Newspaper cutting - RAF sinks and island



Newspaper cutting - RAF sinks and island


Article with small map and text explaining that the whole of a German fortress on island of Walcheren off the Dutch coast lay below the waters of the north sea. The RAF used 12,000 lb bombs to breach the sea wall.

Temporal Coverage




One newspaper cutting


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Map showing the position of the island of Walcheren, at the mouth of the River Scheldt.

THE R.A.F. have "sunk" the island of Walcheren, and engulfed its German garrison.

Last night practically the whole of this German fortress off the Dutch coast – which barred the way up the Scheldt estuary to Antwerp – including its picturesque capital city of Middleburg, lay below the waters of the North Sea.

Waves, hitherto held back by massive sea walls, swept across the island after RAF 12,000lb. bombs yesterday afternoon had torn breaches in the walls in a massive raid as spectacular as the bombing of the Mohne and Eder Dams.

The bombers swept in to the attack at high tide within twenty-four hours of a warning from General Eisenhower telling all Dutch civilians to get out of all the islands round the Scheldt estuary.

As the pilots turned for home they saw the sea water gushing through the dyke at the island's most westerly tip.

Unless the Germans can quickly seal off the area of the breach, the entire island may be inundated.

Neutralisation of the heavy gun batteries on the island in this way will remove one of the biggest obstacles to the use of Antwerp by the Allies. Walcheren, one of the many pieces of Holland reclaimed from the sea, is roughly square and about eight miles by ten.

It has served as a stepping-stone for Germans evacuating the south bank of the Scheldt. Twelve thousand pound bombs – unloaded in this attack by a strong force of Halifaxes – have been used in the past to penetrate the 12ft. thick concrete U-boat pens at Brest, crush V weapon depots, produce "tidal" waves at Le Havre to smash harboured shipping, and to wipe out factories and rail centres in a single assault.



“Newspaper cutting - RAF sinks and island,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 14, 2024,

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