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This from former Islander, Brian Dennis ahead of next week’s VE Day celebrations. Ed
Anniversaries are the opportune time to remember our history and perhaps re-write, confirm or deny stories which persist from our past.
Island author Adrian Searle wrote book a few years back (Churchill’s Last Wartime Secret: The 1943 German Raid Airbrushed from History) based on an account by a German soldier, Dr Dietrich Andernacht, who said he was in a secret operation to steal equipment from the RAF St Lawrence radar station on 15th August, 1943.
Twelve specialised stormtroopers tried to come ashore in dinghies until they were spotted and engaged by regular British soldiers.
Episode ‘hushed up’
As well as providing a time and place and a named witness, Adrian, who I knew as a stickler for research and facts, quoted an Islander who said he was one of those who had to sign the Official Secrets Act, but the episode has been hushed up since to preserve the boast no German soldier set foot on British soil (Channel Islands the exception).
Time to confirm or deny
Surely 77 years later and on this anniversary, someone in today’s Government could issue a one-and-for-all denial or confirmation of this raid.
Or perhaps Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, could ask the question in the House of Commons?
Image: © Adrian Searle