Honour - OSTEND 1918
The first raid to block the port of Ostend failed on 23-April, but it was
decided that a second attempt would be made using HMS Vindictive a
survivor of the Zeebrugge raid as a blockship.
As the attack went in a fog bank obscured the harbour entrance. As Vindictive steamed back and forth trying to find the entrance the monitors and shore batteries exchanged long range fire. It was not until the third pass that Vindictive accompanied by only one motor launch sighted the entrance and made straight for the mouth of the canal. She was targeted by all German guns which could bear and was badly damaged. The port propeller also suffered severe damage and when the order was given to swing Vindictive broadside to block the channel the screw broke completely which prevented the full turn. At this time a German shell struck the bridge killing or wounding most of the bridge crew.
The ship then drifted out of the channel and became stuck on a sandbank only partly obscuring the entrance.
The charges were then ordered blown and Vindictive evacuated to the sole accompanying motor launch. It was severely damaged during the withdrawal. HMS Warwick also struck a mine and was abandoned, but made Dover lashed alongside another destroyer.
The British lost 8 dead and 10 missing plus 29 wounded. The Germans lost 3 killed and 8 wounded.
This page last edited -
26 November, 2012.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.