By Christopher Mann (auth.)
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Extra resources for British Policy and Strategy towards Norway, 1941–45
52 There were two reasons for this: SOE had a number of Norwegian fishing boats in its possession which were used to ferry agents and supplies to Norway, and SOE also had the Antrum organisation in the Trondheim area whose members had been gathering intelligence on the Tirpitz since Frodesley was mooted in March. SOE’s agent Arthur Pevik reconnoitred Trondheim, and on his return to Stockholm suggested three possibilities for transporting the Chariots: the seizure of a coastal steamer, a passenger steamer or the use of a privately owed vessel.
However, the two capital ships had returned by 10 September after raiding the Norwegian weather station on Spitzbergen. 90 The six submarines each with their X-Craft in tow left Loch Cairnbawn on 11 September 1943. Each X-Craft, numbered X-5 to X-10, had a separate crew of three for the passage, as the 1,000–1,500 mile tow in such cramped conditions would degrade the effectiveness of the operational crew. The journey took nine days during which X-8 had to be scuttled and X-9 was lost with all her crew.
51 In December 1941, the Italians had blown the bottoms out of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth and Valiant in Alexandria harbour, using charges placed by divers on Maiale (Pig) two-man midget submarines. Churchill need not have worried as the British were busy copying the Italian method. The British two-man Chariot was able to carry a warhead which could be detached and either left under an enemy ship or clamped to her bilge-keel. The Chariot had definite possibilities for use against the Tirpitz.
British Policy and Strategy towards Norway, 1941–45 by Christopher Mann (auth.)