Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was unequivocal: Germany’s Zeppelin sheds had to be attacked. Churchill acknowledged that the resources at Britain’s disposal were “feeble”, but the strike against the Cuxhaven base on Christmas Day 1914 was a daring, and pioneering, mission
The date was 25 December 1914: the first Christmas Day of a dreadful war, the scale of which had never been seen before. Along a Western Front congealed from Switzerland to the Belgian coast, in places a brief truce began. But in the bitter North Sea off Germany a small British force prepared to strike at the enemy, in a first-ever combined operation to attack a land target using aircraft launched at sea.