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August 16, 2010
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Charge of the Campbeltown by jollyjack Charge of the Campbeltown by jollyjack
I was rewatching an old documentary and felt inspired to draw a little piccy: [link]

In 1942, the German battleship Tirpitz was the most feared thing on the waves. Supply convoys were already being torn apart by U-Boat packs, and if the Tirpitz were to ever sail into the fray, they would have been broken entirely, leaving Britain to starve.
The Royal Navy had nothing in its arsenal that could match the Tirpiz, so a different approach was taken. Rather than destroy the battleship, they would destroy the only installation on the Atlantic coast that could be used to repair it, thus making the Germans less eager to let it sail into battle in the first place.

That facility was the Normandie Dock in St. Nazaire, France, and the action taken against it became known as “The Greatest Raid of All”.

A lone destroyer, HMS Campbeltown, and a fleet of little escort boats were disguised as German vessels and were sailed up the estuary beyond which St Nazaire lay.
Under the noses of the enemy, the destroyer rammed the gates of the Normandie Dock, stranding itself on top but failing to breach them.
British Commandos then disembarked and set about razing every important mechanism they could find.
Successful in their part of the operation, the commandos then made to rendezvous with the escort boats that were to take them home.
Unfortunately; they’d more or less all been blown to pieces.
Now trapped, the commandos decided to fight their way out of St Nazaire and head for Spain, despite the local garrison outnumbering them 20 to 1.

Unsurprisingly, all but 5 were captured or killed.

The Germans patted the British on the back for the attempt. It was a bold move, they thought. A bold move, but an ill-planned one. There was no way a rather flimsy ship like the Campbeltown could ever have breached the gates.

The Brits were, of course, well aware of this fact, too.

Which is why they’d loaded the thing with 4 tons of high explosives and a long fuse....
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PincovaeArte Featured By Owner May 30, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
perfect scene!
xSamiamrg7x Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
Why is this not a movie? It would be the most badass movie of all time.
Photographscanlive Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Im from campbeltown.Its so sad,im also a cadet!
LordOmegaZ Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2012   Digital Artist
saw the documentary

boy am i glad to be british ^^ (though i still respect german science breakthroughs)

after all, no V2 rockets would mean in future no space shuttles.
Thabian Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012
Thank you. That's a little bit of history I had never heard of. It's both inspiring and just plain awesome. Now I have plans for that Black Crusade game - One valkirie filled with explosives and a docking bay on that space marine HQ our gm is insisting is being subverted by chaos... of course we need to park next too the Thunderhawk refuelling bay.
death-tribble Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
Nice to see this.

The Campbeltown was supposed to blow up earlier than she did. When she did go there were a lot of Germans on the ship investigating it.
A companion tale to this is the British efforts to sink the Tirpitz which included midget submarines and dropping the Tallboy bomb that capsized her.
philpete13 Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2012
Great artwork of something few seem to know about.
Obhan Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2011   Digital Artist
thebigemp3 Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey i saw that documentary too, it was grand and i love the drawing. :)
demosthenes1blackops Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
nice piece of often overlooked history, well illustrated. thanks for doing this.
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