Operation Sleepy Lad

This was a British special forces operation by Lieutenant Colonel W. Stirling’s 2nd Special Air Service to cut German railway and road communications between Ancona and Pescara on the eastern side of the Italian peninsula (18 December 1943).

Under the command of Lieutenant A. J. Scratchley, several parties of troopers were landed on the coast and successfully operated behind the German lines to cut the railway and road routes in a number of places. The Royal Navy was unable to effect the beach rescue that had been planned for the parties at the end of the operation, but most of the troopers managed to return to the Allied lines by ‘acquiring’ an Italian fishing boat as their transport.