The Cleethorpes Zeppelin
On Friday 31 March 1916 men from the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion of the Manchester Regiment arrived in Cleethorpes. Their role was to strengthen the coastal defences of the River Humber against German attack. As the men unpacked and settled into their billet in Cleethorpes Baptist Church Hall, five German Zeppelins were heading across the North Sea from their base in Nordholz, northern Germany. Their mission was to attack London and East Anglia.
As it approached England, Zeppelin L22, commanded by Kapitanleutnant Martin Dietrich, developed engine problems, so instead of heading for London as planned the pilot changed course for Grimsby docks. Shortly before 1 a.m. on Saturday 1 April the 518ft long airship crossed the east coast. As Dietrich passed over what he believed to be Grimsby, searchlights locked on to the L22 and an anti-aircraft…
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