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Operation Bristle

Page Created
August 31st, 2022
Last Updated
September 1st, 2022
Great Britain
British Flag
Special Forces
May 29th, 1942 – June 4th, 1942
Operation Bristle
  • Perform a beach reconnaissance.
  • Remove or destroy the Radio Direction Finding apparatus and bring parts of it back along.
  • Capture German technical personnel who work with the Radio Direction Finding apparatus.
Operational Area

North of Plage St. Cecily in France.

Commando Force
  • Commando Force under command of Major K. R. S. Trevor
  • 250 men from No. 1 Commando, several individuals from other British Special Forces Groups.

  • Naval Forces under command of Lieutenant Commander Cartright RNVR
  • H.M.S. Prince Albert (landing Ship Infantry (Small)) (LSI(S))
  • 7 Assault Landing Craft (ALC) (ALC 168, ALC 177, ALC 208, ALC 209)
  • Landing Craft, Support (LCS) (ML 104)
  • 8 Fairmile Type-C Motor Gun Boats (MGB) of the 14th Motor Gun Boat Flotilla (MGB 324, MGB326, MGB 328)
Opposing Forces



May 29th, 1942. No. 1 Commando disembarks from H.M.S. Queen Emma and arrive in Havant at about 15.00 hours. The troops are put into billets.

May 30th,1942. The commandos spend the day washing clothes and overhauling their kit. The troops are standing by in H.M.S. Prince Leopold for Operation Earthquake.

May 31st, 1942. Operation Bristle is rehearsed as a drill in the afternoon. From 22.00 till 03.00 hours Bristle is carried out on a beach approximately 5 kilometres from Northney.

June 1st, 1942. The troops clean their kit. At 17.00 hours the previous nights practice is carried out under daylight conditions.

June 2nd, 1942. The troops are drawing kit and finish final preparations under Troop arrangements.
Preliminary briefing at Northney, of the Commanding Officer of the H.M.S. Prince Albert, Lieutenant Commander Henry Benjamin Peate, RNR, Flotilla Officer, Lieutenant Commander Cartright RNVR and Officer Commanding of the Commandos, Major K. R. S. Trevor.

June 3rd, 1942
07.00 -10.00. Troops are fully kitted and embark the Landing Craft Assaults at Northney, which bring them to the H.M.S Prince Albert by 10.00 hours, where they embark.
The rest of the morning and afternoon consisted of issuing orders, kit and other operation related tings.

18.40. H.M.S. Prince Albert leaves Northney.

21.30. The H.M.S. Prince Albert rendezvous with the Motor Gun Boat escort South of Newhaven.

June 4th, 1942
00.25. The seven Landing Craft Assault and single Landing Craft Supportare lowered approximately fifteen kilometres offshore.

02.50/55. All Landing Craft beached. HQ, 1, 2, 4 and 6 Troop landed. Enemy opened fire shortly after landing. The raiding force lands successful although the Landing Craft Assault are detected during their run in. After landing the Commandos run into stiff resistance. They try to take the German positions, but heavy fire prevents them from doing so. Therefor they are unable to reach their main objective. They are, however, able to perform a useful reconnaissance of the local beach conditions before retreating to the Landing Craft. While the troops are ashore the Motor Gun Boats attack two enemy patrol boats. They sink one of them and damage the other, effectively protecting the landing force.

03.23. approx.-Signal given to re-embark by wireless and bugle.

03.40 Re-embarkation complete.

05.10/05.15. Dive bombing attack on Motor Gun Boats by German Air Force. which damages three of the Motor Gun. One Commando and two naval personnel are killed. Nineteen other men are injured. When British fighters arrive, they retreat with it preventing additional damage and losses.

10.00. Approximately. Expected arrival time at Hasting.