“I DECIDED IMMEDIATELY TO STRIKE”

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

Since there were no photographs of the Cuxhaven raid, newspapers and magazines reporting on the action commissioned their own illustrations of what they thought might have happened, but these were often fanciful, such as this one. CHRONICLE/ALAMY

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.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below