In what has been described as ‘the greatest raid of all’, Operation Chariot saw heavy destruction of the enemy-occupied port of St Nazaire by British forces. Winged Chariot examines the role that the RAF played during this epic raid on 28th March 1942.
With focus on the planning and actions of the operation, Peter Lush explores the three functions carried out by the RAF; the sweeping of the Bay of Biscay, the diversionary raid and protecting the withdrawing survivors. He also outlines the importance of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit to the raid and the development of the Bomber and Coastal Commands particularly through the sorties flown by Coastal Command two days before the attack started.
The book also highlights the difficulties that occurred for the RAF when the diversionary raid was carried out with impossible conditions, and the ensuing loss of aircraft across Yorkshire and in the Channel. Lush examines whether greater success could have been achieved if the RAF had not been marginalised during the planning process for Operation Chariot.
With the 75th anniversary of the operation in 2017, this timely and ultimate account written by an expert who has collated over forty years worth of research is an essential work for all those interested in military aviation, particularly during the Second World War.