Prepared from the documents of the Naval Archives
The British and Belgian press have glorified the British assaults on Zeebrugge and Ostend in 1918 with astonishing vanity, departing far from the historical facts as to the effect on the German submarine warfare.
During the war, these “Reports of Victory,” erroneously announcing the complete blocking of both submarine bases on the coast of Flanders, could be regarded as good propaganda. They not only justified the unusually heavy losses sustained in these undertakings but served also to quiet the fears of the British public as to the submarine anger from the nearby shores, and to raise the morale of the great, idle fleet at Scapa flow from which volunteers had taken part in the assaults. If we can admit ungrudgingly that these assaults were carried out smartly and cold-bloodedly by a selected crew, then England today must also admit that the defenders beat off all the assaults, especially the assault on the Mole of Zeebrugge, with equal heroism, equal doggedness and cold-bloodedness.