Whats your favourite Raid?

Discussion in 'General' started by kfz, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Come on we have our fave everything, whats you current Commando raid.

    I love Operation Zeppelin (Stalin assination) Just so far fetched. Classic example as why Germany should never do this sort of thing. The cjust couldnt leave the crap Soviet bike alone had to stripe it down and rebuild it properly. A clean working soviet vehicle, a dead giveaway!

    How about Operation Eiche the rescuse of Mussolini, amazing work and must have wiped the eye ogf the Allies, esp the Brits who fancied themselves at this sorta thing.

    Operation Frankton (The Cocklshell Heroes) is amazing and shows what can be done, with quite small resources.

  2. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

    Operation Grouse and Gunnerside have a special ring to my Norwegian ears. But the early commando raids are more interesting. I live an hours drive from the Archery operation site, and my paternal grandfather was on Claymore.
  3. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Here´s my list:

    1.- Operation Jaywick, Z Force against shipping on Singapore harbor
    2.- L Detachment (SAS), against Axis airfields in North Africa
    3.- Rangers against the italian post at Sened, Tunis
    4.- X MAS attack against Suda Bay, Crete (sinking of the HMS York)
    5.- Marine Raiders against Makin Island
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    When in Guernsey in 2000 we visited places connected with the raid there.
    But the place I'd like to visit is St Nazaire.
  5. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    The Bruneval raid does it for me. Paras, radar, French resistance, fight to the beach, home by sea. A royal ripping yarn full of derring do.
  6. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I'd say the attack on Fort Eben-Emael. Full of daring and courage won the day.

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    When in Guernsey in 2000 we visited places connected with the raid there.


    Did you take any photographs of the raid's location ?
  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    When in Guernsey in 2000 we visited places connected with the raid there.
    But the place I'd like to visit is St Nazaire.

    I rode through St Nazaire a few years ago on my bike on the way to Spain. The U Boat pens are breathtaking. I thought they were big but when I got there and saw them- I had seriously underestimated just how big they really are.

    Sadly I didn't stop for long and didn't take any pictures-I was in a rush to get to La Rochelle.
  9. Mace

    Mace ex-rock ape

    Hi guys,

    Hope you do not mind!

    How about 9 Para's action at the Merville Gun Battery in Normandy 1944. Shows what can be done by well trained troops when the plan goes down the drain!

    Best Regards

  10. GPRegt

    GPRegt Senior Member

    Skorzeny's rescue of Mussolini.

    Steve W.
  11. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

    The bombing before-hand to the invasion of Iwo Jima.
    in the 72 [i think] days before the actual invasion the americans dropped about 52 tonnes [i think] of explosives onto the island... Thats alot in my books...
  12. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    Princes Gate, obviously! I mean; How many times do ye get to watch the SAS on 'Live' tv, from ye arm chair?

    To this day, I wonder what " Get down, Sim! " sounds like; When said " In a voice ye wouldn't argue with. " :D

    Oops! Bugger! Bit out of synch, aren't I? Ok. As a former 'Local Lad', I'll go for the 'Cockle Shell' lads. Too young to appreciate it, when I last saw the film. But I remember seeing it. Definately one for DVD, when I get a new D Drive!
  13. airborne medic

    airborne medic Very Senior Member

    I'd suggest two one airborne one commando......
    Colossus (even if it failed) and Musketoon......
  14. I'm for Operation Jaywick, to get up to Singapore, blow up that amount of shipping in the harbour and all get back to Australia alive was almost unbelievable.

    Just work out the distance travelled through Japanese controlled territory and you will see what I mean.

    Hope you all had a great Christmas.

    Cheers Rob

    COMMANDO Senior Member

    Difficult question to say what's my favourite raid... I find them all most interesting and they were carried out by exeptional brave men. Not only the raids but also the men en women of the SOE
    If you must some up which one I find the the most interesting raids I will mention a few by name only because I have read about them. Colossus also because I have had the oportunity to have known some of the men involved.

    Operation Chariot (St Nazaire)

    Operation Colossus (Tragino)

    Operation Flipper (Raid on Rommel)

    No ops name, but Jack Nissenthall mission during the Dieppe raid (Radar expert to examine and search RDF station at Pourvile magnificintly told in James Leasor's book Operation Green Beach'.

    I think they all did know that there was almost no way out if the plan should go wrong (as it did)
  16. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    My best raid and that includes going deep into enemy territory in 1944, was at Clithero Number ONE training battalio0n RE.
    When a group of shadowy figures pounced on a Lance jack that was trying to catch soldiers out while on Night Guard. He was quickly tossed into the river Ribble that had 6 inches of water But a ten foot drop.
    I was there MY LUD...... But I did not do it.
  17. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    I visited what was a silk factory, (Now a carpet shop ) in Best, Holland as my Father related the story of this little raid, by a section of 9 platoon D company 5th Camerons in early October 1944.
    "On entering the silk factory we were confronted by small arms fire from Jerry. As we fought our way through the factory we realised that the place manufactured silk stockings. We were stuffing pairs of silk stockings into our tunics even as we fought the Germans. They no doubt were doing the same until we interrupted them. The stockings had only cost us some of His Majesty’s ammunition. Five of the Germans had paid the ultimate price".
    Did a similar thing at the Bata shoe factory in the hope of getting a nice pair of shoes, unfortunately they turned out to be all left feet !!!!!
    Drew5233 likes this.
  18. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    Loved Sappers yarn......lucky i wasn't the judge mate you'd have got 6 months in the stockade.....lol

    My Favorite Raid

    Operation Frankton

    (The 'Cockleshell Heroes' Raid)
    "Of the many brave and dashing raids carried out by the men of Combined Operations Command, none was more courageous or imaginative than "Operation Frankton". An immense amount of trouble was taken over the training of the small handful of picked Royal Marines who took part under the indomitable leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Hasler. They maintained their object in spite of the frightening losses of the first night and the subsequent ever-increasing difficulties encountered. Although the force had been reduced to four men, the object was finally achieved.
    The account of this operation brings out the spirit of adventure always present in peace and war among Royal Marines. It emphasises the tremendous importance of morale - pride in oneself and one's unit - and what a big part physical fitness plays in creating this morale. It also stresses the need for careful detailed planning of operations. I commend it to all as an account of a fine operation, carried out by a particularly brave party of men".
    Admiral The Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

    By late 1941 the constraints on mercantile movement, particularly by sea, were imposing severe hardships on both the British and the Germans. Neither country possessed sufficient natural resources to wage a war at the scale then being carried out, and both were dependent on external sources of supply. In particular the Germans needed oil, rubber and tungsten, and certain other essential metals and alloys. Vital supplies of these products from the Far East were reaching the Germans by "blockade runners" using the port of Bordeaux1,2.
    Major HG "Blondie" Hasler Royal Marines was at this time serving in the Combined Operations organisation, the head of which was Lord Mountbatten. A keen sailor, with an inventive mind, he was working on methods of attacking shipping while in harbour. He developed a suitable canoe for this task, which was able to carry 2 men with 75 kg of stores, and which would fit through the fore hatch of a submarine. The organisation of some 34 men, that was set up to train with these canoes and develop the necessary techniques, was given the cover title of The Royal Marines Boom Patrol Detachment, and in September 1942 took on the task of attacking shipping in Bordeaux3,4. Whilst this was not the first time canoes had been used to attack German shipping, the mission had invariably been carried out in one night. This was something quite different: an attack on an enemy port, some 60 miles from the sea, with an escape route overland. Although he approved the plan, Lord Mountbatten had his doubts that any of them would return.
    During the evening of 7 December 1942 the submarine HMS TUNA surfaced off the mouth of the Gironde, and launched 10 men in 5 canoes5. All was well until they reached tide races at the mouth of the river, where two canoes were lost. Canoeing by night, with the tide, and lying up by day, over several days, two pairs made it to the port (another pair's canoe was wrecked on an obstacle). One of the crews was Maj Hasler with Mne Bill Sparks, the other was Cpl Albert Laver and Mne Bill Mills. Limpet mines were placed on a number of ships, and these two crews then made their way down river, where they destroyed their canoes, and separately made their way cross country north east, through German occupied France, towards Ruffec, to make contact with the Resistance. After many hair raising incidents and much hardship, Hasler and Sparks succeeded in reaching this town, some 100 miles from where they left their canoes, and successfully linked up with the Resistance : they finally arrived home, after crossing the Pyrenees into neutral Spain, some 4 months after the raid. Laver and Mills were caught by the French police and handed over to the Germans: they were executed with 2 others, 3 months later.
    The raid was successful in that 5 ships were badly damaged6: perhaps more importantly the success was a much needed tonic for the British, for whom 1942 had been a disastrous year. There was a price to pay: 10 men set off; 2 escaped successfully, 2 were drowned, and 6 were caught or betrayed, and executed by the Germans. Maj Hasler was awarded the DSO, and Mne Sparks the DSM: Cpl Laver and Mne Mills received posthumous Mentions in Dispatches.

    We remember the following who died:
    Marine James Conway
    Marine Robert Ewart
    Corporal Albert Laver
    Marine Bill Mills
    Lieutenant John Mackinnon
    Marine David Moffatt
    Corporal George Sheard
    Sergeant Sam Wallace

    The 60th Anniversary of the Raid
    2002 saw the 6oth anniversary of the raid. There were 2 events to celebrate this: the first was the opening of the "Frankton Trail" in June. This is a walking path which traces the 100 mile route taken through occupied France, on foot, by the 2 men who escaped. The one living survivor, Marine Bill Sparks DSM, was there to open it; sadly, Bill died on 30 November 20027. The purpose of the Trail is to perpetuate the memory of the raid, and particularly to remember those, both British and French, who died through their involvement in it. It should also not be forgotten that the successful escape of the survivors was due to the bravery of many French members of the Resistance and the kindness of ordinary families.
    The main celebrations in Bordeaux were on the exact date of the raid, 12 December. HMS SOUTHAMPTON, and RFA SIR PERCIVALE were present, with Royal Marines from 45 Commando, together with a Royal Marines Band. HRH The Duke of York, Countess Mountbatten8, and the Commander, 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines, Brigadier JB Dutton CBE ADC, also attended, and a fine memorial to the raid was unveiled on the quayside in Bordeaux where the German ships were attacked9.
    An Anglo-French organisation, "Frankton Souvenir", has been set up to keep alive the story of the raid. Its principal achievements are the development of the walking trail, and the installation of explanatory plaques at key points. The development of the trail is supported by the Royal Marines Historical Society. For further details of the Society, and the trail itself, write to their office which is c/o the Royal Marines Museum, Eastney, Southsea, Hants PO4 9PX.

    The following sites in France are associated with the raid:

    St Georges de Didonne (near Royan). Adjacent to the lighthouse on the headland, overlooking the mouth of the Gironde, there is a memorial to the raiders.
    Bordeaux.. On the quayside (Quai des Chartrons), near the permanently moored cruiser "Colbert" (about 500 m downstream from it), is an exhibition centre, called "Hangar 14": outside it is a memorial to the raid9, unveiled by the Duke of Kent and the Mayor of Bordeaux in December 2002 - easy walking distance from the centre of town.
    Blanquefort. Just outside Bordeaux. The Château du Dehez, also known as Château Magnol, and the head office of the wine company Barton & Guestier, was the location of the German WW2 naval HQ, and the site of the execution of Sgt Wallace and Mne Ewart. There is a plaque on the bullet scarred wall10 where they died. This is private property, and permission needs to be obtained to visit. There is a ceremony here annually around the anniversary of the raid - 12 December.
    Plaques / monuments at places associated with the raid have recently been unveiled as follows:
    Napres - The "Fiery Woodman's" cottage (see "Cockleshell Heroes" by CE Lucas-Phillips). June 2002. About 5 mins by car south of St Preuil, past a cemetery on the left, at the crest of a hill, a track leads off to the left. Private property, but the plaque can be viewed on the outside wall
    Ruffec - The Toque Blanche restaurant. At the end of their 100 mile cross country escape, Maj Hasler and Mne Sparks were lucky to meet up with French people who put them in touch with the Resistance. Plaque to the left of the door unveiled 2002.
    Pointe de Grave, plaque on the lighthouse, and on monument (face lighthouse entrance door, take path to right, 200m). These commemorate the site where Sgt Wallace and Mne Ewart came ashore, and were subsequently captured. Plaque dates from 2003.
    St Vivien du Medoc. From town square drive to the beach at St Vivien: memorial with plaque stands at the end of the road to the beach in the car park. Site of the first day's hide for the two successful pairs of canoeists. Plaque 2003.
    Montlieu la Garde (about 60 Km NE of Bordeaux on the N 10 Bordeaux - Paris road). Names of Cpl Laver and Mne Mills added to the war memorial in the town centre11. 10 Jun 04.
    Chez Ouvrard. The farm building where Cpl Laver and Mne Mills spent their last night of freedom - they were arrested the next day in Montlieu. Plaque unveiled 10 Jun 04 by the sisters of Cpl Laver, and brother of Mne Mills. To find this site you will need a detailed map. Leave the N 10 at the exit for Montlieu - this is the D 730 road., and fork right onto the D258 at Les Cuisinères. Follow it south passing a memorial to the crew of a Flying Fortress bomber that crashed nearby, and turn left on the D 259. Pass Les Barres , and take the track right at Pt 111. The building is on the right after about 250 m.
    A good up to date account of the raid is to be found in "After the Battle" Magazine number 118, obtainable from the publishers, Battle of Britain International, Church House, Church Street, London E15 3JA. Tel 020 8534 8833.

    Copied from the RM website

    Also a nice link Cockleshell Hero

    The Last of the Cockleshell Heroes by William Sparks & Michael Munn published by Leo Cooper in 1992. ISBN 0 85052 297 8. Republished in 1995 as a paperback ISBN 0 85052 465 2.

    Me and my wife were in Afrestone Church yard tracing a great aunt of heres and the next grave was Bill Sparks DSM.......heres a couple of pics again sorry if I have posted them before........

    But the bit I liked the best was when he escaped back to England he had to escape from the MP's as they thought he was a spy as it took so long to get back and instructions had been left that anyone turning up this late must be a fake.......so he jumped out of a window and found his commanding officer:lol:

    Regards Lee F

    Attached Files:

  19. Nazihunter

    Nazihunter Junior Member

    I would say that favorite raid was skorzeny's rescue of Mussolini
  20. Nazihunter

    Nazihunter Junior Member

    I would say that favorite raid was skorzeny's rescue of Mussolini.

Share This Page