St Nazaire Memorial Falmouth

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by abrecan, Oct 5, 2008.

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  1. Hi: anyone seen the new memorial, recently rededicated at Falmouth Princess Pier? Was there last week, they did it justice too.

    Should interest a few of you, and Booties and Navy of course...

    A brand new memorial pier has been created recording comments by commanders and the events that happened.

    The aim of this secret raid was to destroy the heavily fortified St Nazaire dock in northern France during '42. This was the only place in the Atlantic that the mighty German battleship 'Turpitz' could enter for repairs.

    The massive German vessel was faster and better armed than the very best ships the British forces used. She was vulnerable only because of her huge size. Only a handful of ports worldwide would be big enough to house 'Turpitz'. But those guys made sure she never was alongside there again.

    It was soon realised by the Allied forces that the Normandie dock could only be destroyed by landing a force of men, along with several tonnes of explosives from the sea. So they did, and caused massive chaos and destruction.

    The plan was to ram the St Nazaire dock gates in the early hours of the morning, and for the commandos to attack the port. And it worked, the memorial to the six hundred plus Navy and RM personnel has been moved to princess Pier from Fish Strand Quay (where they embarked I think)recently.

    Rumour has it that HMS Campbelltown was kept Devonport Docks at Plymouth and that the crew used the Grand Hotel there, before the raid..

  2. Is this the one on a small section of pier opposite the ice-cream stand that consists of stylised seating bearing quotes and names but where the main points of interest are usually obscured by fat, indifferent, civvy arrses? If it is it is a fine sentiment but not thought through all that clearly.
  3. Agreed, doesn't do them justice at all, but I was pleased to see that the memorial wasn't just left on Fissh Strand as a thingy no one cared about getting dog pee all over it, kind of thing.

  4. Yes, whoever did it had good intentions. The big shame was that several young people seemed interested but couldn't really appreciate the memorial because of a couple of ignorant munters scoffing pasties. The trail of VCs set into the decking is a nice touch — can't miss 'em even with your hood up and mp3 player on. Now someone did think about that one!
  5. Couldn't believe it when Clarkson done the doc about it. "Well that's,it, four minutes late" said their boss as they rammed the Sub pens. They apparently swanned up the estuary sh*tting themselves (coz the boat was a friggin floating ammo dump) disguised as Germans, fooling them only for a little while until the flotilla got hammered and carried on.

    It's a story to tell in the Pub alright.

  6. Not yet seen, shall have to hunt for it this week. Only just moved to Falmouth and still trying to get my bearings.
  7. I'm not far away, will have to go down and take a look.
  8. Just round the corner from my place. Unfortunately I'm not home at the mo, but I'll certainly drop by, particularly as it's close to one of my favourite Falmouth pubs.

    Always struck by the original memorial's rather bizarre location, as hinted-at in JC's documentary.
  9. My Dad's a Falmouth boy & his auntie had Commandos billeted on her for a while before the raid. One day they weren't there & the next day on the news was the raid.

    Nails, all of them.
  10. While your there can you take a picture and post it for those of us too far away?
  11. here's the one that is at the Place de Commando in St Nazaire.
    Pat Cobra and myself visited there this year. Most visitors don't even know that its there. They just go to the Sub Pens and that's it.

    Attached Files:


    "We were not told precisely what we were going to do in due course, but it was decided that we were going to have a dummy run and the fleet decided to have a raid on Devonport as an exercise one night. As we approached Devonport, searchlights were switched on from the shore. The Dartmouth boats which had been so carefully camouflaged to the new design shone like diamonds in this light and when we got back to Falmouth we spent the next two days re-painting them all over in the famous Battenburg grey."