The Operations

Human Torpedo Attacks

On 26th October 1942 the Norwegian fishing boat “Arthur” left Lunna Voe in the Shetlands with two chariots strapped to the underside of the hull. The charioteers were J Brewster, M Causer. W.Tebb and R.Evans. The fishing vessel was on a course for Trondhjemsford in Norway, the anchorage of their target, the giant German battleship Tirpitz.

They were caught in a terrible storm but eventually arrived in the Fjord and the charioteers could see Tirpitz at anchor. They dived under the fishing boat to get their chariots but they had gone the weak straps had given way in the rough seas.

On January 3rd three submarines left Malta carrying Chariots the first was bound for Sardinia but failed to arrive believed sunk by a mine. The crew of the submarine P311 and 6 charioteers were lost.

The second submarine Thunderbolt carrying two chariots arrived outside the Sicilian port of Palermo and the three chariots with their crew R.Greenland, A Ferrier, A.Miln and W.Simpson headed for their targets.

The third submarine “Trooper” also outside Palermo carried, R Dove, J Freel, H.Cook and Worthy.
Greenland and Ferrier sank the Italian cruiser “Ulpio Traiano” and Dove and Freel the merchantman “Viminale.” Miln and Simpson failed to reach their target as did Cook and Worthy. Simpson and Cook got into trouble and drowned.

On 18th January the submarine “Thunderbolt left Malta bound for Tripoli harbour carrying two chariots. The crews G. Larkin, C.Berey, H Stevens and E. Buxton headed into the harbour but found the harbour empty of all the ships. The crews found themselves stuck behind enemy lines Larkin and Berey miraculasly evaded capture to find the advancing 8th army. Stevens and Buxton were captured.

A group of charioteers and their craft were sent to measure the beaches of Sicilly and report on obstructions in preparation for the allied landings.

On 21st June 1944 a motor torpedo boat from Taranto took two chariots to attack La Spezia harbour in northern Italy where Italian ships were being used by the occupying German Navy. Two crews entered the harbour M. Causer, H.Smith C. Berey and W. Lawrence and the cruiser Bolzano was sunk.

The final chariot mission was in the far east and the submarine Trenchant dropped the crew A. Eldridge, S Woollcott, W. Smith and A Brown outside Phucket harbour. Using the new Mark II chariot the crews successfully entered harbour and sank two Japanese ships.

Italian

Operation GA1
Destination: Alexandria, August 1940

Operation GA2
Destination: Alexandria, September 1940

Operation BG1
Destination: Gibraltar, September 1940

Operation BG2
Destination: Gibraltar, May 1941

Operation BG3
Destination: Gibraltar, October 1941

Operation GA3
Destination: Alexandria, December 1941, Destroyed: HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Valiant

Operation BG4
Destination: Gibraltar, September 1941, Destroyed: Fiona Shell, Durham, Denby Dale

Attacks from Olterra
Destination: Gibraltar, December 1942, Destroyed: Ocean Vanquish, Berta, Empire Centeur, Armattan (Damaged)
Destination: Gibraltar, May 1943, Destroyed: Pat Harrison, Mahsud, Camerata
Destination: Gibraltar, August 1943, Destroyed: Harrison Gray Otis, Thorshovdi, Standridge

British

Operation “Title” Against the Tirpitz October 1942
Operators: Brewster, Brown, Craig, Evans, Causer and Tebb

Operation “Principal” The attack on Palermo Harbour January 1943
Operators: Dove, Freel, Ferrier, Greenland, Stevens, Worthy, Cook, Milne, Simpson, Carter

The Submarine P311 went missing off the North Sardinian coast presumed torpedoed. January 1943
10 charioteers died. Anderson, Bonnell, Goss, Kerr, Mapplebeck, Pridham, Rickwood, Stretton-Smith, Sargeant, Trevethian

Operation “Welcome” The attack on Tripoli harbour January 1943
Operators: Larkin, Berey, Stevens, Buxton

May 1943 Sicily beach survey prior to allied landings
The object to measure beach gradients and mark enemy positions and beach defences
Operators: T.Evans, W.S.Smith, W.Jakeman, A.C.Kirby V.J.Mills, J.Brewster, J.Brown, Hargreaves.

Sept 1943. Lunna Voe operations using Norwegian agents to spy on occupying Germans. Motor Torpedo Boats used to drop “Chariots”
Operators: G.J.W.Larkin, N.Job, with13 others

Operation “QWZ”
In June 1944 a combined Italian and British force attacked La Spezia harbour
Operators Berey, Causer, Lawrence, H.Smith.

Far East October 1944 the attack on Phuket harbour Thailand
Operators: Elderidge, Brown, Smith, Woolcott

Normandy beaches
Charioteers were used to survey the Normandy beaches prior to the landings

Gallery