Exercise Tiger 1944 Slapton Sands South Devon England & telling The Veterans Story

Come on a journey with us to discover the definitive story behind "Exercise Tiger 1944".
Exercise Tiger 1944 Slapton Sands South Devon England & telling The Veterans Story
OFFICIAL Exercise Tiger website: exercisetigermemorial.co.uk
Over a year in the making this film tells the story from different perspectives.

Listen to the dulcet tones of John Casner Jr and Floyd Hicks telling their story that belies perhaps some of the true horror and suffering that many men experienced during Exercise Tiger.
Experience the dives that Graham Jinks made to LST 507 & 531 to lay plaques and US flags and make this location a truly commemorative site.

Hear the exalting words spoken by the American Embassy representative Barbara J. Stephenson, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in London.
Set to some hauntingly beautiful theme music we hope to share a more personal story that starts with the 70th year Exercise Tiger Memorial visit in April 2013.

This tragedy happened just off the coast of England a few weeks before D-Day and the actual Normandy Landings.
Exercise Tiger involved "Top Secret" practise beach landings taking place in South Devon at Slapton Sands in preparation for "Operation Neptune".
This was to be the seaborne invasion which formed part of "Operation Overlord" and would lead the allies to eventual Victory in Europe.

The disasters that happened during Exercise Tiger were concealed from the World for decades until Ken Small retrieved a sunken Sherman tank from Lyme Bay and started researching the Exercise Tiger war records.
In May 1984 he presented this tank to Slapton Sands as a monument and tribute to all the US Military and Naval men that lost their lives during Exercise Tiger.
vimeo.com/100015902
He then went on to uncover many of the concealed facts during the 1980's which allowed this tragic story to unravel over the next 30 years.
The World would finally learn just what had taken place at Slapton Sands in April 1944.

Two "Tiger" Veterans Floyd Hicks and John Casner Jnr and Families representing their lost ones from America were able to help with the making of this film whilst visiting Britain for the 70th Exercise Tiger Memorial Services held on the 27th - 28th of April 2013 and 2014.

They made it possible for us to collate many personal facts, stories and images along with archive footage which we have incorporated with these shared memories and experiences into one definitive hour long film.
Although very personal to these Families and with the leading support of Laurie Bolton and myself as the filmmaker we can share with you their story and help better understand the events that took place during this sad and tragic episode of WWII.....................
exercisetigermemorial.co.uk/exercise-tiger-april-1944-veterans-and-families-story-2013-2014
vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/105549223/62597719d9

# vimeo.com/98778627 Uploaded

Exercise Tiger 1944 Slapton Sands South Devon England & telling The Veterans Story

CeeVisK PRO

Come on a journey with us to discover the definitive story behind "Exercise Tiger 1944"
OFFICIAL Exercise Tiger website: exercisetigermemorial.co.uk
Email for CeeVisK HD Film Production; ckirsten2011@btinternet.com

THE PHOTO OF "BESSIE"…


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Come on a journey with us to discover the definitive story behind "Exercise Tiger 1944"
OFFICIAL Exercise Tiger website: exercisetigermemorial.co.uk
Email for CeeVisK HD Film Production; ckirsten2011@btinternet.com

THE PHOTO OF "BESSIE" ABOVE....
In the foreground on the sand are rolls of mesh ‘Sommerfeld Tracking’ (named after German expatriate engineer, Kurt Joachim Sommerfeld), used to strengthen weak and viscous surfaces.
In the centre of the frame is an American Sherman M-10 tank destroyer named “Bessie” equipped with special boxes that protected the engine from the ingress of water, also visible is a Caterpillar D-8 bulldozer, used by the allies in landings for clearing the beaches.
The photo also shows two landing craft LCT class numbered 27 and 53.

At the back, is a large tank landing ship LST-325, which subsequently was involved in transporting troops and equipment onto the Normandy beaches.
After the war, she was sold to Greece and served in it’s Navy until 1999.
In 2000 LST 325 was bought back by the United States and now serves as a memorial to ships of this class in Evansville Indiana.

With the help of two "Tiger" Veterans Floyd and John and with Families representing their lost ones from America.
They travelled to Britain for the 70th Exercise Tiger Memorial Service held on the 28th of April 2013 - 2014 and made it possible for us to collate many personal facts, stories and images along with archive footage and we have incorporated these shared memories and experiences into one definitive hour long film.

Although very personal to these Families and with the leading support of Laurie Bolton and myself as the filmmaker we can share with you their story and help better understand the events that took place during this sad and tragic episode of WWII - Filmed and Produced by CeeVisK HD International
abmc.gov/multimedia/videos/cambridge-american-cemetery.

The morning of April 28 will live forever in the memories of those men, who, through incredible odds, survived the horrible ordeal. The men of the 507 found themselves thrown into a situation that they thought would never happen on a rehearsal run. Before the attack, the men sat down below, on their bunks never believing that something would go terribly wrong. Patrick "Patsy" Giacchi was one of those men, who was down below in the ship. In an interview, he told how he and his friends sat in their bunks relaxing after a hard day's work. The men played cards, sang along with the ukulele, wrote to love ones, and talked about what they would do when they got back, never thinking that they might not make it back. While relaxing, Patsy heard scrapping noises, and then he got knocked off his stretcher. He feared that something was wrong, but the others told him not to worry because it was a "dry run." Ignoring the assurances of his comrades, Patsy put on his shoes and helmet and went up top anyway.7 When the torpedo made the direct hit, Patsy's friends down below did not have much of a chance to escape.
vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/105549223/62597719d9
multivu.com/mnr/7062152-abmc-honors-americans-buried-overseas-wwi-wwii-memorial-day-2014

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  • CeeVisK

    youtu.be/LkZZMkmGxFY
    The only known, surviving and seaworthy S-boot S-130, was built at the Johann Schlichting boatyard as hull number 1030 in Travemünde, on the Baltic Coast.

    Commissioned on October 21st 1943, her Commanding Officer was Oberleutnant zur See Gunter Rabe, she was assigned to the 9th S-Boot Flotilla under the command of Korvettenkapitän Götz Freiherr von Mirbach, one of the most famous S-Boot commanders of the war.
    With a range of up to 700 miles and a crew of 35, S130 was used as a fast-attack craft, for mine-laying, targeting submarines with depth charges and for covert operations.
    Built largely of lightweight wood and aluminum, it was powered by three 2,500-horsepower diesel engines.
    The S-boat was based in Cherbourg, France, where it earned notoriety as part of the flotilla that ravaged a U.S. convoy during Exercise Tiger.
    Exercise Tiger 1944 Slapton Sands South Devon England & telling The Veterans Story.
    German authorities credited the S130’s crew with half of a “kill” after launching one torpedo which struck LST 507 during Exercise Tiger, at least 175 American soldiers and sailors aboard the landing craft were later confirmed dead.
    exercisetigermemorial.co.uk/
    After the Normandy invasion, it was seized by Britain and used by intelligence service MI6 as a British Baltic Fishery Protection Service, to infiltrate spies behind the Iron Curtain.
    It was subsequently returned to the German navy and used to train sailors in underwater weaponry before being decommissioned in 1991.
    It later served as a houseboat before being brought to Britain and falling into disrepair.
    The last-known remaining craft of its type was bought by British military vehicle collector Kevin Wheatcroft, who is spending about 5 million pounds to return the boat to its original condition.
    Restoring the craft is a painstaking process that is expected to take about five years.
    The ship’s guts have been stripped out and its armoured wheelhouse and bridge removed, the next step is for a 40ft keel weighing about two tons to be installed.
    To complete the parts that were missing when Kevin purchased S130, he commissioned a team of divers to recover items from three E-boats that had been scuttled off the coast of Denmark.

    As owner of the world’s largest privately held collection of military vehicles, Kevin Wheatcroft envisions the restored vessel as being a “living memorial to all sailors who died during World War II.
    It’s the only example of its type left in the world” he said, “I want it to become like something brought back from the past”.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/131336985/588ab80c05
    S-boats were configured with three diesel engines driving three prop shafts, specially developed MAN and Daimler Benz engines were fitted in the early S-boats.
    Although equal in horsepower, the in-line MAN motors tended to produce excessive vibration and had a high center of gravity, this led to breakdowns and unacceptable stresses on the boats’ light motor mounts.
    In 1938 the Naval staff decided upon the reliable 20 Cylinder 2000hp MB501 V-engine as the standard S-boat powerplant.
    The MB501 proved highly dependable and a versatile basis for later improvements such as the addition of superchargers.
    The final versions of the MB501 could propel the 100 ton boat to speeds of 43.8 knots.
    Situated in the middle of the hull, the engine room reflected thorough German planning and smart design inherent in the entire S-Boat program.
    Although noisy, it was spacious, well ventilated and illuminated by skylights; conduits and wiring were neatly laid out to allow accessibility for quick identification and repair.
    The risk of fire was greatly diminished by the use of diesel fuel and by a built-in Ardex fire extinguishing system.
    Aircraft style instrument panels monitored performance of the three engines and instructions from the bridge were received on a miniature engine room telegraph.
    Kevin Wheatcroft aims to rebuild the S130 so that it performs exactly as it did when it left the Johann Schlichting boatyard in 1943…
    “The idea is that you’ll really step back in time, however finding the bits is some task — we’re looking for mundane things like sinks, wash basins, the galley cooker, knives, forks and plates”.
    With this in mind, coupled with Kevin’s reputation for attention to detail and superb restorations, this boat will be stunning when completed.
    Mechanic monitors instruments.
    On his right, the engine telegraph.
    Although the engines were technological marvels, it still took well trained crewmen with steady nerves to keep them running.

    by CeeVisK

  • CeeVisK

    In 1968 a former British policeman, Kenneth Small, moved to a village just off Slapton Sands and bought and operated a small guest house.
    Mr. Small took long walks along the beach and began to find relics of war: unexpended cartridges, buttons and fragments from uniforms. Talking with people who had long lived in the region, he learned of the heavy loss of life in Exercise Tiger.
    Why, Mr. Small asked himself, was there no memorial to those who had died? There was that monument the U.S. Army had erected to the British civilians, but there was no mention of the dead Americans. To Mr. Small, that looked like an official cover-up.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/100010383/e585f52283
    From local fishermen; he learned of a U.S. Sherman tank that lay beneath the waters a mile offshore, a tank lost not in Exercise Tiger but in another rehearsal a year earlier. At considerable personal expense, Mr. Small managed to salvage the tank and place it on the plinth just behind the beach as a memorial to those Americans who had died. The memorial was dedicated in a ceremony on the 40th anniversary of D-Day.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/100015902/78b5549646
    That ceremony prompted the first spurt of accusations by the British and American press of a cover-up, but they were soon silenced by publication of two detailed articles about the tragedy: one in American Heritage magazine co-authored by a former medical officer, Dr. Ralph C. Greene, who had been stationed at one of the hospitals that treated the injured; the other in a respected British periodical, After the Battle. Those were carefully researched, authoritative and comprehensive articles; if anybody had consulted them three years later, they would put to rest any charges of a cover-up and various other unfounded allegations.
    Kenneth Small, meanwhile, wanted more. Although persuaded at last that there had been no cover-up, he nevertheless wanted an official commemoration by the U.S. government to those who had died. Receiving an invitation from an ex-Army major who had commanded the tank battalion whose lost tank Mr. Small had salvaged, he went to the United States where the ex-major introduced him to his congresswoman, Beverly Byron (D-Md.), who as it turned out is the daughter of Gen. Eisenhower's former naval aide, Capt. Butcher.
    With assistance from the Pentagon, Rep. Byron arranged for a private organization, the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army in Colorado, where the 4th Infantry Division is stationed, to provide a plaque honoring the American dead. She also attached a rider to a congressional bill calling for official U.S. participation in a ceremony unveiling the plaque alongside Ken Small's tank at Slapton Sands.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/105470325/c1e88fc4ef
    Information about that pending ceremony scheduled for 15 November, 1987, set the news media off. There were accusations not only of a cover-up, but also of heavy casualties inflicted by U.S. soldiers, who presumably did not know they had live ammunition in their weapons, firing on other soldiers. Nobody questioned why soldiers would bother to open fire if they thought they had only blank ammunition ... or why a soldier would not know the difference between live ammunition and blanks when one has bullets, the other not. Nor was there actually any evidence of anybody being killed by small arms fire.
    There surfaced a new an allegation made earlier by a local resident, Dorothy Seekings, who maintained that as a young woman she had witnessed the burial of "hundreds" of Americans in a mass grave (she subsequently changed the story to individual graves). Dorothy Seekings also claimed that the bodies are still there.
    At long last, somebody in the news media -- a correspondent for BBC television--thought to query the farmer on whose land the dead are presumably buried. He had owned and lived on that land all his life, said the farmer, and nobody was ever buried there.
    That tallies with U.S. Army records that show that in the first few days of May 1944, soon after the tragedy, hundreds of the dead were interred temporarily in a World War I U.S. military cemetery at nearby Blackwood. Following the war, those bodies were either moved to a new World War II U.S. military cemetery at Cambridge or, at the request of next of kin, shipped to the United States.
    Yet many like Ken Small continued to wonder why it took the U.S. government 43 years to honor those who died off Slapton Sands. Those who wondered failed to understand U.S. policy for wartime memorials.
    Soon after World War I, Congress created an independent agency, the American Battle Monuments Commission, to construct overseas U.S. military cemeteries, to erect within them appropriate memorials and to maintain them. Anybody who has seen any of those cemeteries, either those of World War I or of World War II, recognizes that no nation honours its war dead more appropriately than does the United States.
    Only the American Battle Monuments Commission--not the U.S. Army, Air Force or Navy -- has authority to erect official memorials to American dead, and the American Battle Monuments Commission limits its memorials to the cemeteries, which avoids a proliferation of monuments around the world. Private organizations, such as division veterans' associations, are nevertheless free to erect unofficial memorials but are responsible for all costs, including maintenance.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/98199009/29b60619e4
    Soon after the end of the war, veterans of the 1st Engineer Special Brigade, which incurred the heaviest losses in Exercise Tiger, did just that, erecting a monument on Omaha Beach to their dead, presumably to include those who died at Utah Beach and those who died in preparation for D-Day.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/131336985/588ab80c05
    At Cambridge, there stands an impressive official memorial erected by the American Battle Monuments Commission to all those Americans who died during World War II while stationed in the British Isles. That includes the 749 who died in the tragedy off Slapton Sands, and there one finds the engraved names of the missing.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/106856382/27491a2165
    by CeeVisK 2 years ago

    by CeeVisK

  • CeeVisK

    The only known, surviving and seaworthy S-boot S-130, was built at the Johann Schlichting boatyard as hull number 1030 in Travemünde, on the Baltic Coast.

    Commissioned on October 21st 1943, her Commanding Officer was Oberleutnant zur See Gunter Rabe, she was assigned to the 9th S-Boot Flotilla under the command of Korvettenkapitän Götz Freiherr von Mirbach, one of the most famous S-Boot commanders of the war.
    With a range of up to 700 miles and a crew of 35, S130 was used as a fast-attack craft, for mine-laying, targeting submarines with depth charges and for covert operations.
    Built largely of lightweight wood and aluminum, it was powered by three 2,500-horsepower diesel engines.
    The S-boat was based in Cherbourg, France, where it earned notoriety as part of the flotilla that ravaged a U.S. convoy during Exercise Tiger.
    Exercise Tiger 1944 Slapton Sands South Devon England & telling The Veterans Story.
    German authorities credited the S130’s crew with half of a “kill” after launching one torpedo which struck LST 507 during Exercise Tiger, at least 175 American soldiers and sailors aboard the landing craft were later confirmed dead.
    exercisetigermemorial.co.uk/
    After the Normandy invasion, it was seized by Britain and used by intelligence service MI6 as a British Baltic Fishery Protection Service, to infiltrate spies behind the Iron Curtain.
    It was subsequently returned to the German navy and used to train sailors in underwater weaponry before being decommissioned in 1991.
    It later served as a houseboat before being brought to Britain and falling into disrepair.
    The last-known remaining craft of its type was bought by British military vehicle collector Kevin Wheatcroft, who is spending about 5 million pounds to return the boat to its original condition.
    Restoring the craft is a painstaking process that is expected to take about five years.
    The ship’s guts have been stripped out and its armoured wheelhouse and bridge removed, the next step is for a 40ft keel weighing about two tons to be installed.
    To complete the parts that were missing when Kevin purchased S130, he commissioned a team of divers to recover items from three E-boats that had been scuttled off the coast of Denmark.

    As owner of the world’s largest privately held collection of military vehicles, Kevin Wheatcroft envisions the restored vessel as being a “living memorial to all sailors who died during World War II.
    It’s the only example of its type left in the world” he said, “I want it to become like something brought back from the past”.
    vimeo.com/ceevisk/review/131336985/588ab80c05
    S-boats were configured with three diesel engines driving three prop shafts, specially developed MAN and Daimler Benz engines were fitted in the early S-boats.
    Although equal in horsepower, the in-line MAN motors tended to produce excessive vibration and had a high center of gravity, this led to breakdowns and unacceptable stresses on the boats’ light motor mounts.
    In 1938 the Naval staff decided upon the reliable 20 Cylinder 2000hp MB501 V-engine as the standard S-boat powerplant.
    The MB501 proved highly dependable and a versatile basis for later improvements such as the addition of superchargers.
    The final versions of the MB501 could propel the 100 ton boat to speeds of 43.8 knots.
    Situated in the middle of the hull, the engine room reflected thorough German planning and smart design inherent in the entire S-Boat program.
    Although noisy, it was spacious, well ventilated and illuminated by skylights; conduits and wiring were neatly laid out to allow accessibility for quick identification and repair.
    The risk of fire was greatly diminished by the use of diesel fuel and by a built-in Ardex fire extinguishing system.
    Aircraft style instrument panels monitored performance of the three engines and instructions from the bridge were received on a miniature engine room telegraph.
    Kevin Wheatcroft aims to rebuild the S130 so that it performs exactly as it did when it left the Johann Schlichting boatyard in 1943…
    “The idea is that you’ll really step back in time, however finding the bits is some task — we’re looking for mundane things like sinks, wash basins, the galley cooker, knives, forks and plates”.
    With this in mind, coupled with Kevin’s reputation for attention to detail and superb restorations, this boat will be stunning when completed.
    Mechanic monitors instruments.
    On his right, the engine telegraph.
    Although the engines were technological marvels, it still took well trained crewmen with steady nerves to keep them running.

    by CeeVisK

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