Cockleshell Heroes

About the Show

In December 1942, 12 young marines raided the port of Bordeaux in Nazi-occupied France. To reach their target, the men used so-called ‘Cockleshell’ canoes, specially designed for covert infiltration into enemy harbours. They succeeded in blowing up one ship and severely damaging four others, and according to Winston Churchill, shortened the Second World War by six months. But at the same time, a network of British trained spies were already in Bordeaux, preparing to strike the same target. In this documentary, former member of the Special Boat Service turned politician Lord Ashdown discovers a tale of political and military rivalry that put men’s lives at risk.