The Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids: HMS Vindictive

HMS Vindictive was one of four Arrogant-class Protected Cruisers that were built between 1895 and 1900. The other ships in the class were HMS Arrogant, HMS Furious, and HMS Gladiator.

The Arrogant-class protected Cruisers as built.

By the outbreak of the First World War, the design of the Arrogant-class Protected Cruisers was obsolete, and only HMS Vindictive took an active part in the conflict. HMS Gladiator had sunk in 1908 as a result of a collision with the merchant ship SS Saint Paul, whilst HMS Arrogant had become a Submarine Depot Ship in 1911 and HMS Furious had been paid off and hulked in 1912. (She was renamed HMS Forte in 1915 to release the name for the new Light Battlecruiser that was being built.)

The ship’s characteristics were:

  • Displacement: 5,750 tons
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 342′ (104.2m)
    • Beam: 57′ 6″ (17.5m)
    • Draught: 20′ (6.1m)
  • Propulsion: 2 x vertical triple-expansion steam engines (10,000shp) using steam generated by 18 Belleville water-tube boilers, driving 2 propellers
  • Speed: 19 knots
  • Complement: 480
  • Armament:
    • When built: 4 × 6-inch (152 mm) QF Guns; 6 × 4.7-inch (120 mm) QF guns; 8 × 12-pounder (3-inch/76mm) QF Guns; 3 × 3-pounder (47mm) QF Guns; 5 x Machine Guns; 3 submerged 18-inch (450mm) Torpedo Tubes
    • By 1914: 10 × 6-inch (152 mm) QF Guns; 8 × 12-pounder (3-inch/76mm) QF Guns; 3 × 3-pounder (47mm) QF Guns; 5 x Machine Guns; 3 submerged 18-inch (450mm) Torpedo Tubes
    • At the time of the Zeebrugge Raid: 1 x 11-inch (280mm) Howitzer; 2 x 7.5-inch (190mm) Howitzers; 2 x 6-inch (152 mm) QF Guns; 16 x 3-inch (76mm) Stokes Mortars; 5 x Pompom Guns; 16 x Lewis Machine Guns; Flamethrowers
  • Armour:
    • Deck: 1.5-inch to 3-inch (38mm to 76mm)
    • Conning tower: 9-inch (229mm)

One of the 7.5-inch Howitzers and several of the 3-inch Stokes Mortars fitted to HMS Vindictive.

HMS Vindictive on her return from Zeebrugge.

The damage done to HMS Vindictive during the raid can be clearly seen in this photograph. The large box-shaped structure to the right of the bridge in this photograph housed one of the large flamethrowers.

After her heroic service during the Zeebrugge Raid, the very badly damaged HMS Vindictive was expended as a blockship during the second raid on Ostend.

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8 Comments on “The Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids: HMS Vindictive”

  1. Lee Hadley says:

    Very interesting photo's, especially that last one.

  2. Lee Hadley,

    The last photograph makes an interesting comparison with the model used by the Maidstone Wargames Society. I think that they managed to portray HMS Vindictive very accurately.

    All the best,

    Bob

  3. johntheone says:

    I have a solitair boardgame of this raid which I havnt played yet but thus peaks mt intrest back into it.

  4. Johntheone,

    I haven't heard of a solitaire game about the raid, and I'd be interested in knowing more about it.

    All the best,

    Bob

  5. Bob, this post has been “Tangoed” on TMP.

    Interesting post, by the way.

    Jim

  6. ColCampbell50 (jim),

    Thanks for letting me know. Its quite some time since I was last 'Tangoed'!

    All the best,

    Bob

  7. johntheone says:

    Bob
    The game I refered to is ST Georges Valour by High Flying Dice Games
    John

  8. Johntheone,

    Thanks very much for the information. I'll look the game up on Boardgamegeek.

    All the best,

    Bob


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