WW2 St Nazaire dock attack instigator gets plaque
An Army officer who died during a successful attack he instigated on a German-occupied dock has been honoured with a plaque in Cardiff.
Capt William Pritchard was killed when British forces blew up Normandy Dock, St Nazaire, in March 1942.
The attack put the dock out of action until after World War Two.
This stopped the German warship the Tirpitz entering the conflict as it had nowhere to go for repairs.
The battleship was later sunk off the coast of Norway.
Royal Engineer Capt Pritchard, of Llandaff, helped come up with the plan after witnessing the bombing of Cardiff docks in 1941, where his father was the master.
RAF bombs were not accurate enough to hit the gate of Normandy Dock in the French port from afar so he helped devise a plan to blow it up from the inside.
He helped remodel an old ship - HMS Campbeltown - to look like a German vessel and placed a four-and-a-half tonne bomb on board.
Training for the mission took place at Cardiff docks and other areas around the UK.
The plaque was unveiled at a short ceremony in Llandaff on Wednesday.
Overnight on 27 March 1942, HMS Campbeltown made it part way up the Loire estuary before the Germans detected it.
But it managed to reach the dock and the British commandos onboard off-loaded and began destroying what they could.
Hours after it was supposed to have destroyed the gates, the bomb on HMS Campbeltown had still not blown.
The Germans, not realising explosives were on board, had begun a tour of the ship, when just before midday the next day, it finally detonated.
Many survivors were captured and spent the rest of the war as prisoners at Colditz.
In total, nearly 170 British servicemen, including Capt Pritchard, were killed in the raid.
To mark his contribution to the mission, known as Operation Chariot, The Llandaff Society, Royal Engineers in Cardiff and St Nazaire Society funded the plaque in Capt Pritchard's honour.