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Daring Raids


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#1 Richard IV

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:26 PM

I would love to read accounts of daring raids during WWII, in any theatre.

My favourite (being English) is the St. Nazaire raid, I doubt there is any more spectacular.

However there must be some on every front that as every bit as ingenious.

#2 T. A. Gardner

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 11:46 PM

There is always Bruneval. Major Frost of Arnheim fame was one of the priniciple officers on what was the first big commando raid of the war into France. This raid was a parachute drop onto the Würtzburg radar station at Bruneval France. The objective was to grab the critical components of this radar for study.
The raiders were successful after a small firefight and escaped by sea in landing craft. The results were the British came up with successful jamming techniques for German fire control radar and as an added bonus the Germans began to heavily fortify radar stations along the Atlantic wall afterwards. This made finding what before were very hard to spot installations almost immediately visible from the air.

#3 mac_bolan00

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 08:11 AM

the raiders of arakan by lucas phillips for close-quarters combat fans. note the time context: ww2. armies have been using bolt action rifles for more than 40 years then. the british officers taught their local fighters to rush at the enemy with fixed bayonets once a grenade went off. that's how they raided japanese camps. an officer throws a grenade, the soldiers rush in with fixed bayonets --no gunfire. at first the british were frustrated as the troops tended to crouch when the grenade went off. but in time, they learned to scramble and charge upon explosion. the japanese didn't even have time to get up from their cots. all they experienced was a loud bang, and someone sticking a bayonet to their throats.

is that moxy or what?

#4 fsbof

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 09:51 PM

The Doolittle Raid has to rank up there with the legendary ones. Although not militarily significant in terms of results (before being returned to the US, Doolittle believed he would face a court martial for the loss of all the B-25s), it achieved a high morale payback on the homefront. And, it was pulled off while risking 2 of the USN's 4 carriers then available in the Pacific.

#5 Erich

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 10:15 PM

how about Skorzenys raid and the obtaining of the ugly Fascists mug off the hump, I thought risking life and limb in that puny Fiesler has to be right up there for totally off your nut. We all have to admit that Skor was right up there for stealth and doing the almost impossible during the war, and even his after war exploits although little known are quite something

#6 Richard IV

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:15 PM

how about Skorzenys raid and the obtaining of the ugly Fascists mug off the hump, I thought risking life and limb in that puny Fiesler has to be right up there for totally off your nut. We all have to admit that Skor was right up there for stealth and doing the almost impossible during the war, and even his after war exploits although little known are quite something


I've just read a article on Wiki about him, one chap you don't want sneaking up on you.

Great reading up on all the others too, very interesting.

#7 Von Poop

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:40 PM

I'd also choose Operation Chariot straight away.
The St Nazaire Society (Operation Chariot)
Five VCs in a few hours is not exactly a common occurrence.

On the Axis side, Eben Emael immediately springs to mind (if it counts as 'a raid'? ). Witzig's boys certainly went into a very specifically defined target and achieved dramatic success against far superior numbers & strong defences.
Airborne Operations of Sturmabteilung Koch 10

Operations NIWI & Hedderich, as cropped up in this thread also qualify as pretty unusual raiding behaviour, with their overloaded Storches and a somewhat radical approach to warfare.

Cheers,
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#8 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 01:14 AM

ITALIAN RAID AT MANAMA (1940)


Introduction

On October 19, 1940, four Savoia Marchetti SM82 special bombers of the Regia Aeronautica Italiana hit the English oil refineries in the Persian Gulf carrying out a long, hard and brilliant war mission.


During World War Two, the Regia Aereonautica Italiana, although lacking in a consistent numbers of strategic bombers, managed to transform several SM82 and SM75 three-engined transport planes into aircrafts able to hit enemy target (airports and industrial plants) which were too far away to be reached by the normal bombers generally employed by the Italian Air Force, such as the Savoia Marchetti SM79, Fiat Br20 and CantZ 1007. Thanks to their first rate reliability and long range, a handful of the modified SM82 and SM75 succeeded in carrying out several missions.

These missions were remarkable, not only because of the damage caused to the enemy, but especially for their strictly technical importance.

From June 1940 to July 1943, the SM82 and SM75 bombers delivered attacks on Gibraltar, Suez, Port Sudan and Bahrain. This also gave an effective propagandistic value. They replaced the four-engine Piaggio P108s, which although were more suitable, were not always available due to their scant numbers.



The SM82 Bomber
Among the brilliant actions carried out by the three-engine Savoia-Marchetti was in late spring 1942, when a special SM75 established a new link with a non-stop flight from Rome to Tokyo. But also the successful raid in mid-October 1940 on the oil refinery of Manama holds a particular interest and meaning.

The English refineries in the Persian Gulf were chosen as the first strategic target at the beginning of summer 1940 when the first models of Savoia-Marchetti were produced by the assembly line. They were transport planes converted into bombers.



The craft belonging to this series were provided with forward/ventral laying devices, a bomb release gear and three Breda-Safat machine-guns. The first SM82 bombers started their activity on July 17, when three aircrafts took off from Rome-Guidonia to raid the English stronghold of Gibraltar (100 and 250 kilogram bombs were dropped during this action). Similar attacks were carried out again on Gibraltar on July 25 (this time the planes took off from the base of Alghero in Sardinia) and on August 20. The results were good (the target was hit, although with a small quantity of explosives and some of the planes were lost or damaged during the mission). At the beginning of October 1940, the command of the Regia Aeronautica decided that five SM82 bombers belonging to the 41st Group led by lieutenant-colonel Ettore Muti should be transferred from Rome-Ciampino to the airport of Gadurrà (Isle of Rhodes).

The passage took place on October 13. The Italian Command intended to employ the special SM82s to bomb the English oil plants of Manama, in the Persian Gulf, in order to show the potential ability of the Italian air force. It was a long and difficult mission involving a 4,000 kilometre flight. Ettore Muti and his comrades spent four days working on a complete revision of the plans and established a complex flight plan.

The Italians decided against the highly dangerous manoeuvre of returning to Rhodes on the same route, as they might have been intercepted by the Royal Air Force based in Cyprus, Palestine and Iraq, and chose another option. After bombing the refineries, the planes would head for the southwest, flying over the immense and scarcely inhabited Arabian desert in order to reach the Red Sea and the Italian colony of Eritrea.



On December 18, at 5.10 pm, after filling both the normal and the supplementary tanks, they loaded three out of four SM82s with 1.5 tons of incendiary and explosive bombs weighing 15, 20 or 50 kilograms. Then the four three-engine bombers took off.

In command of the first aircraft, which gained height with difficulty from the Rhodes- Gadurrà runway because it was overloaded with 19,500 kilograms, was Lieutenant Colonel Muti. He was assisted by Major Giovanni Raina and by Captain Paolo Moci, who had previous experience in flying planes overloaded up to 21 tons.

Lieutenant Colonel Fortunato Federici, Captain Aldo Buzzaca and Lieutenant Emanuele Francesco Ruspoli were on the second aircraft, while Captain Giorgio Meyer, Lieutenant Adolf Rebex and Warrant Officer Aldo Carrera were on the third one. The fourth plane was piloted by Captain Antonio Zanetti assisted by Lieutenant Vittorio Cecconi and Warrant Officer Mario Badii.

The SM82s, after gaining height (a manoeuvre which took remarkable efforts because of the enormous weight of the aircrafts) headed east, flying over Cyprus, Lebanon and Syria, bending to the southeast as they went past Jordan and Iraq until they reached the Persian Gulf. During the very long outward flight, the role of Muti's SM82 pathfinder proved its essential function in leading the squadron. Two huge white rhombuses had been painted purposefully on the upper side of its wings and lighted by two lamps so that the pilots of the other planes could easily see them and follow Muti's craft in the dark.

For security reasons, the commander had decided that all radio communications should be cut off. This measure was rather uncomfortable for the crew but allowed the Italians to keep the precious advantage of surprise.

Regarding the role played by the pathfinder plane, we must point out that its duty was to spot the target and release its bombs so that the others could do the same. Thanks to the help of a rudimentary device, the only bombardier (Major Giovanni Raina) was expected to find the difficult target. At 2.20 am, just before reaching the Bahrain Islands, Lieutenant Colonel Federici's aircraft suddenly lost sight contact with Muti's SM82 and had to drop its bombs on different targets in the vicinity of Manama, while the other planes hit the fixed target.

As bombardier Raina later told "the operation of spotting the target was easy thanks to the total illumination of the extractive and refinery plants" which were partially damaged by the bombs (half a dozen wells and some oil deposits were set on fire). As soon as they perceived the glares of the first explosions, the Italian planes made off along the escape route landing to the Zula runway (Eritrea) at 8 8:40.




The whole Italian formation had flown 2,400 kilometres in 15.30 hours. At the Eritrean airport, along with a small crowd of Italian aviators, the brave pilots found the fourth SM82 squadron which, in the meantime, had come from Rhodes as a support plane on the way back, should one of the crafts make an emergency landing in the desert.

A few days later, the five SM82s of Colonel Muti took off from Zula and with no further problems, arrived at the Rome-Urbe airport. From a strict military point of view, the raid on the oil refineries of Manama was not able (especially because of the few planes employed) to cause severe damages to the enemy. The enterprise led by Muti had, however, a great importance in the technical and propagandistic side. In fact, after the raid, the RAF was compelled to place a squadron of fighters near the refineries and protect the plants with a couple of battalions and some batteries of antiaircraft guns.

Written by: Alberto Rosselli

http://www.comandosupremo.com/Manama.html
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#9 ghost_of_war

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 01:41 PM

I still enjoy the story on this one:

http://en.wikipedia....d_at_Cabanatuan

Inspired the movie, The Great Raid.
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#10 Liberator

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 01:52 PM

Operation ‘Squabble’


This was a special operation in the Paris area carried out in June 1942 which was intended to create a heartening effect among the Parisians and to expose the occupying Germans to ridicule.


From information obtained from a reliable source it appeared that the enemy performed a routine parade along the Avenue des Champs Elysee every day between the hours of 1215 and 1245, and it was considered by the Air Ministry that a low flying machine gun and cannon attack launched against this parade would have most valuable results in upholding the moral of the French people.

As the target was outside the range of Spitfires and all Fighter Command’s Beaufighters were fitted with special equipment, it was decided by the Air Ministry on 30 April 1942 that the operation should be undertaken by a Coastal Command Beaufighter

Accordingly the A.O.C-in-C was requested to make arrangements for this attack to be delivered at his discretion. This special flight was allocated the name “Operation Squabble” and No. 236 Squadron was chosen to fulfil the task.

The hazardous nature of this operation called for specific conditions of cloud cover over certain parts of the route which did not materialise until 12 June 1942, after four previous attempts had been made abortive by the lack of cloud cover on crossing the French coast.
On this day, however, conditions appeared to be more satisfactory, so, Beaufighter C/236 Squadron with F/Lt. A K. Gatward as pilot and Sgt. G F. Fern as navigator, was airborne at 1129 hours from Thorney Island on “Operation Squabble”.

In conditions of ten tenths cloud at 2,000 feet with heavy precipitation the aircraft set course for the target at 1131 hours. Crossing the French coast a few miles eastward of Fecamp at 1158 hours, the cloud began to thin out and by the time Rouen was reached there was bright sunshine. With visibility at ten to twenty miles and no cloud, the aircraft passed over the suburbs of Paris at a very low altitude and some light flak was encountered for the first time. The Eiffel Tower was easily pinpointed and was circled at 1227 hours.

There was, unfortunately, no sign of the parade, but to compensate for this development a Tricolour was successfully dropped over the Arc de Triomphe, after which the aircraft flew down between the buildings of the Champs Elysee but there was still no sign of any troops. In accordance with briefing instructions the pilot then proceeded to attack with cannon fire the Ministry of Marine building and released a second Tricolour.

The pilot reported that there were plenty of people about of both sexes, with most of them in shirt sleeves, many of whom waved. Before opening fire on the Ministry of Marine building, however, the pilot ensured that there were no pedestrians in the line of fire. His point of aim was half-way up the building.

At 1230 hours the aircraft set course for base and maintained the same track back to the coast as followed on the outward flight. The French coat was crossed for the second time at 1255 hours and the aircraft finally landed at Northolt at 1353 hours.

The whole sortie had been flown at a height of twenty to thirty feet and although the aircraft flew over Rouen aerodrome at this altitude no enemy opposition was encountered. The light flak encountered over the target was very poor.

This mission received its full share of publicity and some of the photographs en route were released to the general public. In addition, the pilot of the aircraft, F/Lt. A K. Gatward was awarded the DFC and the navigator Sgt. G F. Fern was granted a commission.
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#11 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 07:23 PM

Operation Halyard. The Operation concieved by the OSS. The Operation was a rescue mission to rescue more then 500 Allied airman from deep in Yugoslavia. The Allied airman had to build an airstrip large and long enough for C-47s to land. Without being found out and with out any real proper tools.
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#12 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 06:43 PM

Operation Halyard. The Operation concieved by the OSS. The Operation was a rescue mission to rescue more then 500 Allied airman from deep in Yugoslavia. The Allied airman had to build an airstrip large and long enough for C-47s to land. Without being found out and with out any real proper tools.


Here is an article on "Operation Halyard".
Rescue Behind Enemy Lines - Operation Halyard and the Rescue in Occupied Serbia » HistoryNet - From the World's Largest History Magazine Publisher
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#13 ozjohn39

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 09:04 PM

Operation "Jaywick'.

Australian raid on Singapore harbour.


Operation Jaywick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


John.
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#14 GPRegt

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:02 AM

Operation Frankton.

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#15 GPRegt

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:08 AM

The taking of the Caen Canal and River Orne Bridges by members of D Coy, 2nd Bn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

Steve W.

#16 John Dudek

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 10:39 PM

I would love to read accounts of daring raids during WWII, in any theatre.

My favourite (being English) is the St. Nazaire raid, I doubt there is any more spectacular.

However there must be some on every front that as every bit as ingenious.


I recall reading that the HMS Campbelton was very well equipped with hard to obtain civilian luxuries, as well as high explosives, so that once the British Commandoes were driven off or captured, the German Officers of St Nazaire and their mistresses soon flocked aboard the damaged destroyer to inspect it and take advantage of some of the luxury items aboard. When the Campbelton blew up, the explosion killed hundreds of Germans, both aboard the ship and close by on the surrounding docks. Damnably ingenius of the British to pull a trick like that on the Germans.

#17 John Dudek

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 10:43 PM

Operation "Jaywick'.

Australian raid on Singapore harbour.


Operation Jaywick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


John.


A truly brilliant operation!

#18 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 11:20 PM

http://www.ww2f.com/...on-jaywick.html
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