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.