Storming St. Nazaire - The Dock Busting Raid of 1942.
|Author:||James G Dorrian|
In early 1942, shipping losses in the Atlantic threatened Great Britains very survival. In addition to the U-Boat campaign against Allied shipping, there was a very real concern that the German battleship Tirpitz would be unleashed against the Allied convoys. In that event the only dry dock that could take the Tirpitz if it needed repairs, because of her vast size, was the 'Normandie' dock in the port of St. Nazaire in France. If that dock could be destroyed then the Tirpitz could be effectively neutralised as a threat in the North Atlantic.
From this was born the British Combined Operation code named CHARIOT. Using Army Commandos and an old American lend-lease destroyer - HMS Campbeltown - the plan was made to ram the dock gates with the destroyer (packed with explosives) and put ashore demolition parties of Commandos to wreck the ports infrastructure.
Against the odds, the raid succeded in it's aim, but at huge cost to the attacking forces. The subsequent award of 5 Victoria Crosses and numerous other gallantry medals, is in itself testimony to the odds stacked against the raid.
The book gives a thorough and in-depth picture of the action, from initial planning up to the final recovery of the few men that managed to return home after the raid. Using many personal reminiscences and accounts and well illustrated with photographs and drawings, this is by far the best book on the subject raid that I have encountered and is highly recommended.
Published by Pen & Sword books, soft back with 304 pages including 14 pages of black and white photographs in addition to the drawings scattered throughout the rest of the narrative. 234 x 156mm.
Published price £14.99.
ISBN; 978 0 85052 807 7.
Stock No; SF004