The Final Witness
Date of publication: December 2011
The Cockleshell Heroes: The Final Witness is without doubt the definitive account of a mission thought to be a near impossible one; an attack seventy miles down the Gironde and on a series of blockade runners and other German ships located at Bordeaux. What you are about to read, will not have been read before. This is, without doubt, the definitive account of a mission thought to be an impossible one; the story of thirteen black-faced Commandos embarked aboard a T-Class submarine and on a suicide mission to deepest occupied France.
It is an astounding and graphic tale of courage and bravery by men and women of both France and Britain. This is the complete 'no holds barred' tale of this most incredible story, the tale of Operation Frankton. It is a comprehensively researched, highly detailed, intricately woven account of a Combined Operations clandestine raid using canoes and limpet mines and a lot of bravery by men not anxious to die - just anxious to matter.
From an English seaside resort to a secret secluded bay, from M.I.9 to an escape network care of a Countess punctuated by the love of a sixteen year old girl and the forlorn future hopes of young men, from the swirling waters of the Solent to the estuarine Thames, from the icy temperatures of Scottish lochs to the unpredictable waters of the Bay of Biscay and into the Nazi-occupied harbors of Bordeaux, through the vineyards and dwellings of ordinary French folk to the Gestapo-controlled prisons, and over the Pyrenees, into concentration camps and out of Gibraltar, by submarine and by 'Cockle', by shank's pony and starlit night, and with luck and by guile, it is the story of not only the raiders but the French heroes and heroines who helped them along the way.
Never before has this narrative been told in its entirety and with such accuracy or poignancy. Never before have all the individuals concerned been named.
Never before have all those that played their part in this historic 'little event' had each of their stories told; colored and crafted with actual words written and spoken by those who were there. The Cockleshell Heroes, is and will forever remain, their Final Witness.