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German Raid on Scarborough

German Raid on Scarborough
German Raid on Scarborough
The Scarborough Raid of 16th December 1914 was the most controversial part of the German raid on the Yorkshire coast of 15th - 16th December 1914. At the time Scarborough was an undefended town without any gun emplacements. The harbour was not suitable for warships and it wasn't close to any significant military targets. This was not true of the entire Yorkshire coast. To the north, the mouth of the Tees and Hartlepool were defended by gun batteries, as was the mouth of the Humber.
The Germans believed that Scarborough was also defended by a gun battery, making it a legitimate target under rules agreed at the Hague Conference of 1909. At approximately 8am in the morning, whilst many residents were still asleep or eating breakfast, the seaside town was attacked. The first to be hit was the castle on its headland and the Grand Hotel, the most obvious landmark in South Bay, believing that this was the location of a non-existent gun battery.
The list of damaged property included hotels, boarding houses, churches, homes and schools. 18 people died because of the German attack, either killed instantly or as a result of their wounds.
This was the first attack on British soil since the start of the Great War. The loss of life came as a shock to the British public and questions were asked in Parliament about the whereabouts of the mighty Royal Navy.
The photographs in this exhibition show the damage on the town of Scarborough as a result of the raid. Read more about the unexpected raid on Scarborough from the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre.