16/8/1915 Britain under attack: Germany shells Cumbria

Last year German warships shelled a number of British coastal targets, most notoriously hitting all three of Whitby, Scarborough and Hartlepool in one day. Since then fear of encounters with the British fleet has led to a more cautious policy, with German warships staying safely in port. U-boats are the only vessels Germany is sending out into the North Sea and Atlantic now.

U-boats have primarily been targeting Allied warships or merchant shipping but today the Germans try something new. The U-24 sails up the Irish Sea and appears off the Cumbrian village of Lowca. The U-boat is surfaced and its crew ready the deck gun before launching shells at the shore.

The Germans’ target is the Harrington Coke Oven plant at Lowca, a producer of chemicals used in the manufacture of munitions. The Germans blast the plant for some 25 minutes, firing off more than 50 shells. Then they make their escape.

The effect of the attack is however slight. The Harrington plant suffers some damage but repairs are not expected to take more than a couple of days. The only casualty in the attack is an unfortunate dog.

image source (BBC (a short report on the attack))

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