Exercise Tiger - Slapton sands.

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Racing Teapots, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. perce620

    perce620 Member

    For those who dont know or if Ive missedit I'm sorry Ken Small died earlier this year will find the date for the forum
  2. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Dpalme01@Jun 8 2004, 04:19 PM

    Aren't E-boats rather junky boats- as in big bulky inneficient and slow?
    No, they were small, efficient and fast. E-boat was an allied term. In the German service they were S-boats (Schnellebooten), or fast boats.

    According to the latest edition of BBC History Magazine, the British Military Powerboat Trust is trying to raise £1.5 million to save and restore the last one surviving, S-130, which I think was involve in the attack on Operation Tiger.

    The S-boat programme was commenced in the inter-war years, because these small craft were not subject to Versailles Treaty restrictions.
  3. Dpalme01

    Dpalme01 Member

    Thanks, I must have been thinking of something else in another operation but I just can't put my finger on it. E- boats were also used a bit off the coast of normandy. I think they sank a ship.
  4. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The disaster of "Exercise Tiger" was not a secret at all. It's referred to in the US Army's official history of Normandy: "Cross Channel Attack," by Gordon Harrison, written in 1951, as well as Bradley's book.

    What was kept secret was that one of the officers missing (presumed dead) was privy to the invasion plans, and the Allied command rightly feared he or his maps got into German hands.

    It's commonly regarded as a "cover-up" because of that portion of the tragedy.
  5. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    excuse me but if any of you are interested I have the BA/MA RM listings of the S-booten that took part in the small but deadly operation


    Erich ~
  6. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    to assist you gents in what an S-boot looks like
  7. Racing Teapots

    Racing Teapots Junior Member

    I wasn't aware of the passing of Ken. Thank you for letting us know.

    However, while surfing on the net, I came upon a newly registered charity which hopes to commemorate the incident at Slapton. It is called The Exercise Tiger Association (UK).

    We are dedicated to the recognition and honouring of an estimated 749 American servicemen who lost their lives in Exercise Tiger at Slapton Sands in Devon in preparation for the D-Day operation, the details being kept secret for many years, and to protect and honour our military memories and memorabilia.

    Our goal - to build a Wall Of Names Memorial
    Our Financial Target - £300,000

  8. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

  9. jimbotosome

    jimbotosome Discharged

    Why did Operation Tiger need to be a secret beyond D-Day? What was there to protect about the practice of the invasion after the invasion had completed? Strange.
  10. spidge


    (jimbotosome @ Nov 5 2005, 04:09 PM) [post=41103]Why did Operation Tiger need to be a secret beyond D-Day? What was there to protect about the practice of the invasion after the invasion had completed? Strange.

    Nobody ever lifted that order of secrecy, for by the time D-Day had passed, the units subject to the order had scattered. Quite obviously, in any case, the order no longer had any legitimacy particularly after Gen. Eisenhower's Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force, in July 1944 issued a press release telling of the tragedy. Notice of it was printed, among other places, in the soldier newspaper, Stars & Stripes.

    With the end of the war, the tragedy off Slapton Sands -- like many another wartime events involving high loss of life, such as the sinking of a Belgian ship off Cherbourg on Christmas Eve, 1944, in which more than 800 American soldiers died--received little attention. There were nevertheless references to the tragedy in at least three books published soon after the war, including a fairly detailed account by Capt. Harry C. Butcher (Gen. Eisenhower's former naval aide) in My Three Years With Eisenhower (1946).

    The story was also covered in two of the U.S. Army's unclassified official histories: Cross-Channel Attack (1951) by Gordon A. Harrison and Logistical Support of the Armies Volume I (1953) by Roland G. Ruppenthal. It was also related in one of the official U.S. Navy histories, The Invasion of France and Germany (1957) by Samuel Eliot Morrison.

    In 1954, 10 years after D-Day, U.S. Army authorities unveiled a monument at Slapton Sands honoring the people of the farms, villages and towns of the region "who generously left their homes and their lands to provide a battle practice area for the successful assault in Normandy in June 1944." During the course of the ceremony, the U.S. commander of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Gen. Alfred M. Guenther, told of the tragedy that befell Exercise Tiger.

    All the while, a detailed and unclassified account of the tragedy rested in the National Archives. It had been prepared soon after the end of the war by the European Theater Historical Section.

    For anybody who took even a short time to investigate, there clearly had been no cover-up other than the brief veil of secrecy raised to avoid compromise of D-Day. Yet, in at least one case -- WJLA-TV in Washington -- the news staff pursued its accusations of cover-up even after being informed by the Army's Public Affairs Office well before the first program aired about the various publications including the official histories that had told of the tragedy.
  11. spidge


    Sometimes referred to as the "S-Boat" or by the archaic Royal Navy term "E-Boat" (Enemy

  12. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    spidge read the content in my link I provided it's all there......
  13. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Here is a memorial plaque erected on the tank memorial at Torcross.

    The area behind Slapton Sands was used as a live training battlefield area by US infantry and there has been a number of reports that the Exercise Tiger casualties were initially buried here.

    Talking about the incident to a friend of mine, he told me that his family used to own a farm at East Allington which was one of the many villages requisitioned for battlefield training and the inhabitants moved out for the duration of the training in 1944.He said that when they were allowed to return to the farm there were graves of several US soldiers in the farmyard which were later removed for burial elsewhere.
  14. spidge


    (Erich @ Nov 6 2005, 02:38 AM) [post=41120]spidge read the content in my link I provided it's all there......

    Hi Erich,

    It wasn't from your link, it was actually from a piece from the DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY - NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER (June 1988) when I was researching JFK and his time on PT boats and the (S-Boat) E-Boat as a similar type fast attack vessel.
  15. Erich

    Erich Senior Member

    yes I know spidge I was just pointing out that the information is on the link, the story so to speak is covering several pages in length not jus tht one shown, so you need to click the back button.........

  16. spidge


    From: http://www.qmmuseum.lee.army.mil/historyweek/22-28apr.htm

    A really good site.

    <table border="0" width="97%"><tbody><tr><td bordercolor="#996633" width="100%">[​IMG]
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"> Quote of the Week:"I consider it no sacrifice to die for my country. In my mind we came here to thank God that men like these have lived rather than to regret that they have died."
    General George S. Patton, Jr.
    Speech at an Allied cemetery in Italy
    (Nov 1943)

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="100%"> For more information on this topic go to:
    TIGER—The E-Boat Attack
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> Shortly after midnight on 28 April 1944, nine German torpedo boats moved into Lyme Bay, along the southern coast of England near a place called Slapton Sands. Drawn in by heavier than normal radio traffic, they suddenly found themselves caught up in the midst of Operation TIGER -- one of several amphibious exercises secretly being conducted by the Allies in preparation for the Normandy Landing.In minutes the German torpedoes hit their mark. One LST (landing ship, tank) was seriously crippled. Another burst into flames trapping many of the victims below deck. And a third sank immediately, sending hundreds of U.S. soldiers and sailors to a watery grave.
    It was the costliest training exercise in all of World War II. As the bodies washed ashore in days ahead, the official count rose to 749.
    Quartermaster soldiers onboard LST 531 were among the hardest hit. The 3206th Quartermaster Service Company was virtually destroyed. Of its 251 officers and men, 201 were killed or wounded. The 557th Quartermaster Railhead Company also lost 69 men.
    The brave men who died that day contributed to the success in France six weeks later. Indeed their sacrifice was a Prelude to Victory.
  17. Kyt

    Kyt Very Senior Member

    Thanks for that Spidge. I've got a signed copy of "The Forgotten Dead" by Ken Small, but the book spends more time on Ken's attempts at building a memorial than the actual attack! :D Had meant to follow up on it.
  18. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

  19. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Thank god it was one of the Kriegsmarine's only successes impeding the invasion. Tragic loss of life.
  20. jacobtowne

    jacobtowne Senior Member

    That's why I like visiting this forum so often. I always learn something new, and that terrible event is new to me.

    Those poor guys.


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