27/10/1916 Dover Strait: Germany attacks in the Channel

The British continue to be concerned about the German U-boat menace. In order to stop the enemy submarines traversing the English Channel, the British have constructed the Dover Barrage, a network of nets and underwater minefields across the narrow sea near the port.

The Germans have a naval squadron based in the Belgian port of Zeebrugge. Its commander, Ludwig von Schroeder, decides to attack the Dover Barrage and any Allied ships he can find in the Channel. His squadron sailed out yesterday evening. The raid goes well. In the course of the night, Schroeder’s ships sink a number of the drifters that attend the barrage. The British response is ineffectual, with the German ships several times mistaken for British ones. One British destroyer is sunk when the German squadron take it by surprise. The Germans also sink a British troopship (thankfully not carrying any troops at the time) and damage some other vessels.

In the early hours of the morning Schroeder returns to port. One of his boats has suffered minor damage, but he has successfully shown the British that they cannot take control of the Channel for granted.

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