By Paddy Ashdown
The entire tale of the outstanding canoe raid on German ships in Bordeaux Harbour – by way of the guy who himself served within the designated Boat Squadron.
In 1942, prior to El Alamein grew to become the tide of struggle, the German service provider fleet used to be re-supplying its warfare computing device with impunity. So Operation Frankton, a bold and mystery raid, was once introduced through Mountbatten’s mixed Operations and led via the enigmatic ‘Blondie’ Hasler – to paddle ‘Cockleshell’ canoes correct into Bordeaux harbour and sink the ships at anchor.
It used to be a desperately harmful venture from the beginning – dropped by means of submarine to canoe a few hundred miles up the Gironde into the guts of Vichy France, surviving terrifying tidal races, in basic terms to stand the most important problem of all: escaping around the Pyrenees. Fewer than part the lads made it to Bordeaux; merely 4 laid their mines; simply acquired again alive. however the such a lot harm used to be performed to the Germans’ feel of impregnability.
Paddy Ashdown, himself a member of the Royal Marines’ elite specified Boat Squadron shaped as a result of Frankton, has continuously been fascinated with this vintage tale of bravery and ingenuity - as a tender guy even assembly his hero Hasler as soon as. Now, after discovering formerly unseen data and tracing surviving witnesses, he has written the definitive account of the raid. the genuine fact, he discovers – a deplorable story of Whitehall competition and breakdowns in verbal exchange – serves in simple terms to make the achievements of the ‘Cockleshell’ heroes all of the extra heroic.
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Additional resources for A Brilliant Little Operation: The Cockleshell Heroes and the Most Courageous Raid of WW2
The engineers had taken over that task from the combat soldier, using shaped charges and dynamite in place of infantry or armoured assault. Evidence indicates their methods were perfected at Metz. qxd:Layout 1 4/6/08 12:21 Page 57 On the slopes below Fort Driant was the small annex to the fort called Batterie Moselle. It consisted of an armoured battery for three 10cm guns surrounded by a wire obstacle. The author made a visit to Batterie Moselle prior to the publication of this book and it has been completely destroyed.
Fortress duty was specialized and it was important to keep the garrison healthy and highly trained. The garrison was given duties patrolling the outlying areas of the works. A duty roster was kept at all times indicating a soldier’s assigned position. Troops manned the picket shelters, blockhouses and counterscarp casemates at all times. While they didn’t stand all day in front of an embrasure with rifle at the ready, since there would be ample time to move to that position in case of alarm, they stayed in the vicinity of their post, ready to respond to any warning.
Qxd:Layout 1 4/6/08 12:21 Page 54 A US Army Corps of Engineers map of Feste Koenigsmaker. After the November battle, the engineers were left to explore and map the German forts, in collaboration with the French. Similar maps showed the location of craters from Allied bombing of the forts. (National Archives and Record Administration, 319G) OPPOSITE This photo was taken in November 1944 to study the effects of the bombing of Feste Luitpold (Fort Yser). The Americans did not attack the fort. The Germans evacuated the fort in November.
A Brilliant Little Operation: The Cockleshell Heroes and the Most Courageous Raid of WW2 by Paddy Ashdown