I love the story of the HMS Campbeltown — truly one of the greatest raids of WWII!
Looks great. Would love to build this wedged in the St Nazaire dry dock!
Will be following your build Tim.
Jeremy Clarkson did a fantastic documentary on the raid and is available on YouTube, it’s called the Greatest Raid. He made another good one about his Father in Law who was awarded the VC at Arnhem and another about the Russian convoys.
For all his other faults, Clarkson has a real passion for wartime history and great respect for those who fought.
For those of you who don’t know, the HMS Campbeltown was a US destroyer lend-leased to the British and is best known for the St. Nazaire Raid in 1942, a British commando attack on the Normandie dry dock in German-occupied France. The raid was undertaken to eliminate the only dry dock in the West large enough to accommodate the battleship Tirpitz. The idea was that if the dock at St Nazaire were unavailable, the Germans would be unlikely to risk sending their biggest battleship into the Atlantic.
Accompanied by 18 smaller craft and a force including some 612 sailors and commandos, the Campbeltown fought her way through the German defenses and was intentionally rammed into the Normandie dock gates. Commandos swarmed ashore and sabotaged port facilities and fought the local garrison until they ran out of ammunition and were overwhelmed by the defenders. The specially modified Campbeltown, essentially a massive IED packed with 4½ tons of delayed-action explosives, detonated later the next day against the dock and put it out of service for the rest of the war. Though costly, the raid was a success; the feared Tirpitz never did enter the Atlantic.
Campbeltown was specially converted for the raid with all her antisubmarine equipment, torpedo tubes, and 4 inch guns removed. Also, two of her funnels were cut down and capped off and the other two altered in an attempt to make her resemble a German Möwe class torpedo boat.
Despite referring to the vessel as a “battleship,” this rendering is pretty accurate and shows well the changes Campbeltown underwent before the St. Nazaire raid.