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By Paul Oldfield

Operation Frankton is a narrative of ways a handful of decided and imaginitive males, utilizing flimsy canoes, completed what hundreds of thousands couldn't via traditional potential. The volunteers had enlisted for Hostilities in basic terms and, aside from their chief, none were in a canoe prior to. in spite of the fact that, with a couple of months education they conducted what one German officer defined as, «the extraordinary commando raid of the war». They grew to become often called the Cockleshell Heroes, having been immortalized in a movie and a e-book of that identify within the Nineteen Fifties.

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This made the unit four over the approved establishment, but it was expected the next phase of training would weed out the excess, which it did. 1 Section Lieutenant MacKinnon ) Sergeant Wallace ) Trainers Lance Corporals Laver & Sheard ) Marines Moffatt, Mills, Colley, Ellery, Sparks, Ewart & Conway. Marines Blaymire, Carroll, David & Hughes were soon returned to their former units. 2 Section Lieutenant Pritchard-Gordon ) Corporal King ) Trainers Lance Corporals Johnston & Bick ) Marines Saunders, Ruff, Duncan, Turfrey, Stevens, Lambert, Martin, Cattrell, Watson, McCarroll, Ashton & O’Dell (joined 28 July).

They met on 27 March and Haslar sent a copy of the staff requirement to Goatley’s home (Tonalba, 157 York Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight). II – see Appendix 1. A pilot model was produced, which Haslar tested, making small improvements until they arrived at a production model. IIs was placed with Saros on 14 April. They were to be distributed to a number of units for trials; CODC received two. On 22 April the term ‘Cockle’ was approved officially. Despite being at the meeting on 9 March that proposed the title, Haslar objected to the designation, which he thought derisory; he preferred ‘Tadpole’.

The badge of Decima Flottiglia Mezzi d‘Assalto (10th MAS or Assault Vehicle Flotilla). On 25 March 1941, 10th MAS sank or severely damaged the cruiser HMS York, two tankers and a cargo ship at Suda Bay in Crete. The Italians had a base in the interned tanker Olterra which was moored at Algeciras, southern Spain, from which they conducted operations against Gibraltar, including one on 10 September in which three ships were sunk. On 19 December, Lieutenant Luigi Durand de la Penne led an attack on Alexandria harbour resulting in the battleships HMS Valiant and Queen Elizabeth and a tanker being sunk and the destroyer HMS Jervis being damaged.

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