Anniversary news: Operation Chariot – 75 years on

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28 March 1942: Operation Chariot, the Raid on Saint Nazaire

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Special Operations: The Saint Nazaire DVD

Building on the success of various Commando Raids during 1941, Headquarters Combined Operations moved up the scale of size and complexity by electing to attack and deny the only dry dock that could take a German battleship for repairs, the Normandie Dock at Saint Nazaire on France’s Atlantic coast. The problem was that the port was miles up an estuary that was well defended by the Germans. To deliver an explosive charge big enough to demolish the massive lock gates, an old ship HMS Campbeltown was converted to look like a German destroyer, so as to bluff their way into the heart of the port. Under cover of dark the bluff worked well – up to a point – Campbeltown rammed the gates but the Commandos found that the Germans were alert and had great difficulty in reaching their objectives.

Shot on location in the usual BHTV style of expert commentary from naval and commando historians. During shooting the team secured unrivaled access to parts of the harbour and pumping houses that simply can not be seen by normal visitors to Saint Nazaire. These great location shots are complimented by testimony from the surviving veterans, detailed maps, essential for proper understanding of the raid, and some illustrative re-enactment.

Also in the Special Operations series from BHTV:
Special Operations: Bletchley Park and the Ultra Secret Special Operations: Bruneval Raid Special Operations: SAS Operation Bulbasket Special Operations: SAS Operation Bulbasket

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£16.99

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£16.99

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£12.99

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£12.99

Buy all 5 DVDs in the series for only £50

Recommended reading
Saint-Nazaire Operation Chariot – The Raid on St Nazaire Storming St Nazaire Daring Raids of World War Two: Heroic Land, Sea and Air Attacks

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A Reluctant Hero – Captain Robert Ryder VC

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Reluctant Hero – The Life of Captain Robert Ryder VC

A Reluctant Hero is the biography of Captain Robert Ryder VC, Royal Navy (1908-1986), one of the greatest naval heroes of the Second World War. Ryder led the audacious raid on Saint Nazaire in March 1942 which completely destroyed the port’s dry dock, depriving the German’s mighty pocket battleships of its use for the remainder of the war. The raid was one of the most brilliantly-executed combined operations of the war, much of the credit for which must go to Ryder’s outstanding planning and courageous leadership. He received one of five Victoria Crosses awarded for the operation.

Although Ryder’s name will be forever linked with the raid on Saint Nazaire, the rest of his war service was no less distinguished. Torpedoed in a ‘Q’ ship in 1940 he was rescued after clinging to a piece of wreckage for four days. After Saint Nazaire, he was heavily involved in the planning of combined operations and took part in the ill-fated raid on Dieppe. On D-Day he lead a naval assault party in the first wave of the invasion. For the rest of the war Ryder commanded a destroyer on the Arctic convoys.

This week’s new releases
Stafford in the Great War SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) at War 1939 – 1945 The Desert Air Force in World War II

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Fallen Eagles Shot at Dawn Great Generals of the Ancient World

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