Brian Sanders (B 1937) “Raid on Saint-Nazaire”

Brian Sanders (British, B. 1937) “Raid on Saint-Nazaire” Original oil painting on Canvas.

Provenance: Collection of James A. Helzer (1946-2008), Founder of Unicover Corporation.

This painting originally appeared on the Republic of the Marshall Islands 29c Raid on Saint-Nazaire 1942 stamp issued March 27, 1992.

In 1942, the British Admiralty decided to destroy the only dock large enough to accommodate the German battleship Tirpitz. On March 26, the HMS Campbeltown and a small flotilla sailed from Falmouth for Saint-Nazaire, France. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on March 27, the Campbeltown, laden with timed explosives, rammed the lock’s caisson. The torpedo boat fired its timed torpedoes into the lock as well. More than 600 commandoes put ashore to begin their sabotage efforts, but heavy enemy fire forced their withdrawal. More than 140 men died, and many others were captured. But the ensuing explosions on March 28 demolished the caisson and terrified the German soldiers, who in a panic shot hundreds of their own men and civilian dock workers.

Image Size: 13.75 x 16.75 in