Operation Fahrenheit

'Fahrenheit' was a British special forces raid by elements of the Small Scale Raiding Force and No. 12 Commando against the German signals station at the Pointe de Plouézac on the northern coast of Brittany, between Morlaix and St Brieuc, in the north-western part of German-occupied France (11/12 November 1942).

The raid’s objective was the capture of German service personnel for interrogation.

The party of nine men (two of the SSRF and seven of No. 12 Commando) under the command of Captain O. B. Rooney was delivered by MTB-344, and on approaching the Brittany coast correctly identified its target. After landing and scaling the cliff, the party found the area heavily mined. Rooney and one of his men checked the signals station and a nearby pillbox, discovering that the former was protected by wire and sentries, but that the latter was unoccupied. The cable from the pillbox was cut.

Only a frontal assault was possible so, split into three smaller parties, the British made their way to within 10 paces of the wire, from which they could hear the sentries talking. Rooney unscrewed the top of a grenade, but this was heard by the sentries. One exclaimed and worked the bolt of his rifle. A blinding flash and explosion immediately followed. Both sentries were killed with sub-machine gun fire, and Rooney’s party moved forward past an empty guard house to await the emergence of the station’s occupants. The first two were shot but when the others returned fire it was decided to withdraw before reinforcements arrived, for in a larger fire fight it would be difficult to evacuate any casualties back down the cliff to the beach.

The party successfully re-embarked and returned to Dartmouth, but without any prisoners.