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The Cockleshell Heroes And The Most Courageous Raid of WW2

Recording from Paddy Ashdown’s talk at CVHF on Tuesday, 25th June 2013.

This is the story of the remarkable canoe raid on German ships in Bordeaux harbour told by a man who himself served in the Special Boat Squadron. The plan was a suicidally daring one: to drop twelve Commandos at the mouth of the Gironde River and for them to paddle ‘cockleshell’ canoes right into Bordeaux harbour. There they were to sink the enemy ships at anchor. To do this they would have to survive terrifying tidal races, the heavily defended port, and then escape across the Pyrenees. In this compelling talk, Paddy Ashdown reveals some devastating new research that serves only to make the achievements of the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’ all the more remarkable.

Exclusive interview with Paddy Ashdown

Following his talk on the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’, Xander Drury caught up with Paddy Ashdown as he discusses his latest book and shares his thoughts on the 2015 General Election and the changes to the history curriculum.

Camera: John E Fry

Paddy Ashdown on Day Two of CVHF13