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  • Suprised that there has been no meda coverage

    This week in Britain thus far of the 74th anniversary of the ST. Nazaire Raid when the former USN four stacker ''Buchanan'' -converted into ''HMS Campbeltown'-a floating time bomb that shattered the dock gates of ST Nazaire thus denying feared German battleship ''Tirpitz'' a berth on on he English Channel.
    I suppose modern revisionists will question whether the heavy loss of allied soldiers and sailors lives were worth it but it was certainly regarded as a victory at the time.
    Although it's often compared with the April 1918 Zeebruge raid St Nazaire was more successful than the Zeebruge raid because the latter failed to seal off the Belgian port to U-Boat use, whereas the dock gates at St Nazaire WERE BLOWN UP and ''Tirpitz never used the port.
    The 1953 British movie ''THE GIFT HORSE'' starring inter alia Dickie Attenborough , Trevor Howard and American Sonny Tufts made a decent stab at depicting the raid and still appears regularly on one of the British Freeview film channels.
    The March 13 1942 ST. Nazaire Raid was also certainly much more successful than the disastrous Dieppe Raid six months later in August 1942

  • #2
    The execrable J.Clarkson did a very good documentary on this glorious and crazy episode .
    That rug really tied the room together


    • #3
      Possibly the media are holding fire until the 75th anniversary?
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)


      • #4
        Originally posted by Toomtabard View Post
        This week in Britain thus far of the 74th anniversary of the ST. Nazaire Raid when the former USN four stacker ''Buchanan'' -converted into ''HMS Campbeltown'-a floating time bomb that shattered the dock gates of ST Nazaire thus denying feared German battleship ''Tirpitz'' a berth on on he English Channel.

        Who would have thought that an old U.S. flush deck destroyer, the USN Buchanan / HMS Campbeltown would be the most powerful destroyer of World War II!
        "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
        Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!


        • #5
          Thanks to all who replied thus far. Yes, I had forgotten about Clarkson's documentary which was very good even though I dislike the man's public persona.
          American actor Lloyd Bridges also starred in a 1967 movie based on the the March 1942 ST. Nazaire Raid called ''Attack on the Iron Coast''
          One remarkable thing about the St Nazaire episode is that Hitler never had executed any of the men captured on the raid the way that he did the small group of Royal Marines who mounted a raid by kayak on merchant shipping i.e the ''Cockleshell Heroes'' in a French port .
          These guys executed for the kayak based ''Cockleshell Heroes'' raid did not cause anything like the loss of Nazi life/lasting structural damage that the explosion of HMS Campbeltown did. at ST Nazaire.


          • #6
            17fabn my Ohio based friend. alikng of USN W.W. 2 destroyers in 1953 the USNtin can ''Ross' a veteran of the Pacific campaign paid a goodwiil tour visit to Leith the seaport town of my hometown Edinburgh Scotland.
            Iwas just 12 yeras ols then and the enlistedmen crew members could not have been nicr to kids like myself letting me st on a 40mm anti aiircraft mount. giving m candy and American comic books etc.
            Years later I discovered via research the destroyer ''Ross' was the only warship in the USN in W.W. 2 to survive hitting a mine twice in separate incidents and surviving the resultant explosions.


            • #7
              My dad built the old Revell Buchanan/Campbeltowninto the St. Naizare vessel. Pretty ugly, but fascinating. The Warships in Profile booklet on the Buchanan/Campbeltown reads like an adventure story rather than the rather dry prose they usually utilize. From the centerfold (ahem!)of the booklet

              Will no one tell me what she sings?--
              Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
              For old, unhappy, far-off things,
              And battles long ago:
              -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"


              • #8
                I'd forgotten about this, cheers for reminding me
                History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

                Pierre Vidal-Naquet


                • #9
                  Grub Street is releasing a new book in Sept 2016 that looks at the raid from a slightly different perspective.

                  Winged Chariot: A Complete Account of the RAF's Support Role During the Victorious Command Raid on St Nazaire, March 1942

                  n what has been described as 'the greatest raid of them all', Operation Chariot saw heavy destruction of the enemy-occupied port of St Nazaire by British forces. Winged Chariot examines the role that the RAF played during this epic raid on 28th March 1942. With focus on the planning and actions of the operation, Peter Lush explores the three functions carried out by the RAF; the sweeping of the Bay of Biscay, the diversionary raid and protecting the withdrawing survivors. He also outlines the importance of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit to the raid and the development of the Bomber and Coastal Commands particularly through the sorties flown by Coastal Command two days before the attack started. The book also highlights the tragedy that occurred for the RAF, when diversionary raids were carried out in impossible conditions; resulting in the loss of aircraft across Yorkshire and in the Channel. Lush examines whether this could have been prevented if the RAF had not been marginalised during the planning process of Operation Chariot. With the 75th anniversary of the operation in 2017, this timely and ultimate account written by an expert who has collated over forty years worth of research is an essential work for all those interested in military aviation, particularly during the Second World War.


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