A MEMORIAL has been unveiled at la Pointe de Grave (map), at the mouth of the Gironde estuary, marking a World War Two mission by British Royal Marines.
Operation Frankton involved a 105 mile journey in December 1942 undertaken by a team of ten soldiers, with two men to a canoe, to attach limpet mines to ships in the port at Bordeaux.
The France 3 television channel reports on the unveiling of a memorial plaque marking the mission which was described as suicidal, but which Winston Churchill said shortened the war by six months.
The fullest account of Operation Frankton is in a book by Quentin Rees called Cockleshell Heroes: The Final Witness, the canoes were codenamed 'cockles', and it wasn't expected any of the men would survive.
The Manchester Evening News writes that before the mission started one of the canoes was damaged, so the remaining five pairs set off, one capsized with the men aboard lost, others were captured.
Two canoes reached their destination, the limpet mines were attached and six ships were sunk in shallow water.
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