Bombardment of Madras

For the earlier French bombardment, see Battle of Madras.
Bombardment of Madras
Part of the First World War

Oil tanks on fire in the harbour following the bombardment of Madras by SMS Emden
Date22 September 1914
LocationMadras, Madras Presidency, India
Result German victory, German raid on oil tanks completed.

United Kingdom British Empire

 German Empire
Commanders and leaders
unknown German Empire Karl von Müller
unknown 1 light cruiser
Casualties and losses
1 steamer sunk
5 killed
26 wounded

The Bombardment of Madras was an engagement of the First World War, at Madras (now Chennai), British India. The bombardment was initiated by the German light cruiser Emden at the outset of the war in 1914.

With Captain Karl von Müller in command, on the night of 22 September 1914, SMS Emden quietly approached the city of Madras on the southeastern coast of the Indian peninsula. As he later wrote, "I had this shelling in view simply as a demonstration to arouse interest among the Indian population, to disturb English commerce, to diminish English prestige." After entering the Madras harbour area, Müller illuminated six large oil tanks belonging to the Burmah Oil Company with his searchlights, then fired at a range of 3,000 yards. After ten minutes of firing, Emden had hit five of the tanks and destroyed 346,000 gallons of fuel, and the cruiser then successfully retreated.[1]


  1. Keegan 2004, pp. 127-128.

References and external links

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Further reading

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