The Zeebrugge Raid Version 2

British Admiralty Statement on the Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids, 22-23 April 1918

According to latest reports from air observation, the two old ships with their holds full of concrete are lying across the canal in a V position; and the work they set out to do has been accomplished. The canal is effectively blocked.

The whole harbour was alive with small craft. As the motor launches cleared the canal, and came forth to the incessant geysers thrown tip by the shells, rescuers and rescued had a view of yet another phase of the attack.

The shore end of the Mole consists of a jetty, and here an old submarine, loaded with explosives, was run into the piles and touched off, her crew getting away in a boat to where the usual launch awaited them.

Officers describe the explosion as the greatest they ever witnessed - a huge roaring spout of flame that tore the jetty in half and left a gap of over 100 feet. The claim of another launch to have sunk a torpedo-boat alongside the jetty is supported by many observers, including officers of the Vindictive, who had seen her mast and funnel across the Mole and noticed them disappear.

Where every moment had its deed and every deed its hero, a recital of acts of valour becomes a mere catalogue.

"The men were magnificent," say the officers; the men's opinion of their leaders expresses itself in the manner in which they followed them, in their cheers, in their demeanour to-day while they tidy up their battered ships, setting aside the inevitable souvenirs, from the bullet-torn engines to great chunks of Zeebrugge Mole dragged down and still hanging in the fenders of the Vindictive.

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