Operation Chariot - Hamish Tait

Tue, Oct 24th 2023 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Host - Anne Tait: Reception - Graham Simpson, Menu Choice - Fiona Roger

Hamish Tait gave an illustrated talk on Operation Chariot, a British amphibious attack on the dry dock at St Nazaire in German-occupied France during the Second World War.
Dubbed the Greatest Raid of All, the aim was to deny facilities to the German battleship Tirpitz and thereby reduce losses suffered by the Atlantic convoys.
The Royal Navy plan was to ram the lock gates of the Normandie port with a ship loaded with explosives. The ship selected was HMS Campbeltown, a former US destroyer.
The raid took place on March 28, 1942 and involved three different support vessels with scores of commandos.
Hamish told how the raid unfolded and that the dock was successfully put out of commission for the rest of the war.
Hamish revealed that his father played a part in the raid rescuing some of the commandos. A total of 622 servicemen took part with 168 killed in action, and over 200 taken prisoner. Five VCs were awarded and many others received various gallantry awards, including Hamish’s father.
Graham Simpson proposed a vote of thanks for a most interesting talk.

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