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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An account of one of the most audacious raids from WW2.
After the Bismarck was sunk in May 1941, the Tirpitz posed the greatest threat to Allied shipping in the Atlantic by any surface vessel. In order to become that threat, however, like the Bismarck, first she had to get there. Both sides were aware of how the Bismarck's attempt had been a close run thing. Had her steering gear not been jammed by a fortunate torpedo strike...
Published on 29 May 2006 by Ned Middleton

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3.0 out of 5 stars Complex true war tale
A somewhat long winded story of an extremely brave set of servicemen who showed bravery and courage above and beyond. A complex tale but nevertheless gripping account in all the terrifying aspects of fighting.
Published 15 months ago by Roy Purnell


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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An account of one of the most audacious raids from WW2., 29 May 2006
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
After the Bismarck was sunk in May 1941, the Tirpitz posed the greatest threat to Allied shipping in the Atlantic by any surface vessel. In order to become that threat, however, like the Bismarck, first she had to get there. Both sides were aware of how the Bismarck's attempt had been a close run thing. Had her steering gear not been jammed by a fortunate torpedo strike - just as the great ship was executing an emergency turn, she would easily have made it to safety.

Whilst stopping the Tirpitz was, therefore a high priority for the British, the ship was also proving to be most elusive. Then came a plan with a very different approach altogether. The Tirpitz was a massive 45,000 tonnes and, in those days, there were not very many docks able to take such a large vessel. If ever she did break out, she would need to have a safe refuge somewhere for those eventual repairs and engine overhauls that are an essential part of running any big ship. The only suitable dockyard outside Germany was at Saint Nazaire.

In a daring raid in which no fewer than 5 VC's were won, this is the story of how one of HM Ships was disguised to look like a German Destroyer in order to get close to the gates at the entrance to Saint Nazaire harbour - the very gates through which any big ship would have to pass. The plan was simple enough; A large compartment in the bows of the ship were packed with high explosives and then sealed shut. With the ship thus transformed into a time-bomb, she was driven at full speed into those gates where she became firmly wedged. This was followed by fierce fighting as the British tried to withdraw their now stranded crew and protective Commando troops from the harbour.

Later, when quiet had finally descended on the town, the Germans inspected the ship - completely bemused by what appeared to be a futile attempt to wreck their harbour by simply ramming the gates. But, somewhere in a sealed compartment a clock was still ticking.....

The Press Release issued with this book describes it as "A graphic and dramatic description backed by excellent photographs." I could not have put it better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true story of Operation Chariot - an excellent read., 3 July 2014
By 
C. Austin "Tricky Trev" (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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Excellent read. I'll shortly be visiting Saint Nazaire and wanted to read about Operation Chariot before I travelled. I couldn't of chosen a better book as this goes into great detail, covering the planning, raid and aftermath. Furthermore it also takes you around Saint Nazaire today, which is ideal for anyone planning a visit. However if you just want to learn about Operation Chariot then look no further. Operation Chariot was called "The Greatest Raid Of All" and now I can understand why. Against all odds what was basically a suicide mission succeeded in preventing the Germans using the docks at Saint Nazaire for battleship Tirpitz. This is their brave story.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A splendid account in both words and pictures, 2 Feb. 2007
This excellent publication, detailing the daring British commando raid on the French, Atlantic coastal port of St Nazaire , is the latest title in the superb Elite Forces Operations series of books from specialist military book publisher - Pen and Sword,

Mainland France had been under Nazi occupation for almost two years as the Spring of 1942 approached and as successive months passed, the enemy seized the opportunity to reinforce its foothold in the region further by building up its defences against a possible allied invasion.

St Nazaire's excellent location and unique, vast dry dock facility at the mouth of the Loire, afforded Germany's Kriegesmarine the opportunity to operate and maintain the largest of warships in it's fleet (including the infamous Tirpitz), whilst at the same time, being able to monitor and subsequently attack Allied shipping, carrying crucial cargoes of personnel and supplies, as it entered the Western Approaches from the Atlantic Ocean.

Under the code-name "Operation Chariot", the large-scale commando raid, aimed at destroying the port's famous Normandie Dock was launched. Making use of HMS Campbletown - a converted US Navy destroyer, loaded with high-explosive as a battering ram, their target was reached successfully at the dead of night. As the ship deliberately hit the dock, our elite forces, swarmed over the surrounding port area, destroying key installations and facilities, causing the maximum damage possible. The determined efforts of this group of exceptionally brave men (five of whom were subsequently to be awarded the coveted Victoria Cross) paid off and the mission was deemed - successful, however the cost was high, resulting in many of our troops being killed, wounded or captured.

This splendid book makes interesting reading and will therefore prove invaluable to anyone intending visiting the area, studying the operation or researching the war service history of a relative involved. It includes many excellent black and white photographs and maps, plus a superb colour section featuring the weapons and equipment used at the time. The detailed eye witness accounts and citations for the five Victoria Crosses awarded are especially interesting and as a result, I am sure the reader will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting reading, 7 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: St Nazaire Raid: Operation CHARIOT - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports (Battleground Europe) (Kindle Edition)
Any person interested in the history of WWII would find this a great book. It shows both the true heroism in dark days of British sailors and soldiers and also the moving inspiration of their civilian allies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Interesting Content, 12 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: St Nazaire Raid: Operation CHARIOT - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports (Battleground Europe) (Kindle Edition)
This was very readable and full of interesting details as well as setting the context of this critical and decisive engagement
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family History "A Sailors Tale" St. Nazairre., 18 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: St Nazaire Raid: Operation CHARIOT - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports (Battleground Europe) (Kindle Edition)
My father was on that raid . He was a Chief Petty Office in the RN. and was in the support group that attacked the radar installation that as controlling the shore gun batteries ( near Batz-sur-Mer ). My wife and I took him back there many years later, and, with the help of some locals we found the bunker. In the hand to hand fighting that ensued her was knocked unconsious and recieved a bayonet through his knee. One of his companions got him back to the beach where luckily their landing craft was still awaiting their return. End of story was he ended up in Battle Hospital, Reading. His leg was saved (ironically by a German Surgeon) although it left him with a limp and sometimes collapsed on him when he was walking, he returned to active service until the end of the war, when he was then invalided out from the navy "With Honour". He never spoke of any other engagements during he war, but I remember going to vsit him in Scotland, sometime in the war, ( I have o photo of myself when I was about 4-5 years old on the beach at Lieth, Edinburgh were we stayed with one of his shipmates family.
It was not until his death and funeral. My cousin Raymond read an Eulogy tom my father, Raymond was an artificer on HMS Ark Royal, Whilst he was in the RN Raymond researched the archives on my father`s war record. What came to light was a remarkable story. Here I will keep it short. He was given away by his mother to various relatives by his mother because he was conceived out of marriage, he joined the TA in the 30`s as a drive on the gun carriages, married in 1937/38, I was born in 1939, joined the RN filed Office training at Dartmouth ( Navigation was his downfall ) , stayed in the ranks and eventually became CPO,during the war he served in Trinka Mali Ceylon (Sri Lanka), South America, Africa, Iceland and, Europe, mainly in back up squads to the commandos, some times on minesweepers and as a small arms instructor at Warrington, Lancs. What happened to him when he returned to active duty no one is certain, the records are incomplete for some reason. I remember him coming home at the end of the war, and in his kit bag I found an "American Carbine", so were he had been and why he was issued this type of weapon I do not know.
If anyone wishes to contact me just e-mail classicbrakes@gmail.com
I spent many years as a Tour Director on the Tour Coaches around Europe. and I have many stories about people and places I have known ( Simon Wiesental, De Gaul`s Hangman in Algeria, Willi Brant and his tour of the Catares strongholds, Mrs Taylor-MrsCessna-Mrs Boeing the 3 Widows on tour. The Dutchman who flooded the fields to stop the Nazi advances, The Keeper of Dachau, and many many more.
I need a Ghost Writer. I am getting on in years and and not in the best of health so time is now of the essence.
Anyone interested in an old man`s tales?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shame about the pictures and prints, 10 Aug. 2014
By 
sandycam (Inverness. Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: St Nazaire Raid: Operation CHARIOT - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports (Battleground Europe) (Kindle Edition)
Good well written informative book. I thought the last piece on tourist information was unnecessary as people reading this book in a few years time will find the info. out of date.
Something that did annoy me, and it is not just this Kindle book, there are lots out there with the following afterthought / carelessness. The photographs and prints etc are either almost unreadable and or to one side of the page. More care is needed by the printers of Kindle books. I find it very off putting and spoils my enjoyment of the Kindle. I am considering going back to reading paper books once more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best about it, 21 Jan. 2013
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All that i've read this is one of the best about operation chariot, with a lot of maps, foreground, images, real and back in the time, all that you need to know.
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5.0 out of 5 stars you couldn't make up the audacity, bravery and sheer ..., 19 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: St Nazaire Raid: Operation CHARIOT - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports (Battleground Europe) (Kindle Edition)
you couldn't make up the audacity,bravery and sheer lunacy of this raid which only succeeded due to sheer heroism of the men involved,once again underfunded forces succeed,by their own gutsy sacrifices so grasping politicians can claim the glory,you would think you were reading a comic book with these daring feats absolutely amazing
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5.0 out of 5 stars A daring and heroic enterprise costing a lot of lives ..., 19 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: St Nazaire Raid: Operation CHARIOT - 1942 French Coast: Operation Chariot, Channel Ports (Battleground Europe) (Kindle Edition)
A daring and heroic enterprise costing a lot of lives. Well written highlighting the difficulties and sometimes lack of communications
which I suppose are unavoidable in a breathtaking operation. Difficult to stop reading until the final chapter which lacked detail about how most of the men returned to the U.K
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