COCKLESHELL HEROES REMEMBERED
Thursday March 31st, 2011
COCKLESHELL HEROES REMEMBERED AFTER NEARLY 70 YEARS
Almost seventy years after one of the most outstanding, heroic and successful WW2 Special Operations, the ten Marine Commandoes who took part are to be honoured by a memorial.
In 1942 the Cockleshell Heroes took part in a daring raid, using canoes, to blow up enemy ships in occupied France. Only two men survived and returned home. The Portsmouth based Royal Marines trained for months around Southsea and Langstone Harbour before setting off on what was essentially a suicide mission. However none of the men wanted to die. They just wanted the mission to be successful.
Lord Mountbatten described the mission as 'the most courageous and imaginative' commando raid of World War II.
Winston Churchill said that the raid brought the war to an end at least six months earlier. The mission itself was only partially successful but the knowledge of what they had achieved changed the perception of what was possible for both sides and has a far reaching effect.
Today, 31st March 2011, a memorial is to be unveiled at The Pointe de Grave, on the Southern tip of the headland at the mouth of the River Gironde, close to where the marines were delivered by the Submarine Tuna, and within the municipality of le Verdon.
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