Channel Dash War Memorial 1, Marine Parade, Dover Seafront, Kent, UK

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The memorial, unveiled on Thursday, September 27, 2012, is located on the lawned gardens in front of the Gateway Flats on Dover Seafront. It commemorates the Allied Operation Fuller (German Operation Cerebus) that took place in 1942 during World War II when the Kriegsmarine ships, Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen, sailed up the English Channel and through the Straits of Dover.

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John Latter on October 16, 2012

The main inscription on the monument's front panel reads:

OPERATION FULLER

"The Channel Dash"

12th February 1942

During 1941, the German Battle Cruiser SCHARNHORST operated unchallenged in the Atlantic resulting in the sinking of 115,622 tons of British Merchant Shipping.

Requiring maintenance it went to Brest harbour where it was joined by its sister ship, the GNEISENAU and the PRINZ EUGEN.

Whilst in Brest, the vessels were subjected to heavy attacks by the RAF.

Adolf Hitler required the fleet returned for use in Norwegian waters.

The German High Command made plans, code-named, Operation Cerberus, for a night time escape through the Channel.

At short notice plans were changed to a daytime dash thus maintaining, an element of surprise by slipping out of harbour unnoticed during the evening of 11th February, 1942.

The British plan code-named Operation Fuller, directed by Vice Admiral Ramsay from the War Rooms in Dover was based on the belief that the German ships would attempt to escape at night.

On 11th February, 1942, the British submarine positioned outside Brest harbour put out to sea to recharge its batteries on the surface as the German Fleet sailed.

Escorted by six Destroyers, E-Boats and massive air cover provided by the Luftwaffe, the vessels steamed steadily up the Channel.

On the morning of the 12th February, two RAF reconnaissance flights reported that the German Fleet were in the Channel.

Although British radar indicated a high level of German air activity, the sightings were not considered reliable, as it was believed that the German Navy would not attempt such a daring plan.

Further RAF reconnaissance sorties were carried out over the Channel and engaged in combat with Focke-Wulf FW 190s and Messerschmitt BF 109s.

Greatly outnumbered they returned to base to report their sighting.

The inscription on the plinth reads:

This Memorial was erected by the Channel Dash Memorial Trust supported by donations from J and P Nixon, J and M Cornwallace, Drapers Fund, Hornby, Dover Harbour Board.

Designer: Gordon Newton, Maidstone. 2012.

The side panel is inscribed with:

White Ensign (Royal Navy)

A red badge consisting of a pair of wings, anchor, and rifle within an oval. This is the insignia of Combined Operations (Combined Ops), including Commandos.

Submarine Service, HMS Sea Lion and badge.

Fleet Air Arm, 825 Squadron

16th Destroyer Division

Royal Artillery, 540 Coast Regiment and badge.

The inscriptions on the unseen faces will accompany a second photo showing the rear of the monument (see later "Comments").

A This is Kent news article stated:

Among those at the ceremony were Major General Charles Ramsay, the son of Admiral Bertram Ramsay, who at Dover Castle was in charge of Operation Fuller, and Vice Admiral Otto Ciliax, the son of the commander of the German fleet that day. Also present were representatives of the Dover-based motor torpedo boats and gunners at St Margaret's who took part in the operation.

The ceremony was organised by The Channel Dash Memorial Trust with a naval guard of honour provided by the frigate HMS Kent, in port for the weekend.

The Central Band of the Royal Air Force provided music. More than 30 Standards were on parade to be dipped in salute as the Last Post sounded. Uniformed members of the Duke of York’s Royal Military School were also on parade.

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, said the memorial commemorated the bravery of not only the British crews but also those of the German battleships who made the dash through the Channel. "This memorial symbolises human endeavour and loyalty on both sides in the conflict," he said.

Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke said: "It was a great day for Dover to see the Channel Dash monument unveiled on the seafront.

Photos taken of Type-23 HMS Kent while the warship was in Dover Harbour (berthed alongside the Prince of Wales Pier) include:

Royal Navy Frigate F78 HMS Kent at Sunrise, Dover Harbour

F78 HMS Kent Frigate and Westland Merlin HM1 Helicopter

Frigate F78 HMS Kent 4.5 inch Mark 8 Naval Gun and Dover Castle at Sunrise

Ministry of Defence HMS Kent webpage.

Out-of-shot to the left is the Dover Merchant Navy War Memorial, out-of-shot to the right is a bust (statue) of Captain Matthew Webb, first recorded cross-channel swimmer.

Also see:

We Will Remember Them..., Dunkirk War Memorial, Dover Seafront

Maison Dieu House and Civic War Memorial

And the nearby:

Indian Mutiny Rifles Monument, Camden Square, Dover

A Dover History, Memorial, Navy, Seafront and Second World War photo.

John Latter

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 13, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: Canon EOS 600D
    • Taken on 2012/10/04 07:39:30
    • Exposure: 0.006s (1/160)
    • Focal Length: 46.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/8.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash

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