An article from the Scarborough Pictorial Friday January 15th, 1914, entitled "SCARBOROUGH AS GREAT ENGLISH PORT - GERMAN DESCRIBES RAID - 'FULL BROADSIDE EVERY TIME'". It is a first hand account of the German raid by a German sailor
The "Frankfurter Zeitung" publishes an account of the bombardment of the East Coast towns by one who took part in it.
We sailed in company with several other ships (he writes), and steered a course for the English Coast. Each of these ships taking part in the expedition had its own particular task.
They were ordered simultaneously to bombard the great English ports of Hartlepool, Scarborough and Whitby in order to destroy the signal stations, harbour works, and the land batteries situated at these points. Full of joyful hopes we weighed anchor, the engines began to move, and we were on our way to our goal. Carefully avoiding every obstacle, we arrived off the English coast without untoward incident.
All night we had TRAVELLED WITHOUT SHOWING A LIGHT and we succeeded in passing unobserved through the chain of patrols. Had we been discovered our plan certainly would have come to naught. But everything went well. No one slept on board, of course, as no one felt the need of it.
At 4 a.m our ships dispersed, each one to seek its own objective. The work was now passed to keep particularly sharp look-out. At 7 a.m. we sighted the English coast, and our joy knew no bounds as we sighted our goal. Every man on board was at his post I, with some of my stokers, was doing duty at the searchlight which during the bombardment was used for signalling, and I was able to see everything through my binoculars.
Slightly favoured by fog, we approached still closer to the coast, and the order was given to "clear for action, close our watertight doors and hatches." Our guns had long ago been made ready to fire. Our first target was the signal station of the harbour before us.
When we were close in the order came to hoist the flag, and a moment later the German war flag was waving merrily from the mainmast. At this the sly English knew who they had to deal. They hoisted a flag at the signal station, but it had hardly got to half mast when the first German salvo thundered out and the whole building was destroyed, thanks to the marksmanship of the German gunners.
And now one salvo after another roared out from our own and the other ships, a full broadside every time, and the English shore batteries were covered with a hail of projectiles.
The mole at Scarborough was totally destroyed, while several military buildings were reduced to heaps of debris beneath our fire. Our CANNONADE LASTED SOME THIRTY MINUTES.
We then steamed for the harbour of Whitby, where our guns again came into play. During the bombardment here an English passenger steamer came right into the line of fire. As we saw that this ship had not enough boats on board to save all the passengers in case it sank, we "barbarians" ceased fire for some minutes to allow the steamer to get out of danger.
After we had destroyed the military works at Whitby our work was over and we began the return journey. About 2 p.m. the weather, which had up till then been pretty clear, changed: A heavy sea was running, the waves were as high as houses. Darkness soon fell, and under the cover of night we reached the home harbour.
During the attack our ships had received only a few hits, which were scarcely worth mentioning. The damage on we inflicted on the English must have been enormous. But more serious still was the moral effect of our bold appearance on the English coast.