Zeppelins Over the Midlands

The Air Raids of 31st January 1916

Mick Powis

* Minute by minute detail on one of the first Zeppelin raids, the first aerial bombardment of Britain.

* Timed to publish in time for centenary of raids (and ongoing WW1 centenary)
* Intensively researched in local history sources and coroner's reports to give details of the effects on the ground - poignant human interest and local history aspec
Date Published :
March 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781473834194
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
Stock Status : In stock


On 31st January 1916 nine Zeppelin airships of the Imperial German Navy bombed the Midlands, opening a strategic bombing campaign designed to cripple British war production. It ended in total failure. The main target was Liverpool but none of the Zeppelins reached it. On foggy Monday night several major Midlands towns were bombed and 70 people killed, 35 in the Black Country between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, 15 in Burton on Trent, 10 in Loughborough, 5 in Derby, 3 in Scunthorpe and 2 in Ilkeston.

A lot is known about the military aspects of the raids but much less is known about what happened on the ground. While the press produced many human interest stories and atrocity propaganda, wartime censorship prohibited publication of any information that could be useful to the Germans, including the towns hit and names of the victims. Through intensive research the author has been able to identify many of the victims and give the full story of these events for the first time.

About The Author

Mick Powis was born in Wolverhampton. He was educated at Coleg Harlech, The University of Wales: Aberystwyth, and Warwick University. He has had a varied career, including a number of years as a part time Open University lecturer and many as a manager in local government. He has written a number of magazine and newspaper articles on aspects of the First and Second World Wars. He has always had a personal interest in the Zeppelin raids as his grandmother and mother were almost killed by one in 1916. Mick lives in the Midlands with his wife and two spaniels.


“Mick Powis explores new sources to highlight the personal side of the story rather than focusing myopically on its military aspects… His highly detailed analysis of the raid should not be missed. It is highly recommended.”

- Over the Front, Spring 2017

“Mick Powis’s meticulous work and unique insights are impressive to a reviewer who has studied the Zeppelin raids for almost 25 years.”

- World War One Illustrated, Summer 2018

"By linking the events on the ground and identifying the victims with larger concepts, such as aerial defense and strategic bombing, the book expands our understanding of the human costs of the raid."

- Air & Space Power Journal

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