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Aftermath of the Zeebrugge raid | by Watson class
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Aftermath of the Zeebrugge raid

The entrance to the Bruges canal after the Zeebrugge raid of the 22nd April 1918, the obsolete cruisers Intrepid, Iphigenia and Thetis built as far back as 1890-4 were each filled with 1,500 tons of concrete and electrically fired explosive charges then sunk as blockships. The Thetis fouled a net obstruction on the way in and ran aground outside drawing much of the defensive fire.

The Zeebrugge raid, two earlier aborted attempts and a similar raid on Ostend which failed, involved a small armada of vessels, they numbered, 8 monitors, 6 old cruisers, 8 light cruisers, 52 destroyers, 62 motor launches 24 coastal motor boats, 2 submarines, 2 ferry boats and 1 picket boat.

These raids were designed to deny access to the safe haven of Bruges 6 miles inland, for German U boats and destroyers via. the Bruges Canal.

The British casualties totalled 214 killed and 383 wounded, not that many considering the tremendous odds, the bravery, skill and courage of all those (mainly volunteers) concerned, is reflected by the decorations awarded, they numbered as many as 11 VC's, 21 DSO's, 29 DSC's, 16 CGM's and 143 DSM's.


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Taken on March 3, 2011