Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Killing the Kaiser

Kaiser Wilhelm at the Front Inspecting a Gas Launcher

It is not widely known that the British and French attempted to change history by making a concerted effort to kill the Kaiser from the air in Belgium, France, and Turkey. They also came close by accident on two occasions, once missing his train in Germany by only a few hours. 

For instance, there were several attacks by the British and the French on various German headquarters where the Kaiser was believed to be visiting. On 1 November 1915, the British attacked the headquarters at Thielt, Belgium, dropping 32 bombs at a building where he was supposed to be. According to French historian René Martel, reports of the Kaiser at the German General HQ at Mézières brought air raids in 1915. 

The Kaiser, paradoxically, was more careful of his British royal cousins, expressly forbidding zeppelin raids near royal palaces or locations where they were meeting. 

Thanks to Steve Suddaby for these details.

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating. Are there more accounts of it?
    Very unsporting!