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Old 01-28-2020, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Last UK survivor of "The Channel Dash" dies.

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Bill Wedge - who was born in Carshalton - served as a signalman onboard HMS Worcester in the battle dubbed the ‘Channel Dash’ in 1942 which was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the war.
German battleships the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and the cruiser Prinz Eugen attempted to race back through the Channel to get to a less exposed port in northern Germany.
https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/...-98/?ref=ebmpn

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Channel_Dash

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Worcester_(D96)
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:28 PM   #2
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I didn't realise the casualties in this engagement were so high, especially air-crew.
Its not well documented here, occasionally comes up in magazines near the anniversary.

Surprised no one has made a movie of it?
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:49 PM   #3
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Drachinifel's take on the operation
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:11 PM   #4
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Thanks, didn't know about that channel, looks good!
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:18 PM   #5
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 Thanks, didn't know about that channel, looks good!

His channel is highly recommendable. Also Shadiversity, if you are into the middle ages. And of course the "The Tank Museum" channel of Bovington.



Did I miss any?
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Old 01-28-2020, 08:39 PM   #6
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 I didn't realise the casualties in this engagement were so high, especially air-crew.
Its not well documented here, occasionally comes up in magazines near the anniversary.

Surprised no one has made a movie of it?
I mean, the RAF and RN got caught with their pants down, and yet it wasn't highly consequential to the war, as the German decision to move the ships was a strategic mistake.

Embarrassments that aren't disasters tend to get swept under the rug.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:23 PM   #7
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For Evil Onyx #3 above:

That was interesting, especially his presentation. I wonder if he does all the voice-over himself?

Reads like a few articles I've read before. Lack of detection in the early stage, most damage by mines. Very lucky.

Wonder why the RN didn't leave at least one battleship further South?
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:41 AM   #8
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Reads like a few articles I've read before. Lack of detection in the early stage, most damage by mines. Very lucky.
Interestingly, I've read (but can't find the source I read it in, so take it with a grain of salt) that mines have actually been the most effective naval weapon, in terms of tonnage sunk over history. Of course, you can't guarantee that any particular enemy vessel will be sunk on any particular sortie, and they have little to no offensive value, so you need other weapons to back them up, but over the course of a whole war they're vital.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:17 PM   #9
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Strange how we are still finding bombs from WWII but not mines? Guess they have all sunk and detonated on the sea floor?

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute used to have mines as collection boxes.
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=rn...0l79Ng5Z1vL2wM

Always found it amusing they were using a device to sink ships to raise funds...
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:54 PM   #10
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Notebook #7
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Wonder why the RN didn't leave at least one battleship further South?
Same reason that the Krigsmarine wanted to move there boats out of France. In range of German bombers and torpedo boats. Also two or more Battleships would have been required to deal with the German ships.


Linguofreak #8
Yes they can and have been used offensively, In both world wars they where used to block ships from entering or leaving port or area. And to limit movement of hostile fleets by requiring minesweepers to clear passages.

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Strange how we are still finding bombs from WWII but not mines? Guess they have all sunk and detonated on the sea floor?
Most if not all naval mines post 1900 had/have timing devices to arm them after the mine layer has finished its work and left the area. Modern and late WW2 mines had deactivating timers too, they usually just detonated them but some used devices to sink them for later retrieval.
Naval mines still are limited by the depth of water they are layed in, most if not all the mines layed in WW2 where layed in less than 100m of water which meant removing them was relatively easy, as everyone kept good documentation on where the mines where layed. No one wanted to run into a mine especially a "friendly" one.

The Royal Navy no longer use naval mines, but do have training mines to keep the minesweeper and ordinance disposal teams skills.

Last edited by Evil_Onyx; 01-29-2020 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:49 PM   #11
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Also, the Germans did already take care of this after the war, under British administration:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...Administration
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:57 PM   #12
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Fascinating, didn't know about that.

Very dangerous operation looking at the causalities.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:19 PM   #13
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 Fascinating, didn't know about that.

Very dangerous operation looking at the causalities.

The Russians also did not like it because they considered it rearmament of the west Germans. Some boats of that fleet operated later as small private company to clear the remaining mines.



The job was especially dangerous because the British did not care really much about protecting the crews from harm. The crews did not get a POW status and was deployed in a pretty risky way. But they also kept their uniforms and medals, and had been granted shoreleave - at the price of going out to really risky jobs.



Which is why the captains of the ships often raised the letter Q as flag during the operations. Q for "Quatsch" or in british English: Nonsense.



The German press was also not too favorable about it. Those who had been sympathetic with the crews called them "General Montgomerys SA". Those who opposed them as militaristic "Geheime Marine der SA" (secret navy of the SA).
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:43 PM   #14
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I can imagine it wouldn't go down well in Germany. Surprised it was legal?

I can understand requiring charts and information from the German Navy, but using actual sailors is a bit far.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:22 PM   #15
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 I can imagine it wouldn't go down well in Germany. Surprised it was legal?

That was 1945 - it had been different times. Different international law. And different feeling about who deserved it. Would the Germans have been more benevolent, if they would have won the war?



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  I can understand requiring charts and information from the German Navy, but using actual sailors is a bit far.

They laid most of those mines. Who else should do that?
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