The British reasoned that the dock was so well defended that the German’s would never expect a suicidal direct assault, so that’s exactly what they fucking did. Before the mission began, an old piece-of-shit destroyer that formally belonged to the US Navy, HMS Campbeltown, was lightened and then filled it to the brim with explosives. Once Campbeltown had been modified, the British literally sailed in a straight line until they reached the dock’s front gate and then crashed right into it.
We weren’t kidding.
Campbeltown was flanked on this mission by a number of smaller boats carrying Commandos, who began to attack the dock like it owed them money as soon the boat became grounded. During the ensuing fight, 169 of the 622 men who took part in the mission were killed while a further 205 men were captured, amongst them was then Lieutenant-Commander Stephen Beattie. After Campbeltown crashed into the dock, Beattie, who had been commanding the ship was captured and dragged off to be interrogated.
During his interrogation, Beattie was confronted by an incredulous English-speaking German officer who couldn’t believe the British had sent such a tiny boat to destroy such a large, well-defended dock. The legend goes, that just as the German officer finished laughing about how the dock could never be destroyed by such a ill-equipped ragtag group of assholes, the Campbeltown exploded, instantly destroying the dock. Because suck on that, random German officer.
I wrote a thing about a group of men who destroyed the most heavily defended dock under German control in WW2 by crashing the fuck into it.
It was fun to research and write and I hope people like it.