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Duration: 50:32 STEREO TVPG

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. < br>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.

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TV Technical Issues

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    TV Technical Issues
    • KQED all channels, planned overnight maintenance: early Fri 12/19 midnight-6am

      (this includes all DT9, DT54 and DT25 channels, along with all paid services) We will be doing upgrade and maintenance work in our Master Control area during the overnight hours of late Thurs/early Fri 12/19. Work will begin shortly after midnight early Friday, which may last until 6am, though we hope to finish earlier. This […]

    • KQED Plus OTA – Optimistically planned maintenance: Fri 12/05 mid-morning

      (DT54.1 thru 54.5) Assuming that the weather and road conditions permit, we plan to do a bit of maintenance on our KQEH transmitter the morning of Friday 12/05… hopefully 10am-11am-ish, but could be a bit later. Most of the work should not affect the outgoing signal, but there will need to be a cable swap […]

    • Mon 11/03/14: Work on KQED Plus tower (DT54)

      Another station needs to do maintenance on its equipment on the tower on Monument Peak, requiring that we switch our DT54 Over the Air signal from the main antenna to the auxiliary when the work starts, then back to the main antenna at the conclusion. These switches should cause momentary outages only, and most receivers […]

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

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