April 28, 2012

Operation Chariot: The Greatest Raid of All

One of the great stories to emerge from the Second World War was that of the British pursuit and eventual destruction of the German battleship Bismarck. By January 1942, the tale already began to pass into legend when a new threat, just as dangerous, sailed from Germany and dropped anchor in a Norwegian fjord. The same feeling of dread and urgency felt when the Bismarck roamed the seas returned with a vengeance the moment the first encrypted message reporting that Tirpitz, her sister ship, was now operational.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Augustus Newman

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Augustus Newman

Winston Churchill designated its destruction the highest priority as the military explored different ways to handle the threat. The conclusion they reached was bold, outlandish, even downright suicidal. Codenamed Chariot, it involved an old destroyer, several small motor launches, and over 200 commandos under the command of a 38 year old lieutenant colonel, Augustus Charles Newman.

Yet, Newman’s assignment didn’t focus on destroying the Tirpitz. It focused on destroying what could preserve the ship should she ever be damaged. It was a massive dry dock, the only one large enough to hold her, located up a river in the French coastal town of Saint Nazaire. Here lay the only ability for Tirpitz to maintain a presence so close to England. If it were destroyed, the Tirpitz would be denied an Atlantic sanctuary and would have to make the long trek back to Germany for repairs.

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  • webmindset1

    Carried out by men with a fucking pair of gigantic balls! Inspiring Semper Fi MoDog out

  • lecoug

    i feel like i'm a little late to the party here but there was a great documentary on the St Nazaire Raid on British TV a few years ago.  the link below is to part one on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgF0R4dhUqk   hope you enjoy it lecoug

  • SleazyWeazel

    I'm betting the Lieutenant Commander had a smirk on his face when those charges detonated.............."Oops.....;)"

  • ArcticWarrior

     @ColonelProp   http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1111/DOD_100278533/DOD_100278533-720x480-800k.mp4

  • ArcticWarrior

     @ColonelProp  @ArcticWarrior  Improvisation saves the day....again. Its a strange conflict. We should have a full story on it. Id like to see some of those guys Loadout. So if anybody from the UK is out there......