The Second Ostend Raid was the latter of two failed attempts by the
Royal Navy to block the channels accessing the Belgian port of Ostend
in 1918. The strategic advantages conferred by the Belgian ports in the
conflict were very important; a successful blockade of these bases
would have forced German submarines to operate out of more distant
ports, such as Wilhelmshaven, on the German coast. The ports of Ostend
and Zeebrugge provided sea access via canals for the major inland port
of Bruges, which was used as a base for small warships and submarines.
The Ostend Raid was largely a failure as a result of heavy German
resistance and British navigational difficulties in poor weather. In
anticipation of a raid, the Germans had removed the navigation buoys
and without them the British had difficulty finding the narrow channel
into the harbour in poor weather. When they did discover the entrance,
German resistance proved too strong for the operation to be completed
as originally planned. British casualties in the raid were heavy,
compared to minimal German losses. Despite its failure, the raid was
presented in Britain as a courageous and daring gamble which came very
close to success. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of
Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman
Empire, and ultimately leading to the conversion of the whole empire to
The Blackpool Illuminations in the English seaside town of Blackpool,
billed as "the greatest free light show on earth", were switched on for
the first time.
The Nazi propaganda radio programme Germany Calling began broadcasting
to audiences in England and the United States.
Hurricane Fifi struck Honduras, destroying 182 towns and villages in
the first 24 hours, and ultimately causing over 8,000 deaths.
Five letters containing anthrax spores were mailed to various media
outlets in the United States.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
Spotted or blotched, especially in black and white
Wikiquote quote of the day:
To contribute usefully to the advance of science, one must sometimes
not disdain from undertaking simple verifications.