Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids 1918

Deborah Lake

Date Published :
April 2008
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
No associated books available.


The Zeebrugge Raid is one of the most exciting small actions, not just of the First World War but in British history. The purpose was to counter the U-boat menace. Submarine attacks on Allied shipping caused great difficulty. The Admiralty claimed that the war would be lost unless the submarine attacks were curtailed.

Admiral Keyes proposed blocking the ports. At Zeebrugge, a diversionary landing on the Mole - an enormous breakwater - would divert attention from the blockships as they entered the harbor. The defenses were extremely strong. Surprise and daring were essential. Despite over 600 casualties, the attacks were a great boost to civilian morale in Britain. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded, eight of them for the Zeebrugge raid alone. Some recipients were chosen by the survivors, one of the very few times this has been done.

About The Author

Educated at Westminster, the Author spent 17 years as a pilot in the RAF. Thereafter pursued an acting and literary career, concentrating on historical works. Her play on FM Sir Douglas Haig is regularly performed. Lives in Northumberland.


"highly readable and well-illustrated narrative of a desperate action executed at the nadir of Allied fortunes on the Western Front when the question remained whether the army could win the war before the navy had lost it...provides an earnest introduction to an action of high adventure"

- Naval Historical Foundation

“The use of first hand accounts is what brings the book vividly and grippingly to life as action is eventually joined and the cruelly depleted marines and seamen storm the Mole...Here we have a cracking read, very different from some more pedestrian analyses.”

- Army Rumour Service

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