Terror of the German Sausage

At a time when seeing any powered flight was extremely rare, one can only imagine the fear which must have filled British civilians encountering Zeppelins for the first time. These lumbering behemoths may have been vulnerable to bad weather and, in the end, the attention of the Royal Flying Corps but for a time they had an effect on British morale out of all proportion to the threat they actually posed.

Although by the end of the war 564 Britons had been killed by Zeppelins with another 1,354 injured, the threat was all but over by 1917. Better ground-based anti-aircraft guns helped but it was the RFC’s use of incendiary bullets that really spelled the end of the Zeppelin raids.

This postcard from April 16, 1915, makes light of it all with the caption ‘German sausage over Lowestoft – frightfulness amounts to one broken glass, two horses and one sparrow killed’.