St Nazaire Raid, Operation Chariot 28 March 1942


Map Code: Ax00330

The St Nazaire Raid was conducted with the objective of destroying the Germans’ vital Atlantic repair port. Without it their warships had to venture past heavily defended UK waters for repairs. The British plan involved the use of HMS Campbeltown, an obsolete destroyer that had been stripped to raise its draught, reinforced and packed with explosives, ready to be rammed into the dock gates and detonated. Meanwhile some 600 commandos on various other small craft would land on the harbour and complete sabotage objectives. During the raid Campbeltown was successfully ditched into the wall, disabling the dry dock for the rest of the war. Some of the commandos managed to get ashore and engage the Germans, however many were killed as their boats were sunk as they approached the dock. Those that landed ashore were then left without any means of escape and were either captured or killed.

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