23rd April – St Georges Day…… On this day.

First off to all my English (and Georgian) fans, Happy St Georges Day!

On this most auspicious of days there have been many events occur, however I shall write about only a couple.

23rd April 1918: The Zeebrugge raid took place…

A wonderful piece of pathe film footage about the raid. (however slightly inaccurate as it was made after the war to buoy public morale)

On the 23rd of April 1918, the Royal Navy and Royal marines attempted to neutralize the port of Zeebrugge  and Ostend.   Both these ports were used for German U-boats and light shipping, which were causing problems in the English Channel for allied forces.  The raid was principally a failure due to the unexpected change of wind direction which blew the obscuring smoke screen away from HMS Vindictive, and meant it had to, under extremely heavy fire, moor in the wrong place.  Three other ships, HMS thetis, Iphigenia and Intrepid were disabled too late and did not manage to scuttle themselves and use their concrete filled bodies to block the canals entrance effectively.  Hailed as a Victory by both the allies and the Germans, it’s overall disruption lasted only a few days, with considerable loss of life to the British.

A total of 500 casualties are recorded and 8 Victoria Crosses awarded for gallantry.



23rd April 1942; Baedeker raids began……

In retaliation for the RAF raid on Lubeck, which was a submarine port, the Luftwaffe retaliated by bombing Exeter, (later: Bath and York, as well as Canterbury and Norwich), in a series of raids named the Baedeker raids after a popular holiday book at the time which gave areas of natural beauty, historical importance and such like for tourists (similar to an AA guide today).



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