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Book Review
The Blocking Of Zeebrugge
The Blocking of Zeebrugge – Operation Z-O 1918 *RAID 7*
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights


The Belgian ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend were ports from which Imperial German Navy submarines, torpedo boats and destroyers sortied into the English Channel and raised havoc with the island nation of England. Zeebrugge witnessed one of the most ferocious small battles of The Great War when on the night of April 22-23 1918, the Royal navy carried out an immense commando action to impede, amongst other purposes, Imperial German Navy attacks into the English Channel. The British attacked through an immense smoke screen with warships, gunfire monitors, ships tasked for scuttling, a cruiser modified for landing troops and their close-combat support, and submarines prepared as submersible demolition charges. The landing parties, Royal Navy seamen and Royal Marines, received special training and weapons. The relatively small action ended with no fewer than 11 Victoria Crosses awarded to the British forces! A subsequent raid on Ostend employed much of the surviving force.

In this 7th book of Osprey’s series RAID, Author Stephen Prince explores this incredible action. In 64 pages featuring dozens of photographs, maps, and six illustrations and diagrams by a trio of artists, the background and execution of this battle is brought to life. Mr. Prince examines the concepts, tactics, planning, force composition, and equipment of the attacking and defending forces, and the results of the raid.


The first half of the book presents the strategic and tactical background of Zeebrugge base. The battlefield and political concerns are explored, including the interaction between the Royal Navy and the Royal Army, and their different plans for attacking Zeebrugge. Excerpts from reports and studies flesh out the operation. The attacks on Ostend are presented in less detail.

A chronology of the operation, with dates and times, is included throughout the book. Years passed from inception to execution, so these are interesting and useful.
First-hand accounts are prominent in the book.
The Blocking Of Zeebrugge, Operation Z-O 1918 is presented to you in 64 pages divided into eight chapters:









The photographic portion of the book contains many interesting images of troops, weapons, ships, and the target areas, with before and after shots. Given the limitations of WW I photography, it is no surprise that several of the photos are blurry. Many are clear and sharp. Several are after-action photographs by the Germans, annotated by hand. They all convey the intent of the accompanying text.

Three artists worked on this book: Donato Spedaliere, Guiseppe Rava, and Mariusz Kozik. Their work enriches the book with bird’s eye views, reproductions of original maps and schematics, and three dramatic illustrations of the battle. The dynamic paintings are traditional brush on canvas instead of the photo-realistic but sometimes stale CGI graphics that are so popular nowadays. Each is accompanied by a narrative text box. The maps help bring the fight to life in the mind of the reader.


It is difficult for me to find complaint with this work. While the text is detailed, and some parts are dry, this book is very readable. The illustraions are good. Many of the photographs are fascinating.

I have never heard of this action before. Whether you are a historian or modeler, The Blocking Of Zeebrugge, Operation Z-O 1918 offers an element of interest for anyone. The diorama inspiration from this book is enormous. This raid was a precourser of some spectacular raids in World War Two. I recommend this book.

Please remember, when contacting vendors or sellers, to mention you saw this book here—on ModelShipwrights.
Highs: Well researched, documented, and explained. Interesting illustrations and photographs.
Lows: More graphics are always welcome.
Verdict: This work offers an element of interest for anyone. The diorama inspiration from this book is enormous.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN: 9781846034534
  Suggested Retail: $18.95
  Related Link: The Blocking of Zeebrugge – Operation Z-O 1918
  PUBLISHED: Jan 17, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. All rights reserved.


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