the 19th

of the following month, airships, probably

dirigibles, dropped bombs on Yarmouth,

King's Lynn, and other English towns

on the east coast, killing four persons

and injuring others. On April 14, there

was a big raid over the Tyne district,

but the news spread quickly, the towns

were plunged into darkness, and the airships, unable to see their marks, did little

damage. April 16, Zeppelins dropped

bombs at Lowestoft, Malden, and other

places only a short distance east of London,

and, about the same time, an aeroplane,

dropped bombs in Kent. There were

subsequent raids on Ramsgate and Southend, and, May 31, the Zeppelins at last

actually got to London, dropping 90

incendiary bombs, which destroyed considerable property and killed four people

and wounded many others. All these

Zeppelin raids took place in the night

time, and owing to precautions in the

way of keeping towns in darkness, the

raiders were able to do little more than

drop their bombs at random, accomplishing

little or no military damage.

There were raids on the east coast

on June 4 and 6, in the last of which