The raids on Zeebrugge and Ostend remain the most exciting small actions, not just of the First World War but in British history. The purpose was to counter the U-boat menace. Submarine attacks on Allied shipping caused great difficult and hardship. Surprise and daring were essential. Despite over 600 casualties, the attacks were a great boost to civilian morale in Britain. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded, eight of them for the Zeebrugge raid alone.