Donate

Greatest Raid of World War II Previous Broadcasts

KQED 9: Wed, Jan 14, 2015 -- 11:00 PM

In December 1942, 10 young marines set off to raid the port of Bordeaux in Nazi-occupied France. Their mission - Operation Frankton - was to blow up the ships that provided essential supplies for the German war machine. To reach their target, the men used so-called 'Cockleshell' canoes, specially designed for covert infiltration into enemy harbours. They had to paddle for nights on end up 70 miles of the largest and most heavily defended estuary in Europe - Gironde.
An audacious operation, they succeeded in blowing up one ship and severely damaging 4 others and according to Winston Churchill, shortened World War II by 6 months. Of the 10, 6 men were captured and executed by the Germans and 2 died of hypothermia. At the same time, a network of British trained spies were already in Bordeaux, preparing to strike the same target. Were these competing missions the result of the 'fog of war' or Whitehall rivalry? One thing is for certain, 12 young men risked their lives in an operation that should never have taken place.
In this documentary, former member of the Special Boat Service turned politician Lord Ashdown uses his experience to shed light on the challenges faced by the 'Cockleshell Heroes', recreating their incredible journey up the Gironde estuary. He also looks at the how the battle inside Whitehall raged almost as hard as the war against Nazi Germany. Churchill had created a series of competing armies, harnessing the spirit of individualism and ingenuity in the fight against Hitler - an approach that also led to confusion, suspicion and distrust. Using dramatic reconstructions to recreate the daring raid, Cockleshell Heroes brings to life a mission that would come to symbolize the fighting spirit of the British, and throws new light on the institutional rivalry that would ultimately lead the country from its darkest hours to victory.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Fri, Jan 16, 2015 -- 3:00 AM
  • KQED Life: Thu, Jan 15, 2015 -- 9:00 PM
  • KQED 9: Thu, Jan 15, 2015 -- 5:00 AM
Become a KQED sponsor

TV Technical Issues

TV
    TV Technical Issues
    • Comcast/Xfinity Ch10 audio, Monday 7/20 evening

      UPDATE: Comcast was able to resolve their technical glitch apx 10:45pm * * * * * We are aware that at least during the early part of the evening of Monday 7/20, the audio is out of sync on Comcast/Xfinity channel 10, their basic cable service. This problem still exists as of 8:10pm. We have […]

    • KQED DT9s OTA: very brief outages Thurs 6/11/15

      (DT9.1, 9.2 and 9.3) There will be 3 very brief outages (apx. 10 seconds each) of KQED’s Over The Air (OTA) DT9 signal Thurs 6/15, between 10am and 3pm. This is to accommodate preventative maintenance and inspections at Sutro Tower. Most TVs will recover easily each time the signal is restored, but a few viewers […]

    • KQET planned overnight outage, early Friday 3/13

      (DT25-1 through 25-3) Another station on Fremont Tower needs to perform more maintenance work overnight, requiring other TV stations to shut down their signals for the safety of the workers. KQET’s signal will turn off late Thurs/early Friday between midnight and 12:30am, and should return by 6am Friday morning. Many receivers will be able to […]

To view previous issues and how they were resolved, go to our TV Technical Issues page.

KQED DTV Channels

KQED 9, KQET

KQED 9 / KQET

Channels 9.1, 54.2, 25.1
XFINITY 9 and HD 709
Wave 9 and HD 164
DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQED, or as KQET in the 831 area code

All HD programs

KQED Plus, KQET

KQED Plus / KQET

Channels 54.1, 9.2, 25.2
XFINITY 10 and HD 710
Wave 10
DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: IF this channel provided to customer, channel # may vary, labeled as KQEH

KQED Plus, formerly KTEH

KQED Life

KQED Life

Channel 54.3
XFINITY 189
Wave 157

Arts, food, how-to, gardening, travel

KQED World

KQED World

Channel 9.3
XFINITY 190
Wave 156

History, world events, news, science, nature

v-me

V-Me

Channel 54.5 & 25.3
XFINITY 191 & 621
Wave 154

24-hour national Spanish-language network

KQED Kids

KQED Kids

Channel 54.4
XFINITY 192
Wave 155

Quality children's programming parents love too