The Hull Zeppelin Raids 1915-18

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An account of the eight Zeppelin attacks on this major port city on the east coast of England. The new and dreadful experience of aerial bombardment was terrifying to a civilian population totally unprepared for this type of warfare. Every available gun had been sent to the Western Front so initially Hull was completely defenceless. There were no shelters and refuge was sought in cellars or by trekking out to the countryside. Large numbers of men volunteered to be Special Constables and they were largely responsible for maintaining a blackout, shepherding people to safety and generally keeping civil society functioning. During the first raid in June 1915 there were widespread attacks on members of the German community, who then dominated the pork butchery trade. The Specials prevented any loss of life though extensive damage was done to property and many immigrant families decided to leave the city. The former Master General of Ordnance, Major General von Donop, himself of German stock, took command of the Hull Garrison in 1916 and quickly transformed the city's defences, dramatically decreasing the numbers of casualties.