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St.Nazaire. The Greatest Raid of All. My Trip

Article about: Gentlemen I am off to St.Nazaire the end of the month for a couple of days to see the sights. Anybody been before, ?? any advice appreciated Cheers

  1. #21


    Here we can now see Bridge G,and the Old Entrance, the Lock gates can be seen that were torpedoed by Wynn's MTB 74

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  2. #22


    Here can be seen Bridge G where the remaining Commando's successfully stormed and crossed into the New Town and attempted escape.

    In the pictures can be seen what I believe is a large dent possibly caused by a 20mm Flak round, most likely trained upon the bridge from the southern entrance.
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  3. #23


    Here we have a panoramic shot of the ubiquitous U-Boats pens, the photo being taken from the top of the Old Entrance Protected Bunker which was built post raid.

    If the raid had been completely successful and the intended dock gates and bridges destroyed, then the U-Boat base would have been forced to operate on a tidal basis, the submarines only being able to enter and leave the pens at high tide
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  4. #24


    Moving on down now towards the Southern Entrance and the Avant Port and the East and West Jetty's and the M61 gun position. Then on westwards where can be seen the Sante Maritime building and the Power Station, its destruction was an objective of the raid. Also can be seen is the swing Bridge B, also a primary target of the raid, and lock gates of the New entrance. Also, in the final picture, can be seen looking north along the Rue de Port is Bridge D again. The Rue de Port in the glory days of the U-Boat campaign would have been filled with cheering spectators and Brass Bands welcoming home victorious boats flying their victory pennants.
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  5. #25


    Just for a bit of information, My Father saw the sinking of the Lancastria, he was due to board the ship, but it was vastly over crowded, so ended up on a coal tramp steamer, while sailing out, the ships were attacked by german aircraft, strafing and bombing, a bomb went down one of the funnels and blew the boilers and the keel of the ship out, it did not sink after half hour, he described it as 5-10 minutes, during which the strafing and bombing continued, hence the large loss of life. His tramper was attacked, which was again full of troops, he was on a lewis gun outside the bridge, thats how he saw what had happened, during one attack and just after the sinking he was firing at aircraft when he was injured but did,nt realise it until they reached home port, when a Red Cross nurse was helping the wounded off ship and grabbed him, he told her he was ok , she told him he had a hole through his left arm at which point he fainted!!!!

  6. #26


    What a story Dave, thanks for that. Yes the sinking of the Lancastria was a such a tragic event, still to this day, the largest loss of life in the sinking of a British ship, 4000 plus I believe. The tragic event was kept secret for quite some time I believe. St.Naziare is often overlooked somewhat, it was an important evacuation point still for the remnants of the BEF, long after the success of Dunkirk. Indeed, it was the first port on European soil that North American soldiers set foot on, on the way to their trenches in the Great War.

  7. #27


    My Dad very rarely spoke of the war, too many lost friends, even after the war years later he could,nt attend Remembrance day, mind you the few stories he did tell were mostly semi comical, like the one when he was on that tramper, firing the lewis gun. He heard a scream below him on the deck, and thought some poor guy had got hit. During a lull in the raid, one of the Merchant seaman came up to him and said he ought to watch where his casing,s were going, one had gone down the back of a soldier , and being red hot the guy could,nt get his shirt off quick enough and was hopping around like a headless chicken!!!

  8. #28


    I could not think of a better moment to post the next picture of the monument to the sinking of the Lancastria, located near the Boulevard de Verdun at the base of the West Jetty

    I was tempted before I took the photo to re-arrange the wreaths, but for some reason I do not why, I decided to leave it how I found it, perhaps in some way I felt I had no right....
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  9. #29


    The last of the pictures for now.

    In the area west of the Avant Port at the base of the Place du Commando, is the Monument du Commando. A large granite column, at its base beneath the commemorative plaque are inscribed the names of all the fallen Commandos and Sailors.

    Also can be seen is the 12pdr forward facing gun from HMS Campbletown, the bend in its barrel visible in the pictures is indicative of the force of the blast when she went up. It was dredged from the Port Basin in the 80's I believe and was very nearly sold for scrap !
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    Last edited by HistoryMan; 10-29-2015 at 06:23 PM.

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