The Scarborough Naval Raid, December 1914
By John Dudek @ The Wargamer
The silent grey line of massive battle cruisers sailed majestically and intimidatingly out from the mist shrouded winter sea wastes, and the fog shrouded cloud banks seemed to part out of respect at their passing. Morning was coming to these northerly latitudes, but it would be some time yet before the winter sun’s rays could cut through most of the foggy gloom. However, a freshening offshore breeze raised the fog, revealing the intended targets ashore. The warship’s main gun turrets swung out for a full broadside salvo as firing solution data was relayed from the range finders. The gun barrels now adjusted their elevation accordingly. Bright booming flashes belched forth from the gun muzzles followed by gouts of black cordite smoke as the giant shells arched their way across the sky towards their intended targets inland. The other warships inline followed suit, adding their own explosive steel to the man made hell they were creating ashore. The high explosive shells detonated throughout the town and upon its factories, shipyard and support facilities, causing great consternation and considerable civilian casualties amongst those who were then on their way to work. However, this was not some historical scenario from WWII taking place along the shores of occupied Europe, this scenario actually took place in three towns along the Yorkshire coastline. Nor were the affected civilians German, French, Belgian, Dutch or Norwegian, they were British civilians and the warships offshore delivering this punishing artillery bombardment were German battle cruisers of the WWI German High Seas Fleet carrying out a series of punitive shore bombardments upon the towns of Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby England in December 1914.