- Battle of Dover Strait 1916 in the Great War -
Great War>The Battles
If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.
Add Stories & Photos
Day by Day
War in the Air
Prisoners of War
War at Sea
Training for War
Those Who Served
Women at War
Life on Home Front
Central Powers Army
Central Powers Navy
World War Two
Add Stories & Photos
Help & FAQ's
Our Facebook Page
Great War Books
Battle of Dover Strait 1916
26th October 1916 Naval Action in Dover Strait 1916 The First Battle of Dover Strait occurred on 26–27 October 1916. Two and a half flotillas of German torpedo boats launched a raid into the Dover Strait in an attempt to destroy Allied shipping. Upon approaching the barrage, the German torpedo boats were challenged by the British destroyer HMS Flirt. The Germans were able to destroy Flirt and successfully assault the barrage's drifters, but a flotilla of British destroyers was sent to repel them. The Germans were able to fight off the additional British units before successfully withdrawing. The British had lost one destroyer, a transport, and several drifters while the Germans themselves suffered only minor damage to a single torpedo boat.
In October 1916, the Flanders Flotilla was reinforced by two full torpedo boat flotillas. The transfer of the 3rd and 9th Torpedo Boat Flotillas altered the balance of power in the Dover Strait. The Flanders Flotilla had not attacked the Dover Patrol in several months and as a result British defences were quite lax in the area. With his newly acquired flotillas, the Flanders Flotilla's commander — Ludwig von Schroeder — decided to launch a raid in the Dover Strait. Although the British had prohibited transports from being in the Channel at night in anticipation of a German raid, the Dover Barrage was not prepared to meet such an attack. Facing Schroeder's 23 boats, the Dover Barrage was only guarded by the old destroyer HMS Flirt, the yacht Ombra, and the naval trawler H. E. Straud. The four divisions of drifters manning the barrage's anti-submarine nets were only armed with a single rifle each for defence. In addition to the forces guarding the Barrage, there were six Tribal-class destroyers at Dover that could be called upon in the event of a raid.
The German boats split into five groups with each group attacking a different section of the shipping in the channel. The German 5th Half Flotilla sailed into the Dover Barrage. They came into contact with five drifters of the 10th Drifter Division tending the anti-submarine nets and began attacking them. Hearing gunfire, Flirt — the drifters' escort — approached and challenged the vessels. The German boats responded to the British signal with a similar signal. Confused, Flirt's commander thought they were Allied destroyers and that the drifters had been attacked by a submarine. An open boat was launched from Flirt to help rescue survivors from the sinking drifters. The German boats then turned their attention to the destroyer and attacked taking her completely by surprise. Flirt unsuccessfully attempted to ram one of the German boats and was sunk by gunfire and torpedoes. The Germans continued to attack the barrage, sinking two drifters each from the 8th and 16th Drifter Divisions. In all, a total of six drifters were sunk and three others were damaged, as well as the trawler H. E. Straud, before the Fifth Half-Flotilla withdrew. When the British received news of the German raid, they sent six Tribal-class destroyers — HMS Amazon, Mohawk, Viking, Tartar, Cossack and Nubian — to attempt to repel the German raiders. The British Commander Henry Oliphant of the Viking failed to keep his force compact as a single unit. He deployed his destroyers in two loose groups, one consisting of Viking, Mohawk, and Tartar and the other Nubian, Amazon and Cossack. The destroyer Nubian soon steamed far ahead of her group, and was the first of the dispatched vessels to reach the scene of Flirt's sinking. Meanwhile another half flotilla of German boats had caught the empty British transport Queen off Goodwin Sands as it returned from the French coast. The Germans boarded Queen and removed her crew before sinking her.
Nubian made the same mistake as Flirt and mistook the German boats for Allied vessels. Surprised with a hail of gunfire, Nubian attempted to ram the last boat in the German line of battle, but was struck by a torpedo that blew off her bow reducing her to a drifting hulk. Amazon and Cossack soon arrived to aid Nubian and began engaging the German boats. The Germans scored several hits on Amazon before withdrawing. The German 18th Half Flotilla was heading back to Zeebrugge when it met with Oliphant's group of destroyers, engaging them as they passed. Although Viking escaped unscathed, Mohawk suffered several hits before the Germans were able to break away. Near the end of the action, Reginald Bacon — the commander of the Dover Patrol — dispatched the Dunkirk Division to intercept the German torpedo boats, but the Germans were able to successfully withdraw before these further reinforcements arrived.
The British had failed to stop the raiders from destroying the drifters and six of them were sunk in addition to Flirt and the transport Queen. Besides those vessels that were sunk, several British vessels were damaged, including three destroyers, three drifters, and a naval trawler. The loss of life was also heavy with the British suffering 45 men killed, four wounded, and 10 taken prisoner. Of the German torpedo boats, only SMS G91 suffered any damage and no German vessel suffered any casualties. The success of the raid would spur further German sorties into the English Channel and raids continued until the Flanders Flotilla's 3rd and 9th Torpedo Boat Flotillas were redeployed to the High Seas Fleet in November 1916.John Doran
If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.
Want to know more about Battle of Dover Strait 1916?There are:1 articles tagged Battle of Dover Strait 1916 available in our LibraryThese include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.
Those known to have served in
Battle of Dover Strait 1916
during the Great War 1914-1918.
The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List
The 1st of September 2017 is The Wartime Memories Project's 18th Birthday. If you would like to send us a present, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.
Looking for help with Family History Research?
Please see Family History FAQ's
We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet
Can you help?The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.
If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.
If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.
- The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website
This website has been running for 18 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.
- We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.
Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.
We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.
If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.
Sep 2017World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 235634 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Want to know more about Battle of Dover Strait 1916?There are:1 articles tagged Battle of Dover Strait 1916 available in our Library
Available at discounted prices.
Suggest a link
The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.
This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.
If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small
to help with the costs of keeping the site running.
Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
- All Rights Reserved