This is the definitive account of a mission thought to be an impossible one. A powerful depiction, an astounding tale of courage and bravery by men and women of both Britain and France one which is graphic in its telling. This is the complete no holds barred record, a deeply researched, highly detailed, intricately woven true story of a Combined Operations Clandestine Raid, with men who volunteered for Hazardous Service. Thirteen black-faced villains embarked on a secret mission via T-Class submarine and paddled 105 land miles in canoes to place limpet mines on Axis blockade runners deep inside enemy held territory. Led by Blondie Hasler the story tracks from an English seaside resort in the Solent to the Scottish lochs and onto the unpredictable waters of the Bay of Biscay by cigar-shaped coffin then by Cockle. From M.I.9 to an escape network care of a Countess, punctuated by the love of a fifteen-year old girl and the forlorn future hopes of young men and, for many, death by firing squad. With determination and by guile, this is the story of another Few - they were the 'Cockleshell Heroes'. Never before has this narrative been told in its entirety. Never before have all the individuals concerned been named. Never before have all those that played their part in this historic little event had each of their life stories told, intertwined with these 'commandos', these 'Cockleshell Heroes'. As The Daily Telegraph sported, this is, 'The Truth at Last'.
Quentin Rees, owner of two cockleshell canoes, has researched the history of the vessels for over twenty years. His cockle canoe has been on display in the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth for the past two years. He lives in Torbay.