HMS 'Vindictive' alongside the Mole, Zeebrugge, April 23rd 1918 by Charles Dixon

HMS 'Vindictive' alongside the Mole, Zeebrugge, April 23rd 1918

Charles Dixon

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HMS 'Vindictive' alongside the Mole, Zeebrugge, April 23rd 1918 by Charles Dixon zoom

HMS 'Vindictive' alongside the Mole, Zeebrugge, April 23rd 1918

In this work, Charles Dixon (1872-1934) has depicted the HMS ‘Vindictive’ alongside the Mole at the Zeebrugge Raid, which took place during the First World War on the night of 23 April 1918. This raid was an attempt by the British to neutralize the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, which was then in use by the German Navy, by blockading the Bruges Canal to reduce the flow of German U-boats into the North Sea. The intention was to use marines and demolition parties to attack the Mole, while three old British ships were filled with concrete and deliberately sunk in the harbour to prevent German vessels from leaving port. Dixon has chosen to show the moment when British troops landed from the ‘Vindictive’ to storm the Mole. In truth, the raid, which took place on St George’s Day, did not succeed in blocking the canal, but was still publicized in Britain as a daring and courageous attack, raising public morale and restoring public confidence in the British Navy. Although Dixon did not serve as an Official War Artist during the First World War and was not present at this event, he was able to produce impressive watercolours such as this by using photographic evidence, sketches and accounts made by servicemen who were actively involved.

Object number: PAJ2980
Date: 1923
Artist: Charles Dixon
Dimensions: 235 mm x 548 mm

  • Image reference: PT2980

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