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Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids 1918, The Hardcover – October, 2002

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About the Author

Educated at Westminster, the Author spent 17 years as a pilot in the RAF. Thereafter pursued an acting and literary career, concentrating on historical works. Her play on FM Sir Douglas Haig is regularly performed. Lives in Northumberland.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword (October 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850528704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850528701
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,306,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dwight Messimer on February 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far the best account of the Royal Navy's attempts to block Zeebrugge and Ostend during WWI. Deborah Lake uses a tightly written, smoothly flowing style that makes this book a page-turner. Her criticisms of VAdm. Sir Roger Keyes for poor planning, her analysis of the exagerated battle claims made by both sides, and her evenly balanced analysis of the battle are excellent. Though her work is undoubtedly historically accurate, it suffers from the absence of a complete bibliography and her failure to cite her sources within the text. I infer from the text that her German sources came from the German navy's bi-weekly publication An Flanderns Küste, but I cannot be sure because no German sources are listed in her abreviated bibliography. She obviously did not use the captured German records found in the British Public Records Office, and the US National Archives. Had she used those records she would have found that the Britsh did in fact catch the Zeebrugge defenders completely by surprise. As it is, she dismisses that fact, asserting that the Germans were in fact fully prepared, which is the claim the Germans made in their post-raid propaganda. But it appears that she did make extensive use of Royal Navy records, which allowed her to draw well developed opinions--and support them--about Admiral Keyes failings as a leader. Her detailed analysis of Keyes' personality, attitudes, and behavior make this book an important contribution to the history of WWI.
Dwight R. Messimer, author of Find and Destroy: Antisubmarine Warfare in WWI, and Verschollen: U-Boat Losses in WWI, Naval Institute Press 2001 and 2002.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have immediately to declare an interest as I met the author a little while back at a writers' bash. I put to her the comments about the PRO documents - in answer to which she sweetly informed me that her translation of the original German indeed showed they were surprised - flabbergasted in fact - by the Mole landing. Mainly because they could not conceive of anybody being that half-witted. Of course, as I was informed, the Germans did not realise at the time that the assault was way out of position. They were not surprised, however, in the military sense especially as the landing itself was such a slow operation. It gave them time to re-jig their defensive plan which assumed an assault, if ever it came, would be made on the guns at the lighthouse end.
The Germans, apparently, were well ready for such an attempt. The shore batteries had range and elevation already calculated for this eventuality. Large howitzer shells would have landed in short order if the assault had taken place at the Mole head.
Deborah said that, with the pressures on space (she was 3000 words over the agreed 75000 - itself an increase on the original 60000 maximum) she did not want to continually harp on the false picture disseminated by the UK propaganda machine at the expense of other detail. As she also did not wish to produce what could be described as an unremitting anti-Keyes diatribe, she omitted that angle. She considered that mistranslation an essentially minor aspect of the whole, no more than an additional arrow in the propaganda bow. In retrospect, as she said, a mistake.
If there's a second edition, she muttered, she would correct it together with a badly written conditional clause in Chapter 2!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dudley Skaggs on March 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well my wife always said you get what you pay for. I bought this book because it was only a dollar. It was not a good deal. This is a great subject and adventure that has been ignored by most writers for the past 30 years. I admire the authors attempt to revive the readers interest as well as her research. However either the editor was asleep or the book was rubbe stamped as edited. It is filledwith English jargon, pharses and slang which to a limited degree should be expected as it is afterall an English book. But to be written almost completely in this manner is unacceptable. The author wonders and does nt stay on subject and does not follow a logical pattern of progression. I felt as if I was sitting with a retired history teacher discussing the subject over tea. The auther claims to have done exceptional research yet I fail to see where any of it is incorporated into the text. This book should not have been published. At best one could consider it a manuscript waiting on a talented editor. Don't buy it or waste your time trying to read it.
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