Operation Healing II

This was a British special forces attack by commandos against Spilje on the coast of German-occupied Albania (28/29 July 1944).

Under the command of Colonel F. W. Fynn, a small party of 40 men of No. 9 Commando was involved with No. 2 Commando, one company of the Highland Light Infantry and other British elements in a raid designed to open the Albanian coast in the area to the south of the Linguetta peninsula so that the local partisan forces could be provided with the supplies they desperately needed.

The action against the 150-man German garrison on top of a hill at Spilje was designed to create a relatively safe landing area, but a combination of factors conspired against the British undertaking. Albanian collaborators had alerted the Germans, so the element of surprise was lost and the Germans were well prepared. Radio communications were also affected adversely by surrounding trees, and this made effective British co-ordination impossible. The German machine gun positions took a heavy toll of the landed men and, with time running out, Fynn had no choice but to order a withdrawal. The undertaking cost 20 men killed and 60 wounded.

However, the result of the operation was better than had at first seemed likely. Many of the German defenders had been killed and wounded, together with a number of collaborators. The strength of the German garrison had been weakened to such an extent that partisans were able to kill or capture the surviving Germans and thus take control over the coastal strip in the area.