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BOMBS FROM ZEPPELINS

EXPEBIE.XCES IN AXTWEEP,

A NIGHT OF HORROE

Ike following account, of how bombs woro dropjiod on Antwerp was writ tea on September 3 to the ' Papermaker and British Paper Trado Journal' by S. Okas. Phillips: At 12.30 I retired to my room, which 1. found by The aid of my own watches. It was a very warm, .stuffy night, and so I opened the Jong' French casement window* in my bedroom, to get as much air as possible, and then I undressed, and in the operation I played a kind of blindman's buff in th» room—barking my shins against a chair ami corning to grief against tho «dgc of the bod, winch brought, forth an ejaculation which t urn afraid you will not find in the dictionary. i-iually, I found myself beneath tho sheets, and I Mipposa in leas than live minutes I was la;t asleep. Something evidently disturbed too, then ;>. terriblo crash, like a fearful thunderclap, outside the window, followed by a terrific riila fusillade, in tho aveuue just, below me. It seemed as if I was tho obiect of tho boinbardniem. 1 ki: up in bed, rubbed hit ©ve*. «»d tried u, tliiuli where I was. Yds, I was really in Antwerp. I sprang out'of bed and rushed to tha open window, nearly breakiug a leg in the attempt, for I felt sur« that to twitch on the electric light might direct :i volley or bullets into my room, as tho soldiery would believe I was a, spy directing tho enemy where to operate. Swinging out on to tho window ledge, what a eight. I behe.ld! From all parts of tlie Avenue do Keyser below, from tho housetops, from tho tide streets, a terrific riile fire was being indulged in. Looking i:p into tho sky I bt>. caino aware that the. moon was waning, and oh, horrors! thero was, about 2,000 to 3 00Q feet up m tho sky. the ghastly form of * Zeppdin airship gliding right overhead, J7h<3 ZcppWin airships I am eo well acquainted with, having seer, so many of them in commission in Germany. Just then tbe.ro was a temtio and peculiar crashing explosion which shook tho hotel I Tho demons in the airship had dropped a bomb which had found ft billet, no I nft-erwards discovered, jusl behind tha Central Ktation opposite. Thr rifle fire then developed into a continuous stream of lead—it being afterwards computed that most of the garrison of 100,000 men had taken part in pot-shotting iha Zeppelin. Then I observed a spouting of flamefrom Tiotx building tower. I fancied it must be a machine gun up there, because of tho rapid and continuous ratfcla. Tho puns of tho forts began to boom, tho rover' berationa shaking tho whole of Antwerp. X looked up again in the sky. I could not hear the propellers for a moment or so. They stopped to allow of further bombs being dropped. Tho flashlight from ona of the forts suddenly illuminated the Zeppelin, which then began firing its machine gun=. The bursting of the shells from the forts in tho sky beneath the Zeppelin reminded mc. of a rocket display on tbo sth November. Guy Fawke's Day.

1 had liinc to note all this when the awful floating death-dealing machine started its propellers, which indicated it was immediately above tho hotel. Now tbo bullets wore flying in my direction, and I dremedi it wist? to get back to bed, as to stand et the window only meant inviting some stray bhots from the Ruo van {stallen and the Placo de la Garo. J felt tha wind from the bulle:. - whizzing and screeching around me as thirl as a, hailstorm, and so back, to bed I pot. The rifle fire, which had not then slackened had become general, and hundreds, na\. thousands of soldiers were firing wildly, a-: no doubt t.!«s awful occurrence had somewhat unnerved them. I must not omit 10 tv. v that, with try accustomed habit when unvthin? unusual occurs. I looked at ray waitf by the aid of a match which I held behit:.the bod, and found it was just 3.40 a.m. when I was awakened. Now, from my !■• . I could distinguish the t,errific reiwrts of fhc bombs dropped in rapid accession—tho rifle fire was fiercer than tver all over Antworn. and the great guns also boomed and bonnicc faster. It was a terrifying; esperienoe, I will say that, without, any equivocation, from tit.fact that I was awakened w> *>uddenly by fidfrightful inferno. My first thought was th.it the Germans had sprung a surprise on Antwerp, and had run sotuo trains in from tic few milcß they were known to be away and seized tho Central Station. There is ie. doubt that the crew of bloodthirsty devil:aboard tho Zeppelin meant to destroy testation slr ono of their first acts, and'ther.was a tremendous amount, of firing and shouting around that fine structiiro, which, many of you know, is tho finest railwuv station in Belgium, and commands the maii; liner t-o .-ill parts including Holland, Ugh'. AVliat an awful sulfonating smell <■■■ gunpowder now wafted into mv room I Wh;i,tho firing was at its height, f heard a nr.i-. outside my room. Opening the door J discovered tho figtu-e of a man 011 his ban-": and knees searching for something by meaic of an elcctrio torch: presently ho found :. door of a room, and entered, and then lnseemed to bo looking tinder the bed. "Wh.n is the matter " I asked. '" I don't know." was tho response, "I am looking for nr, boot*!" I then discovered he wa.s a lielgiau officer. ] returned to the window and .-:<••.■ with .satisfaction that daylight was tlow> breaking. \Vhiln I was there I caw a com ' ■ o f motor cart driven up. stopping oppor-it my hotel '1 he Ktreets were then througi:i, with people who had come out of their hiding pl-aees in tho celliirs. 1 hoard Foldie-rs, wn.li the fied Cross badge rovmul their arms, i)vplore Ihe crowd 1.0 niak<> way, arid I kiw at once (hat both cars contained wounded, whi'-h turned out to be. poor victims, women and children, from a very poor quarter of Am - wc-rp, who had been terribly hurt by th" bombs. I took some photographs of tin* >Tctif-, which, however, owing Ui the poor lisrhi. did nil mmc out very well. I should have taken n Hiapfliut of tho Zeppelin in full action, but, if I had carried ni3- intention out I should not have been here, that's certain. I I'ctumeu r.. lied onco more arid filc-p* until I was called at 6.30 a.m., when I pot up and went, tint to purchase the morningnewspapers, w!.:'i - h were now selling frooh about the sire.-:-. 1 returned to the hotel. Mild dun'tig br.--a.kfaM. I jKvrused them, bur Tun-'- a word wes there about tho Zeppoi>;-. |]eiiil l ;tnHi'''ii!. 1 heard from one of thee -1 - ih-it i»o-t of the people in the bo'.-, had troopid <ioivn in iiightAhirtß ntid 1.-. ?H!,-".;>-. rim in? the bombardment and tak<~i, rrlece, m tit..- eellars. 1 inquired of an oih 1.: /• v;h'.. w;>- taking breakfast ako close Pme why it was. This reply was to the offr*;. that no news <onren:ing the war could I,• printer] before, it had been sanctioned bv the Censor, and that the war news for the day was not passed for press before mid <lhv Ho explained, furtlx.r, tlutt in all pr»/b ■ability tliere would not be much reference !•■ tho "'Zeppelin'' bombardment, as it, «- deemed beH bv the mU.itc.ry authorities 10 minimise thee attack- - , ?o a.* not to alarm the population of Antwerp, which, with tlib'g army o: <-r-enri;ifion and refugees, had fwo'len the city u\ Antwerp to nearly half :< million people. It was *lso explained to mr. that Ihe caly bail three linss of defences, with forts of Miornioi - -: strength, constructed bv Ceneral btrr-ahriour, Ul'd supposed to be im pregnable to as-au.lt bv the heaviest.. Eiog<guns. I remember that tho forts guardim.' Alexandria, constrtfted by a famous Froich engineer, were, ppoken of in the same veit. by eminent Artillerists: yet the Britihb. Navv knocked them into a "cocked hat" in a f.--w hcur.s. The sarao confident language LaH been employed in connection with liiege and Namur but nil went wekl until liie Germans brought farth those t.*Triblo t.n pines of destruction, the llir. siege gtm?, »;i" extraordinarv - powc- and rar.ee. I took some photographs of the terrible damaco done by the Zeppelins. I am sorry I could not pet photographs of tbo most disastrous rer.ults aone by the Zeppelin ye*t«rday, as the arsthorities would not permit mv doine so then. l>ut later on some were taken for London and New York newspaper?. No less than 10 houses were dejrtroyed or terribly damaged by one bomb dropped at a.m. yesterday, and other appalling damag was done in "other parts of the city and miburbs.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141202.2.7

Bibliographic details

BOMBS FROM ZEPPELINS, Evening Star, Issue 15665, 2 December 1914

Word Count
1,483

BOMBS FROM ZEPPELINS Evening Star, Issue 15665, 2 December 1914

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