The Plan

Royal Navy officers Dickenson, Walker, Adams, Osbourne, Harrison and Hawkins at a briefing aboard HMS Vindictive before the Raid. When the German guns opened fire, Adams was the only officer left to lead the assault onto the Mole

The Royal Navy realised that a seabourne assault to capture Zeebrugge harbour was too ambitious.

Instead they decided to block the canal by filling with concrete the cruisers HMS Intrepid (above)

HMS Thetis (above) and HMS Iphigenia sinking them across the canal entrance

At the same time a raiding party of Naval ratings and Royal Marines was to land on the Mole from HMS Vindictive (above when new) and destroy the heavy guns guarding the harbour


 To prevent the Germans reinforcing their troops on the Mole during the attack, the viaduct which connected the Mole to the mainland was to be destroyed. An old submarine (C3 above) filled with explosives was to sail under the viaduct and be blown up

If all went to plan the crews from the blockships and from the destroyed submarine would be rescued by fast motor boats and ferried back to destroyers waiting outside the harbour.

A WW1 fast patrol boat awaiting restoration at Chatham Dockyard

A sketch plan of the attack