25/4/1916 Lowestoft: the German fleet attacks England

Reinhard Scheer, the new admiral of the German fleet, is intent on a more aggressive naval strategy. His hope is to lure British ships into a battle on German terms. If a great defeat could be inflicted on the British fleet then the blockade of German could be raised; the Germans would also be able to threaten Britain with invasion. Either of these would tip the balance of power so far in Germany’s favour as to guarantee German victory in the war.

Today German battle cruisers attack Lowestoft and other targets on the East Anglian coast. Hiding in reserve the Germans have the rest of their fleet. They hope to ambush any British squadron that comes out to intercept the battlecruisers.

The shelling of Lowestoft causes relatively little damage and few casualties. At sea the German battlecruisers fight an inconclusive battle with some British cruisers, but no capital ships emerge that the main fleet considers it worthwhile to engage. The Germans sail back to base. Although Scheer has not won his decisive victory, the raid raises the morale of his sailors. On the British side, the attack on Lowestoft causes some outrage and a determination that the German operations in the North Sea must be stopped.

images:

Die Seeschlacht bei Lowestoft am 25. April 1916

Reinhard Scheer

Damaged street in Lowestoft

(all Wikipedia)

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