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Dover in World War 1 - The Zeebrugge Raid

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 12 Apr 2008 7:38    Onderwerp: Dover in World War 1 - The Zeebrugge Raid Reageer met quote



Vice-Admiral Roger Keyes (later Baron Keyes of Zeebrugge and Dover) had taken command of the Dover Patrol on 31 December 1917. He was charged with the task of stopping the marauding submarines and destroyers working out of occupied Belgium. The threat came from the main German naval base at Bruges, an historic inland town linked to the sea by two canals, one to Ostend and one (usable by the largest vessels) to Zeebrugge. Keyes’ plan was to close the canal entrances at the two ports with blockships. To increase the chances of success at Zeebrugge, there was to be a landing on the fortified mole to put its guns out of action and cause as much damage as possible.



The cruiser ‘Vindictive’ was made ready to lead the assault on the Zeebrugge mole. Inessentials were stripped, her armament was augmented by howitzers, flame throwers and mortars, while ramps for landing troops were hinged to her port side. With her would go the Mersey ferry boats Iris and Daffodil commandeered by the navy, and fitted out with mattresses and steel plating to give troops some protection on their upper decks. The old 3,600-ton cruisers ‘Thetis’, ‘Intrepid’ and ‘Iphigenia’ were converted into block ships, their hulls filled with 1,500 tons of concrete and fitted with electrically fired scuttling charges.






Blockships being prepared at
Chatham.

700 Royal Marines and 200 Royal Navy seamen were trained for the assault. More than 160 ships were involved and assembled at Dover and in the Thames Estuary. Twice the ships sailed and were forced to turn back due to the weather. They left finally on 22 April, the eve of St George’s Day, when from the destroyer ‘Warwick’ Keyes made his famous “St George for England” signal. From the ‘Vindictive’ came the reply “May we give the dragon’s tail a damn good twist”.




Image: The Vindictive on her way to Zeebrugge.
The Vindictive on her way to Zeebrugge.


The Ostend force parted company 40 minutes before the main force reached Zeebrugge. As the ‘Vindictive’ emerged from the fog and smoke screen the German batteries on the mole opened up on her. Even before being pushed up against the mole at one minute after midnight by the ‘Daffodil’, the ‘Vindictive’ had been seriously hit. In the rain of shells landing parties on her decks were decimated striving to cross the gap from the rolling ship. A howitzer crew was killed or wounded and the replacement crew wiped out.

The submarine C3 ran a gauntlet of fire to demolish an iron viaduct forming part of the mole. Beneath it she was blown up to prevent German reinforcements reaching the end of the mole. Some 15 minutes into the assault the ‘Thetis’ passed the end of the mole, repeatedly hit and with her own gunners blinded by smoke she failed to make the lock gates. The ‘Intrepid’ following her was sunk on the western bank of the canal entrance, while the ‘Iphigenia’ was grounded to still further close the gap.




Image: The assult on Zeebrugge Mole.
The assult on Zeebrugge Mole.


At 1:10 am the sirens sounded for withdrawal and in 20 minutes the embarkation of the survivors was completed. The Iris was hit twelve times as she made her departure with heavy loss of life among the men packed on board. Battered almost beyond recognition, the ‘Vindictive’ limped back to Dover. The cost of the action was 214 men killed and 383 wounded. The heroic achievement of the men involved in the attack can be seen in the decorations awarded for the action on St George’s Day. Over 200 decorations were earned that night including eight Victoria Crosses, which worked out at a rate of six medals for every minute of the action.





Image: The heavily damaged Vindictive returning to Dover.
The heavily damaged Vindictive returning to Dover.


The attack on Ostend was unsuccessful, as the blockships had run aground before reaching the canal entrance. On 9 May, in a second raid, ‘Vindictive’ returned to the Belgian coast. She had been patched up and partly filled with concrete, and in the face of heavy fire was sunk in the canal entrance at Ostend.


Image: The Vindictive, raised at Ostend after the war.
The Vindictive, raised at Ostend after the war.



After the war the people of Zeebrugge presented Dover with the Zeebrugge Bell, which had hung on the end of the mole and was rung by the Germans to warn of a British attack. The bell is housed on the front of the Old Town Hall, where it is rung every year on St George’s Day in honour of the Dover Patrol.

http://www.dover-kent.co.uk/history/ww1b_zeebrugge_raid.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 20 Apr 2008 20:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog een ooggetuigenverslag van een zestienjarige deelnemer(!) aan de raid: http://oronieuwsmagazine.blogspot.com/2008/04/yorkshire-clerk-in-daring-first-world.html, en van dezelfde site: http://oronieuws.blogspot.com/2008/04/herdenking-90-jaar-sedert-raid-op.html, deze laatste foto's zijn van vanochtend en een aantal forummers was erbij!

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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 20:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Enkele foto's van HMS Vindictive na de raid in Dover






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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 20:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Daffodil als ferry op de Mersey en de brug na de raid alsook een foto van de Iris II als ferry voor de raid






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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 20:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog een paar van de HMS Vindictive, onder andere nadat ze als blokschip gebruikt was te Oostende in mei 1918.












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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Plan van de Mole in 1918 kort voor de aanval, tamelijk nauwkeurig


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:10    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Plan van het uiteinde van de Mole


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:12    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kaartje van de aanval en de rookgordijnen die voorzien waren


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Doorsnede van de Mole met HMS Vindictive en de V69 die elkaar bestookten over Shed nummer 3 heen


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De Mole gezien vanuit de lucht in 1915 en enkele beelden van de hangar 1 en de watervliegtuigbasis










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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog twee maal de watervliegtuigbasis





De Kragunterstand voor duikboten en de bunker voor de Fernlenkboote




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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hangar 2 en 3


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Friedrichsort Leitstand op de verhoogde loopweg



3.7 cm Flaktoren langs de verhoogde loopweg


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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Het einde van de Mole met de prikkeldraadversterking, de andere versterkingen en bunkers, de 10.5 cm kanonnen op de loopweg die er kwamen na de aanval en de 8.8 cm kanonnen die stonden op het smalle uiteinde naar de vuurtoren toe


















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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Apr 2008 21:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog lichte brand op de Mole in de ochtend en de blokschepen




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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 9:04    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooie toevoegingen!!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

• 23.19 The Flugabwehrleiter Zeebrugge gets the message that Oostende is under enemy fire.
• 23.20 – 23.30 At the Mole they hear engines and suspect a possible attack by planes
• As the sounds of engines seems to have nothing to do with planes and artificial fog is coming from the Blankenberge area, Lt.d.R.d.M.A. Rodewald decides to fire a 8.8 cm light grenade
• All they see is just a flash of light…
• They decide to fire a second time
• This time Rodewald and Obermaat Harms see clearly the smoke coming from funnels,… ships !
• There is decided to give alarm for the whole coast
• Monitors HMS Erebus and HMS Terror start firing at Zeebrugge at about the same moment
• Flugabwehrleiter Zeebrugge gives alarm to the AA guns on the Mole and Battery Wurttemberg gets orders to fire light grenades towards the Mole in order to find out what is exactly happening
• The search lights at the position Düne and the one at the start of the Mole itself, called Molenfuss are readied for action
• Within just a few minutes the whole Mole is bathing in a sea of light
• They hear the sound of shipsengines, but until now, they see nothing at all…
• The artificial fog is becoming thicker and thicker and gets closer to the Mole
• At the moment of the first alert Kapďtän Leutnant Schutte is back from Brugge and takes command
• Here and there the contours of small vessels can be seen at sea
• Schutte decides not to fire into the fog, but to wait, as the searchlights are able to penetrate the fog as far as 500 meters by moments
• The Mole battery was already ready for action for 10 minutes when all of a sudden at around 23.50 the contours can be seen of a larger ship
• According to British sources it was only at 23.56 hours that they were discovered when the smokescreen all of a sudden was blown away by the wind.
• Col. Elliot of the Marines and Major Cordner, his deputy stood side by side on the bridge of Vindictive. Captain Hallahan and his second in command Commander Edwards were on the upper gangway deck.
ALARM !!!
• HMS Vindicitve is the ship that the defenders have seen and it starts to fire towards the Mole with it’s guns, mortars and machine guns according to German sources
• The Germans think that the ship has missed the harbour entrance and was supposed to enter the harbour to block it
• Schütte sees the ship and the mass of soldiers on the decks of it. The 3 10.50 cm guns of the Mole battery start firing on the ship, as do the 8.8 cm guns on the Mole and Wurttemberg continues to fire light grenades.
• While the ship is about 500 m away, the 3.7 cm AA guns on the Mole start to fire under the command of Oberartilleristenmaat Scheidt
• They choose as target the deck and bridge of HMS Vindictive but also ‘pay attention’ to Daffodil and Iris who have also emerged from the artificial fog
• The first attack didn’t last very long as the ships seem to dissapear again in the fog
• Meanwhile Vindictive was paying back to the Mole what she could, from firing positions contructed in the bridge and in the masts
• She had already received numerous hits on the upperdeck, bridge and other constructions and suffered some damage on her hull.
• HMS Vindictive and Daffodil and Iris had dissapeared and the Mole battery had no more targets.
• From time to time they heard some shipsengines in the direct area of the Mole and they fired a few times, without noticing any hits or any ships…
• Casualties on HMS Vindicitve were already high. Within just a few minutes the Germans had been able to kill or wound a lot of important personnel for the landing on the Mole
• And as mentioned the ship had already received a serious beating !
• Among the casualties were :
- Captain HC Hallahan
- Lt.Col. BH Elliot
- His replacement Major AA Cordner
Many other officers and men were wounded or killed…
The 19 cm howitsers had been destroyed, their crews killed or wounded
• Elliot and Cordner had been killed when the first salvo came from the mole.
• Hallahan on the deck below them had also been killed and Edwards his second in command was severely wounded in both his legs. His men took him below while he was ordering them to be carried to a gangway.
• Sgt.Wright of 10 Platoon had 30 of his men killed, including his officer Lt. Stanton, his last words being : Carry on, Wright.
• Marine Ernie Clist remembers : We were packed like sardines. When the Germans got on target, they gave us hell, the row was deafening… there must have been 30 or 40 of our chaps laid out on the deck, killed or wounded.
• The only unwounded officer for the storming parties was Lt. Commander Bryan Adams. Lt.Com. Harrison who should have taken over was unconscious, and had a shattered jaw.
• The ships surgeon McCutcheon and his assistants could not keep pace with all the wounded that arrived.
• By now, about half of the men in the landing parties on board HMS Vindictive had been killed or wounded, one of the motor launches came between Vindictive and the mole, making smoke, and this stopped the carnage.
• Some of the flamethrowers were already out of action
• And most of the landing brows to put the men on the Mole had already been destroyed
• All that due to a good 2 minutes of fire from the defenders on the Mole…
• Meanwhile it was clear on HMS Vindictive that it would no longer be possible to put the ship alongside the mole near the Mole battery of Schütte as originally had been planned.
• This also meant that they lost the advantage to take the battery with a storm troop in very short time
• At 00.01 hours the ship was going very slowly and her captain was trying to use the eastern current to get the ship backwards in the good position, something which obviously failed, and orientation was also very hard.
• They tried to drop the starboard anchor, which failed, and getting close enough to the mole became a very serious problem, they were to far away to use the landing bows.
• While Vindictive was struggling, Daffodil and Iris came near it.
• Iris under Commander Gibbs passed Vindictive for about 100 meters and also tried without result to come alongside the Mole.
• They launched all kinds of hooks to the concrete of the mole, but this got directly destoyed by Kap.lt. Schultz, the Kompaniefuhrer of the Hafenkompanie.
• Finally they had to give up their plans. They even lost so much time that it would become as good as impossible to land any troops from the ship on the harbourmole.
• Lt. Claude Hawkings on board Iris was the first man on board Iris who had tried to fasten the ladder to the parapet. He died firing his revolver towards the German attackers.
• He had run into the defenders of Kap.lt. Schultz…
• On board Daffodil, Commander Campbell saw the problems HMS Vindicitve had and decided to use the bow of his ship to push her alongside the mole.
• Campbell himself was wounded and half blinded by the blood streaming from his head as a shell had smashed onto the bridge of Daffodil, but that would not stop him from pushing the 6000 tons of Vindictive slowly but surely against the Zeebrugge mole
• This way it was finally possible to place the landings bows on the mole. However, due to the enemy fire, only two were left of them, and what was more, they were in fact not long enough to be able to make it in an easy way upto the mole. So the first troops which landed still had to use grappling irons to secure the ship against the mole, and Daffodil had to stay in her position during the whole time of the raid. Some sources say that later 4 of the bows could be used after some repairs.
• Meanwhile, in the foretop, Marines were manning the pom-poms and the Lewis, trying desperately to target anything that looked dangerous or even just suspicious.
• On the quarterdeck Lt. Brooks of the RM started using the 11 inch howitzer and he would keep doing so during the whole action.
• Lt. Eastlake decided to use his flamethrower, an invention of Brock, but as he gave the order to switch it on it was at put out of action on the very same moment by enemy fire. What was more the crews who were to secure the ship to the mole with grapnels had almost al been killed.
• Keyes later stated that the first landing bows were on the Mole before the arrival of Daffodil to the rescue, but the men participating in the first wave for the majority stated that it was the arrival of Daffodil who made it possible.
• The first signs of inadequate planning ?
• The situation had as a result that troops from Daffodil had to try to get on board of Vindictive to be able to help their comrades on the mole.
• The first troops that got on the mole under the command of Capt. Adams were able to take the Leitunterstand of the Friedrichsort battery, a concrete pill box on the mole, previously occupied by Lt.d.R.d.M.A. Zimmermann and 3 of his men, who decided the position was difficult to defend, and left it for that reason.
• Another reason was that it had no use to try to use the bunker as the Friedrichsort battery would not fire on the Vindictive as there was to much risk of hitting the own torpedoboats and destroyers on the other side of the mole. He had those last ones prevented of the situation by sending Feuerwerker Westphal to them and he also had phoned to the Friedrichsort battery to inform them of the situation.
• Adams had been the first man on the Mole, by now it was around 00.15 hours, which means it had taken a quarter of an hour to secure Vindictive alongside the mole and to get the first men from A and B companies on the mole wall.
• Keyes claimed that the mole had over 1000 defenders, we will see that the reality was somehow not that spectacular at all.
• Adams went left with his men, his task had originally been to take the Mole battery and he still intended to do so. While going in the direction of the lighthouse they were joined by Wing Commander Brock, who also had been one of the early men on the mole wall, and immediately he went in front of the ranks.
• As already mentioned they arrived at the Friedrichsort Leitstand. A grenade was tossed inside, but the place was already empty. Brock who had used the range finder as an excuse to participate in the raid went inside to take a closer look at the equipment. 3 men were posted here by Adams to guard any possible enemy counterattack.
• The Hafenkompanie, about 70 men had been sheltering for a possible bombardment of the mole, were very close to the position of Iris and were now participating in the defence of the mole, targetting anyone coming over the concrete wall of the Mole. Seven men of the unit would get lightly or heavier wounded by enemy MG fire.
• On the southern side of the mole was the Seeflugstation Zeebrugge or Flandern I with about 200 men. In case of alert they had strict orders to defend the seaplane station by all means, so they would not participate in the actual fighting, but were in positions to defend the station and the station only.
• At the Mole battery Kap.lt. Schütte had no longer been active with his guns after the first encounter with Vindictive. It took some time before a messenger came from the Flak battery to warn them about the fact that enemy troops had landed on the mole. At first Schütte decided to defend the battery if necessary, but when a second messenger came to ask for help he decided to form a little stormtroop. The messenger was sent by Lt. Zimmermann and also mentioned that they had abandoned the Friedrichsort Leitstand.
• The stormtroop was about 12 men, under the command of Oblt.d.R.d.M.A. Rodewald, and two NCO’s Obermaat Harms and Maat Junge, was for the largest part made of kitchen and other mess personnel ! Their weapons were for the largest part rifles, no other pistols or revolvers or MG were available.
• From here they were able to make it to the Flak platform, where also Zimmermann was found. With a total of about 20 men and 12 rifles. He gave orders not to fire unless commanded, as the artificial fog was still sweeping over the harbour mole and visibility was very poor. Meanwhile the destroyer V69 which was at the innerside of the mole was firing on a certain point near the Friedrichsort Leitstand but that was all they could see.
• Also a MG was firing from in a mast of a German ship towards the landed storm troops.
• Other bad luck for the British raiders was the fact that the 2 Zerstörer Halbflottille and the 2 Torpedoboots Habflottille Flandern were anchored at the inner side of the mole.
• First unit under the command of Kapitänleutnant Zander, the second one under Kapitänleutnant Lütjens, which would become famous in WW II while commanding the Bismarck as an admiral.
• Ships along the mole were V69, S53, S63 and A27, A30, A43 and A49.
• Kap.lt. Zander was before the attack on the Mole and had suspected a bombardment of the harbour, so he gave orders to the crews of his ships to take shelter with strict orders not to leave it. On his führerboot S53 about 15 men remained on watch.
• Lütjens came to the same conclusions.
• They also saw how Vindictive arrived alongside the Mole and the location between hangars 4 and 5 on the mole came under heavy British MG fire, including S63.
• It had now become clear for both man that a landing on the mole was evident and eminent.
• Oblt.z.S. Fleischer, one of Lütjens men, had rushed to his A-boot to get a MG and it was installed in the barracks of the Hafenkompanie.
• Also Kap.lt Kossak of S53 was resisiting as was some crew of S63 which captured two British MG’s.
• The CO of V69, Kap.lt. Beneke had also seen the approach of Vindictive and he immediately understood the danger. Together with Fänhnrich zur See Klintsch he went to the 10.5 cm SK on the middledeck, armed it, and they fired about 40 rounds towards Vindictive. Klintsch got lightly wounded, V69 and S53 had some minor damages and S63 had several hits in her bridge and funnels.
• Vindictive had suffered heavily once more.
• Meanwhile the troops that had taken the Friedrichsort Leitstand had received some reinforcements and were now trying to attack the Mole battery. While approaching they ran into a small German patrol of 3 men coming from the Flak platform, and the 3 decided it was healthier to return to it ! Gruppe Rodewald and Adams his group had just met eachother !
• VC winner McKenzie claims that he had taken out a dozen men all by himself by now.
• Shortly before this the ‘stormtroop’ on the Flak platform had been looking for handgrenades and also found them at the Mole battery.
• When the British were about 20 meters from the platform Rodewald ordered ‘fire’ and it seems that also one of the Flak guns participated with ‘Leuchtspurgeschoss’.
• At the same time the MG from the Hafenkompanie barracks opened fire on them.
• Suffering heavy casualties according to German sources, they had to retreat to the Friedrichsort Leitstand from where they tried again, without result.
• So it was decided to sent an officer for reinforcements to the Vindictive.
• In fact upon the return to the Leitstand they found Petty Officer Antell and a few men, he had already been wounded before he landed and Adams checked his wounds and ordered him back to Vindictive. The other men received orders to join the diminishing force upwards who was facing the big mole barricade.
• Lt.Com. Harrison joined them now and asked Adams to get reinforcements on Vindictive. He than lead a rush towards McKenzie and the other men who were still holding their position.
• Adams reported to Major Weller and the survivors of 11 and 12 Platoons would be sent in. Adams meanwhile returned to his men.
• Harrison, waving his cutlass, decided to storm the German position held by Rodewald, along the parapet, it was as Rodewald mentioned, twenty meters before the position they were confronted with a wave of stick grenades, the famous potatosmasher. The Lewis gun was destroyed and McKenzie was wounded again.
• Now every men in the Harrison group was either dead or wounded. Harrison had been the first to die. Able seaman Eves was also wounded but still tried to bring the body of Harrison back to Vindictive, but failed as he was hit again. He collapsed and everybody thought he was dead. In fact he would regain consciousness in a German hospital…
• McKenzie and the few survivors were not yet at the end of their suffering.
• Rodewald had decided to split up his group of men. Obermaat Harms took half of them to attack troops on the mole itself, while Rodewald took the rest upon the mole wall and they reported later that this part was full of dying or wounded British marines. They finally were able to push through and found an enemy MG which they installed at the corner of the Leitstand which had been already abandoned.
• Major Weller and Captain Chater were improvising on Vindictive. Chater went ashore with Lt. Cooke and 5 Platoon among the parapet and went to the right, in the direction of the shore, they were to stop possible German troops that were to attack the Vindictive position, but after some time the could not proceed due to enemy fire. Chater returned to the ship to gie orders to get some ropes and laddrs as there was no stairway down to the mole from the mole wall.
• Cooke gave covering fire when 9 and 10 Platoons laded on the parapet, each having two ladders and two knotted ropes, Sgt. Wright was among them.
• Lt. Lamplough commanding 9 Platoon joined them end they made it to the western corner of number 3 shed. Cooke was wounded twice in the meantime and carried back to Vindictive by Private Press, his servant.
• Lamplough got reinforcements from men of 7 Platoon and Captain Edward Bamford. Three German marines were killed while trying to knock the ladders.
• The Marines had now constructed some kind of bridge head just next to Vindictive to enable them to hold there an await reinforcements but just moments later came the order to pull back to the ship itself.
• German reports are sometimes confusing as the is stated that a group of Marines had still tried to do a last attack on the Mole battery from the Friedrichsort Leitstand, under the command of a heavily wounded officer (probably Harrison) and that all of them were killed or wounded and only one or two were able to make it back to the Leitstand. The wounded were taken back to Vindictive.
• A group of Marines also went towards the western side of the mole, but without any result as according to German sources they had to go back to Vindicitive as the retreat had been ordered from Daffodil. It was 00.50 hours
• On a number of occasions it had come to really serious fighting from man to man at the mole.
• One of the most famous cases is the battle between Torpedomatrose Hermann Künne of S53 and a British officer, who had killed one another.
• McKenzie and the few survivors ran into a group of blue jackets who tried to attack a moored torpedo boat. This is when they ran into the half of the Rodewald group, with Rodewald himself in command. It became a savage hand to hand fight in which everything was useable, rifles, bayonets, knives, cutlasses, coshes and even boots and fists.
• One of these men was Künne, he attacked a British officer with a revolver and cutlass, himself armed with a cutlass also. He slashed his opponent across the neck and grabbed the revolver, but the British officer, desperately wounded, stabbed Künne as he fell, with as a result that both men died on the quayside just a few meters from each other.
• German accounts wrote down that this probably was Harrison, but as we have seen, Harrison was already dead by now, the officer was as a matter of fact Brock, as Brock and Künne died very close to the Leitstand. This also can make us come to the conclusion that the torpedo boat they attacked in fact was V69 who was reposting so heavily towards Vindictive, and so would be the most logical choice for an attack !
• The demolition crew had also landed on the mole, not that they had much to demolish concerning the seaplane base or the Mole battery…
• Lt. Dickinson was in command of them, normally 72 men, but most of them were stuck on the Daffodil. They would try to destroy number 3 shed, but they were stopped in their advance by the moored ships who were firing on them. They now decided to put a charge near the destroyers but once again concentrated fire made them return on their steps. One air mechanic however claimed that he had roasted 40 Germans. Some exaggeration as we will see…
• Lamplough could do very little also, they fired back towards a destroyer with the little weapons they had and convinced the Germans to interfere with their ladders.
• Chater met with Bamford, they were all near number 3 shed and they decided to do another attack on the fortified zone.
• Daffodils siren called the troops back, as Vindictive’s had been destroyed.
• Sgr Wright and his men did not hear it, and he could not clearly see the morse code from the bridge of Daffodil, so they stayed…
• Iris was the first ship to leave, it was hit badly 14 times by the Friedrichsort battery and her bridge was destroyed. Gibs and Major Eagles were dying, Lt Spencer the navigating officer was severely wounded and Petty Officer Smith took over the wheel, Schütte’s guns now joined the club, and the battered ship was saved by ML 558 with a smoke screen.
• Many of the men on the Mole went back to get dead or wounded comrades back on board Vindictive, one of them was Reverend Peshall a Church of England padre, a rugby and teamplyer, just like Harrison and Brock…
• Private Clist was to look for stragglers, he met Captain Palmer who refused to go back until all his men had been accounted for.
• Carpenter, Rosoman and Youlton got wounded on the conning tower of Vindictive, all 3 were lucky however.
• The remains of 9 Platoon kept a last position on the parapet till everyone was on board, Carpenter himself went looking if nobody was left behind.
• Daffodil was towed away by Vindictive. Brocks artificial fog once more saved the situation for both ships. They were going home.
• Wright and his men stood in disbelief as they saw their hope disappear…
• Just moments after the landing of the first troops on the mole, the submarine C3 blew up the ‘claire voie’ or the metal construction leading from the actual mole to the shore.
• Originally the operation had been planned with 2 subs, but C1 had to give up on the way to Zeebrugge
• The submarine had been spotted during it’s approach towards the claire voie but not much attention was given to it, as the Germans supposed that it was going to attack ships in the harbour, and that it had somehow missed the mole. They were able to push the sub in the construction, start the fuse and get on board a small sloop.
• At 00.09 hours the Germans took them under fire from the Wurttemberg battery, resulting in several wounded
• At 00.20 hours the sub filled with explosives did it’s job, making it impossible to bring on reinforcements for the Germans from the shore.
• According to a legend a whole Matrosen Radfahrer Kompanie and some say about 300 men where just on the claire voie at the moment of the explosion
• Most of them were instantly killed and the others ran with their bycicles into the breach, so drowning in the water.
• Great story but a fairy tale ! Nothing of the kind happened. However convenient for Keyes as it did place a lot of casualties on the German side, as compensation for his high losses !
• One British officer and 13 men were not able to make it back to Vindictive. They still had hoped to be picked up by the CMB’s but had no luck. They had been hiding behind a barrack for about one hour but finally had to surrender to the German storm troop, now under the command of Feuerwerker Westphal.
• Very close to the moment that the C3 exploded under the claire-voie the first of the 3 block ships was emerging from the artificial fog. Thetis, under the command of Commander Sneyd was about to take a beating from German guns on the mole. And Vizefeuerwerker d.R. Gay noted that it was hit at least once, possibly twice under the waterline.
• Battery Friedrichsort was laying a barrage just in front of the harbour
• Thetis had bad luck, she ran into the ‘Netsperre’ which was to protect the harbour entrance and this ended up in her screws. She also was making water and finally ran aground close to the harbour entrance.
• Bad luck, but also good luck, as she had cleared the way for the two other block ships, Intrepid and Iphigenia.
• Thetis blew up her hull and the crew was evacuated by CMB 526.
• As all the attention had been focussed on Thetis it also gave the two other block ships the possibility to suffer a lot less damage to enter the harbour.
• Intrepid was the next ship, under the command of Lt. Bonham-Carter was able to get very close to her position and she turned as sharp as possible to port and she was sunk also. Crew was rescued by CMB’s 526 and 282 and Whirlwind.
• Now it was the turn of Iphigenia under Lt. Billyard-Leake

• She had it harder, as she had been targeted by the Flak on the Mole and by the Friedrichsort guns.
• She also got a collision with a dredger and ran aground. It was clear that there was still a large part of the channel free and while trying to correct things she had another collision, now with Intrepid.
• When the CO was convinced to touch ground on the eastern side he decided to scuttle the ship and evacuated the ship.
• On first sight, the blocking was rather a success.
• The blocking a success ? Not really, on both sides there was a gap of about 17 meters ! It had to be clear that with some dredging things would be soon back to normal on the German side !
• Casualties
• At Zeebrugge 206 killed, 412 wounded and missing, 19 POW’s
• At Oostende 19 were killed and 30 wounded
• On the German side, some sources say a total of 10 killed, 25 wounded but by looking to the reports of the units involved we found : 2 killed and 2 wounded at Oostende, at the Mole battery 2 killed 2 wounded, at the 2 Zerstörer Halbflottille 5 killed and 11 wounded, at the 2 Torpedoboots Halbflottille 1 killed and 1 wounded. Total : 10 killed and 16 wounded. Nothing was found on the Hafenkompanie, so they could possibly have 9 wounded.
The Zeebrugge Bell at Dover :
• The bell hanging above was taken from the Belgians by the Germans in the War 1914-1918 and fixed on The Mole at Zeebrugge to give warning of approaching aircraft and naval attacks by the Allies. It was presented to the corporation of Dover by HM the King of the Belgians through Vice-Admiral Sir Roger Keyes Bart KCB KCVO etc as a souvenir of the Naval Raid on Zeebrugge on St George's Day 1918
• Erected to the lasting friendship of Dover and Zeebrugge
The Zeebrugge Bell
The bronze bell above you was a gift of the King of the Belgians and is a memorial to the sacrifice of British Servicemen in the Raid on Zeebrugge on 23rd April 1918.
This bell is struck at noon every year on the anniversary.
The Naval Raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend were carried out by volunteers and denied the effective use of the ports to the Germans. Eleven Victoria crosses and 679 other decorations were awarded. Some 200 British Servicemen were killed and 400 were wounded. A number of the fallen are buried in St James' Cemetery, Dover.
The Dover Society
Stad Brugge
• Onthuld ter ere van de langdurige vriendschap tussen Dover en Zeebrugge
• "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."



Concerning Brock, this is also an interesting story from The Morning Post 27 April 1918

We know a number of things are not correct, as Brock used the iron stairs from the Friedrichsort Leitstand to get down on the Mole. So was it really Brock ? Anyway one officer seems to have tried to protect the North Star during her unfortunate trip into the harbour.

‘We were one of the earliest crowds to go over, and Commander Brock went ahead. It was a fearful job getting over the brow, but the Commander drooped down on the Mole, a distance of fifteen feet. ‘Come on, you boys,’ he shouted and one by one we followed him. There were Huns near us in a nest surrounded by barbed wire, but we stormed that and reached one of the guns on the Mole. Commander Brock, single handed attacked the gun’s crew, and we captured the gun and put it out of action. Then we went further along the Mole and in the light of the star shells, I saw the officer fighting the crew of another gun. He shouted us to go on, and said that he was coming too, but I never saw him again. A Marine told me that just before we went back to the ship he saw Commander Brock wounded and being held up against the side of the Mole by two Marines who refused to leave him.’

There was indeed a fortified position with barbed wire on the Mole with two guns, practically at the end of it.

But there’s more… Most German sources just talk about some fights in the area of the Friedrichsort Leitstand, and part of the Gruppe Rodewald was involved in this.

However, Art.Maat Policke of the battery tells us something interesting.

An enemy destroyer, coming out of the fog, is being shot at, and turns away. All of a sudden, with high speed, an enemy destroyer in the harbour. He is trying for a last time to save the survivors of the block ships. (In fact this is HMS North Star !). She runs directly into the fire of the battery , turns around, and while doing this, fires a torpedo towards the battery. The leading gun man of one of the batteries, wounded by MG fire, drags himself away. Another Maat (Artillerist) mans the gun sight. The torpedo explodes, and on the same time a grenade explodes near the gun, killing the Maat and one of the men.
Another man takes over, and now all the batteries work together. The destroyer tries unsuccessfully to get to sea. However salvo after salvo hits in it’s side. With the bow first she disappears into the deep.

One has to ask himself, from where did the MG fire come from, and from where came the grenade ?

It was definitely Brock's style as a rugby player !
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Woonplaats: Jabbeke, Flanders - Home of the Marine Jagdgeschwader in WW I

BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Blockships

• Very close to the moment that the C3 exploded under the claire-voie the first of the 3 blockships was emerging from the artificial fog. Thetis, under the command of Commander Sneyd was about to take a beating from German guns on the mole. And Vizefeuerwerker d.R. Gay noted that it was hit at least once, possibly twice under the waterline.
• Battery Friedrichsort was laying a barrage just in front of the harbour
• Thetis had bad luck, she ran into the ‘Netsperre’ which was to protect the harbour entrance and this ended up in her screws. She also was making water and finally ran aground close to the harbour entrance.
• Bad luck, but also good luck, as she had cleared the way for the two other blockships, Intrepid and Iphigenia.
• Thetis blew up her hull and the crew was evacuated by CMB 526.
• As all the attention had been focussed on Thetis it also gave the two other blockships the possibility to suffer a lot less damage to enter the harbour.
• Intrepid was the next ship, under the command of Lt. Bonham-Carter was able to get very close to her position and she turned as sharp as possible to port and she was sunk also. Crew was rescued by CMB’s 526 and 282 and Whirlwind.
• Now it was the turn of Iphigenia under Lt. Billyard-Leake
• She had it harder, as she had been targetted by the Flak on the Mole and by the Friedrichsort guns.
• She also got a collision with a dredger and ran aground. It was clear that there was still a large part of the channel free and while trying to correct things she had another collision, now with Intrepid.
• When the CO was convinced to touch ground on the eastern side he decided to scuttle the ship and evacuated the ship.
• On first sight, the blocking was rather a success.
• The blocking a success ? Not totally, on both sides there was a gap of about 17 meters ! It had to be clear that with some dredging things would be soon back to normal on the German side !
• However the RAF would prevent them from operations by bombing and hitting the lock doors several times in 1918

Losses…

• Casualties
• At Zeebrugge 206 killed, 412 wounded and missing, 19 POW’s (16 were missing afterwards)
• At Oostende 19 were killed and 30 wounded
• On the German side, some sources say a total of 10 killed, 25 wounded but by looking to the reports of the units involved we found : 2 killed and 2 wounded at Oostende, at the Mole battery 2 killed 2 wounded, at the 2 Zerstörer Halbflottille 5 killed and 11 wounded, at the 2 Torpedoboots Halbflottille 1 killed and 1 wounded. Total : 10 killed and 16 wounded. Nothing was found on the Hafenkompanie, so they could possibly have 9 wounded.

Conclusions

• Commonwealth losses were very high, but we may not forget that most of the casulaties fell on the moment that HMS Vindicitive was fired upon by the Mole battery before she was able to get alongside the Mole.
• The Marinekorps Flandern was quite impressed with the attack and the torpedoboats and destroyers could only leave Zeebrugge at high tide and after some dredging was done
• The canal from Brugge to Oostende was not deep enough for the destroyers

• No more large raids or even smaller ones in the Channel with the torpedoboats and destroyers of the Flandern Flottille would follow after the Zeebrugge and Oostende raids.
• No more reinforcements arrived for these ships from Germany
• All the effort done in the Channel by admiral Keyes would also halt the U-boats operating from Zeebrugge and Oostende and would lead to very high losses in the last months of the war in 1918.
• It also was a very important boost for morale in the UK and for it’s Allies on a moment where things weren’t going in the right direction on the front itself with the German spring offensive. But that also was about to change !
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Woonplaats: Jabbeke, Flanders - Home of the Marine Jagdgeschwader in WW I

BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De Zeebrugge Bell in Dover, die morgen zoals de traditie het wil geluid zal worden, op St.-George's Day.


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Able Seaman Albert McKenzie, VC


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Captain Edward Bamford VC


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Sgt. Norman Augustus Finc, VC




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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lt. Claude Hawkings RMLI, Iris storming party


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lt. Cdr. Arthur Leyland Harrison VC


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wing Cdr. Frank Arthur Brock, RNAS


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lt.Cdr. GEORGE NICHOLSON BRADFORD VC, HMS Iris II


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Captain Charles Phelps Tuckey RMLI




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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Badge van de Zeebrugge Association 1918, de oud strijders groepering van de deelnemers aan de Zeebrugge Raid. Met dank aan Dominic Walsh !


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 10:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Reg, de Mole,
over hoeveel meter hebben we het eigenlijk?
Hoe lang was het?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 11:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Hmm, toch wel een paar meter hoor Smile

Even kijken...

Op het land was er een eerste deel van 29 meter, daarna het metalen viaduct en dan de eigenlijke havendam, 1715 meter lang en ongeveer 73 meter breed. Langs de buitenkant had je dan die verhoogde loopweg met een hoogte van ongeveer 5 meter en een breedte van ongeveer een drietal meter met de borstwering van ongeveer 1.2 meter hoog. Op het einde van dit smal gedeelte lag dus nog eens een stuk die uitliep op de vuurtoren met een breedte van 4.5 meter en een lengte van 240 meter.

Nu we toch met cijfertjes bezig zijn, de twee pieren van de haven/kanaalmonding hadden een lengte van bijna 250 meter, de twee uiterste punten ervan lagen op 180 meter van elkaar en de twee dichtste op 105 meter breedte, in het kanaal zelf. De afstand van het einde van de pieren tot aan de sluisdeuren was een grote 800 meter.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 11:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote



Foto van het monumentje opgericht te Torbay/Torquay ter nagedachtenis van Lt.Cdr. Harrison
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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 12:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lt Richard Douglas Sandford RN VC - C3


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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 12:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

3 luchtfoto's van de haven nu om een duidelijke situering te tonen van de havenmole en eentje van de havenmonding en van de achterhaven van Brugge nu










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BerichtGeplaatst: 22 Apr 2008 12:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

En de haven van Brugge in 1918...


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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Apr 2008 11:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Vandaag is het exact 90 jaar geleden dat de Raid op Zeebrugge op Saint-George's Day 1918 plaats vond.

Opdat wij niet zouden vergeten wie ze waren en wat er gebeurde :

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."

In speciale herinnering van :
In special Remembrance of :

Wing Commander Frank Arthur Brock, OBE en Lieutenant Commander Arthur Leyland Harrison VC

We shall remember them indeed !

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=96941

Johan
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Apr 2008 19:13    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dus als ik het goed begrijp waren het Raids van de Britten die probeerde de Duitste artillerie en schepen te vernietigen?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Apr 2008 22:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Raid van de Britten en andere Commonwealth landen in een poging om eerstens de havens van Zeebrugge en Oostende te blokkeren en zo de duikboten daar op non actief te plaatsen, en te Zeebrugge kwam daarbij dat men de havendam moest passeren met die blokschepen waarop batterijen stonden, die wou men door de landing op de havendam dan ook vernietigen, teneinde te voorkomen dat de blokschepen tot stukjes zouden geschoten worden.
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jurggie



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Berichten: 1741

BerichtGeplaatst: 27 Apr 2008 14:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

aah ok en(excuseer me, zo een lange tekst in het engels is niet altijd aan mij besteed) zijn ze daar de tweede keer in geslaagd.
Ik kan afleiden dat de HMS Vindictive beschadigd was de eerste keer en de tweede keer zonk en als blokkering diende, maar lag de duikboothaven dan ook stil?
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Regulus 1



Geregistreerd op: 17-7-2005
Berichten: 12476
Woonplaats: Jabbeke, Flanders - Home of the Marine Jagdgeschwader in WW I

BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Mei 2008 15:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nee hoor, Oostende was wijd open voor het gebruik van alle mogelijke vaartuigen, slechts een heel klein deeltje was versperd, eigenlijk bijna het bespreken niet waard...
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