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June 1940

Page Created
September 29th, 2022
Last Updated
September 29th, 2022

Special Forces Operations in June 1940

June 2nd, 1940 – June 10th, 1940
Sabotage Operation
Three officers from MI(R). Their mission is to carry out a sabotage operation on the French coast.

The team sails on a trawler made available by the Royal Navy are put ashore between Boulogne and Etaples. They set fire to 200,000 tons of fuel and return safely after rowing almost twenty kilometres with a German prisoner of war.

June 24th,1940 – June 25th, 1940
Operation Collar
Independent Companies
115 men from No.11 Independent Company land in four raiding parties, at Neufchâtel Hardelot, Stella Plage, Berck and Le Touquet in France. Their mission is to test the German defences and to bring back prisoners along the coast in the region of Boulogne in Vrance.

The raiding group that lands at Hardelot moves a few hundred meters hundred metres inland and then return to their launch without meeting any Germans.
The raiding party which lands at Berck discovers a German seaplane anchorage before the coast. The plane is too heavily defended for the group to attack, and they decide to pull back to the beach.
The raiding party which lands at Le Touquet had the Merlimont Plage Hotel as its objective. Intelligence suggested that the Germans were using the hotel as a barracks. When the group reaches the hotel, they discover it was empty and boarded up. Unable to find another target, the group returns to the beach, only to discover that their launch had pulled back to sea. While waiting, two German sentries come close to the group and killed quietly with bayonets. When another German patrol approaches, the group abandons its weapons and to swim to the launch, taking the bodies of the death Germans with them. After reembarking, the corpses of both Germans are tied behind the crowded Motor Launch and towed. The bodies are lost during the voyage back.

The fourth party, after nearly blundering into Boulogne harbour, eventually lands at their landing area of Stella Plage. Here, they encounter a patrol of German cyclists. An officer, attempting to shoot at them, drops the magazine of his Thompson Sub Machine-gun and alerts the Germans. In the hail of German fire that follows a bullet hits the ear of Colonel Dudley Clarke, who accompanies the patrol as an observer. The British reembark under enemy fire. Colonel Dudley Clarke ear is sewn back on during the return journey.

The men in one boat ‘spliced the mainbrace’ and drank the rum carried aboard. Disembarking unsteadily at an English port they were nearly arrested by the military police, who suspected them of being deserters.