German raid on Britain in WW I or II?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by wm1965, Mar 30, 2012.

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  1. Were there any raids by the Germans on mainland Britain during the First or Second World War? Of course there's the Channel Islands in WWII and some Abwehr activity in WWII but I can't think of any Dieppe-style raids in either war?

    [I tagged in WWI just in case].
  2. Nope. No raids on mainland UK by ground forces.
  3. I think there was more activity on the celluloid front; 'Went the day well?', 'Zeppelin', and 'The eagle has landed', all spring to mind.

    Operation Bernhard, the plan to flood Britain with fake fivers was the nearest thing to an attack on the UK, albeit economic, that I can think of.

    I would suggest that there was less need, both militarily and psychologically, for the Germans to carry the war to the allies, they held Europe and much of the Middle East, so were fighting the British for those bits of territory. Their attempts at infiltrating spies were remakably amateurish.

    Considering the activities of Skorzeny, Mussolini, the Hungarian Regent, Horthy (?), and the many innovations in warfare they did produce, there seems no reason why they couldn't have.
  4. L32, Zeppelin shot down near Billericay Essex in WW1

    Zeppelin L32 was shot down by Frederick Sowrey, RFC, aged 23, and crashed near Snails Farm, South Green, Great Burstead, Near Billericay. Its target was London, but because of an anti-aircraft barrage, it dropped its bombs near Purfleet. It began to make its was back to Germany when it was intercepted by Sowrey who was on routine night patrol. The airship was picked out in the night sky by searchlights and Sowrey launched his attack. Firing three drums of incendiary ammunition into the body of the airship, she caught alight and plummeted to the ground at sometime after 1 a.m. All 22 of the crew were killed.

    Two Zeppelins brought down in Essex villages.

  5. I beleive there was a naval/coastal artillery engagement during the first war. I beleive a large number of civilians were killed.

    Also I read about two massive rail guns in France that could fire into mainland Britain, not sure if they were used though.
  6. Imperial German Navy shelled several towns in 1914 IIRC.

    Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby 137 Dead, 592 Wounded 16 December 1914
  7. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    I think Lowestoft got the good news around the same time as well.

    Rumour has it that Shingle Street, Suffolk was the subject of an unannounced visit by the Wehrmacht in WW2 but the story does seem a little unlikely.

    More on Shingle Street here >> 1940: The Secret War at Shingle Street
  8. Hmmm this brings up some interesting memories (from reading...not seeing). Submarine crews banging out - did that happen? Escaped PoWs doing damage (although a fair few were in Canada IIRC)? Attempts to foster an IRA rebellion?

    I guess there was Hess. I never knew about the WWI shelling - I'm surprised more of that didn't happen (on both sides) in WWI given the slow comms.

    A total aside - why in God's name wasn't there an amphibious landing in WWI behind the trenches? We confined their Navy after Jutland.
  9. There was a plan to use Tanks in a raid. Using Female tanks fitted with winches to winch up trucks supplies, and Male tanks pushing ramps to force a bridgehead. Special track shoes were fitted with spuds to grip through the kelp on the seawall and climb over

    Also as to the IRA, in 1914 (24 & 25 April) Germany sent guns to the Ulster Volunteers at Larne. 25,000 Gew 88 and 3 million rounds ammo. Organized by LTG Sir George Richardson KCB. I've always wondered why he wasnt hanged for treason
  10. There's an old TALE that W.S. Churchill wanted to use the old Battleships of the Home Fleet to support a landing by the Army on the coast of the Baltic just north of Berlin.
    He accepted Massive Casualties but thought it would be worth it, if only for Propergander value.
    The Tale says that Jellico replied " Winston is like a Virgin. He thinks he knows and in some ways he does but he's never had the experience."

  11. My father in law was an Auxillier and when I asked him about Shingle Street he reckoned it wasn't true. He was based in Suffolk and they would have been told.
    His opinion goes along the lines of there being some badly burned corpses of german aircrew who were washed up. There was some ship or aircraft seen burning far out at sea. From there the rumour mill starts of the sea being set on fire; hundreds of bodies washed up etc
    As he put it, you can f*rt at one end of the village and by the time you've reached the other end your guts have had caved in and you've s**t yourself
    • Like Like x 1

  12. Recently, I was reading a book about the WW1 Home Front and this photo stuck in my mind about the Lowestoft raid.

    Here it is on the web,


    Link Lowestoft Maritime Museum
  13. There were plenty of rumours in the 1940/41 period of attempted German landings, some of the rumours were even deliberately put out by the Government's Underground Propaganda Committee, including the famous tale of Britain's ability to 'set the sea on fire'. (More here: )
  14. When the Germans occupying the Channel Islands were marrooned after the allies swept through Normandy, the Germans carried out a raid on the nearby French coast at Granville, IIRC they captured a a number of GI's and supplies before returning back to Jersey.