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The Bombardment of Madras was an engagement of World War I, At Madrasmarker, Indiamarker, now the modern day Chennaimarker.The bombardment was initiated by the Germanmarker light cruiser Emden.


With Captain Karl von Müller in command, on the night of September 22, 1914 Emden quietly approached the city of Madrasmarker on the southeastern coast of the Indian peninsula. After entering the Madras harbor area and observing for a moment, Müller gave the order to engage at 9:30 pm, Emden opened fire at 3000 yards on the several large oil tanks within the harbor which belonged to the Burmah Oil Company.

Within the first 30 rounds, the oil tanks were in flames. After bombing the fuel tanks Emden moved onto a small merchant ship in harbor. The craft was quickly sunk by Emden s deck guns. The worst casualties experienced that night were from the merchant vessel, 26 of whose crew were injured. At least 5 of the sailors were killed on scene or died later of injuries.

The action lasted half an hour, until 10:00 pm, by which time the British shore batteries had begun to respond. However, Emden slipped away unscathed. In all, 125 shells were fired by the Germans. Although the raid did little damage, it was a severe blow to Britishmarker morale and thousands of people fled the city.

Madras was the only Indianmarker city to come under attack by forces of the Central Powers during World War I.
The city of Madras in 1909

See also

Further reading

  • Frame, Tom. (2004). No Pleasure Cruise: The Story of the Royal Australian Navy. Sydney: Allen & Unwin 10-ISBN 1-741-14233-4; 13-ISBN 978-1-741-14233-4 (paper)
  • Hoehling, A.A. LONELY COMMAND A DOCUMENTARY Thomas Yoseloff, Inc., 1957.
  • Hoyt, Edwin P. The Last Cruise of the Emden: The Amazing True World War I Story of a German-Light Cruiser and Her Courageous Crew. The Lyons Press, 2001. ISBN 1585743828.
  • Hohenzollern, Franz Joseph, Prince of EMDEN: MY EXPERIENCES IN S.M.S. EMDEN. New York: G. Howard Watt, 1928.
  • Lochner, R. K. Last Gentleman-Of-War: Raider Exploits of the Cruiser Emden Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1988. ISBN 0870210157.
  • McClement, Fred. Guns in paradise. Paper Jacks, 1979. ISBN 077010116X.
  • Mücke, Hellmuth von. The Emden-Ayesha Adventure: German Raiders in the South Seas and Beyond, 1914. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000. ISBN 1557508739.
  • Schmalenbach, Paul German raiders: A history of auxiliary cruisers of the German Navy, 1895-1945. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1979. ISBN 0870218247.
  • Van der Vat, Dan. Gentlemen of War, The Amazing Story of Captain Karl von Müller and the SMS Emden. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc. 1984. ISBN 0-688-03115-3
  • Walter, John The Kaiser's Pirates: German Surface Raiders in World War One. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1994. ISBN 1557504563.


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