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Airfix Channel Dash Gift Set 1:72

Part No:

Price: 18.98 (Including VAT)
Euro: 22.21 (Inc VAT) US$20.25 (Tax Free)

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The Channel Dash, codenamed operation Cerberus by the Germans, was one of the most audacious naval operations of all time. In early 1942, three of the Kriegsmarine's most powerful warships were stranded in the French port of Brest, unable to easily recover to a German port and under repaet bombing attacks by the RAF.

The three German capital ships, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen had no choice but to run the British naval blockade around the port of Brest and break for home waters through the English Channel - a stretch of water in places only 30 miles wide - under the noses of the RAF, Royal Navy and shore batteries.

On the night of teh 11th of February, the German ships slipped through the blockade and made full speed into the Channel. Unfortunately for teh British, and luckily for the Germans, the ships were not spotted until the following morning by two Spitfires of the RAF, however, due to needing to maintain radio silence, they did not inform their superiors until landing.

While the RAF and Royal Navy had been expecting this operation their response was far from effective. Just six Swordfish bi-planes made up the intial strike force. Led by Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde, DSO, they circled their RAF Manston base for around five minutes, waiting for their allotted escort of RAF Spitfires, but it was just ten aircraft of number 72 Squadron that found the Swordfish and escorted them, against a force of up to 250 Luftwaffe fighters.

The attack was suicide. The Spitfires soon became embroiled in a whirling dogfight with the Luftwaffe fighters, leaving the six Swordfish to the mercy of any other fighers and the murderous flak. Esmonde pressed home his Torpedo run to the lowest level, even flying when his port wing was shot off and his aircraft aflame. All the aircraft were lost, with just five crewmen surviving. Esmonde was not one of the survivors.

All the ships escaped unharmed, the only damage to them during the whole operation was thanks to mines laid in the approach to their own harbours. Repeated attacks by bomber command and coastal command were ineffective, as were the shore batteries and destroyer assaults.

Airfix Gift Sets are ideal for more advanced modellers and include glue, acrylic paints and brushes
Scale: 1:72
Skill: 3
Number of Parts: 160

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