Newspaper cutting - RAF sunk a Dutch island



Newspaper cutting - RAF sunk a Dutch island


Describes damage after RAF 12,000 lb bombs used to breach sea wall on island of Walcheren. Sea engulfed German guns and defence posts. Area 1000 yards by 700 yards flooded. Map shows area.

Temporal Coverage




Two part newspaper cutting


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Sea Swamps the Enemy Guns

LAST night the North Sea had engulfed the fortified Dutch island of Walcheren after pouring through a great breach torn in the massive sea wall by 12,000lb. bombs.

The blow was struck yesterday by the R.A.F. to swamp German long-range batteries on the island which bar the way to shipping moving up the Scheldt estuary to Antwerp.

Most of the island is below sea level, and Air Marshal Harris waited for the highest tides before he sent out his planes.

Wave after wave of Lancasters, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. yesterday dropped their cargoes on the great dike.

[page break]

200ft. Thick

They breached it near West Kapelle, and engulfed the German garrison. Guns and defence posts were quickly under several feet of water. They will be inundated at every high tide.

The dike was 200ft. thick at the base, and crews report that a huge gap some several hundred yards wide was torn in it. They saw the sea surging in and stretching out over the island.

Flying Officer H. Ellis, a bomb aimer, of Tottenham, said: "I saw the sea pour through the gap, fill bomb craters, and then reach the town of West Kapelle, 700 yards from the shore.

Photographs taken within an hour of the attack showed an area 1,000 yards by 700 yards flooded.

All the Lancasters attacked from below cloud base at 5,000ft.

Not one bomber was lost.

SHAEF reported shortly before midnight that practically all the dock area north of Antwerp had been occupied. Troops in the area of Antwerp had also advanced seven miles northward.

Map showing Walcheren Island, "key" to Antwerp, now flooded after R.A.F. bombing.


“Newspaper cutting - RAF sunk a Dutch island,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 21, 2024,

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