In March 1942 British Commandos and the Royal Navy launched one of the Second World War’s most spectacular raids, on the German-held French Atlantic port of Saint-Nazaire.
An antiquated ex-USN destroyer, renamed HMS Campbeltown, had 3 tons of Amatol placed in her bows, sailed into the Loire under cover of darkness, accompanied by a handful of wooden-hulled Fairmile motor launches and Motor Gun Boats, and rammed into the gates to the dry dock. Commandos debouched from her and proceeded to blow up vital dock installations. Several hours later, swarming with German sight-seers, the Campbeltown blew-up, putting the huge Normandie Dock out of commission for the remainder of the war. It was an extraordinary operation, which no one in normal circumstances would have contemplated. Brazen and bold, a David versus Goliath type of strike, it had a chance of succeeding by virtue of its very audacity. Ultimately, the raid was just that, a success, but the cost was incredibly high.
Join us as we take your on the ground using the latest technology and veteran accounts in this virtual tour to explore the remarkable actions of Operation Chariot.