Paratroop raid on Berck-Sur-Mer?

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Dave Homewood, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Dave Homewood

    Dave Homewood Member

    Whist looking through old newspapers online for something else I happened to spot and read this article in the New Zealand Herald newspaper dated 20 June 1941. I cannot find anything about this via Google and wonder, is this even true? Note the event, if it happened, may have taken place quite sometime before it made it into the New Zealand newspapers:

    LAND IN FRANCE

    [SIZE=1.2em]BRITISH PARACHUTISTS[/SIZE]
    ATTACK ON AERODROME

    Guards Overwhelmed
    LONDON, June 10
    Landing in occupied France during an intense Royal Air Force night raid, British parachutists destroyed 30 grounded aeroplanes and the control tower at a German aerodrome, then escaped in torpedo-boats with 10 Germans as prisoners. This daring exploit is reported in an overseas news agency message from Zurich.
    Parachutists landed at Berck-Sur-Mer, near Calais, and made contact with British agents and French sympathisers. The guards at the aerodrome were overwhelmed by the parachutists, who captured German pilots and destroyed aeroplanes and the control tower with hand grenades, then rushed to the coast with their prisoners to the waiting torpedo-boats.
     
  2. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi Dave,

    Check out this PDF which is Part III, Rumours for France from the book British Propaganda to
    France 1941-1945
    by Tim Brooks and search for "Berck".

    http://www.euppublishing.com/userimages/contenteditor/1227546322469/annexe_ii_part_3.pdf

    Date - 3.7.41
    Code - S/776

    Rumour, Sib Directive or Comeback

    New York Herald­ Tribune and New York Post, 18.6.41, repeated on WRUL.
    An amazing and daring raid by the British on a Nazi airport in the Northern
    French town of Berck-­sur­-Mer. According to the Zurich correspondent of the
    Herald Tribune, a detail of British parachutists landed on the airport,

    overpowered forty German troops and pilots stationed there, and destroyed 30
    planes. Joined by a number of Frenchmen who wanted to join the Free French
    Forces of General de Gaulle, the British raiding party then made their way to
    the nearby seashore, where naval motor boats were waiting to take them back
    to England. The attack occurred during a heavy RAF raid on the coastal ports
    of Calais and Boulogne and caught the Nazis flatfooted. Forty prisoners were
    taken.


    So probably an example of a false story planted by those behind the Rumour Campaign.

    Regards ...
     
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  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Misinformation in the pursuit of propaganda against the enemy....my thoughts exactly.Also these news items would also be released to the neutral countries

    Had a brief look at the stories generated by the propaganda machine....some turned out to forecast developments during the German occupation.

    This caught my eye dated 8/11/40 regarding items such as copper......turned out that later in the war this would be true.Vichy decreed that each home in the Unoccupied Zone should provide 1kg of copper per month for the benefit of the German war economy.

    Years ago in Normandy my attention was drawn to a concrete plinth on the cliffs above Arromanches which obviously was the platform for an item of wartime electrical equipment. I noticed the earthing strap was mild steel, a sure indication of a German shortage of copper and as regards its value,the strap had been left intact from the wartime era.

    9/1/41 Unemployed unregistered labour to be sent to Germany for work.This may have been misinformation but came to pass when the Vichy introduced the La Releve programme whereby French labour volunteering for work in Germany would be exchanged for French POWs to return home. Apparently the Germans failed to deliver their side of the agreement and French POWs were retained to fill the shortfall of workers for the German war economy.As the war progressed the Germans, running out of manpower to support their war economy called on France again and Laval then introduced the La Travail Obligatoire programme which required young men to register for what was virtually forced labour in Germany.In the end the policy rebounded on the Vichy regime when young men to evade deportment,joined the army of the night,the Maquis.

    Overall the paper is a good example of the propaganda devised by the British to fight the Germans by the written word in addition to the battlefield.
     
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  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    This must have been the worst posting possible for German troops - first the British blow the place up in June and then in July the French were revolting....
     

    Attached Files:

    Cee likes this.
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Apparently the June raid on Berck was the second such attack on the European mainland (reference made in the June newspaper article) - in Mid February Paratroops attacked sites in Italy:
     

    Attached Files:

    Cee likes this.
  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron

    Hi DaveB,

    I can't vouch for the French fishermen attack on Berck in July of 1941 which strikes me as dubious and possibly a variation on the false story of the British paratroopers raid on the Berck-Sur-Mer aerodrome in June 1941. The clippings describing the aftermath of a raid by paratroopers in southern Italy are interesting. This was very much a real event known as Operation Collossus.

    http://www.paradata.org.uk/events/tragino-operation-colossus

    Regards ...
     

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