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Gruelling canoeing tribute to the Cockleshell Heroes on the raid’s 75th anniversary

Keith Breslauer, a longstanding supporter of the Royal Marines Charitable Trust and managing director of private equity firm, Patron Capital, joined injured Royal Marines as the only civilian in a taxing paddle, 85-miles up the Gironde estuary, France, followed by a 100-mile yomp in a recreation of the heroic ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ raid on its 75th anniversary.

On December 5th, I embarked on a gruelling charity endeavour in support of the incredible work of The Royal Marines Charity. This is the latest chapter in my longstanding partnership with this worthy cause, which sees me participating in a recreation of Operation Frankton, often described as the most courageous raid of World War II.

The expedition, led and organised by James (‘Batch’) Batchelor commemorates the 75th anniversary of Operation Frankton. Sent on what was effectively a suicide mission, equipped with only the bare essentials of food, clothing and the all-important limpet mines, Frankton saw ten Royal Marines commandos travel to the coast of France in the submarine HMS Tuna in December 1942. The plan was to paddle 85 miles up the Gironde Estuary in their folding canoes (codenamed cockleshells) to attack enemy ships moored at the German-occupied French port of Bordeaux before making the 100-mile journey on foot to rendezvous with the French Resistance in Ruffec. The aim of the raid was to destroy blockade-running merchant ships with these mines, and six ships were seriously damaged.

Catch up on the rest of the story in the Winter edition of the Paddler ezine at:

Printed edition now only £27.49 for six issues
The printed edition of the Paddler is for those who prefer paper to screens. A minimum of 132 pages, incorporating the new 24-page Canoe Focus and delivered direct to your door every two months. Available for purchase at:

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About thepaddlerezine (654 Articles)
Editor of The Paddler magazine and Publisher of Stand Up Paddle Mag UK.

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