Page 3588

3588 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

adjoining room; you can see the bed that

they left now, a mass of blackened and

charred sheets with the mattress torn to

pieces. They escaped by a miracle, but in

the small bedroom next door to them the

other two children were killed in an instant.

. . .That was all that was happening when

the captain of the German aircraft professed to think he was visiting the docks

and vitally damaging the Port of London."

After a raid made on the night of January 31, 1916, a Zeppelin, the L-19, from

some cause, perhaps from being struck

by a shell, fell into the North Sea. It

was discovered in a partly submerged

condition by an English fishing trawler,

and the crew eagerly begged to be rescued,

but their hope proved vain. "They were

thirty and we were nine," the skipper

afterward explained; "they were armed,

and we had not as much as a pistol aboard

and I would not take the risk. Besides,

I remembered what the Huns had done

and what they might do again." Other

boats subsequently went in search of the

Zeppelin, but meanwhile the wind had

freshened and a sea had got up and the

boats found nothing, nor were any of the

crew ever heard of more.

On the night of March 30, 1916, a

number of Zeppelins made a raid over

the eastern counties, dropping many

bombs, with the usual casualties among

the civilian population. One of them,

the L-15, was struck by one or more

projectiles from an anti-aircraft gun. In

the effort to lighten the airship, a machine

gun, a petrol tank riddled with shrapnel

and some machinery were thrown out,

but all efforts were vain. The great

vessel "came down like a sick bird, flopping

at both ends as if they were wings," and

fell into the broad estuary of the Thames.

Here she was found by a British patrol

boat and the crew, some of whom were

wounded, were made prisoners. An attempt was made to tow the Zeppelin to

land, but she sank before it could be done.

In spite of this loss, the Germans repeated

the raid on the two subsequent nights,

dropping some bombs even in Scotland.

Shortly before these raids took place,

the British Government announced that

the total casualties in England from

aerial attacks amounted to 276 killed

and several hundred more wounded. Virtually all of these were civilians, mostly

women and children. Much private

property had been destroyed, but the

military damage done was infinitesimal.

These raids against England were, from

the German viewpoint, worse than a total

failure. They in no way intimidated the

people; on the contrary, they greatly stimulated recruiting, and aroused in the

British a grim determination to fight

the war through to a 'successful conclusion at any cost. That the people acquiesced so quietly in conscription and other

military measures was in no small measure

due to such attacks and to the German submarine warfare. Furthermore, enough Zeppelins were lost in such raids approximately

to balance financially and in the matter

of lives the damage that had been inflicted.