March 3, 2021

When the Royal Navy destroyed the biggest Nazi battleship

In the Second World War, Operation Charriot occurred, spent a night in March 1942 becoming a suicide epic performed by the British commandos.

On the night of March 27, 1942 the great battleship Tirpiz, the favorite of Hitler, was in the dry port of Saint-Nazaire, in the France busy This ship had gigantic dimensions with eight 380 mm guns, forty smaller caliber weapons, 33 centimeters of steel in the hull, consumed more than 8,000 tons of fuel and had many military inside. It was so important for the Third Reich that the security measures in his environment were impressive, for fear that he could suffer sabotage.

This vessel was not only Hitler’s favorite, but also posed a great danger to the allies. Thing that never went unnoticed by British who tried to sink it in a thousand possible ways and when they knew that this ship was out of this port, kept other large ports on alert so that it would not approach.

The great battleship Tirpiz posed a great danger to the allies

But that March night, some ships began to climb the Loire estuary That led to the port. It seemed that the head of that fleet was a German ship that ignored the warnings they were supposed to be theirs. But no, they were British who instead of stopping at the river, increased speed as if it were japanese kamikazes. The Nazis did not stop firing and the flotilla did not cease in its efforts beginning at that time the “Chariot operation

And he was the destroyer of the Royal Navi HMS Campbeltown the one who got crashing against the dike causing a stir and explosions that began the operation, since what they wanted was to fit the ship into the dam and thus not be able to leave or enter any other ship.

Although risky, the plan worked since after the commands began their turn invading the dike on foot. The shooting did not stop and although some Britons fell, nobody stopped.

After managing to destroy the targets, the first escape point was taken by the Germans, so they had tocross the city of Saint-Nazaire, which was plagued by German reinforcements, to later cross the almost 650 kilometers of enemy territory that separated them from the Spain neutral.

It was not easy, some fell, others managed to hide for a while underground in basements of houses, etc … But although many of them had been arrested, the 3.85 still did not explode tons of amatol which was carried by HMS Campbeltown, still located at the door of the dry dock.

The Germans, thought that the only thing that the British wanted to do was to crash that old ship against the door, they did not expect that at 10:35 in the morning that ship “ramshackle” will explode breaking the door of the dike and letting in it all the water of the river.

The damage was such that the dike could never be repaired again, during the remainder of the war, and therefore caused the Tirpitz to never return to navigate the Atlantic, they had to hide it in the norwegian fjords until it was destroyed by RAF Lancasters bombers in 1944.

And although they were able to neutralize one of the great Nazi enemies, the British lost many more lives than they thought possible, since of the 600 participants in this operation, only less than 200 returned.


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