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Operation suicide: the remarkable story of the Cockleshell raid

Operation suicide: the remarkable story of the Cockleshell raid

Lyman, Robert

An account of the Cockleshell raid, one of the most courageous and dramatic events to take place in the darkest days of the Second World War

Book. English.
Published London: Quercus, 2012
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    C173188160 940.542 Adult Non Fiction Available
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Statement of responsibility: Robert Lyman
ISBN: 0857382403, 9780857382405
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: xxii, 346 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., maps, ports. ; 24 cm.
Subject: World War, 1939-1945 Commando operations Great Britain.; Bordeaux Raid, 1942.; Warfare and Defence.


  1. Preface.
  2. German Military Ranks.
  3. Dramatis Personae.
  4. Prologue.
  5. 1941 and 1942.
  6. The Hand of Steel from the Sea.
  7. Bordeaux.
  8. The Intelligence War.
  9. 'Blondie' Hasler.
  10. The Boom Patrol.
  11. Decision.
  12. 1a Richmond Terrace.
  13. The Clyde and the Thames.
  14. Journey to the Gironde.
  15. The First Night.
  16. The Garonne.
  17. Murder by Telephone.
  18. Attack.
  19. Escape.
  20. Execution.
  21. Home Run.
  22. Epilogue.
  23. Glossary.
  24. Appendix I: Hitler's Kommandobefehl.
  25. Appendix 2: The Yanagi Trade.
  26. Appendix 3: Combined Operations Raids, 1940-2.
  27. Appendix 4: Maps and Illustrations.
  28. Sources.
  29. Select Bibliography.
  30. Acknowledgements.
  31. Index.

Author note

Robert Lyman is a respected military history specialist and his previous books include The Longest Siege: Tobruk and the Battle for Africa, 1941 and Slim, Master of War. He lives in Berkshire, England.


'an attention to detail coupled with a relaxed, readable style for a non-fiction work ... Don't wait for the paperback' ARRSE.||'Robert Lyman has uncovered a wealth of new material. His book paints a vivid picture of this extraordinary episode' Mail on Sunday.||'readable, detailed, well-written ... This book certainly deserves a place on your bookshelf, if you want a good up to date account of the raid' Globe and Laurel.

'Lyman's account of their feat of endurance and of their comrades' sacrifice will make you feel proud to be British' Daily Express.||'a good read and contains some detail not in previous titles, in particular Hasler and Sparks' escape to Spain with the French resistance' Royal Canoe Club.||'a compelling story: this cockleshell will float' Daily Mail.||'I enjoyed reading this book very much ... it achieves the very difficult objective of shedding new light on a very-well known and intensely studied event in history' Daly History.||'This is an excellent account of the raid and everything that surrounded it ... An excellent study of an incredibly daring raid' History of War.||'It rips along at a cracking pace, bringing the raid and protagonists vividly to life' Navy News.

Back cover copy

'From now on all men operating against German troops in so-called Commando raids in Europe or in Africa, are to be annihilated to the last man.' - Hitler's Kommandobefehl, 18 October 1942.