Zeppelins Over the Midlands
Published by Pen & Sword Books on April 14, 2017
The author’s approach is to make the single massive nine-airship raid of 31 January 1916 the center of a broader history by following the crews, their airships, and the targeted cities and towns through the war and beyond. The author’s grandmother and mother narrowly survived this raid, prompting Powis to devote years of research to this book. His appendix listing those killed is probably the first time that all their names have been published in one place.
Mick Powis’s meticulous work and unique insights are impressive to a reviewer who has studied the Zeppelin raids for almost 25 years. For example, his study of the pattern of bomb strikes shows conclusively that Zeppelins did hover to drop their bombs if weather and a lack of antiaircraft guns allowed it. He created maps from multiple sources that showed the path of each of the nine Zeppelins, often correcting errors in Britain’s official history, The War in the Air. Unfortunately, the maps as printed almost require a magnifying glass to read the town names, a minor annoyance in an otherwise excellent book.
Reviewed by Steve Suddaby, past president of WW1HA