99 years ago, World War I arrived on the shores of Cape Cod
By Nik DeCosta-Klipa
via the boston.com web site
On July 21, 1918, Dr. J. Danforth Taylor made a rather urgent call.
“Hello! Is this the Globe?” he asked.
Taylor was informed that, indeed, he had reached the offices of The Boston Globe.
“This is Dr. Taylor of East Boston,” he continued. “I am at Nauset [Beach] on Cape Cod. There is a submarine battle going on just offshore.”
Dr. Taylor wasn’t lying. Exactly 99 years ago Friday, a lone German U-boat attacked just off the coast of Orleans, raiding a tugboat and its four barges — and even incidentally shelling the beach where eyewitnesses gathered in awe.
The raid made the quiet Cape Cod town the only place in the United States to be hit by enemy fire during World War I.
“It brought the war that was over there, over here,” Jake Klim, the author of Attack on Orleans, told Boston.com.
As Klim writes in his book, the SM U-156 was one of the first German submarines over the course of the two World Wars to wreak havoc off the American coast, in an effort to terrorize and incite anti-war sentiment along the Eastern Seaboard. It had already sunk one 500-foot U.S. Navy ship off Long Island that summer, killing six sailors, before reaching Cape Cod.
Military officials had been aware at the time of the possibility that sharks weren’t the only thing lurking off Cape shores. Within a year of the United States entering the war, a short-lived Naval air station was built in Chatham to patrol the waters.
Read the entire article on the boston.com web site here:
External Web Site Notice: This page contains information directly presented from an external source. The terms and conditions of this page may not be the same as those of this website. Click here to read the full disclaimer notice for external web sites. Thank you.