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Remembered Today:

Bombing of Bruges on 23 March 1918


Regulus 1
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Good morning !

 

I'm currently trying to find the last pieces of a puzzle concerning the bombing of Bruges on that day during the day.  There was also a bombing raid later that same night.
During the bombing raid two German destroyers were hit by bombs and 3 Belgian civilian casualties fell along the Dudzelesteenweg road at Koolkerke.
However the most curious thing is that also 12 German civilians were killed in this attack, they were all active for the German Marinekorps and there's dicussion if one of them did or did not have a military rank of an 'Ersatz-Reservist'.  There was also one female among them.  All are now buried at Vladslo.  It seems that the German civilians were doing administration at the harbour but others were technicians as well.
To complete the story I'm trying to find out which Squadron(s) did the attack that day and also that night as two more German civilians may have been killed that night while also the submarine UB30 was damaged.
Sincere thanks for your help

 

Best regards,

Johan

Edited by Regulus 1
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You can go to the National Archives in Kew and go through all of the bombing reports there, just as I did for my Bissegem book. It takes a bit of time but you can find all the information you need about bombings on Bruges.

 

As for civilians: there's plenty of information in the Freiburg archive about civilian firms working for the Marinekorps.

 

Jan

 

 

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James, nothing specific in the Communiques...

Jan, this is just a very small part of several hundreds of stories I'm working on, not especially on Brugge.  This case is just Brugge related.  And yes was in Freiburg and Koblenz just a few months ago for a visit to the Militärarchiv, Bildarchiv and Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung.  Freiburg has enormous amounts of material waiting to be discovered on so many subjects of WW I.  Time for me to get back to Munchen as well.  And a few other archives in Germany.  But well;;;  so little time...  so much material

Johan

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Hi Johan,

 

On the 23rd March, Naval 6 sent 9 DH9s to Bruges Docks at 13.56 British time accompanied by a Fighter escort of 2 DH9s from Naval 11.  Due to the early appalling unreliability of the early DH9 's engines, only 3 of the bombers reached the target. FCdr INC Clarke made the following report:

 

30 off 25lb and 13 off 16lbs bombs were dropped from between 14000 and 16000 feet. Hits were observed as follows;

 

     On shed on north quayside of north Darse

     On shed on south end of north Bassin

     In water slightly northeast of large Destroyer in end Darse

     On Quay between north and south  Darses

     In water of south Darse

     On shed on Quayside at southern end corner of east Bassin, fire started

 

Another raid was carried out the following day, in the very early hours by Naval 7's HPs 

 

As you know, Bruges was a popular town with the RNAS, so I'm sure there were other visitors that day:lol:

 

Mike

 

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Johan,

 

Just a lttlle bit more from the RNAS Communiques which you earlier dismissed:

 

Apart from confirming the Naval 6 raid in my post above, it goes on to say on the night of 23rd/early hours of 24th, No 7 Squadron dropped three 250lb and forty-eight 112lb bombs on Bruges Docks.  The bombs were seen to fall across East and West basins, on the tongue of  land, on the south quay of the Bassin du Commerce and across  Darses 1 and 2.

 

 

 No mention of any other bombing raids by the RNAS on the 23rd.

 

Of course, the RFC may have raided Bruges on the 23rd, but the RFC Communiques edited by Chaz Bowyer makes no mention. Chaz seems to have edited out most of the bombing information from the original Communiques, presumably because the publisher thought fighter stuff would sell better (just my opinion).

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

God to hear from you and thank you very much for your replies ! This adds a lot of interesting information to this story.

 

I think these answer all my questions, I was already aware of 7 RNAS bombing at night, and this confirms it with a lot more detail !

 

Sincere thanks

 

Best regards,

 

Johan

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