Here is a gallery of pictures from Salute 2018 of our Zeebrugge 1918 game. Lots of detail added to the Vindictive, including; a new coat of paint and weathering, the 11″ Howitzer, two 7.5″ Howitzers, the foremast together with its fighting top and pompom gun, and crew figures for Vindictive and her guns. We had lots of players take part on the day leading their squads to attack targets on the mole. The game won the Robert Bothwell Best Historical Game Memorial Award. The games creator, Phil, can be seen pointing at his creation below.
The finishing touches are going in to the model of HMS Vindictive prior to two big outings for the game at Salute (London Excel on 14th April) and the Zeebrugge Centenary events at the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth (Museum Galleries at The Historic Dockyard on 22nd April).
These are the almost finished 11-inch and two 7.5-inch howitzers that were fitted to provide covering fire for the attack in place of some of the Vindictive’s 6-inch guns. These guns had been designed as anti-submarine weapons firing a special “depth charge” type shell. The 11-inch was the first gun completed.
Also below, continuing the Italian food theme is some spaghetti that will be used as part of the final model. Any guesses what it is for?
Work continues to complete our game for Cavalier in Tonbridge on Sunday the 25th. The HMS Vindictive model is a scratchbuilt 1/56 scale replica of the ship on the day, total length 2 metres! Hats off to her architect – club member Phil. Can you guess what role tomato puree played in making the model?
We gave the game rules a run through at our last meeting – this will be a participation game, with players leading a squad of the attacking British sailors and marines to destroy objectives on the Mole.
The MWS show game for 2018, now in the final stage of preparation will commemorate the centenary of the naval assault on Zeebrugge on 23rd April 1918 – St George’s Day.
You can see it at the Cavalier Show at the Angel Centre in Tonbridge on 25th February.
It will feature a recreation of the assault on the Zeebrugge Mole focussing on a scratchbuilt model of the attacking Cruiser HMS Vindictive at 25mm figure scale. Look out for more about how this game was put together.
There was so much bravery shown by the men of the ships that assaulted the Mole under a continuous storm of fire that VCs for two members of the naval crew (one officer, one other rank) would be awarded through a special ballot of all the officers and men who took part. Two VCs were also awarded on the same basis to the Royal Marines.
Every member of the crews was thus deemed eligible to receive the VC.
Vindictive’s commander, Acting Captain Alfred Carpenter, pictured below with one of the ships cats, was the officer the crew chose. He also received special advancement to the rank of Captain.
Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie pictured above, a volunteer chosen from the crew of the Battleship, HMS Neptune, was the other rank the crew chose.
Carpenter’s Victoria Cross medal citation perhaps speaks best to his qualities:
… He set a magnificent example to all those under his command by his calm composure when navigating mined waters…. He showed most conspicuous bravery, and did much to encourage similar behaviour on the part of the crew, supervising the landing from the “Vindictive” on to the mole, and walking round the decks directing operations and encouraging the men in the most dangerous and exposed positions. By his encouragement to those under him, his power of command and personal bearing, he undoubtedly contributed greatly to the success of the operation.
McKenzie was a member of the storming party, landing with his Lewis Gun into the storm of fire, advancing down the Mole with his CO (Arthur Leyland Harrison) who with most of his party was killed. He was severely wounded and after his Lewis Gun was wrecked had to fight his way back to the ship in hand to hand combat, with only a pistol, a bayonet and his boxing skills. Whilst recovering from his wounds he died in the Spanish Flu epidemic.
Photos courtesy of the IWM on-line archive