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Cockleshell Heroes: The Final Witness Paperback – 15 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Amberley Publishing (15 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1445616890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1445616896
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 816,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

There is no-one better to write a major new work on the famous Cockleshell Heroes raid Professor Eric Grove Extensive research and thoughtful analysis reveals many new insights about the most outstanding commando raid of the War Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE ADC, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff --Professor Eric Grove

About the Author

Quentin Rees' second book looks at the Cockleshell Heroes. His first, The Cockleshell Canoes, is also published by Amberley. Both books have increased the knowledge of this raid immensely. His cockle canoe has been on display in the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth for the past two years. He lives in Torbay.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BOUNCER on 5 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the most complete and well reasearched account of Operation Frankton I have come across. Though the emphasis is naturally on Major "Blondie" Hassler and his incredibly brave men, there is extensive coverage of the roles played in this story by people in the French Resistance and ordinary citizens. Very well researched and very clearly set out. An informative, poignant and fascinating read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim on 6 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
An undoubtedly thorough book, however this is at the expense of readability and cohesion. Having described one particular detail of the operation, I did not find it necessary for the author to then justify multiple times why he stated this. I also found the occasional moral judgments upon the German miltary unnecessary when the facts of their behaviour speak for themselves.
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By Tearless on 31 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I too share some of the Military Historian's concerns mainly because some of Mr Rees' extremely extensive researches seem by lack of word to the contrary to be inferred as his own whereas the serious spadework was actually done by others. Granted he has certainly acknowledged in the Bibliography Southby-Tailyour's biography of Hasler 'Blondie' and also Boisnier's 'Le Commando de l'Impossible' (in French) but the researches in these two works feature a good deal more in this book than he has actually acknowledged. This to my mind seems a pity. What is lost by giving credit where credit is due? Having known Hasler and his Sapper brother and their mother during and after the War and having, until recently, been a member of 'Frankton Souvenir' in France where I often met Francois Boisnier and some of the French featured in the books and having walked the original Hasler/Sparks Escape Route (not the newly created Frankton Trail) from Blaye to Ruffec I do know a little of the story and have given an occasional lecture about it to raise funds for Sevice charities. Without doubt Hasler and 'Frankton' have become the 'Nelson' and 'Trafalgar' of the RM's SBS and the SBS (et al) will find this book compelling reading because after all this must now be 'The Final Witness'. I certainly think it is worth 4 stars.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William Gothard on 2 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
The review of this work by 'Themilitaryhistorian' poses an interesting question; how can a book range from 5 stars to a self confessed 0 stars (if it were allowed)? Such polarization merely reflects someone loving the book against someone totally hating it; but who has the stronger motive? The latter mentioned here accuses 'King Arthur' of being the author writing his own review,(a curious assumption that will perhaps flatter an innocent reader somewhere)and that he gives poor reviews to other books on the subject. Strange then that Mr Rees is credited in one of them, Ken Fords' 'Cockleshell Raid' (Osprey 2010). But does this not tell us more of 'Themilitaryhistorian'? If the pen name is in fact a military historian then he or she lacks the primary quality of the profession; that being balance.
A neutral examination of this book would concur that is long, in proportion to the operation, and that it is detailed; two characteristics that I have not heard are unusual for a history book. It is also thorough and well sourced, so much so that the accusation of plagiarism of a 54 word passage from Barry Wynnes 'No Drums, No Trumpets' is more likely to be an ommission of quote marks; easily done in a book of this detail. The Wynne book is credited in the Bibliography.
There will be a reason why 'Themilitaryhistorian' does not like this book, but it can not fairly be attributed to the quality of the work or research.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The reason I have chased after info on this raid and this book, is that I own a boat with a junk rig that Hasler designed. I reckon hasler would have been well impressed with the level and detail of research in this book, not easy reading, as in a novel, but if you want the insight into this raid, then its all here. Im sure that all that who survived or perrished/murdered would appreciate the telling of this mission as it actually happed......
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21 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Themilitaryhistorian on 23 Feb. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this book through the extraordinary previous review of it made by `King Arthur'. I have to admit it was rather too sycophantic for me- `unbelievably brilliant' he says, `indeed an epic work' he comments; `the book is compelling stuff', `don't waste your money buying anything else'. In almost thirty years as a military historian, I have never seen a review quite like it!

However, what makes this review so interesting, and rather worrying, is that `King Arthur' has also written reviews on the only other three books on the market on the subject of the Cockleshell operation. Sadly he slates them all. Five stars for this book, only one star for each of the others! Most curious, especially when the other books are such good reads and one in particular has been regarded as a classic for over thirty years! Could it be that `King Arthur' is intimately associated with Cockleshell Heroes: The Final Witness? Is the pseudonym `King Arthur' that of the author himself, or someone close to him? Whoever he is, his actions in the scurrilous attacks on the other books have left the author's integrity as being rather suspect. It seems to me that he has not done anyone any favours by his actions.

Now for my review of the book; an `epic' it is not. The author's previous work was on the subject of military canoes. That was well received in the narrow field of those who are fascinated by canoes. This book does give the feeling that an enthusiast has written it, someone very close to the subject no doubt, but one who has had a little difficulty with the narrative and the shape of the book. It is a long book, over long for what was a very short operation.
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