German raid on Britain in WW I or II?

#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].
 
#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.

STILTS
 
#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
Imperial German Navy shelled several towns in 1914 IIRC.

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

john
 
#11
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
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
 
#13
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
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: http://www.psywar.org/sibs.php )
 
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#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.
 
#16
Attempts to foster an IRA rebellion?
Goldbricker's already mentioned the German's landing guns in Ireland. While the organisers of the Easter Rising weren't acting on orders from Berlin, can't imagine the Germans were displeased with the situation in Ireland. To be a pedant (and possibly piss some people off, sorry about that) there wasn't actually an IRA at that stage.

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.
Storm the Belgian coast, you mean? Don't think was ever seriously considered.

Your correct about the German High Fleet staying in the Baltic after Jutland. But, they had U- Boat bases in Belgium. Sitting on a troop ship, just outside a U- Boat base, wouldn't have been pleasant.

Also, where they'd be landing would be, literally, right next to where the German's front line reserves were based.

By the time the RN had subdued German coastal artillery (if that was possible) and potentially cleared any minefields to allow a amphibious force to land, the Germans could have brought up huge numbers of well equipped forces.

Even in the best case scenario, and the landing force had fought their way ashore and established a beachhead, by D-Day +1 the Germans could have deployed, basically, as many fully equipped, first rate units to oppose the landings as they felt like.

Then you'd get into the supply situation. the Germans would be fighting right by massive supply dumps, with a short direct rail link back to Germany, while the Allies would have to unload stuff onto a beach, and did i mention U-Boats?

Landing on Germany's North Sea coast wouldn't be much better. Longer, less secure supply lines for the Allies. D-Day +a half, the landing would be opposed by the contents of every training/ reserve depot in Germany, with major units on their way.

Look into the Zeebrugge raid. A major operation, with rather limited objectives which it struggled to meet.
 
#17
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.
IIRC they also "liberated" some German POWs back to the Channel Islands and the local Wermacht diet of limpet soup. Lucky devils!
 
#18
I attended a school reunion some years ago in Scarborough and an old boy recounted the shelling of the town in Dec 1914. He mentioned that some of the boys from the 'lower forms' blubbed; the cadets were turned out and tea was delayed 'as some of the Downstairs staff had been killed'.
 
#19
Arguably the closest the Germans ahd toa covert force was a visit by a young naval officer Wilhelm Canaris on his way back from South America, after his ship the SMS Dresden had been scuttled..
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
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.
Admiral Fisher wanted to land the British Army on the Baltic coast and had started a building program of shallow draft heavily armed warships (Courageous, Furious and Glorious before they were converted to carriers) and landing barges. The plan floundered after Fisher's resignation in 1915.

Although Gallipoli and submarine warfare probably demonstrated the impracticality of the idea.

Wordsmith
 

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