Photographs relating to the activities of submarines of the German Navy's Flanders Flotilla operating out of Bruges via Ostend and Zeebrugge during the First World War. Also photographs showing the aftermath of the British raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend during April and May 1918, plus damage caused by British bombing raids.
Many of the prints depict the sinking of Allied and neutral merchant ships between 1916 - 1918. These include the named vessels RUFUS (Norwegian sailing ship, captured in the North Sea and set on fire, 24 August 1916), URIBITARTE (Spanish owned ship torpedoed by UC 21 off Ushant, 2 December 1916), LONGSCAR (British registered ship, captured 15 miles south-west of the Gironde Estuary on 14 February 1917 and sunk by explosive charge) and ILLINOIS (US vessel captured by UC 21, 20 miles north of Alderney and sunk by explosive charge, 18 March 1917). There are also photographs of German destroyers at sea and a badly damaged destroyer under tow by tugs. Other prints show activities at Bruges including mines and torpedoes being loaded aboard U-Boats and also a good photograph of the concrete U-Boat pens. For damaged caused by British air raids the album has views of U-Boats and destroyers that suffered hits by bombs during raids undertaken by No.214 Squadron (RAF) in 1918, and of Zeppelin L12 damaged whilst under tow into Ostend by dombs dropped from a BE2c aircraft of No.202 Squadron (RFC) flown by Flight Commander J R Smyth-Piggott in June 1915. Other related photographs show unexploded bombs and the wreckage of downed British aircraft.
Relating to the raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend (April - May 1918) are photographs showing the blockships HMS THETIS, HMS INTREPID and HMS IPHIGENIA in their final positions at Zeebrugge and HMS BRILLIANT and HMS SIRIUS aground off Ostend. Also depicted is HMS VINDICTIVE in her final position at Ostend and the top of the conning tower of submarine C3 visible off the viaduct at Zeebrugge. Showing the damage to the viaduct are two views of the suspended walkway built by the Germans to allow foot traffic to pass between the viaduct and sea mole after the detonation of the explosive charge carried in C3 destroyed a section of the viaduct. Visits to Bruges, Ostend and Zeebrugge by Kaiser Wilhelm II and Field Marshal von Hindenburg, in the company of Admiral von Schroeder (commander of MarinesKorps Flandern) are also covered. There are also photographs of dummy guns set up on the mole at Zeebrugge after the raid to make the area appear more heavily defended.
Finally, there are general photographs relating to the activities of the MarinesKorps Flandern in defending the coastal sectors of the Western Front in Belgium. These show trench positions and the employment of machine guns and flame throwers. A number of photographs also show British prisoners passing through Bruges under guard of German infantry and marines. These prisoners are possibly men of either the 1st or 32nd Divisions captured during the 'Battle of the Dunes' around Nieuport (Nieuwpoort) on 10 July 1917.