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BBC2: The Most Courageous Raid of WWII - 01 November 2011 - 2100


War Hero
"Lord Ashdown, a former special forces commando, tells the story of the 'Cockleshell Heroes', who led one of the most daring and audacious commando raids of World War II.

In 1942, Britain was struggling to fight back against Nazi Germany. Lacking the resources for a second front, Churchill encouraged innovative and daring new methods of combat. Enter stage left, Blondie Hasler.

With a unit of twelve Royal Marine commandos, Major Blondie Hasler believed his 'cockleshell' canoe could be effectively used in clandestine attacks on the enemy. Their brief was to navigate the most heavily defended estuary in Europe, to dodge searchlights, machine-gun posts and armed river-patrol craft 70 miles downriver, and then to blow up enemy shipping in Bordeaux harbour.

Lord Ashdown recreates parts of the raid and explains how this experience was used in preparing for one of the greatest land invasions in history, D-day."

BBC - BBC Two Programmes - The Most Courageous Raid of WWII
Very well done by Ashdown. If only he had a different view on current Reality.

As a lad, I thought Lord Louis was a real star (Burma or otherwise). As the creator of the MoD, I'm not so sure. Is it possible that he failed to coordinate with the SOE to make a point?

As for Hasler; what a man. His lads? Every one a true hero.


War Hero
Yes I watched the prog today, thought it was well done,as for the courage and determination of his team, it was truly, an example of extreme bravery.


War Hero
The one thing I took from the programme was the ineffectiveness our government still has in regards military operations.

The word 'clueless' seems apt.

The programme however was excellent. Paddy Ashdown has missed out on a true vocation. Hats off to Haslar and his team. Heroic seems a bland word in respect of what they achieved.
The one thing I took from the programme was the ineffectiveness our government still has in regards military operations.

The word 'clueless' seems apt.

The programme however was excellent. Paddy Ashdown has missed out on a true vocation. Hats off to Hasler and his team. Heroic seems a bland word in respect of what they achieved.

....just a minor correction purely out of respect, otherwise almost in full agreement, except that combined ops. (apparently) started to get their act together at the inquest.

Lowly BOOTWU was fortunate enough to meet (fellow RNSA member) Lieutenant-Colonel Herbert George "Blondie" Hasler, DSO OBE, for a brief craic at the London Boat show many moons ago. Besides the Frankton Operation (and the rest of his distinguished wartime exploits) his epic, single-handed, offshore sailing adventures have inspired many a sailor and thus merit a wee mention here, too – Just Google "Yacht Jester" for starters.

Then there's the beer and it’s worthy cause!
<<...The 4.6 per cent ABV brew is named after Second World War Royal Marine and Cockleshell Hero Blondie Hasler...>>

PLYMOUTH'S Summerskills Brewery has created a new ale which will raise cash for service personnel wounded in Afghanistan. | This is Plymouth

Back to the Operation; a full weekend late next March is planned to commemorate Frankton, including the dedication of a special new memorial at the Corps Museum Gardens, Eastney.

Concerned about recent thefts for scrap metal? At a presentation only last night I was assured that this will be an engraved stone memorial and I expect our brethren of the green lids will post up the full details nearer that time.

To repeat Paddy’s final words: “…they should be an inspiration to us all.”


Marined on Eastney (nudist) Beach.
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