The Last of the Cockleshell Heroes

The Last of the Cockleshell Heroes by William Sparks, an autobiographical true story of bravery during World War II. Its an incredible story of raw courage in enemy territory by two British officers William Sparks and Major ‘Blondie’ Herbert Hasler. They were part of a secret mission sent to jeopardise enemy lines in France. It was an unusual raid, because it was a canoe borne raid. It was a foldable canoe which is why it was called cockleshell. Each canoe carried two marines and there were 5 teams in all. Their plan was to paddle along the Gironde river, sneak into Bordeaux port under cover of darkness and attach mines to the German boats lined up there. Out of the 5 canoes, three canoes were lost either shot or captured. Their ambush was successful as several German ships was destroyed. Sparks and Hassler then abandoned their canoe and walked more than 100 miles across enemy territory in extremely difficult and trying conditions to reach a French village changing locations several times during this rendezvous. They eventually met the Resistance team who took them to Spain for a debriefing. Out of the 10 member squad, only two came alive and successfully, to tell a tale of raw courage. Goodreads 5/5 

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