WW1 German Naval raids on British coast

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.

Moderator: Jason Pipes

WW1 German Naval raids on British coast

Postby rclayton » Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:05 pm

Hello everyone.
This may be slightly off topic however here goes.
I've read about the German High Sea's Fleet bombardment of some British coastal towns, Scarborough, Hartlepool etc in December 1914, and I think Yarmouth later in 1915.
While I understand that these actions were primarily aimed at drawing the Royal Navy out into the North Sea to be engaged in a full scale action were there other lesser reasons for these activities? For example was there an intention to take the action further and land parties of marines or soldiers to create further havoc?
Can anyone tell me if there is any detailed reading available about the planning and execution of these raids ?
Many thanks, R Clayton.
rclayton
Member
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2003 2:47 pm
Location: Kettering

Postby Schultz » Sun Feb 13, 2005 7:29 am

Try "Zepplin mit aus" and "Korvetten der see aus englund" great reading and info



Schultz
User avatar
Schultz
Contributor
 
Posts: 252
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2002 8:06 am
Location: Idaho

Postby phylo_roadking » Mon May 22, 2006 1:37 pm

The German Navy in those war years had no way of landing marines or troop in any strength except by whaler or other small ships' boats. There was no concept on either side of that need yet, and it woudl have bee a suicide mission plain and simple because Beatties squadron would have been down on their transport and made recovery impossible.

Even the British with the excellent Royal Marines had only a VERY limited concept of what to do with them; it wasnt until - correct me - 1917? or 1918? when naval landing ships in the shape of the vessels converted to put Roger Keyes' marines onto the mole at Zeebruge were converted from torpedo destroyers by simply fitting dropping ramps to them. In the eyes of the British the Marines were almost redundant at sea, and up to then were viewed as the RAF Regiment is today, for base defence.

phylo
phylo_roadking
Admin
 
Posts: 8538
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Postby derGespenst » Mon May 22, 2006 1:42 pm

For probably the best single-volume account of the great War at sea (and a ripping good yarn, at that) see Kenneth Massie's Castles of Steel. Very highly recommended. I finished it last winter and can't wait to read it again.
User avatar
derGespenst
Associate
 
Posts: 777
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:12 am
Location: New York City

Postby phylo_roadking » Mon May 22, 2006 2:54 pm

For further confirmation look at the failure at Gallipoli, where there was conversely NO chance of a fleet bearing down on the ships landing troop....and they were still massacred while landing in small boats.

phylo
phylo_roadking
Admin
 
Posts: 8538
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Postby sid guttridge » Tue May 23, 2006 2:31 am

Hi Phylo,

I thought the problem at Gallipoli was not in landing, but in a failure to realise the importance of getting off the beaches and inland as quickly as possible. Valuable time was therefore lost.

No German landing on the British coast was ever practicable in WWI because it would have required German ships to hang around of the British coast for several hours, allowing the superior British fleet to catch them.

Cheers,

Sid.
sid guttridge
on "time out"
 
Posts: 8055
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2002 4:54 am

Postby derGespenst » Tue May 23, 2006 8:57 am

Sid's absolutely right, it wasn't a case of not being able to land, but of knowing what to do once they were ashore. And the Turks did have a fleet (of sorts) led by the German-crewed ex-Goeben. Turkish ships didn't actually sortie until after the landing, but the threat existed.
User avatar
derGespenst
Associate
 
Posts: 777
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2003 5:12 am
Location: New York City

Postby phylo_roadking » Tue May 23, 2006 10:49 am

All, wasnt putting it forward as a cause of the failure of the landing, just noting that even at that point in the war, with such an ambitious amphibious operation planned, there was still no consideration to more practical ways of getting troops ashore.

Opinion also divides on whether getting inland was a case of didnt or couldnt, with no great numbers ashore on the first day. Naismith, Captain of the E-11, days later the man who took his submarine into the Sea of Marmara to become the RN's highest-scoring submariner of WWI by MILES, recorded watching the invading troops coming ashore not in waves like D-Day, but more like fits and starts as boats came ashore, and dying like cattle on the barbed wire as they charged thru the Turks' pre-sighted machinegun killing zones with no weight of numbers to carry them in to contact. Later troops he recorded as being able to climb over the heaped dead like a ramp and thus charge the Turks' forward positions.

phylo
phylo_roadking
Admin
 
Posts: 8538
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Postby big_buddha » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:40 am

Gallipoli could have worked, a British detachment could have taken the heights of Chi baba and therefor dominated the peninsula, cut off reinforcements and enabled the battle to be won, but the inexperienced officers in command didn't realise there was nothing but an under strength turkish platoon on Achi Baba and didn't seize the heights, the Turkish officer commanding couldn't believe his luck and reinforced Achi Baba and the chance to take the heights and therefore win the battle was lost, very similar to what happened at Anzio.

As for the Germans landing on the coast of Britain, the British took such a threat very seriously in the pre-war years, they envisaged a raid against a vital facility such as a naval dockyard. One example is the exercises held in 1910-12 on Walney Island, which protects the large and important shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness, where the Brits built almost all their submarines. Walney Island was home to a British airship base, and there were huge airship hangars there. The brits held exercises simulating a German raid on the airship base, they expected a naval bombardment followed by small landings of troops to destroy the facilities, much like the Lofoten raid of WWII by the Brits. As a result of these exercises, the defences of Walney were improved and additional shore batteries installed. Fort Walney is sadly demolisehd now, but they were expecting the Germans to at least attempt to raid the British coast.
==============================
Intelligence Resembles Insanity only to the stupid.
big_buddha
Supporter
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Postby phylo_roadking » Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:38 am

Yes, which was the reason why Beatty's battlecruiser squadron was based on the East Coast, efectively splitting the home fleet's strength, but guarding against such a threat. Unfortunately, despite all the fears, the German Fleet was more concerned with destroying the British Fleet, chess piece for chess piece, than frittering away its trength trying to get troops ashore.
Through the war it was the BRITISH conversely who became more aware of the possible strategic benefits of amphibious operations, laying down very shallow-draught battlecruisers for a proposed offensive into the Baltic and the german Bight, and the Keyes' raidon Zeebrugge and later Ostende

phylo

Oh, by the way, Ive just found out that there WERE at least two maybe three converted small liners at Gallipoli, with bow doors and ramps like WWII LSTs! HOWEVER, the delays in getting to shore meant they grounded further ashore than their ramps would reach, and hours were wasted theying to throw together a half-pontoon bridge of ships' boats to get the men ashore....during which time the open bow doors meant the Turkish machineguns constantly enfiladed the troops inside. It was a massacre....
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds
phylo_roadking
Admin
 
Posts: 8538
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Postby big_buddha » Thu Aug 03, 2006 12:16 pm

There was only one converted ship, a collier and it didn't have bow doors, just a sally port cut into either side abreast the focsle, there were ramps leading down from these. Most of the men died onboard the ship, cut down by Turkish machine gun fire, as you say the collier ran aground too far out and a pontoon of boats had to be made, but the real problem was trying to land on a beach held by the enemy in strength with a preceding bombardment to soften up the defences. They had built sandbag walls along the sides of the collier to protect the troops lined up waiting to disembark, but those men were still mown down in their hundreds, as they had to leave the sally ports one at a time, the Turks just concentrated machine gun fire onto the sally ports and mowed them down as they exited the ship, one by one.

At V Beach the covering force from the Royal Munster Fusiliers and Royal Hampshires was landed from a converted collier, SS River Clyde, which was run aground beneath the fortress so that the troops could disembark directly via ramps to the shore. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers would land at V Beach from open boats. At W Beach the Lancashire Fusiliers also landed in open boats on a small beach overlooked by dunes and obstructed with barbed wire. On both beaches the Turkish defenders were in a position to inflict appalling casualties on the landing infantry. The troops emerging one by one from the sally ports on the River Clyde presented perfect targets to the machine guns in the Seddülbahir fort. Out of the first 200 soldiers to disembark, only 21 men actually made it onto the beach
==============================
Intelligence Resembles Insanity only to the stupid.
big_buddha
Supporter
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Postby phylo_roadking » Thu Aug 03, 2006 1:17 pm

BB, the River Clyde was pulled off the beach and salvaged as the quickest way of getting to rescue the casualties inside. The doors were later welded up, but could JUST be seen until the end of its days....when open they were actually bigger than one man at a time, but that was the order they were given...Didnt realise until I went searching on this that the River Clyde was actually also known as the Clyde Valley.....

which for an Ulsterman is a WHOLE different area of history, in 1914....

Lets just say that the repair was a good one and the outline of the doors barely visible under paint...and I saw the Clydel Valley/River Clyde once a week at anchor for twenty years...the things you miss as a child....

phylo
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds
phylo_roadking
Admin
 
Posts: 8538
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Postby big_buddha » Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:04 pm

Thats interesting, I would have figured they scrapped it, where did you see her?

Here's some more info:

Gallipoli/The River Clyde Landing

The scheme for landing the 29th Division on the Gallipoli Peninsula at Cape Helles was that five beaches designated 'S', 'V', 'W', 'X' and 'Y' were to be attacked simultaneously. Some of the division were to be landed from the River Clyde.

The River Clyde was a collier of some 2000 tons. The innovative idea of converting this vessel into a 'Horse of Troy' came from a Royal Naval Officer, Commander Edward Unwin.

The collier was to be filled with troops and run aground at 'V' Beach. To expedite the safe disembarkation of troops, holes were cut through the steel plates in her sides; troops could emerge on to gangways supported by ropes which ran along the sides towards the bows of the vessel from each side. These gangways then led down to two barges which were to form a gangway to shore.

'V' Beach Map

Click to enlarge

The River Clyde could hold about 2,100 troops together with the necessary crew, and she had eight machine guns mounted on her decks. The barges which would form the gangway to shore were to be towed alongside the vessel, and with the impetus of the ship under way, were to shoot forward when the vessel was beached and then manoeuvre into position so that the troops could run along them to shore and so land quickly, form up, and develop the attack.

Troops were staged at Lemnos. On 23-Apr-1915 at approximately 17.00 hours, the transport Caledonia left Lemnos with troops for Tenedos where final dispositions were made before the 'V' Beach landings. Steaming slowly all night with lights out, Tenedos about forty miles away was reached at 07.00 hours on 24-Apr-1915. At 15.15 hours orders were received to embark on the River Clyde. By 19.30 hours the embarkation was complete.

The disposition of troops on board was as follows:
No. 1 Hold (upper deck).
'X', 'Y' and 'Z' companies, Royal Munster Fusiliers.
No. 1 Hold (lower deck).
'W' company, Royal Munster Fusiliers.
One company Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
No. 2 Hold.
Two companies Hampshire Regiment.
One company West Riding Field Engineers.
No,s. 3 and 4 Holds.
Two sub-divisions Field Ambulance.
One platoon 'Anson' Battalion Royal Naval Division.
One signal section.

All the troops aboard were under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Carrington Smith, Hampshire Regiment.

The landing at 'V' Beach was to be made by the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The supporting ships were H.M.S. Albion, Lord Nelson, Dublin and Cornwallis. Two hundred rounds of ammunition and three days iron rations were carried by each soldier, with greatcoats and waterproof sheet in pack. Cocoa was to be issued to the troops just before dawn.

At 01.00 hours on 25-Apr-1915, the River Clyde left her moorings and slowly steamed towards her objective. At 05.00 hours the naval bombardment of the Turkish defences commenced, all troops were ordered below decks.

As the River Clyde steamed slowly in, the sun was facing her and it was very difficult to see the shore on account of smoke from the bursting shells. The ship headed for the beach and was run ashore about 06.25 hours, and grounded without the slightest jar in water that was out of the men's depth. And there she remained throughout the whole of the campaign.

The barges which were to have formed the gangway to shore from the ship, instead of going straight ahead as was expected, went wide of the vessel, but were eventually pulled into position under a hail of machine gun bullets from the defending Turks.

The Turks had been shaken but not obliterated by the naval bombardment. The interval between the shelling and the actual landing was a reprieve for them; they had returned to their trenches to take up fighting positions once again.

After the gangways were made ready the troops instantly responded. However as they disembarked and made a dash for the shore across the gangways they were mown down under a tornado of shot and shell. One of the barges broke away and drifted into deep water, some soldiers jumped over the side in an endeavour to make the shore, however many men sank owing to the weight of their equipment and were drowned. The carnage on 'V' Beach was chilling, dead and wounded lay at the waters edge tinted crimson from their blood.

Throughout most of the day the River Clyde was under heavy fire from the Turkish defenders. Some one thousand troops were still on board. By 01.00 hours on the 26th April and under cover of darkness, all troops from the River Clyde had been got ashore and nearly all the collected wounded had been brought back to the vessel for treatment.

One of the wounded men was my father L/Corpl Timothy Sullivan, aged 23 years, regimental number 9600, Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was one of the few survivors of this ill-fated landing. He lived to help fight another war.

http://www.worldwar1.com/sfclyde.htm
==============================
Intelligence Resembles Insanity only to the stupid.
big_buddha
Supporter
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Postby big_buddha » Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:10 pm

You can see the holes cut in the Clyde's sides clearly on this picture, they are much bigger than I thought, big enoguh for several men at a time.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image ... Clyde2.jpg

Check out the rest of the pics and info on that Wiki site, its excellent.
==============================
Intelligence Resembles Insanity only to the stupid.
big_buddha
Supporter
 
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2003 8:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Postby phylo_roadking » Thu Aug 03, 2006 3:38 pm

As the Clyde Valley she was instrumental in the smuggling of arms to the Ulster Volunteer force in 1914, landing several cargoes of Martini-Henrys, Steyrs and Mausers at Larne, County Antrim, during the Home Rule Crisis of Spring and Summer 1914.

Many years later, a group of Protestant businessmen in Northern Ireland bought her with the intention of creating a floating Museum to the Gunnrunning and the old UVF, who later joined the 36th (Ulster) Division en masse...and any potential politcal threat to the british Government was conventiently removed on the first day of the Somme.....

The Clyde Valley, her original name restored, was moored in the harbour at Carrickfergus on Belfast lough for many years, unused after purchase, and was eventually scrapped as she was totally derelict. Nothing happened to the idea of a Museum to the UVF once the Troubles had started here in NI again.

phylo
"Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle." - Malcolm Reynolds
phylo_roadking
Admin
 
Posts: 8538
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Next

Return to Reichswehr

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests