February 12

This Day in History

World War I

Feb 12, 1915:

British planes raid Belgian coast

One of the biggest air raids of World War I occurs on this day in 1915, when 34 planes from the British Naval Wing attack the German-occupied coastal towns of Blankenberghe, Ostend and Zeebrugge in Belgium.

The attacks, led by British Wing Commander C.R. Samson, targeted the railway stations in Ostend and Blankenberghe as well as railway lines across the coast that were being used by the occupying military forces from Germany. The town of Zeebrugge, which was being used by the Germans as a base of operations for their deadly submarine warfare and from which they planned a blockade of the Belgian coast, was also a major target of the attack.

The unprecedented raid was extraordinarily successful, causing massive damage to the occupying military force. Despite coming under heavy ground fire from German anti-aircraft guns, not a single Allied plane was shot down and no Allied lives were lost.

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