Warfare in News

Posted on Monday 5th November

Yesterday, Lord Paddy Ashdown unveiled a memorial to the Cockleshell Heroes at the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea, Hampshire, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the Cockleshell raid, officially known as Operation Frankton, on 7 December.

Ten Royal Marines set out on the mission, which involved paddling in canoes from a submarine, almost 100 miles into occupied France until they reached the Nazi-occupied Bordeaux Harbour, where their mission was to attach mines to the hulls of the ships there.

Only two of the marines made it back from the mission alive, 'Blondie' Hasler and Bill Sparks. The others perished at the hands of the German forces, or fell victim to hypothermia.

More information about the Cockleshell Heroes can be found in a new Battleground book about the raid, Cockleshell Raid by Paul Oldfield, which is available now.

Further Reading

Cockleshell Raid

Only £14.99

Cockleshell Raid

(Paperback - 232 pages)
by Paul Oldfield

Operation 'Frankton' is a story of how a handful of determined and resourceful men, using flimsy canoes, achieved what thousands could not by conventional means. The volunteers had enlisted for 'Hostilities Only' and, except for their leader, none had been in a canoe before. However, with a few months training they carried out what one German officer described as, “the outstanding commando raid of the war”. They became known as the 'Cockleshell Heroes', having been… Read more...

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