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  • Short Summary

    Re-enactment of Zeebrugge Naval Raid by Royal Navy during WW1.

  • Description

    Re-enactment of Zeebrugge Naval Raid (a BIF production) in Belgium. More parts of this story in ON 374 A and ON 374 B.

    Aerial shot of harbour with battle action in progress. Closer shots of HMS Thetis burning flares.

    Intertitle reads: "Although under heavy fire, THETIS burnt flares which enabled INTREPID (Lieut. S. S. Bonham Carter) the second blockship, to steer clear of the entanglements".

    CUs officer on deck, possibly Lieut. Carter. Aerial shot of harbour as ships move in. Aerial shot straight over mouth of canal with harbour walls curving outward, ship approaches.

    Intertitle reads: "Placing his ship across the channel according to plan the captain gave the signal and her bottom was blown out".

    Explosion as bottom is blown out of Royal Navy warship as she starts to sink.

    Intertitle reads: "Meanwhile IPHIGENIA (Lieut. E. W. Billyard-Leake) followed close behind her consort".

    Various shots HMS Iphigenia approaching.

    Intertitle reads: "Seeing a small gap on the eastward side of INTREPID the Captain of IPHIGENIA manoeuvred her to close the gap and sank her".

    VS HMS Iphigenia being scuttled.

    Intertitle reads: "All this time THETIS was under intense bombardment, on fire in several places and in a sinking condition".

    HMS Thetis in bad shape - on fire & still under bombardment.

    Intertitle reads: "In spite of thus her heroic engine room staff stuck to their posts ..."

    MS crew in engine room shovelling coal.

    Intertitle reads: "... and succeeded in getting one engine to work. Slowly she forced her way to the canal entrance".

    Aerial view Thetis moving toward canal entrance.

    Intertitle reads: "Reaching the entrance she could go no further. Her Captain thereupon blew the bottom out of her and she sank".

    Aerial shot showing 2 ships that have been sunk in entrance (Thetis is not shown as she couldn't quite make it).

    Intertitle reads: "Motor-launch 282 (Lieut. P. Dean, RNVR) had followed the blockships into the canal to rescue their crews".

    Motor launch on way to rescue crews of sunken cruisers.

    Intertitle reads: "Nearly all the boats having been shot away from the blockships some of the crew were obliged to escape in a Carley float".

    MS inflatable raft & a few men landing in the dark water with a splash, some of crew members had to escape in these carley floats (rubber ring) because the boats could not come near enough.

    Note: much of the battle re-enactment is achieved using small models.

    Cataloguers' note: military re-enactment from World war one. Royal Navy's raid on Zeebrugge was attempt to seal up the Bruges Canal to prevent its use by the German Navy. They brought in old cruisers filled with cement and sunk them in the harbour while at the same time creating distractions. Although this wasn't completely successful - the canal was not entirely blocked - it was one of the most daring of the war and gave a boost to British morale.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    Old negatives
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:07:53:00 / 01:17:06:00
    ON 374 C

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