Mobile menu

A collection displayed at Windsor Castle following the First World War

War by air

From 1915, it was no longer only serving personnel who were at risk during wartime. With the arrival of the first aerial threat of war, civilians too were under attack. German airships commonly known as Zeppelins could fly at 11,000 feet, turn off their engines and silently drop bombs. In response, incendiary ammunition was developed and cities were kept dark at night so that the airships could not see their targets.

Photograph of a field featuring a hollow resembling a spreadeagled man. The hollow, or dent, was made by a German soldier who fell from the Schütte-Lanz that crashed in Billericay, following an Allied atta

Dent left by German  soldier following Schütte-Lanz crash, Billericay


Zeppelin raids had largely ceased by 1917, by which time 77 out of 115 German airships had been brought down or disabled. There were only four airship raids in 1918. The War Office officially gave the Red Cross Society access to fallen airship material that could be sold to raise money for the war effort. Members of the public also kept souvenir pieces for themselves.

Explore the items below: