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on 10 August 2014
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 out of date.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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on 2 February 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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on 12 April 2014
Haven't quite finished this book yet, about three quarters, but is a book so full of information and detail it is sometimes difficult to take it all in in one go, but thats because of the complexity of this operation, a quite outstanding narrative of skill and bravery. It would have been nice to have further diagrames and photos allowing you to further appreciate the complexety of this opperation but of course you can't see them very well on a Kindle. A very good read, and a tribute to those young men who undertook it.
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on 20 August 2013
Not at all clear -- admittedly a deeply chaotic operation and perhaps not helped by reading it on Kindle and unable to enlarge maps !

I think it lacked detail about the men involved in the operation
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on 7 January 2014
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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on 21 January 2013
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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on 11 February 2014
I visited St Nazaire a few years ago to see the submarine pens and the Normandie dock, I wish I could have read this book first, it shows what an incredible undertaking Operation Chariot was.
If you saw it as a film script you would say it was a bit far fetched, but these men went ahead and did it.
When the chips were down and the raid started to go wrong they just carried on, amazing.
I can thoroughly recommend this book, even if you are not a fan of war history, just read it to get an idea of true bravery and determination.
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on 20 March 2016
A group of us are planning to visit St Nazaire summer 2016 - the book has provided an excellent background to what the Commando 'Charioteers' had to face and indeed the Royal Navy's role in getting the force to the port. I found the extracts of personal experiences very moving - they faced overwhelming odds and took a high loss rate. We owe much to these guys. The maps and pictures helped put the text into context. The section on visiting St Nazaire also looks like it will be very handy.
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on 7 September 2013
Very detailed. In fact I suspect too detailed for many readers. The author has done his research very thoroughly. I got lost in trying to follow the detailed movements of all the combatants so eventually started skipping sections. Can't say I enjoyed reading it, but it reminded me of the debt we owe to all those who gave their lives to protect our freedom. God forbid that we should ever have to face the same again. But sadly mankind never seems to learn from the past.
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on 12 October 2013
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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