Saturday, June 20, 2009


The British series 'Foyle's War' came to a conclusion this week on 'Masterpiece Theater', coinciding with the end of World War II in its timeline. As always, it focused on the deaths (not all of them murder) to be solved at the Hastings homefront in early May of 1945, but the backdrop for these mysteries remained the larger events of the War.

"All Clear" stands as a history lesson as well with regards to the tragic events of "Operation Tiger". Here's an account of what happened at Slapton Sands in April of 1944:

Shortly after midnight on 28 April, 1944, nine German torpedo boats moved into Lyme Bay, along the southern coast of England near a place called Slapton Sands. Drawn in by heavier than normal radio traffic, they suddenly found themselves caught up in the midst of Operation TIGER -- one of several amphibious exercises secretly being conducted by the Allies in preparation for the Normandy Landing.

In minutes the German torpedoes hit their mark. One LST (landing ship, tank) was seriously crippled. Another burst into flames trapping many of the victims below deck. And a third sank immediately, sending hundreds of U.S. soldiers and sailors to a watery grave.

It was the costliest training exercise in all of World War II. As the bodies washed ashore in days ahead, the official count rose to 749.

For more, click here.

This just shows to go you that Television can serve as a teaching tool; I don't think I would have ever known about Operation Tiger had it not been for this episode of 'Foyle's War'. (In that, it reminded me of Captain Quint's remembrance of the fate of the Indianapolis, also during WWII, as recounted in the movie "Jaws".....)


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