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Zeebrugge - Zone
ZEEBRUGGE The Raid on Zeebrugge The sea bombardment and assault on Zeebrugge, in which eleven VCs were won in the two-and-a-half hour raid, which took place on St George's day, 23rd April 1918. The reason for the famous raid was that German submarines operating from a base eight miles inland at Bruges were inflicting heavy losses on Allied shipping in 1918. The U-boats were emerging at Zeebrugge from their inland base, and the Admiralty decided that this dangerous exit must be closed. A fleet of cruisers, monitors, destroyers, submarines and small craft - altogether 162 British and 11 French vessels - assembled for the raid and the 4th Battalion Royal Marine Light Infantry and 200 Naval ratings formed storming parties, with the support of a detachment of Royal Marine artillery. Under cover of a smoke screen and against heavy odds, the assault parties stormed ashore on the Harbour Mole from the cruiser HMS VINDICTIVE, As they drew the enemy fire, three block ships were sailed into the harbour and, just after midnight, there was a tremendous explosion - the submarine C3 has been blown up as planned under the viaduct joining the Mole with the Mainland. The block ships were sunk in the approaches to the canal entrance and, two-and-a-half hours after the preliminary bombardment had begun, the signal to withdraw was given. Some 7,000 officers, ratings and other ranks were involved in the raid and our casualties were 170 killed and 445 wounded or missing. The following honours were awarded:
11 VCs
21 DSOs
29 DSCs
16 CGMs
143 DSMs
283 Mentions in Dispatches
The canal was blocked, which meant that twelve submarines and 23 torpedo craft were bottled up in Bruges and it was six months before the Germans were able to use the exit effectively again. See "The Blocking of Zeebrugge" by Captain A.F.B. Carpenter, VC (Captain of the VINDICTIVE).
ZIZZ Naval officers' slang word for sleep (either verb or noun) - from the method adopted in comic strip cartoons to denote a person sleeping. The more nautical expression is to (have a) caulk.
ZOB (a) Naval word meaning to gabble volubly - from the Maltese word "xop" (pronounced zob). (b) A wardroom method of "cutting" for drinks. The two contestants, after preliminary gestures, simultaneously display their right hands with fists clenched, or with all fingers outstretched, or with only two fingers outstretched, representing stone, paper and scissors respectively. Stone blunts scissors but is wrapped up by paper: paper wraps up stone but is cut by scissors: scissors cut paper but are blunted by stone. The contest is usually of three rounds and the loser pays for the drinks.
ZONE Zone Time As one hour of time is equivalent to 15o longitude, the 360 degrees of longitude are divided into 24 zones, in each of which local zone time applies. (There are, of course, some exceptions) The basic zone is 7o either side of the Meridian of Greenwich, where the zone time is GMT; this is Zone Z. The eleven 15-degree zones to the East of Zone Z are lettered (from West to East) A to L (omitting J): the eleven 15-degree zones to the West of Zone Z are lettered (from East to West) N to X: the 24th 15-degree zone is lettered both M and Y. Thus, Malta is in Zone A, Hong Kong is in Zone H, the Azores are in Zone O. Montevideo is in Zone P and Aden in Zone C. British Summer Time is Zone A time.

In the Zone Naval officers' expression referring to eligibility, by service, for promotion. Often used satirically as an explanation for extra keen and zealous conduct.