The Zeebrugge Raid

I’ve found today by chance a book published in 1925, L’embouteillage de Zeebrugge, written by VC Capt. A.F.B. Carpenter. This is obviously a French translation of The Blocking of Zeebrugge published in 1922.


It was an attempt by the Royal Navy to block the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge. The British intended to sink obsolete ships in the canal entrance, to prevent German vessels from leaving port. The port was used by the Imperial German Navy as a base for U-boats and light shipping, which were a threat to Allied shipping, especially in the English Channel.

The first attempt on Zeebrugge was made on 2 April 1918 but cancelled at the last moment, after the wind direction changed and made it impossible to lay a smoke-screen. Another attempt was made on 23 April with a concurrent attack on Ostend. Two of three blockships were scuttled in the narrowest part of the Bruges Canal and one of two submarines rammed the viaduct, which linked the shore and themole, to isolate the German garrison. The blockships were sunk in the wrong place and the canal was open after a few days, to submarines at high tide. British casualties were 583 men and German losses were 24 men; the raid was publicised by the British around the world as a great victory and many medals were awarded. (Source: Wikipedia)


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