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Attack on Orleans: The World War I Submarine Raid on Cape Cod

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  14 reviews
On the morning of July 21, 1918--in the final year of the First World War--a new prototype of German submarine surfaced three miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The vessel attacked an unarmed tugboat and its four barges. A handful of the shells fired by the U-boat's deck guns struck Nauset Beach, giving the modest town of Orleans the distinction of being the ...more
Paperback, 126 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by History Press (SC) (first published June 1st 2014)
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Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Terrific short book about the attack on Cape Cod's Nauset Beach during World War I by a German U-boat. Yes, the American coast and unarmed ships, including the tugboat Perth Amboy and four barges, were attacked in 1918 by a U-156 submarine.

This is a nice tribute to the brave US Coast Guards and Chatham Naval Air Station seaplane pilots who battled back against the enemy shelling, a very clear and concise telling of this little known battle of WWI.
This book brings to the consciousness of the reader a remarkable story from the First World War that has largely been overlooked or forgotten. It is of the raid made by a transoceanic German U-boat, the U-156, that took place on the morning of Sunday, July 21st, 1918 on the town of Orleans on the Massachusetts coast near Martha's Vineyard. Indeed, the attack on Orleans was the first attack made by a foreign power on American soil in a century.

Furthermore, this story attests to the bravery shown
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww1
A good short book filled with good details about the attack on Orleans by U-156 in the summer of 1918. The book gives great background on the area and most of the people involved. Only problem I have is where the author states that Ensign Robert Cary earned his Medal of Honor during the sinking by mine of the USS San Diego, while he in fact earned it in 1915 during an accident along with Telesforo Trinidad.
Bob Walenski
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A historic, well researched moment in U S History and Cape Cod lore happened in 1918 about 3 miles off the coast of Orleans, MA. A German U-boat surfaced and fired upon an unarmed tug boat and 4 barges, sinking 3 of them and causing all seamen to abandon their vessels and row to shore for their lives. The simplicity and quaintness of the event is almost comical by today's standards, but not at the time. Adding to the unbelievability of the event, Chatham Light Naval Air Station sent two planes, ...more
Mark McGuire
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good unbiased look into history

As someone who lived on the Cape for a few years, it came as a surprise to discover the history behind the first attack on US soil since the war of 1812 happened in Orleans.

It’s not a lengthy windy book like some historical nonfiction tend to be. The author kept it simple and to the point with eyewitness accounts and journal entries. It turned out better than expected.

Well worth the read if you ever stay on the cape.
Richard F. Underwood
Cape Cod shelled by German Sub!

A fascinating account of a little known German sub attack , the first attack on US soil in over 100 years. Such a great revelation and carefully detailed accounts deserve acclaim despite surprising lapses in vocabulary by the author.
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
enjoyed this short volume (117 pages) a great deal, and that is saying something for me, as I am far from a history buff. The focus is exactly as the title suggests, a German U-boat attack in 1918 on Orleans, MA on Cape Cod. some interesting background on a few of the protagonists including a guy who tried to drop a bomb on the U-boat (several such attempts failed as a function of the bomb's not detonating).

I'd never heard of this incident, but apparently it was big news at the time, being first
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have lived on Cape Cod for over 20 years and never heard about this little piece of history just a little way down from where I live. This book, packed with interesting facts, was also a quick and thrilling read. It read as a face-paced fiction book, only it was actual events! This is how any book about war and history should be written. You become attached to the characters, however brief you may meet them. You laugh at their funny antics and cry in their despair. Highly recommend to anyone, ...more
John (JP)
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Attack on Orleans the WWI submarine raid on Cape Cod by Jake Klim
Very few Americans know that during the 1st World War a German submarine shelled and sank a tug boat and 3 barges off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts. This is the story of that raid and what happened afterwards. Written from news reports and 1st hand accounts of the incident, the story has the feel of a techno- thriller. The story shows the courage and idiocracyies of the men,women and technology of the time.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Very little-known piece of history involving my great-great grandfather (5-star rating is the result of bias). Pretty cool, although I wish we had ever found out just why the U-boat thought the tugboat and barges were a worthwhile target. I kept facepalming at every bomb that failed to detonate, but still, glad nobody died.
Sally Sinclair
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Well written and very interesting book. Also eye opening since I had never heard about this incident. Super summer read!
Dan Oleksy
Sep 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read. I had no idea something like this happened on our local shores.
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit on overlooked history on WW1, a quick read that encourages the reader to search for more books on the era.
Donna Sprague
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Nov 11, 2014
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Feb 23, 2019
Mar 21, 2019 added it
A very interesting read.
joaquin uribe
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