The National Museum of the Royal Navy honours the Cockleshell Heroes on their 80th anniversary


This year marks the 80th anniversary of Operation Frankton. A raid was undertaken by the Royal Marine Commandos, under cover of darkness in Bordeaux Harbour. The role of the Royal Marines in the story of the Royal Navy is one that often comes into sharp focus. 

Led by Herbert “Blondie” Hasler DSO, OBE, this raid struck a significant blow to German shipping in France and proved to Germany that no installation was safe from enemy attack. This attack also helped to boost the morale of the British. Now more commonly known as the Cockleshell heroes, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is hosting events allowing visitors to get closer to this true story


No. 6 Cinema, The Cockleshell Heroes, Thursday 8th December, 7pm 

Join the No. 6 Cinema, based within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, for a special showing of The Cockleshell Heroes also in collaboration with Portsmouth City Council. This film dramatises the events of Operation Frankton, and will be introduced by Will Heppa, curator at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. This event is ticketed separately to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. To book tickets please visit:

Storehouse 12, Operation Franklin Behind the Scenes Tour, Sunday 11th December, 1pm, 1:45pm and 2:30pm 

A tour of Storehouse 12, the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s new collections centre, offers visitors a chance to get close to the true Cockleshell Heroes. This tour will have special focus on some of the objects from the raid belonging to the head of the operation, Herbert “Blondie” Hasler. The tour is completely free to all, but must be booked in advance at:


Anyone attending a behind the scenes tour is strongly encouraged to visit the National Museum of the Royal Navy, as well as the other museums and historic ships at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The Ultimate Explorer ticket starts from £39 per adult and £29 per child. It is valid for multiple entries through the year, with family tickets available. Book online at   


Entry onto the 12-acre historic area of the Historic Dockyard is free with a Historic Quarter Pass, which is issued at the Visitor Centre between 10am and 4:30pm.