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 ? Transmitter Status
    • KQED Transmitter will be off (03/06/2019)

      KQED transmitter will off on March 6th at  3-6 at 3am-6am.  This will disrupt over-the-air reception and DirectTV viewers. Comcast and Monterey reception will not be impacted.

    • KQED FM on Comcast services

      KQED FM and other radio channels were recently dropped from Comcast’s local cable offerings. Affected users can still listen to KQED at 88.5 FM on their radios, or listen to the live stream at kqed.org/listenlive or by downloading the KQED app, or on smart speakers.

    • KQED DT9, Sutro Tower ? Mon 8/20 thru Fri 8/24/18

      Engineers at Sutro Tower in San Francisco will be doing their annual maintenance work 9am-4pm Mon 8/20 through Fri 8/24.  All stations transmitting from Sutro Tower will be dropping to half-power each day, and perhaps moving from main antennas at the top of the tower to auxiliary antennas at the “waist” (middle) of the tower … Continue reading KQED DT9, Sutro Tower – Mon 8/20 thru Fri 8/24/18

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, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQED, or as KQET in the 831 area code.
Outstanding PBS programming, KQED original productions, and more.

All HD programs

KQED Plus, KQET

KQED Plus / KQEH

Channels 54.1, 9.2, 25.2
XFINITY 10 and HD 710
Wave, DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse: Channel # may vary, labeled as KQEH
KQED Plus, formerly KTEH.
Unique programs including the best British dramas, mysteries, and comedies.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids

Channel 54.4, 25.4, and 9.4
XFINITY 192 (Monterey/Salinas 372 and Sacramento/Fairfield 391)
Wave: Channel # may vary.
Quality children's programming. Live streaming 24/7 at pbskids.org.

KQED World

KQED World

Channel 9.3, 54.3 and 25.3
XFINITY 190 Monterey/Salinas 371 and Sacramento/Fairfield 390)
Wave: Channel # may vary.
Thought-provoking television — public affairs, local and world events, nature, history, and science.