OPERATION ATTABOY – THE FIRST PLAN TO RETAKE ONE OF THE CHANNEL ISLANDS – 1941

A while ago I wrote about Operation Blazing which was a planned operation for a large scale attack on Alderney in 1942. You can read it here .

A forerunner to Blazing was Operation Attaboy in 1941. Despite Attaboy ultimately being cancelled they still went on to plan Blazing and Constellation at later stages in the war. This was partly due to Lord Mountbatten and the fact that he had the ear of Churchill and an apparent obsession with retaking one or all of the islands at various stages of the war. Some of the reasons are in earlier blog posts and some are for future blog posts.

Given this first assessment for Attaboy concluded that “The strategic value of the Channel Islands either to ourselves or the enemy is negligible.” it is somewhat surprising that they persisted.

If Attaboy had gone ahead it would have been Alderney that was the most likely target.

The paper below sets out the original proposal.

The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_8.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_8.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_8.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_8.jpg

The minutes and papers below show the consideration of this proposal and subsequent .

The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-37_
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-37_02.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_5.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-43_6.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-44_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-44_3.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-48_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-48_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB 80/57
The National Archives’ reference CAB 80/57
The National Archives’ reference CAB 80/57
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-55_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-55_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB 80/57
The National Archives’ reference CAB 80/57
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-54_1.jpg
The National Archives’ reference CAB-79-9-54_4.jpg

As you can see from the minute above they decided not to proceed and instead to proceed with Operation Barbaric.

‘Barbaric’ was a British unrealised intelligence-gathering operation involving the landing of special forces parties of No. 12 Commando, totalling some 220 men, along the north coast of France between Dunkirk and Calais, and between Boulogne and the Somme Bay for the purposes of capturing German troops for interrogation (20/21 March 1941).

The operation was cancelled just before its commitment.

https://codenames.info/operation/barbaric/

If you want to read about other raids that happened or were planned take a look at my other posts that are listed here.

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I will be adding more as time permits. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoyed it. Please share it on social media or add a comment if you did. Feedback is always appreciated.

Also happy to be contacted with questions about the war in the Channel Islands, media appearances, podcasts etc.

© Nick Le Huray

Author: Nick Le Huray 🇬🇬

Guernsey based amateur historian. Interested in the Occupation of the Channel Islands and wider Second World War history.

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