The Bruneval Raid, 1942

Wednesday 24th February 2021 [POSTPONED]

St John’s Place, Lower Road, Bemerton, SP2 9NP


On the night of 27th/28th February 1942, a small group of British paratroopers was landed on the French coast by the Royal Air Force. Within a few hours they had captured and dismantled most of a German radar station and were evacuated by the Royal Navy back to Britain.

The Bruneval Raid is unique. In the year of the great raids, 1942, it stands alone as the only one launched purely to satisfy the needs of scientific intelligence. It was also one of the first fully combined operations put together by HQ Combined Operations under Mountbatten. The results were out of all proportion to the resources committed.

The operation involved a wealth of characters – world-class scientists, famous military men, a German Jew working for the British and a number of key resistance agents. The preparations took place around Salisbury and along the south coast, at some familiar, and some not so familiar, locations.

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Paul Oldfield served in most of the usual hotspots in a military career spanning thirty-six years. His books include ‘The Sheffield City Battalion’ in the ‘Pals’ series of accounts of the Somme, the ‘Cockleshell Raid’ and ‘Bruneval’. He is currently writing a series of ten books on Victoria Crosses on the Western Front, the eighth of which is with the publisher.