The New York Times/London Attacked Again by Airmen
|←The New York Times||London Attacked Again by Airmen; 20 More Wounded|
|Published Wednesday, September 26, 1917|
LONDON ATTACKED AGAIN BY AIRMEN; 20 MORE WOUNDED
Raiders, Making Second Visit in 24 Hours, Are Driven Off by Guns.
BOMBS FALL IN OUTSKIRTS
Fifteen Were Killed, 70 Injured, by German Fliers on Monday Night.
MATERIAL DAMAGE SLIGHT
Occupants of American Eagle Hut, on the Strand, Were Forced to Seek Shelter.
LONDON, Sept. 25.—Another hostile airplane raid on London was made tonight. There were two attacks apparently, for after forty minutes’ quiet interval anti-aircraft guns resumed firing in the London district.
In the first attack, after brisk firing by the defensive guns, lasting only ten minutes, the raiders were driven off without succeeding in reaching the city of London. The firing of the anti-aircraft guns in the second attack was of only brief duration. The raiders were finally driven off and the police gave out the “all clear” signal at 9:30 o’clock.
A report of the raid was issued by Field Marshal French as follows:
The Thames estuary was again the objective of a hostile air raid this evening. The Kent and Essex coast was crossed at various points and a few bombs were dropped, but no casualties are yet reported.
One raider penetrated as far as the southeastern outskirts of London, where two bombs fell, causing some twenty casualties.
The weather conditions were favorable for the raiders, but judging from the information thus far available, tonight’s raid was less serious than Monday night’s, and apparently the raiders were less numerous.
There was a general expectation of another visit and many business houses and stores closed down earlier than usual to enable the employes to reach their homes safely before the raiders arrived. As a result when the police warnings to take cover were given, the streets in the city section were rapidly cleared, although much omnibus traffic continued throughout the raid. Large crowds had been waiting at most tube stations in expectation of the raid and immediately took refuge underground.
Result of Monday’s Raid.
Fifteen persons were killed and seventy injured in last night’s air raid over London.
The following official report was given out by Lord French, commander of the home defenses:
Airplane Raid.—The latest reports concerning last night’s airplane raid show that the group of raiders which approached London was driven off by the fire of anti-aircraft guns. Only one or at the most two machines penetrated the defenses. The casualties in all the raided districts, reported by the police up to the present, are: Killed, 15; Injured, 70. The material damage was not great.
Airship Raid.—Enemy airships crossed the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coasts between midnight and 3 A. M. There is no evidence of their having penetrated to any distance inland. They were driven off by gunfire from various defended localities which they attempted to approach. Bombs were dropped at one coast town, three women being slightly injured. Little material damage was caused.
Three Killed in Kent.
Reports from a Kent coast town say that the raid there lasted for about half an hour, and eight bombs were dropped. Three persons were killed and five injured, while considerable damage was done to property, mostly in the residential district, where the casualties occurred.
A large Nonconformist chapel was struck and the roof fell into the interior of the building. The raiders—evidently Gothas, from the sound of the engines—were heavily fired at by anti-aircraft batteries and attacked by British airplanes.
Viewed by daylight this morning, the damage resulting from the visit of the German raiders to London appeared to be surprisingly slight. The number of bombs dropped in the London district was small, and the practical results were almost negligible.
The chief damage visible this morning was broken glass. In one spot, where a heavy bomb landed squarely in the middle of the street, a hole four feet deep was torn in the pavement. The spot was fenced off early in the morning, and men were at work repairing the pavement. The concussion of this bomb broke glass over several acres, including windows in neighboring hotels, in which were many Americans, Canadians, and Australians.
Only three persons were killed by this explosion. All of them were standing in a doorway watching the explosion of shrapnel overhead. In this district about half a dozen persons were wounded, mostly by breaking glass. Wagonloads of glass were swept up from the pavements and carried away early in the morning.
Fierce Battle with Raiders.
It appears that the fierce battle which the british airplanes and anti-aircraft artillery put up forced the raiders to leave London without dropping any considerable part of their cargo of explosives. One of the London districts received several bombs with rather less important results than on the occasion of previous visits of the raiders. Two bombs fell in the Thames, near the bridge, throwing a column of water so high that it splashed clear over the walls.
The enemy remained over London, at a great height, for the greater part of two hours and the raid appears to have been on a pretentious scale, but it was even more abortive than previous attempts. Although the visitors arrived early in the evening, Londoners have taken to heart the advice of the authorities about seeking cover, and this accounts in part for the small number of casualties. It is safe to say, however, that at least three-fourths and probably four-fifths of the casualties were suffered by persons who had failed to take cover or persisted out of curiosity in watching the overhead spectacle from the inadequate shelter of balconies or doorways. A suburban county official named Lapwood dropped dead from excitement.
Flee From American Eagle Hut.
There were nearly a hundred persons in the American Eagle hut on the Strand when the warning was given. These included about a score of American women volunteer workers. The usual routine in the case of an air raid was carried through without a hitch, everybody being sent to shelter in the cellars and ground floors of nearby business buildings, and the hut was locked up.
It was supposed that every one had heeded the warning and left the hut, but a soldier, who was sleeping in the dormitory, was left behind, having rolled over for another half minute’s snooze after the warnings had been given. He was reawakened suddenly in the darkened hut by a piece of shrapnel from the British barrage coming suddenly through the roof near his bed. Finally he escaped by a window and hurried to a place of shelter.
The Daily Mail, in an editorial commenting on last night’s air raid, calls for reprisals, saying:
“The British people would view these attacks with entire indifference if they knew that every one of them was followed by an attack in which twice the weight of bombs dropped here was showered on German towns. Let’s hit the Germans; hit them hard.”
BERLIN, Sept. 25, (via London.)—Official announcement was made today as follows:
Last night our aviators attacked England. Bombs were dropped on military buildings and warehouses in the heart of London, and on Dover, Southend, Chathan, and Sheerness. Fires gave evidence of the effect. All our machines returned undamaged.
Dunkirk was also attacked with bombs.