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More than seventy-five years after wards, “Chariot” is still thought of as the most daring and most spectacu- lar commando operation of the whole of WWII, called on the other side of the Channel “the greatest raid of all time”. Indeed you had to be mad or British to go up the estuary of the River Loire at night, into Saint-Nazaire in order to ram an old destroyer full of explosives on a time fuse against the Joubert docks. And all this was done to make the only dry-dock vast enough to take the super cruiser Tirpitz, the terror of all the Allied navies, totally unusable.
This raid had as tremendous an impact in France as it did in Britain, proving to the Allies and to all of occupied Europe that the Third Reich was not invulnerable.
To tell the story of this extraordinary coup de main, Jean-Charles Stasi has consulted the German, British and French archives, interviewed former commandoes as well as the inhabitants of Saint-Nazaire who witnessed the raid.
His tale is lively and alert and is illustrated with a lot of period photographs, as well as maps, drawings and boat profiles, to plunge the reader into the heart of the action and to allow him relive the preparations for this extraordi- nary operation.
Jean-Charles Stasi is a writer and journalist. He is the author of twenty or so books, several of which are devoted to WWII. His interest in Operation Chariot started some ten years ago when he covered one of the Saint-Nazaire raid anniversaries while working in Angers on news items in the Loire Valley region. After a first book about Chariot in 2014, he has brought out this richly illustrated volume on Chariot to reach a wider public.
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